My picture



The "serious" stuff:  

Physics and science  

The "fun" stuff:

Science fiction

Guru Meditation

Contact me

Guru Meditation

The highschool class

At some point during the second semester of the final fourth year in highschool, the students traditionally go for a week excursion into some other country. This is a typical event for students of the final year of study, in order to have some memorable experience from highschool days. One year, however, the third-year students wanted to go with them as well, and invested a lot of effort to convince the school administration to let them go along. Their wish was eventually granted, but not all third-year students were interested in the excursion, and a sizable amount decided not to participate but rather to wait for their turn next year. Those students were attending regular classes at school while their classmates went to the excursion.

Because there was a high level of polarity among the students about the whole topic, those who opted to stay at school were under considerable social pressure from the others, typically labeled as partybreakers, anti-social, traitors, and so on. Witnessing all that turmoil, one of the teachers opted for an interested strategy to provide some form of support for the students who decided not to go to the excursion. At the beginning of the class, he opened the registry and called each student by name, in a regular routine to determine who is present at the class.

He calls up the first student. The student responds that she is present. The teacher answers:

"Of course. I never doubted you. You are certainly not like those other spoiled kids, who see older students and want to imitate them. You're a professional."

He calls up the second student, who is absent. The next student responds. The teacher comments:

"You're also a professional."

The callup continues, and for every present student, the teacher gives a comment:

"An exquisite professional."
"A fantastically exquisite professional."
"A super-fantastically exquisite professional."

For every following student, the teacher adds one more adjective, in an ever-superlative fashion. Eventually, the list of students draws near the end, while the teacher's vocabulary grows thin on available adjectives. The second to last student gets called, and he responds. The teacher comments something like:

"A mega- hyper- giga- [...] ultra- super-fantastically exquisite professional."

Finally, everyone is in suspense to see if the teacher will be able to think of a yet another superlative-like adjective to add to the list. Nobody could think of any more available ones. The situation gets tense, not just because the students cannot think of any more words, but also because the teacher has been increasingly struggling to find them, without repeating himself.

The last student finally gets called up. He responds. Everyone is completely silent, sitting on the brink of a chair and waiting to see what is the teacher going to do this time. The air in the room is tense and electric. The teacher looks across the room and then to the student, raises his hands up in the air, makes a short dramatic pause, and says:


Guru Gita

The etymology of the word "guru" found in the Guru Gita, includes gu as "beyond the qualities" and ru as "devoid of form", stating:

"He, who bestows the nature which transcends the qualities, is said to be Guru".

Unrecoverable error in Commodore Amiga

Guru Meditation is an unrecoverable error message displayed by the Commodore Amiga computer when it crashes. The analogous message in Microsoft Windows is the famous "Blue Screen Of Death", or a kernel panic in Linux.

Guru Meditation alert message

The text of the alert messages was completely baffling to most users. Only highly technically adept Amiga users would know, for example, that exception 3 was an address error, and meant the program was accessing a word on an unaligned boundary. Users without this specialized knowledge would have no recourse but to look for a "Guru" or to simply reboot the machine and hope for the best.