He researched on agricultural plants and animals. He wanted to find, effect of body size on metabolic rate of the organisms, a thing that was useful in cattle industry.
Cattle industry owners saw potential in his research, as he could predict how fat their cattle will grow and how much bounty they can get by serving them to carnivorous masses.
Working over this, he stumbled upon a pattern, which is called kleiber law.
He noticed that as organisms grow in size, they slow down.
A rat has faster beating heart; as compared to an elephant. A bull’s heart beats slower than a cat, when he munches his grass.
He applied his mathematics knowledge, to analyse it and he found that it follows, “negative quarter power scaling.”
That means something; that blasts mind of every guy, who didn’t like maths at the school.
But, we can only know that if we take mass of an organism and do its square root and do square root of result obtained again; we will get approximate idea of its metabolism. Metabolism is 3/4 th power of its mass.
That means we do sqaure root twice.
By these ratios, we can predict relative metabolism of two animal species.
For example, if we take a cow and a rat. Let’s assume if cow is x times heavier than it; then cow’s heart will beat x times slower than rat and it will live roughly x times longer.
Scientist Geoffrey west took it further, when he applied this law to non living things like cities, creativity and ideas.
It applied well to cities when we saw cable length, petrol stations, factories etc.
But when he applied it to Idea generation and innovation it was not applicable.
As size of cities increased, number of ideas generated increased exponentially.
That is why cities serve as centres of growth and innovation.
As different ideas collide; they generates new combinations.
Hence, although kleiber’s law can help in comparison of heart rates and life-span of different species, it doesn’t apply everywhere as a basic law of energy distribution in nature.
Let’s stop here. I don’t see too many fans of mathematics, who scroll on social media.
Inspiration – Where the good ideas come from Steven Johnson.
Adjacent possible was coined by scientist Stuart Kaufman.
It includes all the things possible; just next to what we have already achieved in a technology or idea.
For example man picked up stones to break nuts. Next possible change it saw was that heavy stones work better.
Then man found that sharp stones work better. Then, stones that fit between thumb and finger work better.
Then, man found that stones tied to a stick produce greater force.
Then, he found metals and made tools with metals. Then, he inserted batteries in tools like drills.
Each discovery led to next possible discovery.
And exploring next possible thing slowly, man reached present time of nuclear weapons, with which he can terminate his eternal stupidity and greed.
So one development in a technology opens doir to next possible improvement or addition, which is a slow process happening by contribution of multiple brains.
Adjacent possible is next possible improvement in present idea or technology.
It is not infinite.
It presents infinite possibilities out of which few are useful or meaningful.
It is slow and continuous.
Its boundaries grow as new possibilities are added or arise.
It applies to living beings and non-living things too.
Initially computers were text only medium. Then possibilities kept adding on to it and now you can post your photo or thoughts at the flick of your thumb, which similar sapiens all over the globe can see.
Hence, whenever you work with your ideas keep an eye on what is the next possible valuable addition to this idea.
That’s where next big thing resides.
Also keep searching your adjacent possible. You were not same in the past and you will also change in future. Keep jumping into adjacent possible of yourself and keep improving like all technologies do with time.
Right from the time, when we wriggled out of the sea water and started infiltrating all over this planet; we always needed fiction to survive.
We needed myths like Gods, states and religion.
Man needed stories to stick to. We needed groups to be part of and we needed feeling of, “us and them” to feel purpose in our life.
Then ideologies corrupted our minds. Some followed communism; which raised right questions but provided few solutions.
Few followed capitalism; that solved many problems but gave birth to extreme inequality and ecological disturbance.
Communism still holds firm in many countries; especially in Eastern parts of the globe.
Communism is basically,” from each according to his ability and to each according to his needs.”
In this all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to his ability and needs.
Communism is still deeply ingrained inside every inch of capitalism and we don’t even observe it.
It is necessary for capitalism to flourish and spread.
In the house joint family members share their possessions with each other. They earn them by capitlistic market and then put to use based on communist principles.
When we get out of house; we ask strangers for directions free of cost. We may get shelter under strangers umbrella. Somebody may tell you that you forgot to remove stand of your bike, without charging money.
In office, your senior colleague may answer your queries or act as a mentor free of cost.
Now see Facebook and Instagram. How much money they would earn if people didn’t share their pictures and art free of cost.
Would Amazon feel the same, if reviewers didn’t post product reviews for free on it.
So, capitalism may boast of anything but it is nothing without this daily communism.
Elinor Ostrom took this idea to her heart and studied how humans can judiciously share common resources without need of a state or autocracy to intervene.
This concept of commons need to reach more people and should be recognised for its vital role.
Her studies got Elinor Ostrom; Nobel prize in 2009 but still capitalism with its bright lights is outshining the garden of commons.
When human beings started as a hunter gatherers, it was relatively easy to be happy. You needed few things to be happy. You needed food, water, warmth, safety and a family and you were okay.
Their were no stocks, bills or quarterly targets.
As time passed, hapiness got increasingly attached to external things. It depended on things you could gather and then feel happy by displaying those things to others. Humans started collecting land, money, metals, fat and servants.
But then things got more complicated. It was still hard to be happy.
They stocked more and more stuff,only to see that it got outdated before they could earn enough to buy its next version.
They needed pills more frequently to be happy and feel meaningful.
As incomes grew; after a particular level of money; hapiness stayed the same.
So, it was probably wrong approach to achieve sustained hapiness free of transient dopamine spikes.
Only when hapiness is detached from the external things, tgen only it can become stable and eternal.
When I read , courage to be disliked, I realised it was the simplest philosophy to be happy. Although it was hard to apply fully in real world; but it provides framework over which sustained hapiness could be developed.
I will share few of these concepts of Alderian psychology in this blog with illustrations.
Here we go.
1. Think in terms of teleology and not in terms of aetiology.
Aetiology is cause of an event. Teleology is purpose behind that event.
For example if somebody is depressed, we may deduce that, he is depressed because of his troubled home environment. ( Aetiological explaination)
In teleolgical terms, person has created depressive symptoms to avoid the effort of sorting out causes of his depression. ( Teleological explaination)
So, if we start seeing things in terms of hidden purpose, in stead of exact cause; it will be easier to start acting for improvement of the condition.
Aetiology provides difficult route to a solution. Teleology makes it a bit simpler. Aetiology gives causes, teleology guides towards possible solutions.
2. Stay away from life lies –
Life lie is lie that we make to avoid change. We shift blame from ourselves to someone else.
Like feeling inferiority to avoid being courageous enough to change your circumstances. It is easy to stay locked in home by constructing life lie of inferiority complex; than going out to face your fears and making best of whatever talent you possess.
3. Once you find purpose behind a particular symptom, you need to accept yourself and move ahead in spite of the fear. You need to have courage.
As all great minds have said, we choose our emotions, our reactions to a particular event and meaning that we provide to a certain event.
If you accept these, you give yourself power to change.
Humans are slow to change. Change needs courage. Change is inconvenient. Change needs sacrifice and pain.
We rather choose to avoid it. We may create symptoms like anger, impulsiveness, depression, irritability, inferiority to avoid the change. Our purpose of all these symptoms may be an effort to avoid process of painful change.
Better thing is to see that you can change situation with hit and trials using courage and assistance from your family, meditation or your doctor.
First you need to know that you have power over your response and thoughts.
“Think I have ability.
4. All problems are interpersonal problems.
All problems can be seen as problems arising out of our relationship with others and situations.
Don’t put your happiness in the hands of external things. Other people or things or situations. This will free you of a lot of burden.
Keep out of useless competition. Don’t get sucked up into useless struggles, to prove your superiority to anyone. Even if you are correct, don’t assert your yourself. If you are right, don’t sweat to prove it.
Don’t fall in trap of reward punishment circuit.
Step back and show no reaction. See problem in the circumstances, not in the particular person.
Life is not a competition. Don’t compare with others, compare with your old self. You should be improving with time.
5. Develop feeling that all people are my comrades. Develop horizontal relationships.
All humans are not same, but all are equal. Consider everyone as your friend or comrade.
It gives you power to think positively and to stay away from negative feelings. This will give you ability to see their perspective. It will solve a lot of problems.
Treat everyone as equal with no bias or hierarchy. It gives community feeling. Know that you are not centre of the universe and don’t expect many things from others. See what you can contribute, in place of what you can get.
6. Seperate tasks –
See clearly which is your task and which is not. If it is not your task, don’t overindulge in its execution. Provide nudge or guidance but don’t do it yourself.
For example, if child is not studying well understand that it is his task. Tell him that studies are necessary for him. Provide for tuition, reading space and help whenever he requires. But don’t force things on the child or punish.
Let him walk his path himself, so that he learns to face life alone.
7. Know that contribution leads to hapiness –
If you contribute to society and other people, your feeling of self-worth and hapiness are exalated. Believe in others. Don’t generalise things.
Few bad events or people don’t make everything bad.
Contribute according to your ability. But still know that person is worthy for being or existing. His contribution increases this worth.
8. Know that life is a journey, not a destination. Life is a series of dots, it is not a straight line.
To summarise everything.
See purpose of an event or action. Seperate tasks. Focus on internal drive for hapiness. Treat everyone as comrade. Solve interpersonal issues. Have courage to change.
It is eye-opening write-up. It tells us that; even if intentions are good and legislation in place, still beneficiary may be deprived of a benefit due to misinterpretation of things and complexities of a process.
In year 2015, as people tried to flee to better lands amongst middle eastern Syrin war. As many as 4000 refugees drowned in meditarranean sea; as they tried to cross it with inflatable boats.
They paid loafty money to mediators and found themselves with their families; in the middle of no where.
This happened in spite of Geneva convention aggrement; which enables refugees from Syria to seek asylum in Europe.
But, when people tried to reach airports they faced effects of anti illegal immigrants directive, which was designed to stop illegal immigrants. This directive required airlines company to ship back illegal immigrant for free.
Hence, on airport counter every asylum seeker was seen as illegal immigrant. Hence Geneva convention failed to help them due unclear and complex process.
Why didn’t they use good boats.
Because, there is EU policy to confiscate illegal boats. Hence, if people used boats they will be captured and gone
Hence, desperate people used inflatable boats which are very unstable and risky.
Hence inspite of remedy (permission of asylum under Geneva convention); it was really hard for refugees to reach Europe to seek asylum.