Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Do you have a Clock ?

There are moments, when time moves really slow. Space does not show any effect of dilation. Everything is like the painting of Monet, slow, lazy, sunny afternoon. It comes from the surroundings most often, as I have realized.

Little did it struck me, until now, that we have a watch, too. I made few slow friends in recent past. I went in a state of hurry, urgency and apparently found that the urgency disappears in their presence. On the other hand, I get a sense of running at blind speed when meeting some other friends. I call them fast friends. So, if you count, I am sure - you will find people of various speed in your life. The external world forces us to react in different speeds at different points of time. Your inner capability can completely absorb the speed. And dictate the speed on the external world. We have an inner clock, possibly unrecognized.

Naturally, the question comes is why we want to control the speed of the external world anyway and what are the tricks of doing that. I will rather share two observations to dwell upon.

I was driving on a highspeed road recently. The road had 3 lanes, one for entry/exit, one for regular cars and another for overtaking. For all the three lanes, 100 kmph was average speed. Even then, you are forced by some cars to slow down. If you are in hurry, you go fast e.g. 180 kmph and overtake it. The whole system, if someone observes from sky, would look like moving in an unison. The slow cars with a lot of trailing body and the fast cars with no one to accompany. In other words, in the world or cars, speed is enforced and distributed in a long chain. Perhaps, readers with a knowledge of Queueing Theory can be interested in the overall traffic scenario.

The second observation is about the digital design domain. In microprocessors, there is something called a clock, which synchronizes the various activities happening around the whole system. It is very similar to what we call having an appointment and then standing under the big clock of Howrah station at 10:20 AM. Now, the primary motivation of processor designers, till sometime back, was to get faster and faster clocks. Due to myriad of reasons, that single-minded focus is rested now. One of the reason is that fast clocks burns the whole system too soon, decreasing its lifespan. The workarounds to avoid this include slowing the clock down, depending on the laxity allowed by the application or shutting the power supply down to some portion of the processor. This resembles a lot on how we, human beings, relax and rejuvenate.

For us, ordinary humans, to understand and appreciate the speed and become fast/slow person at will requires us to understand our clock. I think, that clock is perceptible through our breath. Unlocking the secrets in that way, comes from practice of breathing, meditation and what the western world knows as Yoga. More on that of my understanding, later.

And, when your dying, slow car gets stuck on such a beautiful spot, you will probably not mind at all.

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