An evening with great minds

It was on the Oct 7, the Edward Wilson award and George Stibitz award were given away by ‘American computer museum’, Bozeman, MT(the oldest and continually existing computer museum in the world) along with MSU.
The winners of this year and their outstanding achievement are too long for me to list here, you can see it in here. The people who invented and pioneered DNA fingerprinting, symbiogenesis, computer music, OOPS, digital camera were all there. Also Wilson was there, one of the great intellectuals my roommate considers to be GOD.
I had gone to the event, running after soccer match with white stains of sweat on my forehead, hoping that those thinkers wont make me sleep. But those thinkers were so outstanding in their “achievements” that everybody was pretty much in awe. Most of them were humble even though they commanded respect. Every one of them talked about what their achievement was and blah blah. After that award-presentation session, there was an open discussion with the audience. Audience would get to ask questions(all of them were pertaining to  ‘so-called’ world-wide importance), and the people in dais would reply to them.
Most of the questions were about sustainability, population, energy deficit GM (genetic modification) and so on. The common thread was, most of it were questions about future(including mine). The unfortunate part was that, none of the people on dais were astrologers.

I was in a more mental state of ’anti-technology’, the panel had lot of people who shared similar views, saying human race has a bad “track record”, and that we are on our way to doom. One thinker, Lynn Margulis was so vociferous about it and was disturbed the whole session.
I personally call the human life as “irreversible spiral downfall”, I kinda like how it sounds.
My and around 10 others’ questions were left unanswered since they were out of timeSad smile. They just mentioned “questions linger”.
Oh yea right!, I was like “tell me about it.”.
My question was on how to slow down this “irreversible spiral downfall”. Wilson, that day gave the answer, not as a direct answer to my question in itself. May be I took it from him.
Even though his answer may be right, it is improbable to my eyes. In my words, his answer was more like, what he wanted was small town (size of Bozeman, MT) settlements of human beings and pretty much destruction of cities which plunder pretty much everything.
After the evening, I met a pro-GM guy in an informal chat (He is  a professor and pathologist at a university, I wont mention his name Smile), I am not against GM as such, but the explanation he gave irked me. He said if I had a tooth ache, what would I prefer
a) a visit to dentist and “you know rest of the story”
b) manipulation of stem cells and a painless ordeal with a completely new teeth grown from my gums.
He wouldn’t take “but” from me, and also he wanted 4 good things about the 2nd option. I played his game and said 4 good things and wanted to ask him my 2 major concerns.
1) Side effects. “Nothing ever invented is free from side effects”, whether you like it or not.
2) Careless behavior, I can get a new teeth, I don’t need to brush, wash my mouth. Where is caramel-chocolate-candy-sweetness.!(that extends to everything else too)
He cut off me before asking the 2nd question, and said about India having poor people and how I need to know their lives by living along with them (I dunno why he said those) and with a look, “you engineers dunno shit about biology”..
That reminds me of 2 biochemists laughing at me when I mentioned about the probability of creating life in lab. They laughed their ass off(and I was sad Sad smile), soon after that incident, Synthia was born with computer parents. Beat that, you ignorant bitches.Smile with tongue out
Coming back, that conversation ended in rather sore note. I am sure he was offended because I was questioning the ethics of his profession, which made him say those things(though he said it with a modest face). I apologize for hurting you. Though I stand by what I said and what I believe.
Well my ranting and Rambling is over.
-Santhosh K Ramachandran
P.S Wilson gave me an autograph with a drawing of an ‘ant’ (He is a myrmecologist)
P.S.S During the Q-A session, one Old man had asked a question “Why is there something, and not nothing”?
I answered him, when it was time for me to ask the qn. Smile with tongue out I told him there is something as well as nothing “You just can’t see nothing”, And another proof is “Binary language”. After all there are 10 kinds of ppl in the world.Open-mouthed smile

-Santhosh K Ramachandran