Skip to main content

School of Thought: Existentialism | Hri-Write

Existentialism is a philosophical school of thought that deals with human existence, trying to explain the purpose of a human life. Existentialism, like many other schools of thought, is of course only a speculation and something we made up, take what you read here with a pinch of salt (after all, I don't know any more about life than you do!)



If I were to try to explain existentialism easily, I'm afraid I'll lose out on its intricacies, but I'll give it a shot anyway. Existentialism, at its most fundamental level, says that every person is responsible for defining their own purpose in this world and that we are governed by our free will. Existentialism says that we are not here to 'find purpose', but rather to 'create our reality and purpose'.


It sounds simple, but that's because I've tried to break down roughly a few centuries worth of study and philosophical evolution into four sentences.

Existentialism originated as a school of thought in t…

The Vastness of Space: Understanding the Cosmos and where are all the Aliens?

Space has interested us as far back as the dawn of humanity. It has become quite the realm of our fantasy. Nothing makes a good debate as much as the existence of extra-terrestrial life does. Rightly so, humans have always used space as a measuring stick to validate themselves.
"Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another." - Carl Sagan
Perhaps it's the fact of belonging to something so complex, vast and elaborate that interests us or maybe it stems from general human curiosity. It can be observed in history that humans have always been doing things that seemed impossible, and that is what separates us from any other species. Humans have always expanded the confines of possibility with curiosity and sacrifice. Space is huge. I'm sure I don't have to explicitly define how small our triumphs are in the face of this mighty universe. Let alone the universe. The earth doesn't even make up for 1% of the mass in our own solar system.
"The sun lies at the heart of the solar system, where it is by far the largest object. It holds 99.8 percent of the solar system's mass and is roughly 109 times the diameter of the Earth — about one million Earths could fit inside the sun."
I'm sure I've put that into context for you now. Yet, humans have, in the earliest recorded years of history, managed to associate planets and stars with figures. The earliest cultures correlated planets with gods of rain, drought, seasons etcetera.

We live in a quiet part of the Milky Way galaxy, a spiral of average size, roughly 100,000 light years across, consisting of a plethora things such as stars, gas clouds, asteroids, dark matter and of course, to everyone's dismay, black holes too. Pictures may make you think that the Milky Way Galaxy is very dense, cluttered with a lot of things, but in reality, it is a lot of empty, dark space, kinda like my soul. Only kidding. I don't have a soul.



Even with our current technology, it would take roughly a few thousand years to get to the nearest star. However, the milky way is only one of many galaxies in the local group, which is a part of a supercluster, which is part of a million of superclusters in the entire observable universe.

With trillions of habitable planets, it should be easy to find alien life, right? Well, that's what the Fermi Paradox is. So there are 100 Earth-like planets for every grain of sand in the world. Think about that next time you’re on the beach. But we are small. Very small. The likelihood of reaching a civilization that is intelligent is very minute. We are yet to develop the technology that can reliably get us to the moon, let us not talk about other stars.

I don't know what all this means, or if it means anything at all. All I know is that humanity and planet Earth have a special bond. One thing we do have to acknowledge is that we don't really know anything. Humans have spent nearly 90% of their existence as hunter gatherers. 500 years ago we thought we were the center of the universe. 200 years ago we stopped using human labourers as the main source of energy. Only 30 years ago we had nuclear weapons pointed at each other because of political disagreements. In the galactic timescale, we are still embryos. It may be easy to imagine that we are the centres of the universe, but in reality, we make a very small difference to this universe. We don't know, and maybe we never will. Here we are now, living in a thin layer, on a small, wet rock. We are really lucky, and we better start acting like it.





Thanks for reading.

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Where is all the 'alien life?' - Fermi Paradox and other theories

My first blog, ever, was about understanding the odds of alien life. I've gotten much better at writing blogs since then (or so I like to tell myself), and it would only be right if I reinstate the legacy of that one.


We should openly admit that when we happen to be under a starry night and see a sight similar to this, we all have a react in a different and interesting way. Some people are left boggled by the immense size of the universe, others by the sheer glamour of the scene and if you're anything like me, you're paralysed by the sudden realisation that you have a negligible impact on the universe. The point is, we all feel something.

When he looked up at the sky, Italian physicist Enrico Fermi too felt something, a thought that lingered around this question, "Where is everyone else?" It's been half a decade since Fermi passed on, but he left us with a fundamental query and idea.

Fermi realised that in a universe as old and vast as this, there should be…

Understanding extremist terrorism

While I hate to talk about such a grim, dark topic, terrorism is running rampant across the globe, and there just seems to be no end. In 2017, the face of terrorism are organisations like ISIS. So, what exactly is terrorism? Merriam-Webster calls terrorism "the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal."

Let's face it, terrorism isn't new. It's been around for a long time. The word, in fact, dates back to the late 18th century around the time of the French revolution. So why is it such a big deal now?

Because now terrorist organisations aren't local. They are getting more radical, and they don't just have political agendas. They've become irrational, crazed with the idea of securing the world under their woeful grasp.


To understand terrorism, it's essential to understand where it begins. All terrorist activities are motivated by one or two things, social/political injustice or the idea th…

Tech Spotlight: Why you should be using IFTTT right now!

I usually don't do a lot of tech blogs, personally because I feel there's so many out there, but this one, I simply cannot avoid. This is a website you definitely should check out, and it's one that after a long while I can vouch for as the most ingenious app/service devised yet.

What is IFTTT?

IFTTT, a clever acronym for 'If This, Then That.', is a free to use website which features a plethora of applets. These applets are made to perform tasks based on triggers, which trigger actions. For example, the applet I'm using right now posts on facebook every time I publish an article on my blog. Coincidentally, this very post has been published using IFTTT.
It works based on two things: Applets and Services.

Applets are the pieces of code written to bring you services and combine the power of these services.
Services are the apps/devices that you use daily (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even smart home tech.)

Quote from their Wikipedia page:
IFTTT is a free web-bas…