The Most Beautiful Machine on Earth

Digging a hole in Saturn

On the axis of time, we have been through the stone age, the agricultural age and the industrial age; now we are passing through the information age. During all this time, numerous machines have been made and put to great use resulting in superiority of the humans on every other species on earth. What really made this possible: the most beautiful instrument ever made.

Humans possess useful organs; our eyes are probably the finest machine possible, but not the most powerful. Our hands plus fingers give us a huge advantage over animals with paws and hoofs. We can construct our marvellous tools or probably throw something as far as 100 meters by using them, but they can only go so far. You can measure the extent to which everything works: the distance to which an eye can see, the force with which an arm can lift, the speed with which a leg can run. Everything we have got has a limit. Not our brains though.

As cliché as it sounds, it amazes me beyond belief when I see the limitless potential of a human mind. Its response is unpredictable, the possibilities are unlimited. By its proper application, we can even dig a hole on Saturn while sitting on earth. Now that is unmatched power!

A human mind is capable of generating exponential (and beyond) gains. Everything around us produced by its application is a small miracle, ranging from arts to sciences to medicine to songs and movies.

The 3rd of Arthur C. Clarke’s three famous laws states that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Every 100 or so years, the society around us transforms so fundamentally that it is difficult for a past person to travel in the future and recognize everything he sees. Consider the following feats, each of which is probably no less than digging that hole in Saturn.

  • the wheel and axle concept in 3500 BC, which made the agriculture and related transport possible as well enabled the people to travel great distances,
  • the nails, which are holding (almost) everything you set your eyes upon,
  • the printing press in 1440, which sparked knowledge dissemination at an unprecedented rate (20 million volumes had been printed in Europe by 1500),
  • the internal combustion engine, telephone, light bulb and the Internet to name a few more.

If you have read this far, always remember this:

The neurons in your brain fire and give rise to the very next thought that is born in your mind; it is very precious. Put the mind to good use by deep focus on stuff important to you and it will surprise you. Put it to bad use by randomizing the thoughts and it will soon get ruined in the dust.

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