MacGyver Principle

A few days ago, Friday to be precise, Dr. William E. Cohn who is a Director at the Texas Heart Institute came over to our college for a lecture. He spoke about the new technologies that are being currently used in heart surgeries. A big part of his lecture focussed on how these technologies have been developed without spending millions of precious dollars into it. His talk stressed on the fact that it is possible to invent new things and technologies without spending too much. The only things that are required are simplicity, a sense of curiosity and never-say-die spirit. He himself has many patents in his name that came out of his backyard and junk.
Dr. Cohn mentioned about the MacGyver’s principle in his lecture. I googled it and found out that it is not a principle. MacGyver was a TV series in the late 80’s and early 90’s where the main character, called MacGyver, is a secret agent who does not use a gun. He prefers to use everyday simple tools like his swiss-knife to manage big tasks with ease. It is his ever-present mind that helps him to crack open the biggest of the cases and get him out of dangerous situations. Dr. Cohn said that he used the MacGyver principle all his life. Whenever he finds people cussing about something, he tries to find out what the problem is and possible solve it. He even built a heart to be implanted into a cow out of small hardware available at the Home Depot in a matter of about 10 dollars. And the heart worked very well.
I feel we could take a lot of inspiration from Dr. Cohn’s ideas. Specially that of simplicity. With nations spending exorbitant amounts of money on to make things greener, why not start from your own home. Why not car-pool? I see people going solo in cars all the time. Here in Houston, people never go car-pool. I do not know the reason, but it is really a very bad situation. People cannot stay without the air-conditioner on even for 15 minutes. And on the other hand, rich nations put all the blame for carbon emissions and global warming and what nots on the poor people of the developing nations. People should understand that making life more complex by the use of unnecessary sophistications is a completely irreversible reaction. Or at least a very difficult process to reverse exactly. Once you start shaving with a 3-blade razor, you never come back to 2-blade again (and that is why I still use a 2-blade one). Similarly, once you start using a car, you will never go back to the bus-stop.

Think before you make a change to your lifestyle for your comfort only. Maybe there is another way out to be comfortable without changing much. And maybe the idea is pretty simple. It’s never going to take much walking out of the box, just thinking out of it should do the trick.

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About Pranab Narayan Jha

I am an eternal student, wanting to learn something from everyone. Currently living in Houston, USA. The purpose of this blog is to write about things I find interesting and also, through it, read what other people write and think. Some of my interests are football (soccer), my work which involves fluid flow, learning about India and its ancient history.
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