Life after birth ? A thought experiment .

In  a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: “Do you believe  in life after delivery?” The other replied, “Why, of course. There has  to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves  for what we will be later.”
“Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”

The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than  here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe  we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”

The  first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with  our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and  everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after  delivery is to be logically excluded.”

The second insisted,  “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is  here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”

The  first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no  one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in  the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and  oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”

“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”

The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?”

The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We  are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not  and could not exist.”

Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”

To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you  focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can  hear Her loving voice, calling down from above .

Davaun T Kurcz – Mobile uploads

down from above.”


My 3 year old insists on sleeping on the floor. Should I let him?

My 3 year old insists on sleeping on the floor. Should I let him? by Clare Celea

Answer by Clare Celea:

Here's a parenting tip that is going to save your sanity:

Never make an issue of something that doesn't matter. New parents often feel they have to have Rules about things – you really don't. Have rules about the things that are important. Be kind. Gentle hands. Brush your teeth. Don't run into the road. These things matter.

I am actually struggling to think of an issue that could matter less than your example. There is no possible gain to be had from forcing him to sleep in his bed, except that you have made him do what you want and not what he wants. (This, incidentally, is massively overrated.)

Save your parenting energy and authority for the stuff that is actually important.

My 3 year old insists on sleeping on the floor. Should I let him?

What should you know if your gall bladder is removed?

What should you know if your gall bladder is removed? by @kumaranvinay

Answer by Vinay Kumaran:

  1. You are no longer at risk of getting gall stones.
  2. You are no longer at risk of getting gall bladder cancer.
  3. If you ever need surgery on your liver, your surgeon needs to know that your gall bladder has been removed so he can plan accordingly. Of course, he will find out on his own anyway but then he will get irritated that you did not tell him.

That’s it. You do not need to change your diet or even think about it.

What should you know if your gall bladder is removed?

If a girl says she likes you but she doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you because you lack the experience, what should you do?

If a girl says she likes you but she doesn't want to be in a relationship with you because you la… by @franklinveaux

Answer by Franklin Veaux:

Accept that she doesn’t want to be with you. Mourn if you need to. Then, move on.

If a woman says she doesn’t want to be with you because you lack experience, if a woman says she doesn’t want to be with you because you have too much experience, if a woman says she doesn’t want to be with you because you don’t read Hemingway, if a woman says she doesn’t want to be with you because you do read Hemingway, if a woman says she doesn’t want to be with you because it’s Tuesday and she won’t date anyone she meets on a Tuesday, if a woman says she doesn’t want to be with you because she is planning to move to a commune in Bangalore and raise endangered birds…it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is the “doesn’t want to be with you” part.

There is only one thing you can do. Accept that you will never be with her and move on.

If a girl says she likes you but she doesn't want to be in a relationship with you because you lack the experience, what should you do?

How will US policy to contain China affect Pakistan and India?

How will US policy to contain China affect Pakistan and India? by Josue Diaz

Answer by Josue Diaz:

I was in Washington recently for an academic conference, and the main theme of the conference was containment of China by the new administration. It spurred this question in my mind how the region, which is the focus of my own academic research, will be impacted.

Here is my take:

President Trump, or at least President-Elect for another 5 days, who is immensely admired by large sections of the American population (despite equally large pockets of denial sections), has made China a top priority. He has also made Counter-terrorism a top priority. Call me one-tracked, but the first thought that comes to my mind is India-Pakistan.

So first, China –

– Almost-there-economic-Superpower, an ancient cultural superpower, and a gorgeous region that the world should be grateful to for its many gifts.

– Yet, viewed with suspicion due to suppressing democracy in its western Muslim dominated areas, Buddhist Tibet, and of course Hong Kong.

– Then there is the matter of Taiwan. Depends on whom you ask, the answer is nonetheless controversial and politically charged.

– Huge economic player with obvious global impact, but issues like currency manipulation and dumping cheap goods globally has not helped its image either.

– For strategic political reasons, it continues to coddle and protect rogue nations like North Korea, and turns a blind eye to indisputable terrorism activities by Pakistan. It is naive to believe that it is doing it out of goodness of heart, or the so called all-weather friendship. I don't know any North Koreans, but I do have a few Pakistani friends, and they are generally nice but somewhat emotional people struggling for western acceptance of their once-great but currently hugely maligned social and religious culture, and the insecurity of constantly being compared to its exponentially more successful neighbor, India. China is as shrewd as they come, and is exploiting this insecurity to the fullest by offering carrots like CPEC, voting against India on NSG, voting against declaring known international Pakistani criminals like Saeed and Azhar to be declared terrorists, and so on.

– Reputation for being a ruthless businessman who will stop at nothing to grow economically. Fair enough for a superpower!

– Border disputes with several neighbors, including India.

– South China Sea island building and militarising, which has considerably aggravated and alarmed the US

Next, Pakistan –

– Awesome people, extremely polite and hospitable, with delicious but somewhat spicy food. You have not lived if you have not had Pakistani kebabs and biryani! Seriously!

– I have already mentioned their attributes in being emotional and insecure.

– Keeps repeating the cardinal mistake of latching on to Superpowers in the mistaken belief that it is their path to economic salvation, instead of developing internally and leveraging own and neighbourhood resources (in another lifetime, India and Pakistan would be besties and immensely benefiting from each other economically). Pakistan absolutely must recognise that Superpowers like disposable use and throw commodities to suit their short term needs, and being used in the name of all weather friendship is not to its long term interest.

– CPEC is the big buzz word associated with Pakistan, and at a personal level I wish it is a huge success for Pakistan. The development is long overdue and will greatly improve the lives of its people. Yet .. Yet, I also wish Pakistan had considered China's brutal track record and been more cautious of China's cunning in being its trade partner and putting so much at stake. In its impatient zeal to get onboard this lucrative trade deal, Pakistan has very poorly negotiated this deal and in some ways set itself up for failure. In doing so, Pakistani leaders have effectively mortgaged their country to China! The terms of the $46 Billion loan are extremely stringent with exorbitant interest rates, and Pakistan will only get a tiny fraction of the proceeds, while China will continue to dominate the region with its cheap (sometimes quality) products. It will destroy local Pakistani industry for sure, wreak environmental havoc, make corrupt Pakistani politicians richer and keep the poor Pakistanis poor. Naturally, Pakistan's indigenous industry will be suppressed (In contrast, Modi's Make in India initiative is an absolutely brilliant strategy of safeguarding Indian long term interests. But, I digress ..). Anyway, back to the loans, what will happen when the loans are due and Pakistan is likely unable to pay? It is a very real and rather scary prospect that few Pakistanis have pondered upon. China will collect, one way or the other, and it will certainly not be to Pakistan's liking. Pakistan has made a deal with the devil and will end up shortchanged the way it was during the Soviet invasion.

Finally, India –

– Again awesome people, very genuinely humble, have the most delicious and even spicier food. I cannot imagine anything spicier, or more addictive. I personally prefer the spicier south-Indian vegan variety!

– India has mastered the balancing act of political non-alignment. For crying out loud, it is on best friends terms with BOTH adversaries of the longest running Cold War between the US and Russia. It has economic, defence, security, technology, anti-terrorism, and just all sorts of agreements with both superpowers (and yes, Russia is still very much a superpower). All the while, any manufacturing done through any deal is tied to the Make in India initiative. Does anybody remember the big deal in the 1990's, when India successfully blocked Pakistan's purchase of F-16 jets? The payment had been made in full, not loans, and yet Pakistan did not get its jets. How rude! Those very same jets are now being manufactured in India as Modi recently successfully negotiated with Lockheed Martin and Boeing to move production to India! It doesn't matter if Putin and Obama are feuding, or if Putin and Trump are commencing their very public bromance, neither situation is awkward for India.

– Similarly, and really quite astonishingly, India is also best friends with BOTH Iran and Israel. This is perhaps the masterstroke of diplomacy and the kind of political success that should be taught in top universities. Incidentally, India has also maintained this balance with Shia Iran and the Sunni Arab states. I don't know how India does it, but it does, and its leaders have earned my respect for achieving the unachievable in this regard.

– India's reaction to CPEC is perhaps more wariness of China's intentions, and less of envy at Pakistan's anticipated success. Quite frankly, $46 Billion is small change for India these days, so it should not (hopefully) be petty-minded envy for more business. The corridor goes through Pakistani occupied but India claimed land, so of course India must show its displeasure. Despite the lack of trust and goodwill, and some media reports from Pakistan that India is out to sabotage its efforts to finally be somebody, I doubt anybody except extreme right-wingers will genuinely even bother about the economic implications for Pakistan. The kind of diplomatic maturity India has demonstrated in its US-Russia and Iran-Israel relationships makes one assume that it understands that an economically prosperous Pakistan is actually a GOOD thing for India.

So back to the original question – what happens to India and Pakistan with the US policy to contain China?

China has the muscle to fight back, and fight back it will, tooth and nail. It will suffer economically too, especially if Chinese products are sanctioned in the US. Any sort of trade sanctions will also bring serious repercussions for both sides. However, that is just the boring bit of trade wars. What is much more critical and a very frightening possibility, especially after the US announced today that it will block China from building new islands in the South China Sea AND block its access to existing ones, is military conflict. In that case, the difference between an actual Superpower and an almost-there-Superpower will be painfully visible and China will likely pay a very heavy price on several fronts.

Pakistan will likely pay a much higher price indirectly as its currently closest ally would be severely distracted to support it economically or politically, and certainly not militarily. As China's own global political influence wanes, it's political support for Pakistan will in turn be less valuable. The CPEC corridor in itself will be a moot asset if the Chinese economy is struggling and its manufacturing facilities severely impacted by the war. China might even like to recover its loans to Pakistan more aggressively.

India has recently signed a defence pact with the US that allows the US to use its airbases and other military assets as its own in case of war or other conflicts in the region. Obviously, this was done with anticipation of a conflict with China, and India has already negotiated huge concessions and steps towards self-preservation, not to mention economic rewards. While the finer details are not known, it is clear who India intends to side with in a US-China conflict. It is also clear that the US will emerge victorious, if somewhat bruised, and India will benefit long term on many fronts, including economically and militarily, but not in the least by a subdued China.


I welcome your comments as always, and your upvotes/downvotes. JD

How will US policy to contain China affect Pakistan and India?

What are some examples of unique type of trees or plants?

What are some examples of unique type of trees or plants? by @avadheshkhanna

Answer by Avadhesh Khanna:

125+ Year Old Rhododendron “Tree” In Canada

144-Year-Old Wisteria In Japan

Beautiful Japanese Maple In Portland, Oregon

Blooming Cherry Trees in Bonn, Germany

Angel Oak In John’s Island In South Carolina

Dragonblood Trees, Yemen

The President, Third-Largest Giant Sequoia Tree In The World, California

Maple Tree Tunnel in Oregon

Rainbow Eucalyptus In Kauai, Hawaii

Jacarandas in Cullinan, South Africa

Avenue Of Oaks At Dixie Plantation In South Carolina

Baobab Trees In Madagascar

The Dark Hedges In Northern Ireland

Source: 16 Of The Most Magnificent Trees In The World

What are some examples of unique type of trees or plants?

What are some mind-blowing facts about social psychology?

What are some mind-blowing facts about social psychology? by Dylan James

Answer by Dylan James:

Ordinary people like you and me can turn evil in the right circumstances. Deindividuation is a theory to explain the tendency of violence to emerge in large crowds of people (see also: vigilante justice). It refers the process of losing hold of our own identity, which can occur with the anonymity and diffusion of responsibility offered to us when in large groups.


Do you know why firefighters, when responding to the possibility of an active suicide jumper, push onlookers away from the scene? It is because people will gather and taunt the suicide jumper. Take the 2008 suicide of teenager Shaun Dykes, who jumped to his death after 3 hours of failed police negotiations when bored onlookers began to shout for him to jump. Does this shock you? This sort of behavior is actually common enough that it has its own term "Suicide-Baiting."

Or how about the rioting and looting that takes place after a tragedy such as Hurricane Katrina? You may suspect that only hardened criminals are doing the looting, but that would be wrong!  In fact, you or I might do the same if placed in a similar situation.

So what's happening here? How can ordinary people behave in such an atrocious manner? Deindividuation is affected by 3 factors:

  1. Anonymity (such as when browsing the internet, or hidden in group)
  2. Diffusion of Responsibility (the feeling that responsibility for what occurs is spread out among your group, and thus you are absolved)
  3. Group Size (a very large group contributes both to anonymity and diffusion, and you effectively vanish as an individual)

Take this classic study on the night of Halloween in 1976. Researchers Ed Diener and colleagues set out a large bowl of candy for trick-or-treaters, and controlled the independent variables of anonymity (some kids were asked their names), group size (recorded whether kids were alone or in group), and responsibility (some children were "placed in charge" or the group and told they would individually be held responsible if group took extra candy). Finally, all groups were instructed to take only 1 piece of candy- the researcher then closed the door so that the kids were alone.


What the study found was that alone and identified children stole candy only 8% of the time, whereas anonymous children in a group stole candy nearly 60% of the time. Furthermore, when the anonymous group had been left in the symbolic hands of one child (not shown on graph) the group stole candy 80% of the time! This because the group felt less responsible for their actions when they knew there was a "leader" who would take the blame for them.

It is wise to keep this in mind the next time you see a large group behaving terribly. Whether they are children stealing candy, teenagers vandalizing property, or adults engaging in vigilante justice- breaking up the group and calling out individuals is paramount to stopping the influence of Deindividuation.

To Kill a Mockingbird

One of the best examples of this is in the film To Kill a Mockingbird, when a large mob gathers to lynch the innocent black character Tom Robinson. The mob is threatening Atticus Finch, who refuses to stand aside- when suddenly his little daughter Scout Finch steps up and confronts the mob. She gets nowhere talking to the crowd, but is successful when she singles out the familiar Walter Cunningham, telling him that she goes to school with his son. Suddenly his features contort, he transforms into an individual again, and tells the crowd to leave. What a powerful idea.

What are some mind-blowing facts about social psychology?

What are some great “When I was your age” statements?

What are some great "When I was your age" statements? by Abhishek Tr

Answer by Abhishek Tr:

Beautiful question. Takes me back in time. Zaaap.

  • Few months ago I caught my 14 year old cousin watching porn. When I was your age, I was caught watching fashion TV.
  • The other day I met someone who has been in a relationship since age 12. When I was your age, I dreaded the “I'll make you sit in between the girls” punishment at school.
  • My 10 year old cousin was fighting with his dad for a new mobile phone. When I was your age, I used to fight for extra cartoon time.
  • My 12 year old neighbour says that his inspiration is Elon Musk. When I was your age, my inspiration was Spiderman.
  • He has already planned to pursue engineering from an IIT and a PG from an Ivy league college. When I was your age, I was planning to pass the midterm exams.
  • One of my 13 year old online friend says that she can bake a cake, cook hundreds of delicacies and is planning to set up a bakery. When I was your age, I used to dream about that 5′o clock samosa after school.
  • My distant relative was complaining that her son never leaves his room and is obsessed with his laptop. When I was your age, my mom complained that I never came home because of that stupid street cricket.
  • Kids these days are busy collecting online coins, building forts and breaking records. When I was your age, I used to collect Pokemon cards, WWE figures and Dragon Booster models.
  • My friend’s friend was bragging that he had a physical relationship at the age of 16. When I was your age, I gently skipped the Human Physiology lesson because it was too much for me.
  • One of the youngest writers here on Quora, knows languages like python, Java and C++ at the age of 13. When I was your age, I was struggling to learn one language. English.
  • The other evening I was attending a 10 year old’s birthday party. They gifted him a PS4. When I was your age I was gifted a Lion King Jigsaw puzzle set.
  • My sister’s daughter was whining that her Facebook Dp didn't fetch enough likes. When I was your age, I used to whine about not buying enough candies for my birthday.
  • My brother’s daughter watches all her favourite shows on Netflix, YouTube and Hotstar. When I was your age I used to wait till 4.30 pm to watch Power Rangers and Scooby-Doo at 5 pm.
  • Kids these days are crazy about Domino's, McD and KFC. When I was your age I was crazy about the roadside Bhajji stall.
  • Kids these days are in love with Kardashians, Emma Watson and Jessica Alba. When I was your age I was in love with Powerpuff girls.

That's it for today.


What are some great "When I was your age" statements?

What are some things that mechanical engineers know and others don’t?

What are some things that mechanical engineers know and others don't? by Mohan Dev Sukumar

Answer by Mohan Dev Sukumar:

Aircraft travel at 40,000 feet above sea level, and the temperature of air at that height is -60 degree centigrade, pretty cold air. Aircraft's turbine blades which are near the combustion chamber become very hot. A coolant is a must to cool these blades.

What is your proposal for coolant? Cold air right? Sadly no.

Instead of going for the cold air readily available in the atmosphere, engineers prefer compressed hot air at a temperature of 900 Kelvin for cooling these blades. Very "hot" air is used as "coolant," weird right?

The problem with the cold air is that it can't provide necessary pressure for circulation and thus can't be used as coolant. I guess only mechanical and aerospace engineers know about that.

Edit: go through the comment section for further discussion.

What are some things that mechanical engineers know and others don't?

Do Secret Service agents get bored?

Do Secret Service agents get bored? by @jasonwells00USA

Answer by Jason Wells:

There is a scene from the film “The Count of Monte Cristo” where two men are imprisoned in the notorious Chateau D’if and are talking about their captivity. The younger man, Edmund Dantes, tells his friend: “I have seventy-two thousand, five-hundred, nineteen stones in my walls. I’ve counted them many times.”

Dante’s friend, the much, much older Abbe Faria, responds “But have you named them yet?”

That’s sort of what being a Secret Service agent is like most of the time. Yes, agents get very, very bored.

I have stood in hallways counting the pinhole dots in ceiling tiles. I have had staring contests with pieces of artwork hanging in hotel lobbies… and won…. I have memorized the labels on every fire extinguisher, soda machine, and Exit sign (not much to memorize there). The symmetry of a hall doesn’t really have meaning until you stand in it and stare it down for ten straight hours.

Did you know that hotels turn off their air conditioning in their hallways in the middle of the night? Most people don’t notice because they’re asleep in their rooms. It becomes much more obvious when you’re wearing a suit and carrying about 40 pounds of equipment on your belt.

It’s expected that agents keep a vigilant watch and maintain a strict protective environment all the time, and most agents are able to do this. But even the most observant and dedicated person needs stimulation. And usually the protection life doesn’t offer much to satisfy the need. So yes, agents get bored.

And the follow up question: How do agents deal with boredom? They suck it up. They start counting stones, and then they start naming them.

Secret Service Agents standing post after ten hours

Do Secret Service agents get bored?