Posts Tagged ‘fountainhead’
A few days back, I had a thought while going through my old college books. What would happen if instead of the normal technical books, something more meaningful and practical would have been taught to us?
What would have happened if instead of books on tech topics like computer networks, operating systems, databases, cryptography and real-systems, books like Loosing My Virginity, Fountainhead, Freakonomics, Men are from Mars & Women are from Venus & Winning were prescribed in our syllabuses?
For the uninitiated in technical language, I would like to comfort you by confessing that books on tech topics are not of much use if you want to lead a normal life. J
You will still breathe. You will still stay alive.
So I decided to do a little comparison between the subjects-taught & subjects-that-should-be-taught.
Operating System Principles Vs Fountainhead
The basic soul of any computer system is its operating system. It is the operating system of a computer which defines the capabilities and strength of a computer. Talking of Fountainhead now, please take a bow if you have read it. J For those who haven’t, please go and read it to know what this book is capable of. The impact it can have on your life is unimaginable. [Yes. I am sounding very biased here. J It is because, this book has changed me as a person] Fountainhead is about a philosophy and a way of life referred to as Objectivism. Simply speaking, this philosophy puts an individual first. You need to appreciate the fact that whatever we do is for our own selfish interest. Everything is done with a purpose. It is like glorifying selfishness. We are not here to sacrifice for anybody. We are born for our own self and not for others. I know I am sounding too selfish here. But the fact is that all of us, are indeed selfish. [For a helpful explanation by a doormat!, click here]
Now just think of the consequences of having such a book to study and ponder about in your formative years. A person, if sincere in his efforts to imbibe the values given in the book, will understand the very purpose of his existence. He will know that before giving anything to the society, he needs to create. Instead of a parasite, he needs to be a creator first. He will become a man as a man should be.
Real Time Systems Vs Loosing My Virginity
In the picture above, you can see a book on real time systems. Real Time Systems are updated in real time. Just like railway reservations, etc. A real time system needs to react to the information and data in real time. It should adapt to its environment to give a desired output. Now, for a moment, assume that instead of this topic, a cool book titled Loosing My Virginity –by Richard Branson is used in the course. Now almost everyone knows about Richard Branson. Don’t you?? He is a serial entrepreneur. He has started countless businesses. The book is his account of how to adapt to your circumstances and take life changing decisions. To take decisions that have no regard for the system or the society but are only based on your intentions. It tells about the problems one can face during the start of one’s business and how to deal with it.
Now, wouldn’t it have been a good idea to study such a life changing experience of a person who is been there and done that. We could have learned so much from his mistakes and experiences. As it is reinventing the wheel is bloody useless.
Computer Networks Vs Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus
Computer Networks is a topic that deals with how the PCs and other devices are inteconnected and used in a network. You can relate to the same, by realising how your desktop in office can access various hardware resources and communicate with other peer desktops. But what happens in real world? Who are our peers? The answer is Men & Women. So it is appropriate to deduce here that we need to have a network with other men and women. The book I am comparing here is Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. This book tells about the ways in which both sexes react to eachother and environment. It tells us about the real meaning of a person’s gestures and acts.
Imagine the benefits of having this book as a part of our cirriculum. How helpful it would have been in dealing with fellow humans? We could have seen through a person’s actions. We would have a better understanding in our relationships with our close ones.
Cryptography & Network Security Vs Freakonomics
Cryptography is the art of securing data by hiding it in different ways. In computer world, it plays a major part as the gigantic volumes of information being transferred, need to be secured. The information therefore is converted into unreadable form before transferring. Basically, cryptography is the art of hiding & studying hidden meanings.
Now Freakonomics, is a book that tries to look at the economics and financial systems in a very radical way. It tries to find hidden relation & meaning in seemingly unrelated things like legalizing abortions & crimes, financial implications of your child’s name!! Why I feel this book is awesome, because it forces you to look & think out of the box. It forces you to try and find out radically different ideas in life. It forces you to decipher the relations between things that don’t seem to be related at all. It is the impact that this has on the thinking process, that this book seems indispensable from ‘real’ education’s point of view.
Database System Concepts Vs Winning
A very useful technical field in Information Systems deals with databases. A database is a logical collection of related data, which can be used to deduce useful information. The topic is highly useful and one of the most exciting ones, in the normally boring technical education.
Now before I compare this with a great book called Winning, I would like to ask you something –
Do you know Jack Welch ? (If yes, its nice. If No, then only click this, after reading the next 3 lines)
If your answer is No & you are in a job – Then click the above link fast. Were you sleeping till now dammit?
If your answer is No & you have your own business – Then you must be joking
If your answer is No & you are still completing your education – Then read this book fast. Close this window and go and read this book J
On a serious note, Winning is a legendary book, written by a legendary person & for legends-to-be. This book is a must not just because it tells about how great companies work, but also because how legends think. It tells about how to look at the bigger picture. How to deal with change. How to motivate others and most importantly, self. The book actually forces a Winning attitude in you.
All this exercise of comparison makes me question our education system. Although a lot has already been said & debated on this topic by the experts, I would still like to repeat that the system, the Indian education system is only promoting slavery. It is just churning out workers from an assembly line. The real creator and thinkers are one in a million and are those who are not contaminated by our system.
And due to gaining ‘only’ technical education in our formative years and then realizing that there is lot more to learn in life than just technicalities, a person is strangulated due to the confusion of choosing between the 2 approaches towards life.
He ends up being hanged! Hanged till either the confusion or the soul dies.
I was actually planning to write a post titled Things I wish I could start doing. But then I realized that, I have already, done a similar list of things I wish to do. Also, under normal circumstances, we all wish to do a lot of things which we haven’t done. It can be anything. Anything as simple as eating something delicious and long not eaten or extreme stuffs like sky diving. But more importantly, there are certain things, that should not be done on a regular basis. These are the things that have actually become a part of our routine existence and are difficult to break away from. We all are different, so we can have a different list of things to avoid doing. I start here with mine.
Now, this is not unique. Almost all of us have this problem. But what matters to me is that, this is a part of me. Although, I don’t procrastinate big time; I do it enough to annoy myself. I have tried a lot and I must say that I won’t be boasting if I was to say that I have been successful in reducing this horrible habit of mine to a great extent.
There are 2 people in this world, who are like God to me. I use God here for the lack of a more apt word. I very diligently try to follow these people, in every way I can. One of them is Howard Roark. A man as a man should be. I swear that after reading Fountainhead, I have changed. Roark, although a fictional character has an impact on me, that even the real life characters could not have on me. I started reading Fountainhead during a long train journey when I was 19 years old. And I won’t be wrong, if I say that, It took me 19 years and a long train journey to find myself. (Remember Lakshya’s tagline J ). The other person is a real person. He is not a character from the books but he is now definitely a part of the folklore. I am talking about Warren Buffet. You should make a note here that I am not a follower of this man because of his money making capabilities or for his knack of being right almost everytime. I worship this person because of his simplicity. For his uncomplex and water like uncomplicated life. So what is wrong with worshipping heroes? Nothing I would say. But only as long as you don’t forget what you yourself are. There is really no point in trying to do each and everything as the person you admire. I remember that when I first finished reading Fountainhead, I tried to assume that I was the real life version of Roark and actually used to make genuine efforts to take decisions in ways that Mr. Roark would have taken in his ‘objectivism’ ways.
Following graph is an apt representation of my enthusiasm levels from start till the end of a project. Now, a project can be anything – a relationship, some office work, some assignments, some new and innovative ideas, or just about anything.
As you can see in the graph, just after an idea is born at t=0, the enthusiasm shoots above 100%. But after that, it slowly starts to fizzle out and then abruptly comes to a negligible percentage during the half way mark. And then again the downtrend continues just as if some Universal Law of Declining Intent is making it happen. Ill effects of declining enthusiasm are, I suppose, universally known.
Being too frank
The mere fact that I am writing a post of this nature tells you how frank I am.
Reading too much
Librarian. That would have been a perfect job for me. I just love reading. There are times when I can read 3-4 books simultaneously! There are times, when if I can’t find some good reading material, I start feeling uneasy. This is not a comfortable habit to have. I agree that reading is a good habit. But excess of anything is bad. I can very well utilize my reading time in something more (or rather less) brain taxing. But no. My habit of reading on and on, will never allow me to do so. When I was a kid, I used to make beautiful drawings and sketches. But then one day, I don’t know from where, just like swine flu, I caught Reading Flu. And under current circumstances, it seems incurable.
I have a habit of taking risks. Some of these are huge ones and some are not. I have taken a lot of life threatening risks too. Some which I have already shared on my blog. I won’t say that what I do is wrong. After all, life is about doing the things that are interesting and difficult. And to do difficult things, we need to take risks.
So, these were some of the things that I wish I could top doing a bit. I won’t say completely, because then I won’t have much to make life exciting. ;-)
How can I not read?
Why shouldn’t I take risks?
Why shouldn’t I look at my heroes with awe?
Why shouldn’t I be as I am and be frank?
For convincing me that, even with so much selfishness, there is still a thing called ‘Love’. If someone just comes up to me and tells that there is no such thing as love, I am going to slap him/her (or better still, throw a slipper on him ;-), and become a celebrity), and ask the person to go and look at the Taj. Its impossible to make such a monument without a feeling called love. For those, who have still not seen it; I can only say that I feel sorry for you. Go and see it. Its once in a lifetime or I don’t know what, that love is personified s beautifully. Don’t miss it for anything. And please don’t go alone.
Couldn’t have been more thankful to anyone else. It is because of him that we have all our books today. If he had not invented the printing press, we would not have been able to read all those books that surround us. If it hadn’t been for him, we would still be reading text written on leaves!!!
Thank you so much for making this knowledge so accessible to all of us.
Thank you for almost everything we have today.
Before knowing him, I believed in Chinese Prime Minister’s call – “To be rich, is glorious”. Now before you make a biased opinion about me, let me clarify that I was not a person after money, but yes, who doesn’t like making money? Then Mr. Buffet came into my life (No, I haven’t met him. But I have read and researched a lot on him). Being the richest man on planet is not an easy task. But being the richest and still knowing the value of simplicity, frugality and stability is really somehting. And this is what defines him. Giving life much more importance than money. Money is there to help us lead a comfortable life. And its is really not the other way round.
Life is not there to earn loads and loads of money. LIfe is there to live life.
Thanks sir. Thank you so much for making me realise this truth early in my life,
So being selfish is wrong?
She said no, its not. She made the world realise that we all are born for a reason. A reason that is not for the benefit of all, but our own. We are here for ourselves and not others. We can’t give anything to anybody, till we are able to create. Every man is an end in himself. Not a means to end of others.
Thank you so much for making me realise that I am not answerable to everyone.
Thank you for helping me to gain the ability to think objectively.
Thank you for giving me this ability to decipher between a creator and a parasite.
And when you said that love is exception making, nobody had ever before, been so right!
John D. Rockefeller
Imagine owning a company that was later broken into 7 ‘smaller’ (I repeat – Smaller) companies. Nothing special about it? Now here is a fun fact about those 7 ‘small’ companies. They were 7 of the 10 largest companies of the world at that time!!!
Now its special
Another fun fact –
Have you heard the names like Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips & Total?
All are companies of gigantic sizes in energy sector and 3 of those 7 ‘small’ companies.
Want to read another fun fact? Here it is –
Bill Gates and Warren Buffet fight it out to be the richest men in the world, with around 50 Billion dollars.
John D. Rockeller is the richest man that ever was.
Wow!! Read it again…
John D. Rockeller is the richest man that ever was. Its really something.
Thank you sir. Thank you for changing the definition of big for me.
Thank you for personifying the word ‘superlative’.
Thank you. Thank you for not being there.
Thank you for not being where I wanted you to be.
Thanks for teaching me that reciprocation is not obvious.
For teaching me that, we can’t have everything in life.
For teaching me that there is no point in forgetting things that hurt.
Because sooner or later, we become used to those things.
Thank you for teaching me that there is no point in running from the past.
Everyone is haunted by their past, and I am one of everyone.
Thanks a lot for teaching me that life does really go on.
Once again, thank you to all of you. I would really have been a different person altogether, if it had not been for you all.