Attempts at beating the bloc

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned why I have this habit of omitting the ‘k’ and spell the disease I am currently suffering as “Writer’s Bloc”. Die Batra Wird thought it’s a show of solidarity with the comrades at JNU or Steven’s/Stephen’s/Stefaaan’s. Actually, it’s a really bad joke. You see, my writer’s bloc is soooo bad… that I can’t even write the ‘k’ in block.

The Harish, The.

I don’t know whether I should do this… My first idea to beat the bloc was to tag myself and just fill up answers to inane questions that are somehow supposed to judge your personality (tagging –> Scientology. There is a connection). But that was just because I did not want to fuck up what I am going to try and write now. You see, I read a book a couple of days ago. It was a book I’ve been looking for the last 3 years. And it was everything I hoped it would be. There are two other books that I had been searching for a few years that I finally managed to get my hands on right now. (That sentence right there shows you how bad my bloc is. Just look at that mangled piece of crap! Yeesh!)

The books are:

  • Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid’ by Douglas Hofstadter
  • ‘The Future Of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology’ various authors. (Ranging from Roger Penrose to Kip Thorne to Edward Witten)
  • ‘Dune’ by Frank Herbert

I want to review Dune. I really do! I loved the book. I think it’s the Lord Of The Rings meets Islamic Philosophy meets Asimov. It is easily one of the best books I have ever read. The only problems I had with it were to do with contrasting visions of the future.

The future is analogous to the present. Human beings evolved in Africa and then spread to different parts of the world with each separate branch developing their own unique culture, religion and way of life. Similarly in Dune, human beings evolved on earth and then spread to different parts of the universe. Each planet developed it’s own culture etc. However, though science has progressed in leaps and bounds (evident from the amount of respect Mathematicians receive), there are a lot of medieval or rather ancient ideals still floating about and I don’t get that. For example, how can people still believe in religion? You’d think science and space-travel would eliminate all religion as religion has it’s base in uncertainty and doubt and more importantly, the belief that WE are somehow so important that an omnipotent being is looking after us. Or the role of women. It’s a space-age society where science and superstition co-exist. Muad’Dib sees visions, but these visions incorporate Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and the concept of Chaos Theory. (the thoughts going through his mind before his fight with Jamis is Chaos Theory in a nutshell).

The Islamic nature of the books is unmistakable. I don’t know much about Islamic history, but I feel that the character of Paul Atreides (Muad’Dib, Usul) is reminiscent of the Prophet Mohammad. The presence of quite a few Arabic/Urdu phrases and sometimes straightforward Islamic references add to this conjecture. Paul is trying to prevent the future he foresaw where the Fremen lead a Jihad in his name. There are references to the Hijra, the Hajj and even though the name Muad’Dib is apparently the Fremen term for a desert mouse, according to wikipedia:

In Arabic, مؤدّب mu’addib means ‘educator.’

Also, Lady Jessica’s sietch name, Sayyadina is I think part of the Prophet Mohammad’s full name.

I thought that due to this, the possibility of a Dune movie in the current socio-political climate was next to impossible, only to realize that a movie was already made in 1984. (Hey!)

Now I’m trying to get my hands on the sequels. I guess that Dune and Herbert are the perfect antithesis to CS Lewis and Narnia. It’s odd, I’m a huge fan of Tolkein and yet despise his close buddy!

Anyway, I think I’ve babbled enough. I’m supposed to be working on my summer project(s). A failure analysis of three missions (Challenger, Columbia, GSLV F-02); some MATLAB shit (we have to learn it ourselves, Hell! I don’t even know what MATLAB is! Is it a software? A language? What the fuck!) and something to do with Eddies in a continuum. (No, seriously! You guys? Seriously!)

Enough talking! Writer’s bloc is not the inability to write at all. Rather, it’s the inability to write well. And by the looks of this post, I have a long way to go before I’m cured.

4 Comments

Filed under Art, Books, College, Ideas, Life, Random, Rants, Why Life Sucks

4 responses to “Attempts at beating the bloc

  1. I am the kind of person who says “I told you so.”

    Hence, I told you so.

    Find all the sequels.

    Next up:- Ender’s Game. Read that?

  2. Matlab is a kind of mathematical simulation software used for high level mathematical modelling. It provides an in-built language, to be used for the simulation.

    So it is as much a language, as a software. In fact, I would call it a package.

    There are excellent tutorials on the web regarding the same, and Matlab itself has a huge help file to get you started.

  3. Matlab will make you go insane, and if you install it on your home computer, it will explode.

    That, I’m afraid, is NOT an exaggeration.

    But it’s a very VERY kewl thing – nothing better exists that we know of. Not even remotely close.

    Everything from hardware interaction to image processing and the perpendiular of control systems is included in the various toolboxes.

    I hate the programming model though – drove me to pieces in the final exam.

  4. @ Nimish: Yeah, yeah! I don’t go “I told you so” quite enough about that band from Oxfordshire I recommended you listen to. (That’s because I recommend it to everyone and anyone. Even a paan-wallah in in the sec-41 market). Ender’s Game? Read it. Lemme finish of Dune. Then moving on to Foundation. Asked a friend of mine (currently in Mumbai) to get it for me. Hope she remembers. Then moving on to Neuromancer.

    @Natansh: Thanks for the advice regarding MATLAB. I didn’t get much help from my faculty. He just flapped his arms about like a bird and told us to just use the help file. I brought it on myself by starting off with a lame “MATLAB matlab?” joke. By the way, listen to this band from Oxforshire. They’re bloody amazing!

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