Friday, July 24, 2015

We are not alone

Man’s quest for finding out another inhabited planet and living beings in it is, perhaps, older than the evolution of any science. Nowadays, one of the hidden hope behind all space exploration missions is the possibility of finding out extraterrestrial life. Every space scientist cherishes this hope. All very rudimentary data with respect to the possibility of a congenial environment for life (in the past, present or future) that is being sent to home by satellites and rovers become big news – which indicates the interest of mankind in this topic. Later in this series of developments, NASA recently released information on the closest and the older cousin of the Earth. NASA’s Kepler mission has confirmed the first ‘near-Earth-size’ planet in the “habitable zone” around a sun-like star.

In these attempts, even the discovery of a microbe will be counted as a big progress. I also strongly believe that, we (the mankind) is not alone in this universe. But the problem is that most of our searches for the alien cousins are based on the kind of life and living environment we know. But my strong intuition is that if we explore the possibilities of lives and living environments that are strange to us, we may get an earlier victory.

It is based on the above intuition, I formed and presented a hypothesis of life in the form of pure energy and the aliens having invisible (in man’s eyes) bodies formed with condensed energy in the third volume of IMANOFUTU fiction series titled ‘the first Alien Home on Earth’. They survive by eating radiation. They communicate through radiation language, that is, by emitting and receiving radiation in a structured form. They live in a social order entirely created by their energy levels. They take birth when the energy of their environment reaches certain levels and combinations. They do not die, but being dissolved into the environment when their energy reaches certain lower levels. They have visited the Earth hundreds of times!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Digital India week thoughts

Seminar on 'Digital India for Education & Training': Photo: Arun Upendra
The first digital equipment I owned was a wristwatch with digital display during the last part of 1980s or in the beginning of 1990s, I don’t remember the exact time. The very second day of my possession of the same, I opened it with much enthusiasm to find out some cuter machinery than the cute wheels that were either rotating clockwise or anticlockwise or just oscillating in my grand old HMT watch. But disappointing me a lot, it shown up only a hard and white plastic kind of material with a steel button like battery. Even though that poor thin digital watch put in much sincere efforts to impress me by displaying hours, minutes and seconds, I decided to give it up. Because, I wanted to hold the cute hour-minute-second hands and wheels of my old HMT watch with me.

A lot of people seemed to have thought on the same lines. Consequently the digital watch boom of those times faded away in around three-four years and the watches that were sold for many hundreds of rupees per piece initially ended up as a thirty rupee per piece deal with the street vendors. The cheapest price was also not able to push it in the marketplace and subsequently such vendors also disappeared.

However, the watch companies seemed to have identified the right issue. The major problem with the old mechanical watch was with its spring-tension energy system and the button screw used to wind the spring as well as to set the time. During those days, either you forgot to wind it or the low quality of the spring-tension system caused issues. In both the cases, your wristwatch showed untimely times. Another problem was with the winding button screw. With a little more force than usual during the winding or time setting process, you used to pull the screw out. Later in the timeline of evolution, the watch companies came out with a solution. They simply took out the spring energy system with battery and digital technology. So you had your cute hour-minute-second hands and wheels inside (tough plastic) again, even while using the digital technology. That tweak in the strategy for technology introduction helped the companies to ensure amazing market penetration to the digital wristwatches. Most of us wear this product now.

The lesson from the above is that, innovativeness and usability alone cannot ensure user acceptability. While designing projects and products for making digital India a reality, entrepreneurs have to take such lessons into consideration.

Digital India is the need of the hour at the threshold of evolving knowledge economies. The major peculiarity of a knowledge economy is the speed, precision and spread at which knowledge is transformed into the products of an economy. In a knowledge economy, innovations, factory setups based on such innovations, production, distribution and betterment should happen in a lightning speed. The major source of above speed, precision and spread will be digital technology. I know, I needn’t explain how.