Sun, Jul 31, 2016
Let not the mathematical formulae and scientific laws blind the Pharmacists and Engineers from knowing the unknown yet knowable.
“One does not need to know Bernoulli’s Principles of Aerodynamics and Isaac Newton’s laws of motion so as to be able to learn how to put the bicycle, a product of these laws, in motion.” This was my mentor’s assertion that made me assent to the unbelievable and assent to the unknown but knowable. It made me see the blessing in the absence of college education.
I am a passionate Civil Engineer with a budding predilection for bridge design. So, naturally, my career choice would call for a profound love for Physics and Mathematics but my mentor in Civil Engineering debunked the long-held profoundness I intransigently attached to those subjects, when he made that firm assertion. His assertion was not only an instantaneously incomprehensible & novel phenomenon but also significantly life altering towards the right direction on my side.
It is not the newness of this phenomenon that is to be given much credit and attention but the fact that what he said was something in our immediate and mundane midst, yet we have not noticed. Something right under our noses!
This can be evidenced by the numerous, allegedly uneducated (yet they could be more educated than the knowers of the laws of motion) riders of bicycles and motorcycles in Africa who learn how to ride the artifacts without attending the Physics class. They intentionally learn to ride, often because circumstances propel them to forge a livelihood from the severely pathetic transportation system in majority of cities in Africa.
It is important to notice the meta-profound role of unwavering intention and attention, in getting them to learn how to ride despite their ignorance of the often boring Physics rhetoric like inertia, aero-friction, action & reaction, skidding friction and frequency of tire revolutions.
If you are an engineer reading this article, and at this stage, you are almost losing it because I’m seemingly against your long-held and cherished terminologies of Physics (just like I was), here is the good news. I’m not against them. I’m only supplementing them with a speck of novelty and encouraging ingenuity. I’m only awakening you to the fact that, for novelty to prevail in our innovations and ideas in all fields from health sciences through the arts to the technologies, we have to return to a great deal of our intrinsic bodily wisdom that has ironically eluded us. We have been eluded by our own bodies. Ha!
Let not the mathematical formulae and scientific laws blind the Pharmacists and Engineers from knowing the unknown yet knowable. It is indeed important to know the laws of motion if you are going to create a moving system but the fact that one could move the system without knowing the laws should be an inspiration to inventors, especially in Africa, to create novel ideas basing on their environmental circumstances.
It is not going to be easy to adopt this lifestyle given that our egos have long-held onto, and have cherished the past, but it starts with unwavering intention similar to that of a bicycle rider who has never known about the laws of motion but strongly desires to put the bicycle in motion.
This brings me to what we could do for the most controversial of viral diseases, controversial in all ways you could ever imagine. Ways from how it came to exist, through ways in which it spreads to notions of how it can’t be cured.
The media is awash with news on health, that often fronts the notion of the incurability of HIV/AIDS. This has successfully coded people’s minds to a thought loop of,” AIDS has no cure”.
The few minds that have tried escaping, or even escaped from the widely accepted mantra, have either been called conspiracy theorists, arrested for “misleading” the public or even killed for their defiance from the status quo. This shows you how sensitive the topic we are dealing with, is.
I may not go into the details of the conspiracy theories on AIDS, but I can assert that they all revolve around a common theme that, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) was “manufactured” by a certain group of people to eradicate another, and that AIDS actually has a cure.
Being the thinker that I am, I choose to be above this global fray and ask that, “What if the cure for HIV/AIDS is with the African child who loves, but can’t afford school?”.
The most significant medical innovations were not made by looking for them but by the innovator’s love for learning and paying attention to the surroundings. For instance, the inventor of the antibiotics, Penicillin, only had to pay attention to the unusual occurrence of moulds, that caught his eye, in his laboratory. Through years of following up on this a-ha and serendipitous moment, the world can now embrace the usefulness of Penicillin.
What if, it is the African child out there, with the love for learning and discovery, going to set the world free from the AIDS scourge? This question is the most encouraging yet least believable to the extent that a professor of English at Harvard University in the United States of America could say that my inclination of speculative and anticipatory thoughts is in “IF 3”.
I would then debunk the professor’s conventional assertion by saying that, the way to perceive it as a “possible IF” is when we, who are aware of the occurrence of such rare possibilities, move out of our comfort zones and look out for that African child. The hunt begins now. Join me!
Edrine Habasa is an autodidact bridge engineer, dialectician and knowledge enthusiast. He's also a debunker of falsehoods as he champions the truth.