“Hello! My name is Stephen Hawking. Physicist, cosmologist, and something of a dreamer. Although I cannot move and I have to speak through a computer, in my mind, I’m free. Free to explore the universe and ask the big questions. Such as, “Is time travel possible?” Can we open a portal to the past, or find a shortcut to the future? Can we ultimately use the laws of nature to become the masters of time itself?”
This is how the TV documentary called “Into the universe with Stephen Hawking : Time Travel” opened that was broadcast on the Discovery Channel. Now, you must be wondering why I quoted that in the lead-in of my post. If you are not, then you must be thinking that I’m here to review the documentary. You are wrong. My post has very little to do with the documentary. But, for the time, quoting the opening dialogues is worth it.
Some months ago, when I was first watching the documentary on my computer screen (let me be honest: torrent downloaded 😀 ), my mother came by my room and asked why I was wasting my time watching movies. That kind of pissed me off because I do watch movies but I don’t think they waste my time. The best help I get from watching an English movie is it helps me improve my English knowledge, gives me more words and lets me understand how native speakers talk. Anyway, at that particular moment, I wasn’t watching an English movie. So, I told my mother that it was a documentary. My mother sat beside me and asked what documentary it was. I told that it was based on Stephen Hawking’s research that tries to figure out whether or not time travel is possible. It discusses visually about the possibilities of getting back to the past and leaping forward to the future.
Before I could say anything more, my mother gave up on listening. I could clearly see that she was pissed off and this time confident that I was totally wasting my time. Later on that night, she came to my room and told me that I should not waste my time anymore studying about what happens out there (in the space) and whether time travel is possible or not. She added, “These are concerns of those people who have billions of bucks. Because they need no more money, they spend their time to discover new things and fulfill their thirst for more and more knowledge about aliens and all those stuff.”
Note that she didn’t say that scientists waste their time. But, again, is money everything in the world?
I know the answer is partly yes. Because, without money, the world is more or less hell. We do our job to make money so that we can have a decent living. But, can we refuse to admit that we sometimes spend time studying and reading about stuff that actually help us in no way in our life? We simply spend time studying about them because our mind and heart ask us to do so. For example, I have seen many people who travel all the way to find haunted places and explore them. But none of them seem to be making money out of it (I doubt if it’s even possible). They just love to do it; and they do it.
I have always found myself quite interested about space. Whenever I see a documentary is being telecast on the Discovery Channel or National Geographic, I halt my remote control and pay attention to it. I love space photos. I wonder how such heavy planets are hanging to nothing. I wonder how gravity is keeping us on earth instead of throwing us at space. I wonder how does it feel when you’re on moon, or on mars. When we are alone in the home, we feel like there’s no one around. Being in mars or the moon must feel like there’s no one in the entire planet! How does that loneliness feel? I wonder. I even went to Planetarium in Dhaka to learn more about the sky and space. I loved it there.
As time travel is always an interesting topic, I couldn’t stop myself from watching the documentary. And trust me, I loved it. If you got some time, you must watch Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking series’ Time Travel episode. You will not regret it.
Now, let’s get back to the point. I thought about it for several hours that night and several more times later. Should we actually stop studying or ‘wasting’ our time in things that are of our interest but has no financial value? Is knowing about how earth works and evolves (Into the universe with Stephen Hawking : The Story of Everything) a waste of time? How about knowing the logic for whether Aliens do exist or not (Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking : Aliens)? Is that, too, a waste of time?
Better said, is time valued by money? At least, in every sphere of life? That’s a big burning question in my mind.
How much money do you have to have in order to be eligible to learn about space, time travel, other planets and aliens?
Later published on Express Bloggers.