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1. I have read your book (Our physics so far) and would like to have a discussion with you on physics/metaphysics. Is it possible?

- Definitely yes! I am always looking for people to discuss physics/metaphysics with, regardless of whether you've read my book. Learning about your perspective really stimulates and helps me in my quest. Just drop me an email at arpand2004@gmail.com (preferably mention the gist of what you would like to say) and I will get back to you as soon as possible and then we can fix a date together to meet online.


2. Would you be interested in reading my research paper?

- I would recommend not sending your research paper to me (or anyone else unless you trust that person and he/she is qualified to give advice). You can dig up some good journals online and submit your paper there. If you are young (a high school student or an undergraduate), I would recommend submitting your paper to the Young Scientists Journal here. If your paper is on physics or any related fields, you may also consider the Journal of Young Physicists. Click here to submit your article to the JYP.

3. What do you love the most about physics?

- When people listen to romantic songs (the ones in which the boy is hopelessly in love with the girl, but thinks he is not good enough for her), they usually think of their girlfriend or crush. I don't listen to such songs often, but when I do, I think of physics. Physics is my crush. Physics is my only weakness. I know I'm not good enough for her, she is way too great, but I still love her. I wasn't in love with physics from the beginning. This change came about when I realized I could never rest until I figured out how the universe works (I know I'll never be able to do that, but let's keep our dreams high). I realized physics is magic. You are trying very hard to answer a particular question, and then you have a fundamental insight that changes the entire worldview, answers a lot more than this particular question, and gives rise to a thousand new questions. This doesn't happen daily, but the fact that this has happened a few times, in my opinion, makes physics much, much more exciting than the best crime thriller out there. And physics is about the real world. There is a devilish intellectual satisfaction in uncovering the secrets of the universe. It's like we are playing with the mind of God. When I learned that the inclusion of an extra, hidden dimension can account for electromagnetism in a world which is consistent with Einstein's general relativity, my mind was blown away. Such an ingenious way to unify gravity with electromagnetism. Both gravity and electromagnetism can be described by ripples in the fabric of five-dimensional spacetime. Of course, we now know that these Kaluza-Klein theories are incorrect, but string theory attempts to unify the four forces using extra dimensions. The idea was very important. Then there's dark matter and dark energy. Black holes. These concepts are as fascinating to me as a Moriarty crime is to Sherlock Holmes. That's why I love physics: it's exciting, and it's totally worth it. Also, I should add, my interest in physics increased manifold after I learned about pattern formation in Nature. You see patterns everywhere. One example that comes to my mind is the Chladni patterns. Basically, when you have a large number of fine particles (like sand, for example) vibrating at a particular resonant frequency, these particles arrange themselves in particular patterns (called Chladni patterns). I thought of Chladni patterns because we recently performed this experiment at college using a speaker, an online tone generator, some sand and a plate containing the sand. We also attempted the experiment using wood dust and water. We had to take care of a lot of factors here, like surface tension (to reduce which we boiled the water slightly), etc.. So anyway, the thing is that, the projection of the orbitals of hydrogen atoms also resemble the Chladni patterns. And not just this, there are many more examples of the same (or similar) pattern emerging at different scales. And I regard these patterns, which crop up everywhere, as nothing less than "the face of God." Isn't this amazing? Do you need any further reasons to love physics? Well, there are many, many more reasons as well, but let me stop here.


4. Apart from physics, you say you’re also interested in neuroscience. Why did you choose physics over neuroscience? Also, how do you see the future of neuroscience?
- Well, I am definitely interested in neuroscience, although I don’t have any technical knowledge in this field. The main reason I chose physics over neuroscience is that I wanted to understand the nature of reality fundamentally, and although it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to actually do that, I felt that pursuing physics would give me a better understanding of the ultimate nature of reality than neuroscience. And I still consider pursuing research in biophysics and consciousness, which has got to do a lot with physics as well as neuroscience. And here’s my answer to your second question. Neuroscience will essentially progress in three directions in the future. First, it will help us to better understand the human brain, which can also help in the study of consciousness and Artificial Intelligence. Second, it will help us deal with neurological disorders. Third, neuroscience will help create a bridge between the human brain and machines, and one day, perhaps, between one brain and another. Understanding the brain will also help us to evolve new ways of learning. Maybe we will be able to download information directly to the brain! And much, much more. 

5. What, according to you, is most important in life?
- Health and wealth. And success. I mean, success brings wealth, and the opposite might also be true to some extent. At one point of time, I used to think money was not important. There was something noble about not falling for money. But I’ve realized money is important. Financial security is important. I’ve seen many people (strangers, most of them) die because they did not have the money to undergo proper medical treatment. Lack of money prevents underprivileged children from getting a proper education and living a proper life. Now, some people will say happiness is most important in life. Yes, money can’t buy happiness, but having money means you’re likely to be happier, no point denying that. And I am here for a limited amount of time, and I must spend my time as happily as possible. Happiness is important to me. But happiness maybe is not the most important thing. Certain illusions can make us feel happy, but most of us are not content with illusions. We want to know the truth. And that's the whole point of science.

 

6. I am a singer/songwriter/musician and I would like to collaborate with you on a track. Is it possible?
- Actually, yes! I am open to collaborations (as long as it is a free collaboration), and if we do make a track together and I release it, I will always mention you as a featured artist. However, if you want me to help you with one of your releases, I am quite picky about that. I may agree, or I may not, depending on your material. But I won't say no to really good material. So feel free to contact me.


7. I would like to join the Young Scientists Journal as an editor. Would you be able to help, being a member of the editorial team?

- No. I can do nothing about it. You can click here to visit our website. You will get all the information about the open positions and apply there. Anyone can apply, you don't need any help from any insider for that. All the best!


8. I have written an article which I wish to submit to the YSJ. Could you take a look at it before I submit, just to make sure everything's okay?

- No. I can't do that. Once you submit your article to our system, a subject editor will take a look and perform a plagiarism check. If your article is alright, it will be accepted for review.

9. Do you believe physics can explain consciousness?

- There are a lot of theories about consciousness and physics, and in general, I do believe physics, neuroscience and computer science can one day explain consciousness as an emergent property of physical matter. I think all this consciousness-is-fundamental stuff is utter nonsense, and consciousness is nothing but an emergent property. It arises from the arrangement of and interaction between the physical matter that makes up the brain, and nobody purposefully arranged this matter in this way. It's just permutation and combination. All the possible combinations occurred, and by itself, this "magical" combination also occurred at one point of time. Although I call it "magical," I believe it is, in theory, possible to explain consciousness using the known (or not-yet-known) laws of physics. Deriving the properties of something as complex and sophisticated as consciousness from first principles would be practically impossible. We don't have the computational power to carry out a calculation of this magnitude. But all I am saying, it can be done in theory. I believe that consciousness (and everything, really) is subject to the laws of physics. Consciousness is emergent, and that's it. However, I'm still in the process of researching and have not yet come to any firm conclusion. 

10. What is something important that you've realized about yourself during your journey?

11. Just like you are trying to do something different in your life, there are many others who don't want to walk the conventional path as well. Do you have any advice or suggestions for them?

12. Do you watch movies? Who’s your favorite hero and villain?
- Well, I don’t watch movies actually. I have watched some movies, of course, but you’d be surprised to know that the number of movies I’ve watched is likely less than twenty-five, and definitely less than, well, thirty. I’m pretty confident about that. But yeah, I used to enjoy the Harry Potter movies when I was younger (although the books were much better). I don’t have a favorite hero, really. I liked Dumbledore a lot at one point of time, but he was cunning and manipulative. I mean, he was working for the greater good, but most Potterheads wouldn’t call Dumbledore a “hero.” And of course, Sherlock Holmes is also one of my favorite heroes, although I haven't watched any Holmes movies, I've just read the novels and stories. But I do have a favorite villain. Guess who? The Joker. I mean, the Joker from The Dark Knight. I mean, I can really relate with this character called Joker. For one, I am morbidly curious. And I found the elements of death and sufferings, especially in the 2019 movie Joker, appealing. The movie beautifully shows how a broken and tortured man can turn insane and dangerous. Indeed, all it takes to reduce the sanest man to madness is one bad day. Joker makes a similar claim in The Dark Knight as well: “Madness… is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.” Now, coming to The Dark Knight’s Joker, well, I always had a secret desire to become a mastermind criminal and take revenge on the world. I mean, this would be obvious to those who’ve read the lyrics of my song The World Versus Me. I admit it’s probably just a childhood fantasy. I don’t seriously consider becoming a criminal. But still, I find the Joker’s philosophy interesting. I mean, for one, Joker was somewhat of a nihilist. He wasn’t afraid to die, and although he says he just does things, he is actually extremely intelligent and plans his crimes beautifully and carries them out even more beautifully. And although he portrays himself as a lunatic, he actually has a deep understanding of human psychology. He’s able to manipulate people so easily. And he has realized the ultimate truth of society - people are only as good as the world allows them to be. He has realized that all these social norms and laws - which seem so obvious, right and fair - are actually anything but fair. We are all monsters, without the make-up. The Joker just wants to show us who we really are, and to show us the harsh reality we’ve been trying to ignore for so long. He was not an ordinary criminal driven by monetary goals. He was a seeker of truth and a social experimenter. I admit he went to great lengths to prove his point, without caring about morals or ethics. But in the end, the Joker was probably right. I mean, his views were impartial and logical. Another interesting aspect of the Joker is his desire to pave the way for chaos. I really love Joker’s act of calling himself “an agent of chaos.” In fact, these are probably my favorite lines from The Dark Knight: “Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair!” Nothing’s fair in today’s world. In the true sense, chaos is the only thing that’s fair. I am not talking about chaos theory. I am talking about real chaos. A state of complete disorder, from a physics viewpoint. Why do I call chaos fair? Because a state of complete disorder is supposed to be the same at each point in space and time. I mean, it's a complete disorder. It's not governed by any rule(s). You can’t distinguish a particular region or direction from another region or direction in space, and it doesn’t change with time as well. If you could, the implication would be that there was some order, some rule(s) which gave rise to the difference. But the problem with order and rules is that they don’t treat every point in space and time equally, which isn’t fair, and hence the difference. Of course, in the context of space and time, there’s nothing “fair” or “unfair.” In the context of society, well, chaos would mean some sort of anarchy. Yeah, it’s fair. Because everything is in a state of disorder. It treats everyone equally, regardless of their background or status. Order, on the other hand, implies someone or something is in control. The rules always favor the ones who made the rules. Of course, The Dark Knight is just a movie, and most of us don’t really want anarchy. But I love the concept, anyway. I also agree with Joker that there are two ways to think about your life: a tragedy or a comedy. And I think the latter is probably the better option. I mean, when you think deeply about it, there is something similar about tragedy and comedy. And that life is a tragedy is probably true and appealing. But there’s hardly anything you can do thinking life’s a tragedy. On the other hand, if you accept that life is a comedy show and you’re a joker, you transcend all rules and ethics, and you find peace in death and destruction, which obviously is supposed to be a bad thing, but I don’t think so. I’m the joker, and life’s the biggest joke.

13. I would like to join the Journal of Young Physicists as a contributor/editor. How to do it? 
- We are looking for contributors and editors. As a contributor, all you need to do is write short physics articles for us. Not too many. You just need to contribute a few hours per month. Or less, depending on your other commitments. You can click here for more information.

14. Would you agree to speak at my/our event about physics/consciousness/your journey?

- When I was young, I was really afraid of public speaking, but I have started loving it now. Public speaking would be an important part of my life, since I want to become a science popularizer alongside a physicist. And I have spoken a few times at my school and college. So yeah, I would surely love to speak at your event, but it depends on your location and other factors. However, feel free to contact me about it. If I can make it, I will go. Else, I am always ready to speak at your online event.

 

15. Why did you think founding the Journal of Young Physicists is important? Also, what advice would you give to the youth regarding founding an organization?

- Well, as I have said many times, the primary purpose of founding the JYP is to create a platform for young students to publish their physics articles. Yeah, there already exist many such platforms, which are probably way better than the JYP. But I wanted to create a journal for young students dedicated just to physics and so I did. The JYP is also different from other journals for young students in some other respects. The JYP is committed to popularizing physics and fostering the growth of young physicists. And as for the second question, well, I'm really not the right person to come to for such kind of advice. The JYP was a sudden and crazy idea. It paid off, but that is because of the support I received from you guys. Yes, there were many who criticized my decision to open the JYP, and initially I received a lot of hate mail and stuff like that. But I just ignored all of that. So yeah, the advice I would like to give to the youth is this: no matter what, follow your passion, have patience and never give up on your dreams. In the initial days of the JYP, I literally had to beg people to write and submit articles to keep the blog going, and today, even after rejecting a couple of articles, we have so many pending articles to review and publish. And yeah, I emphasize that this would never have been possible without your unwavering and unconditional support. So I'm grateful to those of you who supported the JYP. 

16. Are you a nihilist? Do you believe in God?

- Well, I do consider myself a nihilist. I mean, as I've probably mentioned earlier in some of my writings or videos, I just believe there is no inherent meaning in life and ultimately our lives are futile, and this only increases my urge to live my life in a way that is meaningful to me. I also believe that some features of the universe are the way they are because of chance, and not due to some divine reason. That's all. I mean, nihilism, at least certain forms of nihilism, are scientific and logical. Contrary to common misconception, nihilism is not about being pessimistic, it is about being realistic. Nihilism promotes an unbiased and impartial view of the world. And also, I don't think we can classify a person as a nihilist and another person as a stoic and so on. Our philosophies are not the same at every point of time in our lives: sometimes I am a nihilist, sometimes a stoic, sometimes both. But yeah, mostly I am a nihilist. As for the second question, well, I would say I am an agnostic, and I also consider spending too much time on the question "Does God exist?" a waste of time. It's not a productive use of our time. And the question is not a scientific question. In general, I believe that we don't need to invoke God to explain the universe. Either we will understand it fully in the course of time, or at least we will understand the fundamental principles on which it is based, even if we can't calculate every detail and every feature of it from this knowledge, or maybe there will always be some questions we won't ever be able to answer. It's foolish to assume that we can understand everything about the vast universe, although we have uncovered quite a lot. But I don't think it is a good idea to leave whatever we can't explain to God. Just accept that we can't know everything. 

17. You have a pretty large collection of airplane scale models. What’s your favorite airliner?

- I have flown in both the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320. And although the 737 looks better than the A320, I have to admit that the A320 is probably the better airliner of the two. But my favorite airliner, in general, is the Boeing 777. And the 747 and the A380 make me emotional too (yeah, "emotional," and I know that won't make sense to you if you aren't an aviation geek like me). And yeah, I love the Antonov An-225 as well. Well, I just mentioned these names (and didn't mention the A350, the 787 Dreamliner etc.), but I more or less like every airplane out there.

18. Have you ever regretted any decision of yours? How do you deal with regret?
- Well, yes, I have made many wrong decisions throughout the course of my life, and I do regret that. But I try not to focus too much on it. Humans make mistakes. The person you put your faith in may betray you any day, the choice you impulsively made may prove to be the wrong choice and so on… But whenever I feel regret, I convince myself that it could have been worse, and I have learned from my mistakes, these experiences have toughened me up and I am now better equipped to face the world, so, I say to myself and to you as well, move on. 

 

19. How do you manage to do so much at once? Could you share any tips on time management?
- It seems like I’m doing a lot of stuff, but in reality, it’s not much. And to be honest, I am probably the last person you should turn to if you want advice on time management. I procrastinate a lot, and sometimes I’m extremely lazy and unproductive. But yeah, once an idea comes to my mind, I start working on it day and night. If the idea gives me a sense of purpose, I’m unstoppable. I work like anything. So it’s not really time management. I don’t do all these parallelly. I get these sudden bursts of motivation. But I admit that recently I have been trying to do stuff in an organized fashion and manage my time better. That’s important, that definitely is. And one last thing. You see a lot of motivational videos saying stuff like “nothing’s impossible” and so on… I used to get extremely angry when I heard stuff like that. It’s easy to say “nothing’s impossible” but we all know that’s not true. However, if you want to succeed, if you want to do a lot of good stuff in your life, you have to believe this and work hard. And never give up, even when it seems like you’re losing the game. This confidence is required to get you over the initial obstacles. That’s why you should believe “nothing’s impossible,” and really believe that. Again, that’s not true. And you have to stop sometimes. But if you are passionate about what you are doing and think it’s right, don’t give up. This does not guarantee success, but increases your chances of succeeding by a considerable amount. 

 

20. Who inspires you the most and why?

- To be honest, I am very fickle-minded regarding this. A lot of people inspire me, and with different intensities at different times. Two names that immediately come to my mind are Elon Musk and APJ Abdul Kalam. I love Musk's diligence and confidence, and Kalam's intelligence and selflessness. Among scientists/physicists, I'm most inspired by Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger, Issac Newton, Steven Weinberg, Satyendra Bose, Amal Raychaudhuri, Edward Witten, Werner Heisenberg, Richard Feynman and many, many more. Then in music, of course, Alan Walker. But there is one more person, who has always inspired me with the same (and greatest) intensity. He is always present at the very top of the list. And he is my father. I love his kindness and simplicity, I revere his intelligence and reasoning, and above all, I respect his honesty and struggle in life. He didn't get justice in his life. He was wronged so many times in so many ways. But he refused to bow down to corruption, finally resigning as the principal of his college and starting his own small institution. Of course, almost everyone looked down on him and nobody supported this decision at that time. But today, he is relatively at a much better place compared to where he would be had he not resigned. And above all, this way he can work independently and do things his own way. And I've never heard any of his student complain about him. On the contrary, they always speak about how he is not only a great teacher of economics (yeah, that's his subject), but also a great mentor and teacher of life. So yeah, society has tried to break him down time and again, but he has always managed to remain standing with his head held high. And he never thought of giving up, not once. That's why he inspires me the most.

21. Do you receive negative comments from your readers, from those who follow your work, or from anyone in general? If yes, how do you deal with such negative comments? What's your attitude toward your haters?

22. What do you think about the human future?

- I think the future is exciting and has lots of wonder in store for us. At this point of time, we may have more in common with our ancestors than our descendants. However, it seems to me that the future is, at the same time, uncertain and frightening. Well, it has always been so. Population growth and climate change are serious issues. Okay, population growth is expected to slow down in the future. And evolution will probably take care of a lot of other problems as well. But there is one more aspect of the future which is frightening. We are becoming more and more dependent on computers and the Internet, and the companies which manage them have a great amount of control over the information we have access to, and in general, over the world. Don't get me wrong, the Internet, in my opinion, is more of a boon than a curse, and if we can filter out the junk on the Internet, the Internet is a great source of information. And it has also revolutionized the way we communicate. It has made communication easier; it has made researching easier. But we can't completely ignore the downs. We have no way to know what is actually going on, the information we have access to is biased. This reminds me of a story I read when I was young. In the story, a top-secret organization injects a substance in all newborn babies to make them lose the tendency and mentality to rebel against authority. This makes it easy for the organization to control the world. And if these companies get the power to unconsciously control your thoughts (which is still a very far-fetched and nearly impossible idea), they will basically do anything with you. One thing to note is that big companies create an illusion of choice which makes us (consumers) feel powerful. For instance, there are many companies offering a particular product, and we feel it is in our power to choose from them. So the companies are competing to sell their products to us. While this is true, to some extent, it is also true that in many cases, if you trace the companies back to their origins, you will see that the real power is concentrated in very few hands. And they care mainly about profit, and not improving the quality of life. Basically, almost everyone around you is trying to make money off you by stimulating your brain to experience certain emotions. And the irony is that they do this to stimulate similar emotions in their own brains. That's deep. Think about it. So anyway, coming back to the question of the human future, I'd like to conclude that climate change, the prospect of nuclear wars and pandemics - these are not good things. But we have survived worse situations, so I think the human race will not go completely extinct in the near future, provided there is no cosmic catastrophe, which is beyond our hands. What I really want to say is that just thinking about the human future is not going to do us any good. We should keep working and researching, and try to build a utopian future, while always trying to make sure that it all doesn’t end with dystopia. And I would really suggest that you watch this video (The Human Future by melodysheep). It’s just awesome and does a much better job answering the question of the human future. 

23. Are you working on any exciting new project at the moment? If yes, could you share some details?

- Well, the answer is an emphatic yes! I am writing another popular science book. I really don't know when it will be released, but I can give you a basic idea of the project. This book would be very different from Our physics so far. This book is actually about a crime that has not yet been solved (and probably never will be solved satisfactorily). It's a detective story, which is not made-up (I mean, it's real). And the criminal in our story is way more deadly and intelligent than even the most dangerous criminal you have encountered in any crime thriller. Guess who is our criminal? God. And what exactly is his crime? Creating the universe. And who are the detectives who are investigating this crime? Of course, the physicists. So yeah, I am not writing a crime thriller, it will be a popular science book on physics. But nothing like Our physics so far. It will be an entirely different and unique concept. Stay tuned for updates! Also - this is extremely important - the fact that I'm writing a book titled The crimes of God (yes, that's what I've decided to name it) doesn't mean I've started believing in God. I just take this little literary license. I'm not sure if I technically can use the phrase "literary license" in this context, but I think you get what I'm trying to say. Anyway, you can keep an eye on this page of my website to stay updated about The Crimes of God. And coming back to the question, well, we all are working on exciting projects, and I am no exception. However, I don't want to reveal the other projects I am working on (or planning to work on) right now. 

24. You have revealed that you have mental health issues like anxiety and depression. And you have also claimed that you’ve successfully overcome these issues and you’re better now. What’s your advice to other people who find themselves in a similar situation?
- What I’ve learned from my experience is this: Whenever you are worried or depressed about something, don't avoid the problem, but confront it. Learn to accept the worst, don't run away from it, face it. Think of those people in an even worse situation. Always remember that you are not alone. And have faith in yourself. My journey has not been easy. And that's what I have learned. I have learned a lot of other things as well. Number one, wait, wait and wait. When I was young, I never thought I could live after the death of my grandfather, such was the bonding between us. But I learned to accept death as I grew up. (Yes, it takes time to sink in, and there is nothing wrong in distracting yourself for a few weeks just after the tragedy. Music proved to be a very helpful distraction in my case, and I even started writing songs and producing music after my tryst with the songs of the likes of Alan Walker and Marshmello. Anyway, the point is, dwelling on a person's death will not bring the person back. Life goes on. You've to be a little selfish at times.) If I continuously worried about what would happen after my grandfather's death at the time when I was young, I would've wasted my time and found no real solution to the problem. Sometimes, the solution is just to stop thinking and wait. Time is the greatest healer. I have also learned something important about our psychology. Have you ever wondered why we unconsciously get addicted to negative thought patterns? Because, according to me, to some extent, we all want pity from others (I don't know if this is just a survival instinct or something else). We use negativity as an excuse to not face reality. But once this starts, it is very difficult to break out of this pattern, and this ultimately leads to anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. I have struggled with this myself. But I have understood better now. There is only one way to break free: not to try to think positive or anything, but to defy your negative thoughts, to analyze the probability of your thoughts actually happening and to reach beyond your breaking point. Negative thoughts take us to a world where the simple truth is hidden from our eyes, and everything in this world appears overly distorted. As long as you are in this world, trying to think positive or watching motivational videos won't help much (at least not in the long run), because whatever you think you are thinking and perceiving from your distorted perspective. The best thing to do is to convince yourself that this world is just fantasy, and shatter the world completely. As an example, some patients suffering from OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, feel the urge to do something unnecessary, like maybe touching a bottle one more time or something like that, because they think that if they do this, nothing bad will happen! Of course, this is illogical. But to these patients, this is the truth. They don't see the rubbish in this. They are stuck in their distorted view of the world. They need to break out of this world to break out of such thought patterns. How to break out? Confront your thoughts. Intentionally refrain from touching the bottle. And wait. Does something bad happen? No? There, you have it. So yeah, I know it's difficult to shatter this world completely, because this world becomes your home, but once you reach your breaking point, and hopefully things work out in your life, you can get over it yourself. At least, I was able to. And also, I say this is the only way to overcome negative thinking, but in reality medication and therapy also work wonders for many. So never hesitate to consult a psychiatrist or psychologist if you think you need professional help: they have studied psychiatry and psychology for a reason. So anyway, I just needed to reach my breaking point, and completely destroy this world. The world seems more difficult and challenging to me now, but it doesn't anymore scare the shit out of me. I am ready to face it, instead of cowering behind a shield of negativity. Also, given my introverted nature and occasional posts about stuff like thriving alone, etc., people have asked me whether it’s really healthy to stay alone. I mean, I know that we humans are social creatures and loneliness is a curse to most people. And recently there’s all this stuff about increased loneliness and decreased social interaction in people (especially teens). Many research studies, for instance, have claimed that people who are alone and introverted have a higher chance of being sad or depressed and dying early. And I think reducing our screen time and increasing our social interaction is extremely important for our mental well-being. But yeah, I don’t think all the claims are true. The methodology and statistical analysis of such kinds of studies can be misleading. For one, they might not take everything into account, like the medical conditions of the subjects. Then the results are unreliable if the sample space is small. And even if they are true, I would like to point out that loneliness is not being alone. You can be in a crowd and feel lonely, or you can be perfectly alone but feel perfectly content. And feeling lonely is an evolutionary trait. When our ancestors used to live in jungles and hunt in groups, they developed this feeling of loneliness, which compelled them to stay in groups, thus increasing their chances of survival. So we have an evolutionary reason for seeking company. But I don’t think we can claim lonely people die early. And coming to happiness and sadness, well, they are entirely subjective feelings. I don’t think being alone, in general, leads to poor mental health. I prefer being alone, and I’m perfectly happy with that. If you genuinely feel good alone, that’s alright, you don’t need to force yourself to be extroverted and outgoing. Of course, I’m not asking you to shut yourself up in a room, but there’s nothing wrong in being an introvert. And yeah, definitely reduce your screen time, that has a lot to do with your mental health. And try to spend more time with people, Nature and also yourself (just try not to get too friendly with the wrong kind of people).

25. Just like Einstein’s mantra about the nature of reality was that “God doesn’t play dice with the universe,” yours seems to be “Ordered complexity is a fortunate product of random processes.” You mention this so many times in your works. What exactly do you mean by this statement?

- I just want to say that the complex and ordered structures that we see in Nature, such as living organisms, are the result of random processes, such as mutations, natural selection, and environmental fluctuations. There is no inherent design or purpose behind the emergence of complexity, but rather it is a lucky outcome of randomness. However, an important thing to note here is that we don't really know whether this is randomness, in the true sense. This randomness could be deterministic. There are laws that apply to random systems; random doesn’t mean it can’t be studied or understood. So I think it would be best to add the word "seemingly" before the phrase "random processes." Thus, ordered complexity is a fortunate product of seemingly random processes.

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Please note that the questions answered

on this page are general and/or personal questions that Arpan has been asked frequently. In case you are here for any questions related to physics/science, you may want to check out this post by Arpan on the Journal of Young Physicists.

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