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Random Brain "Droppings" of yet another software engineer







Sunday, May 07, 2006

Thermodynamics and what it teaches us about life

TOI reports that another grad student at the reputed IIT Kanpur has taken his life for not doing well in his courses..

IITK officials say;

the student might have taken the extreme step as he was severely depressed after coming to know that he had failed in two courses advanced thermodynamics and advanced fluid-mechanics


I say what the f**k ...I ask why such a dastardly attitude towards life and take your life, for what! for failing in couple of f**king courses. This makes me feel sick. This evokes more of feel of disgust than pity for him.

I guess we as a society have to take the blame. We have reduced education to a mere process of rote and vomit with a aim to get 100 marks and anything less being intolerable and good enough reason to send you to dungeon. In this process we have squeezed out all the fun out of it, we are merely learning skills to survive, when we actually were suppose to have learnt skills to LIVE.

Our (anti)hero was studying advanced thermodynamics...I seriously don't know what was he taught or what he understood in thermodynamics...look at the basic laws of Thermodynamics, do they just speak about heat,temperature,entropy...I say no, they speak lot more than those abstract concepts..for example

the first law..

The increase in the energy of a closed system is equal to the amount of energy added to the system by heating, minus the amount lost in the form of work done by the system on its surroundings.


does this law just speak of energy and matter conservation...no, to me it tells more..it says, buddy it never happens that you get something by doing nothing because matter and energy need to be conserved. So if the "results" are not as per your expectation, it only implies the "inputs" lacked the vigour and quality, this is something that can be rectified anytime provided you are alive.


The second law..

The total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value.


It simply says, given that you are at a energy state and go through a process,then you cannot return to the same energy state, because there is always an increase in disorder or entropy always increases. So when applied it to life it simply says that "failing" is just another "state" in a process and if you take the right inputs after failing and continue in the process there is no way anyone can return to the same state(fail again) again.


Third law...

As a system approaches absolute zero of temperature all processes cease and the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value or zero for the case of a perfect crystalline substance.


In short it says, the disorderliness is impossible to escape as it is possible to so only when you can reach zero temperature and it is impossible to reach absolute zero in finite number of steps. So the way of life is to have highs and lows(disorderliness) and fun is to live through them like all ir-reversible processes and not chicken out.

so for Shailesh Sharma, why did laws of thermodynamics remain mere sen tenses connecting abstract concepts? why did Shailesh Sharma, who was one among the elite cadre of budding engineers, fail to see the bigger picture of life? Who was responsible for tying the bridle with flaps to his head and preventing him from seeing the bigger picture? Was it the education system or was it the grading system or was it us, the society?.....questions galore..I have answers to none...But one thing I would say is what ever he did is one sick thing..

3 Comments:

  • Education system? No. Else everyone would be doing what this unfortunate student did.

    Grading system? No. Else everyone would be doing what this unfortunate student did.

    Society? Uh, no. Else... you get the picture.

    If someone has behaved in an unexpected manner, it is most likely due to some peculiarity inherent in him (or her, before the feminists have me for lunch). I would view it as just one more guy who was unable to cope with the real world. In no way is this different from those who commit suicide due to failure in love or due to being in debt.

    By Blogger Alok, at 1:06 AM  

  • Hi Alok,

    >>No. Else everyone would be doing what this unfortunate student did.<<

    There is a point in what you say, but don't you think the society and the law should be there to protect the "weak" or the "minority" few and not the "normal" or "majority".

    Shailesh Sharma was a bright guy(he wrote the same JEE as others), its only that he could not keep pace with his classmates...so who do you think would need help from "laws" and "society"..is it this lone "unfortunate student" or the rest who are doing good?

    I am not sure how practical or sensible this argument is...but its just another thought :)

    By Blogger Prashant, at 8:27 AM  

  • Thermodynamics.....ah well, pleasant memories...i still remember my II sem,when the batch average in one of the Thermodynamics tests was a mere 6/50 :) We all celebrated that day, since we only had relative grading!!

    By Blogger Chaosrules, at 6:21 PM  

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