“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.

bhashani novo theatre
Bhashani Novo Theatre (Planetarium)

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.

16 thoughts

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post. You present some really interesting aspects of all of this that people might not think about at first, for example the loneliness on other planets. 🙂

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    1. Thanks. 🙂 Whenever I see a close photo of moon or mars, the first thing that pops up on my mind is how lonely it would feel if I was there. But I think I would like the loneliness there (for a couple of days or weeks, not more than that 😉 ). But there were some questions at the end. I was expecting what you thought about them.

      Thanks for subscribing. I subscribed earlier and now added to my blogroll. Nice to find another blog I can read. 🙂

      Like

  2. “Should we actually stop studying or ‘wasting’ our time in things that are of our interest but has no financial value?”

    No. But moderation is the key. I love reading books, for example, so I read whenever I have free time. I don’t make money out of reading them, but that’s ok because it’s something that I enjoy doing. However, if I start reading books most of the day, ignoring the job that pays me or the responsibilities that I have in life, then that would be wrong.

    Oh, and my boss always says that time is money 🙂

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    1. You are right from that aspect. But it didn’t make sense to me how watching a one-hour documentary one day (not even every day) was a waste of time. And your boss, he is right about that. For him, time is money. 😀

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  3. Wayhey! Excellent post, enjoyed reading it so much! You spoke from the heart, and laid it out well. I love to see the use of paragraph, the use of narrative to guide the reader. And a VERY interesting topic! I’m a very Science person, fiction and non-fiction. I think terrific job!

    Like

    1. With all due respect I’d like you to know that the way you’ve written your comment looks more like a spam. Good that Akismet cleared it. You might want to write what you say about the post or simply answer the question at the end of the post. That would have sounded more like a person commenting on my blog.

      In any case, thank you for commenting.

      Like

  4. I have to tell you, straight forward, that is DEFINITELY NOT a waste of time! (at least, that’s what I think). To begin with, our lifes would be really sad if we only did things that could help us make money. Money should be a tool, not the meaning of our lifes. We’re not going to be here forever, so enjoy your life as much as possible, and do what you feel passion for. Besides, how can watching that documentary be a waste of time? Being on Facebook doing nothing, for instance, is a waste of time! Not that :/

    A couple of years ago I read an article in a newspaper about people who try to invest all their time in something productive. I really don’t remember what it talked about especifically, but I remember that it said A LOT of people think like that. So your mum may not be the only one 😛

    That documentary, BTW, seems to be very interesting! I’ll try to get it so I watch it with my dad (he’s a scientist, but on electronic engineering). Last sunday we started watching Michael Moore’s Farenheit 9/11, but we’ll finish it later…

    Xoxo! -Guadi :]

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  5. you know i believe that if you have real passion for something that passion itself feeds you!!!
    imagine many social workers they dont get money for their work… but soner or later they get food!!!
    Mother Teresa was she earning?? but still manged to move the planet!!!
    for modern examples and since i am an indian i would name two most popular people in india today ANNA HAZARE and ARVIND KEJRIWAL these are activist.. they do social service fighting against corruption anna lives in a temple!!! he is loved by all!!!

    Like

    1. Well, I don’t find any relevance, yet. Because I’m just curious about these stuff. You know, spaces, earth, moon, other planets around us and so on. However, is it really worth it? I mean, knowing what’s happening in the space outside while it’s not really paying off? Since I’m not really into learning astronomy or making my career in it, is the time I’m spending in gathering knowledge about the stuff is a total waste? That’s the question I still have in my mind.

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