Learning curve in humans

Ego, self-knowledge and Learning

What is learning?

Learning involves three things:
1. Knowing the extent or boundary of our knowledge;
2. Understanding the sphere of our ignorance;
3. Transcending the above two when actually receiving the knowledge.
The last part is tricky and that is the reason as to why some people have sharper learning curve than others. Here we are going to deal with this aspect a little more.

Hindrance by ego or self perception:

Learning curve is closely associated with ego and self-knowledge. What is ego? Is it not a label given by psychologists? Actually it is worse than that. Ego is our perception of ourselves. We call a person egotist if that person has a very high opinion about him/herself. Narcissus is the name for even more egotists. But what is this perception of self? Is this the self-knowledge or something different? Continue reading

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Obstacles created by education in the path of knowledge.

Education is believed to be liberator, inculcating new ideas, assimilating streams of knowledge and thereby transformation of an individual. It all seems so nostalgic. A cause worth living and fighting for. The possibilities can not be denied. However at ground level it is not. The result of education turns out to be different.
Having acquired habit of seeking confirmation from the writings of so called wise people, we lose esteem to make up our own mind. We are unable to express without quoting a few references. While there is no harm in appreciating beautiful expression of a human being from the past; the problem arises when the expression becomes an authority. Continue reading

Teachings for teacher

A friend has sent me the following text, which is the part of a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to the headmaster of the school where Lincoln’s son was studying. (In this letter Abraham Lincoln is requesting / guiding the headmaster what to teach to his son in the school.) The friend has asked for my comments.

The letter of Abraham Lincoln

“HE WILL HAVE TO LEARN, I know that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader…….Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend. It will take time, I know; but teach him, if you can that a dollar earned is of far more value than five found…teach him to learn to lose…and also to enjoy winning. Steer him away from envy, if you can, teach him the secret of quite laughter. Let him learn early that the bullies are the earliest to lick……Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books…but also give him quite some time to ponder the external mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on the green hillside. Continue reading

Education without observation.

What is Education?

Long time ago I was apprised of a story about  Henry Ford. He was appointed as a chairman/President of some club/society which was detested by some people/group who sued Ford on the ground that he had no formal education. When called upon to show cause Ford responded as under:

“Education merely provides tools to seek knowledge, nothing more. I have employed a number of persons to read and inform me about any subject I may require, all I have to do is to press one of the several buttons on my desk. Thus being able to retrieve knowledge, I am no longer uneducated.”

The story whether true or not, certainly drives the point home.

Education system:

What is actually happening is quite amazing. If we see the question papers, in any stream of formal education, the stress is upon retrieving crammed knowledge from the memory and to reproduce the same in response to the questions asked. There is evaluation of capability to acquire knowledge. This can only be tested if practical questions are asked and the source of answer is also supplied. That would be true test of education i.e. ability to observe and understand the problem and to find the solution.

Little Google!

While it is not being done, it has serious repercussion on society. Every graduate has become a little Google who knows nothing but remembers everything. The moment you start talking about anything, without even waiting for the sentence to finish, the search in the mind and come up with some inadequate response. Then he realizes the mistake says sorry and repeat the search in his mind with more keywords.

There is no room for observation or understanding at all due to such habits inculcated with the pattern of education. I can only hope that some day, may be this year itself, somebody will consider this problem and do something about it.

© Sandeep Bhalla

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Dishonesty hinders knowledge

Unlimited Potential of the Human Mind

Image via Wikipedia

Dishonesty is the biggest hurdle in acquiring knowledge which can evolve the human mind.

Mind (pronounced /ˈmaɪnd/) is the aspect of intellect and consciousness experienced as combinations of thought, perception, memory, emotion, will, and imagination, including all unconscious cognitive processes. The term is often used to refer, by implication, to the thought processes of reason. Mind manifests itself subjectively as a stream of consciousness.

Theories of mind and its function are numerous. Earliest recorded speculations are from the likes of Zoroaster, the Buddha, Plato, Aristotle, Adi Shankara and other ancient Greek, Indian and, later, Islamic philosophers. Pre-scientific theories grounded in theology concentrated on the supposed relationship between the mind and the soul, human’s supernatural, divine or god-given essence.

Which attributes make up the mind is much debated. Some psychologists argue that only the higher intellectual functions constitute mind, particularly reason and memory. In this view the emotions—love, hate, fear, joy—are more primitive or subjective in nature and should be seen as different from the mind as such. Others argue that various rational and emotional states cannot be so separated, that they are of the same nature and origin, and should therefore be considered all part of what we call the mind.

In popular usage mind is frequently synonymous with thought: the private conversation with ourselves that we carry on “inside our heads.” Thus we “make up our minds,” “change our minds” or are “of two minds” about something. One of the key attributes of the mind in this sense is that it is a private sphere to which no one but the owner has access. No one else can “know our mind.” They can only interpret what we consciously or unconsciously communicate.

( Source of above: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind)

Is the thought, so private? Does thought has no vibration at all beyond its meta physical world? Is is not reflected from body language? The concept that thought process is a private matter is more of a belief than the actuality. Similar is the belief about uniqueness of each human mind. With nearly similar thoughts in so many minds at the same time, how each individual mind becomes unique? It requires an introspection.