Almost a month back, I’d posted the Fork Spoon Puzzle. As far as I know, only Rambodoc attempted a solution. He sent me a solution I had also come up with, that didn’t satisfy the real rules, so it again proved that we’re one of a kind!
That post wasn’t meant to be a popular post that would get the highest number of hits, and appear on the WordPress ‘Top Posts’ list. Why? Because nobody these days is interested in science, in teaching rationality to their children, or learning about basic science stuff all over again! “Oh my god, we went through this in school already, not again!”
But aren’t bloggers different from this public? The puzzle doesn’t require any sophisticated equipment, just basic kitchen stuff. It is not in any kind of specialized domain like music or finance, where you need some background knowledge. You apply scientific principles when you load your luggage onto the airport cart. Put the heavier and bigger bags first, and towards the handle, then heavy bags next to it farther than the handle, then the lighter bags on top of them. We do it, because we need to carry our luggage; who needs to solve a puzzle?!
But think about the scientists who go on experimenting and experimenting. How many years did Descartes spend experimenting with light? How many years did Nash struggle with mathematics and play games to come up with Nash equilibria? How many years did our beloved Kalam spend trying to figure out missile trajectories that are now used by ISRO to send satellites in space?
We ordinary folks spend hours reading books about such great folks. We spend time writing about our love of them. The blogosphere is teeming with its love and praise for Kalam. Why can’t we spend a few minutes trying to practice what he and others preached?
This is not experimentation where you don’t even know if the solution exists (which was what these pioneers were mostly faced with). It is a simple puzzle, with a known solution.
Why I write so passionately about this is because I believe that only if we instill the scientific spirit in ourselves, can we pass it on to the next generation. We’re becoming a populace who abhors any kind of mental effort, reveling in popular music, popular customs, popular cinema, popular beliefs, and so on. What about classical stuff, that requires some effort? Isn’t it rewarding? But I digress.
As I said in the puzzle post, you can choose to cheat and find the solution quickly using the Internet. You would then be missing the whole point. Try to spend time and a little bit of effort. You’ll appreciate the results much more! Let us teach our children and the next generation how to go about applying the unquiet mind.
I will reveal the solution to the puzzle in the coming week, depending on the response to this post. Do use the comments section to vent out your frustrations, your questions, your criticisms. They’re all welcome!
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