Saturday, 30 June 2012

Engineering- A Tour de Force

The very exultation of our practical genius. Furnishing the world over with wonder and synergy, synthesising things never before conceived and extrapolating the profundity of our imagination. A discipline doused liberally with the know-how and time-honoured innovation decreed by its forefathers and perpetuated by a spirit that yearns to push the envelope of design and technology further than ever. Making the systems and the contraptions at the core of modern life more robust, more efficient and more awesome while simultaneously embarking on a revolutionary tour de force to conquer the pragmatic nature of being. Engineering is a modality that has undeniably fostered a boundless realm of utility; the definitive fusion of principles and practice into an evident measure of equilibrium. One may reflect on the universality of engineering by observing the meticulous functions of an engine; pistons primed in linear motion, compelled towards combustion,driving stroke upon stroke; the kinetics of a chemical reaction, giving rise to novel substances and solutions; the aviation of an plane, maintaining velocity and opposing drag or even the irreducible complexity of a circuit, harboring resistance and conductivity. Engineering has transfigured both the tangibility of the material world and the intangibility of the imagination, extrapolating its depth and profundity. The synergetic integration of technological advance with that of the status quo is at the heart of the engineering spirit, the intellectual challenge of solving perplexing technical problems by means of an interdisciplinary approach is at its coalface. For it remains not solely the goal of making mechanisms more efficient and more robust but also more intimate and alluring in their simplicity that forms the tapestry of such an indispensable art.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Ethics- At the Edge of Morality

Judging between good and bad is nothing short of imperative. The thread that weaves a fabric of moral being and evident conscience is an ever binding tapestry of personal and collective proportion. A culmination of philosophical and theological inquiry, the brain-child of the sage and the immemorial principles at the nucleus of 'the greater good' forms the crux of this universal institution. One that through myriad conjectures and hypotheses, rapidly established a profound instalment to the intellectual repertoire and the age of reason. Enlightening and probing, provocative and stimulating; ethics is a modality of, by and for humanity; an analytical insight into the means and the ends, the codifying of acts into a methodic algorithm of reason and seeking the finer rudiments of their colour and nature. Traditionally, the cradle of ethics has remained confined to the philosophical territory of the dual schools of consequentialism and deontology in conjunction with the groundbreaking postulations submitted by logicians such as Kant and Confucius. Consequentialism remains synonymous with the justification of the means with the end, the premise that the outcome of the action or acts justifies their degree of morality and ethical virtue. On the other hand, deontology asserts that outcomes are unimportant and that the individual's intentions are paramount, justifying their degree of morality and ethical virtue. What we may deduce is a classic instance of rivalling schools and opposing, often controversial outcomes. Let's envision a thief in search of a key to a vault, in Kantian deontology, one would ethically be inclined to serve as a service to his fellow man and assist the thief in finding the key. But the thief stealing the loot of the vault as a result of your assistance has no ethical wrongdoing as the freewill of a fellow man is not your responsibility. However, consequentialism assaults this conception of ethics and asserts that your acts assisted the thief in the theft and holds the ends as a justification of the means. Ethics is both theoretical and pragmatic, the most abstract of philosophical abstractions and the practical approach to life forms the crux of this algorithm of reason, the discernment between that of the good and that of the bad. But beyond the dual schools of consequentialism and deontology, there is the intrinsic essence of ethics and morality that remains the defining definition of humanity. A common denominator, a common moral infrastructure that is the transcendence of all ethics and all morality. The humble yet binding conscience. For as long as men can breathe of eyes may see, conscience remains the immanent hub of all ethics, one that neither Kant nor the remainder of the enlightenment have conquered to the fullest of play and a tenet of being that teases the most scholarly of figures and prodigious of minds. Ethics may well and truly prove to be the next final frontier, a philosophical odyssey bound by a methodic algorithm of reason, inquiry and inquisition..

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Nanotechnology- Size Does Matter

Machines that laboriously execute the most confounding of functions. Contraptions that work in synergy, a cooperative interaction of components and mechanics driven to full throttle and absolute efficiency. The very coalface of cutting-edge technology, the final frontier of modern practical genius. While this may sound much like the dream machine for which the minds of engineering, design and technology yearn for, it remains a figment of our imagination attempting to manifest itself in reality. The advent of spellbinding molecular machinery, robust nano systems and paradigm-shifting scientific advance is ever immanent and closer than ever conceived. Nanotechnology has proved a token of promise for our futuristic worldview, pushing the envelope of what may be done on the atomic and molecular levels and challenging the concept of intangibility . Our perception of the material world has been limited to the parameters of what may be manipulated topographically or even microscopically but the attempt at manipulating matter by a factor of a few inconceivable nanometres is rather far-fetched for the average mind but the repercussions are boundless. Nanotechnology fosters a realm of utility lacking any foreseeable restrictions; molecular machines that work in unison with immunity to fend off diseases, more and more durable synthetic materials that withstand the harshest of elements and even quantum computation that dumps the bits for qubits. Phenomena such as the blood-brain barrier, a capillary network of the least permeability, remains a physiologic checkpoint that makes the delivery of certain drugs and pharmaceuticals insurmountable. The implications indicated by nanotechnology make this  feat surmountable and establishes a pristine standard of clinical practice. In regards to synthesis, the advent of fullerenes and related molecular counterparts are indicative of the possibilities immanent in such a meticulous discipline. Materials that exceed ordinary limitation are inevitable and their synthesis remains the subject of inquiry as to maintain the greatest degree of durability and efficiency. Nanotechnology may be a subject of futuristic conversation, but the realisation of its potency as an industrial, engineering and scientific movement and a junction between mechanisms of every colour, shape and proportion proves the key to the next final frontier. It's signature applications are indicated across every dimension of the sphere.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Cortex- Fifty Shades of Grey Matter

Cover image expansionConvoluted with furrows and grooves, it's akin to cauliflower. A dynamic apparatus, from which the finer rudiments of thought, feeling and intellect stem. The very mantle that sheaths the most nervous of tissue and executes the most meticulous of commandments. A tangible representation of cognition, an abstract exultation of elegance and the premise of form and function. It remains nothing short of miraculous and spellbinding; thin, gray tissue harboring the secrecy of consciousness and above all, life. The zenith of gray matter and the biological basis for reason, abstraction and love. The cortex remains a powerhouse executive suite, armed with the potency of billions upon billions of neuronal entities, its hallmark lies with its deceptive resemblance of vegetable contrasted with its role as the ultimate reduction of the self. Thin and convoluted gray matter is merely the explicit statement, while the lurking station of biochemical symphony and cellular synchrony convey the greater connotation, the profound potential. The intellectual challenge that lies with pushing the envelope of understanding further is  deepened with the prospect of fatty tissue, dominating perception, conception and the capacity to reason. For the brain remains no homogeneous pudding, it is a fabrication of various cogs and gears that consolidate memory, process sensory input and facilitate motor output. The cortex forms a bulk of neurological function, in contrast to the sub-cortical white matter, responsible for the facilitation of channels and pathways, commissures and radiations. But cracking the ultimate conundrum remains the driving, thrusting force that transcends space and time, matter and energy; the essence of the sheath of cognition and its untapped, coded potential. The cortex remains the subject of much speculation as well as seminal scientific work that hints novel developments for localisation and lateralisation of function, the pathological investigation of disorder and the mystic elements entailed in its being. With the stimulation of the cortex via an electrode for instance, an uncannily map-like representation of the body is unveiled. Such a mechanism fosters structure over that of substance and harbors a boundless cognitive potential along a thin sheet of neural tissue. But it is the holistic rather than the modular approach that captures the spirit of cognition, for it remains a phenomenon surpassing the parameters of mere tissue and entailing the dynamics of a transcendent order.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Evolution- A Theory in Crisis

A premise reigning over the conception of life. The conviction of a common ancestor, that through a methodic means of change, proved the causation for the plethora of species, diversity and biological wonder that ventures the realm of nature. A materialistic conception, perpetuated by consensus and held firm throughout the annals of science via an 'evidence-based' approach. The culmination of conjecture and hypothesis neither for its rationality nor its logic, but rather its potency to consume and to entice, to persuade and to absorb. Evolution remains a revered and venerated documentation, one that has conquered the roots of the biological sciences and flourished through its approaches of natural selection and myriad mechanisms of variation. But such a conviction is just as worthy of a critique, that elucidates the loopholes, fallacies and contradictions. A critique that places evolutionary theory, its tenets and finer rudiments under a line of inquiry and provides an intimate outlook that discerns between that of the fictitious and the factual. Life is a reality that is often conveyed along the parameters of biological matter, cellular formations, reproduction and metabolism; evolution is merely an attempt to dissect to nature of diversity and not an explanation of the genesis of life. For when the tables are turned the question of biological genesis, evolution fails to respond to the critical premise of life's origins. At the core of evolutionary theory is a materialistic paradigm, one that is predominantly associated with the fossil record and the variation that may be deduced through the analysis of prehistoric biological matter, evolutionary theory claims a blind and undirected process of change that allowed characteristics on on end of the biological spectrum to survive on the other end. Essentially, fossils and other preserved biological matter are evidence of an evolutionary process. Nothing would be further than the truth with the lack of transitional forms, exhibiting the evolution from one species to the next in transitional fashion. In addition, the abundant repository of genetic information found in the genome remains a phenomena the Darwinian theory was developed in complete disregard of. When one pores over the sciences as an interconnected nexus of disciplines, one may apply a multidisciplinary approach to a critique. Thermodynamics builds a bridge to that of the biological sciences through its principle of entropy, the conviction that if no rational agent is in control of a reaction, chaos is the inevitable outcome. In reference to evolutionary theory, a blind and undirected materialistic mechanism of change is demanding of a chaotic outcome, disorder and dysfunction; a blind and undirected mechanism contradicts the thermodynamic principle of entropy substantiates a rational, conscious agent is responsible not solely for the biological diversity manifest in nature but for the genesis of life, the inception of organisms great and small. Evolutionary theory assumes profound stances regarding that of biology, but it remains the critique that highlights the finer rudiments of a theory in crisis...