There are times when I go to Google to find the formula to calculate the circumference of a circle. I was good at Mathematics and even excelled (supposedly!) in Geometry at some point in my adolescence. It’s not that I am being forgetful or old enough to show signs of dementia. Still I go to Google every now and then for petty doubts and solutions except for locating my misplaced clothes; I have a wife for that! And don’t get it wrong… I don’t misplace them, she does so by arguing that they are well-placed NOW! How dearly I wait for the day when she does the same with me and grace me with the same remark…!
Now why do I go to Google so often… like Everest-man George Mallory’s famous three words reply… 'Because it’s there'! Nah… that’s not the only reason. There is more to it, like… accessibility! Wi-fi connectivity is no longer a Chunavi Joomla nor is Smart Phone a luxury anymore. If you have both, accessing Google is piece of Cake with a Cherry of ‘I am feeling lucky…’ for the topping. With such a lure, it’s difficult for Banta not to lookup to Google for his lost car keys. ‘I mean, if Google Baba Sab Janta Hai to I should give it a try, you know…!'
Second thing that Google offers – no matter how irritating it gets at times – is suggestion and prompting. You start typing a word and it will come up with hundreds of suggestions prompting you to complete the word. Many of the curious souls decide to listen to Google and end up reading about ‘How to kiss…’ while searching for ‘How to meditate…’ as Google thinks the prior is more appropriate to your gender, age, ethnicity, inclination, priorities, surroundings, upbringing, Social (Media) status and your Search History… Google KNOWS IT ALL, period!
What I am trying to suggest here is the changed scenario of ‘Learning’ and the absolutely vibrant dynamics of Information, Knowledge as well as ‘wisdom’. The entire quest of Human Evolution is about finding, sharing, developing and applying the ‘knowledge’ (or ‘Gyan’ as even Google recognizes the word!) It took millions of years for Humans to figure out the shape and size of the planet they live on, four seasons and the pattern in their rotation, characteristics of other species, creatures, flora and fauna and naming them accordingly. And finally the groundbreaking (literally) discovery of Agriculture that changed everything for Homo sapiens in just a matter of 10,000 years or so!
The startling speed of development in recent 200 years made the journey of millions of years look obsolete. With the new age Gurus like Google and WhatsApp, it is not difficult to get a college degree or accumulate some Academic Credit Scores ‘virtually’ (By the way do you know that India’s premier tech institute IIT Kharagpur has launched a mobile app that brings as many as 65 lakh books, journals, periodicals and research materials to anyone who has a Smart Phone, check it out - https://ndl.iitkgp.ac.in/), appear for telephonic interview with your Video Profile followed by a Skype Call, get an online job that you could do from the comfort of your home and your salary would be credited to your bank account through net-banking which you can spend on online shopping for the goods and apparels delivered to your doorstep that you might never need but must buy to show-off on Facebook, Instagram and other social media to all your ‘friends’ whom you never meet in person and it is most likely that you never would. What’s more, you can even find your ‘love of life’ on Facebook, saving the cupid from winking and shooting that arrow or ‘Partner for life’ on any of the matrimony site without any Aunty acting as a mediator… (Little pun intended!) Sad that you couldn’t order or download babies as per your required configuration yet and you still have to do some physical ‘work’ for it, if you don’t choose to remain the DINK family, that is. However, with AI, Cloning and Thinking Robot, that too is not so far, it seems. Japanese have already made remarkable progress in that direction, I heard.
So, is it a so far so good situation…? I don’t think so. No, I am not some anti-development, old-fashioned, prehistoric caveman even though I just love to be in the wilderness and could actually connect to the bliss of the nature, I am equally fit to qualify as a modern-day man who could survive in the Digital Era and this Blog stands as one of my compatibility proofs, I guess! So why am writing this seemingly irrelevant and conceptually paradoxical post?
Well, with the outburst of technological advancement and outraging growth of gadgets that control your body, mind, thoughts, habits, behavior… in short your entire existence (read: being), is something that upsets me. One of the alarming sign of this overtaking of machines (no matter how intelligent they become) is the rising number of un-employability of all college graduates in general and Engineering Graduates in particular. Many of the grads are found to be reasonably sound in Hard Skills of their respective area of study or specialization, but majority of them lack in the Soft Skills; many research and survey reports suggest. One of such reports, by World Economic Forum in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group, even lists some Life Essential ‘Competencies’ and ‘Character Qualities’ that the current education system worldwide lacks in.
It is interesting to note here that this entire list is about ‘Human’ traits. Out of Reptilian, Mammalian and Human Neo-cortex brains, only the third – the most evolved one – has the potential to develop these listed ‘skills and competencies’ and if it is not utilized to its fullest potential, the entire Humanity looks like Seven Deadly Sins that will destroy the world as Mahatma feared… and we are witnessing them around us in abundance already. I have added Eighth Sin to the list to sum it all up – Activity without Purpose! And to find the ‘Purpose’ we need something beyond (if not instead) the schooling.
A tiny seed has a potential to grow into a tree that would develop a foliage as big as providing shelter to 100 cows. But that is the Potential and not the Projection! Projection is imaginary and has an element of speculation that has greed in the undertone while potential is ability, capacity and worth that is yet to blossom. With the help of right ‘Environment’ the seed is bound to sprout and flourish. Same is true with the ‘Mind’, it needs to be trained in the right ‘Environment’ to become conscientious and responsive to its immediate surrounding and ecosystem it is part of. While human Neo-cortex brain hosts the cells that make it intelligent, it also has elements that make it sensitive – to its own self as well as others and the entire existence when it expanses beyond proximity… Only if it is trained to do so, however! If you find all this too philosophical and idealistic, I would give you a practical example of this theory – MIT, known for its absolute professionalism, launching a World Peace University with human-centric courses…
We live in the era of externalities – things that are neither organic nor helpful in the truest sense of the word – popularly and frantically called as supplements or accessories. We have protein supplements for a healthy body; all the anti-biotic (just learn the word cautiously and you will get the hint) in the name of medicine to give us instant relief from anything under the Sun, apparels and wears to make a fashion statement while showing off and hide the inner uncleanliness; expensive be-longings (once again, get the hint) to cover the poverty inside… so basically we have more accessories than the substance and we are used to it already. So it won’t be a herculean task for us to consider an Education Supplement, the only part different with this being its organic, all natural and actually helpful (even enlightening) quality than the original substance aka conventional education.
If we could stand to these supplementary education, we could eventually replace the existing non-functional, long-trodden, consumerist education system with this holistic option as the mainstream. This might seem an overconfidently optimistic and unimaginably long-term dream but then ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, they say…!
If I have such a long prologue, I certainly have a ‘Course Structure’ for it that could overwhelm the reader. But for that you will have to wait a little longer or Sponsor my course…😏… Choice is yours! I intend to conduct my course of ‘Seed of Life’ in all languages that could be scripted and make everybody experimenting with it ‘feel at home…’ in the truest sense of the phrase.
While the quote, ‘Never let Schooling interfere with your Education’ is attributed to Mark Twain, I recently read a T-Shirt, ‘I was born intelligent but education ruined me’… neither is completely sarcastic, I believe!
Looking forward to glorious days of humanity, stay tuned…!