Arbitary Obsessionist's Blog : Ambition is redundant. In life, mission is everything.

Tweaking education in a battle against education

with 28 comments

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.


28 Responses

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  1. awesome post!


    March 20, 2010 at 7:30 pm

  2. WOW!! what an idea sirji! innovative post and pics!


    March 20, 2010 at 10:56 pm

  3. @Perx
    Thanks Perx.



    March 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm

  4. Lolzzz really what an idea!! Loved the post.


    March 22, 2010 at 12:55 am

  5. U ll be soon receiving call Mr Kapil Sibal for his advisory post..


    March 22, 2010 at 1:54 am

  6. @Rajlakshmi
    Thanks 🙂

    With great frustrations, come more frustrated posts. 😉


    March 22, 2010 at 2:09 am

  7. Not a bad idea!

    let’s have a movement under Dev for inclusion of “Real Time Systems Vs Loosing My Virginity” in our old, used to education system……

    dirty mind don’t go on words….realy Gr8 🙂


    March 22, 2010 at 11:08 am

  8. Interesting topic, Dear Dev. And nicely rendered with amazing pictographic (photographic) depictions. I sincerely loved it. Its radical and revolting of the established ways, so necessarily will attract lots of frowns, with my Dad in the lead. He is a prophet of traditional system of education. lolz (that was for comic relief. But I’m sure he would not agree. We always have disagreements over dinner in these thoughts)

    I will personally write to you on my thoughts in these. 🙂

    Len Kamei

    March 22, 2010 at 11:11 am

  9. Nice post…..I do agree with u Dev. Thanks for sharing.


    March 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm

  10. @Dileep
    Revolutions start small. I hope your wishes come true.

    @Len Kamei
    Thanks Len & wiating for your thoughts.

    Thanks Sandra 🙂


    March 22, 2010 at 12:09 pm

  11. lovely post,

    thanks for introducing such lovely books,
    text books only serve you for a job
    the books which you have contrasted will serve your life 🙂


    March 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm

  12. Very interesting! I have often made mental lists of books which could replace Social Studies and History and Science books in school…

    I think no matter what one does there are some books one must read – the only one disagree here with is Men from mars… I feel this one generalizes.

    Indian Homemaker

    March 22, 2010 at 11:22 pm

  13. brilliant post ! this is gonna revolutionize the uncontaminated world… gr8 job !!!


    March 23, 2010 at 1:33 am

  14. hm hard thought yet make sense. 😉

    but if all those others book are being put down in our syllabuses, how long will it take one’s to graduate then ?

    interesting post, Dev.
    cheers 🙂


    March 23, 2010 at 7:31 am

  15. @Princess
    Thanks. And what you add here is apt, because we need to be prepared not only for work life, but also life.

    @Indian Homemaker
    Yes. Some books should be made mandatory. Fountainhead is one such book.

    Thanks and wow man!!
    Seems revolution is about to come. 😉

    The time factor was totally missed by me. 😉


    March 23, 2010 at 10:23 am

  16. Continuation to the above. 🙂 Sorry its long. I had to write it. 🙂

    …These have also been my questions since the very First year of my ‘Degree’. Why to study those which are not relevant? I might as well use the speedometer than calculating the s=(d/t); I did come out with a write-up sometime back in 2008 last, four year post these thoughts, though not as illustrious as yours. It was called “the system” (might not be that relevant, though).

    Anyway, It is the system that has decided or rather predefined and pre-processed it all considering the sanity and decorum that it profess to bring to the world by the set guidelines and ruled defined.

    What if ‘practical things’ were taught to us? There would be full of radical ideas like yours and us few, resulting into what was presumed as Chaos. I would love it though. But as we humans tend to be arrogant and insolent enough with the little knowledge we acquire, the world would indeed be in a chaos.

    But improvising on this, on being taught the principles of life and not of ‘fanatic-radicalism’ of thoughts and ideals, the philosophy that each individual follow will generate immense influence on the generation we now live in or is to come.

    The post that you wrote is in line with the ideas of this present generation of individual thinking which is very much now prevalent everywhere.

    I read an excerpt of the speech of Minister of Human Resource Development to one batch graduating students about the established curriculum of studies and education. He said that the Education system of India is stagnant. He had also said that the system was so because half a century back, the main occupation/work was the Administrative jobs.

    So we conclude, the educational structure was established in such a way that the Administrators have the best of the written procedures and laws.

    As time went on, with new avenues, we have to open up to things that are not set as curriculum. But we tend to hold on to the ideals and rules of the past like we still have the Tax rules defined in 1861.

    Are we going to change? I guess not, because we are afraid of change. We prefer to write big thoughts and read them than follow and implement it. I don’t blame us, because we are who we are, Humans, a race that is insecure from time immemorial.

    Len Kamei

    March 23, 2010 at 12:36 pm

  17. HI Dev,

    I luved the way you have put your thoughts. I do agree with you on your thoughts but only to some extent.

    There are two aspects of education.
    Education which helps you in earning livelihood and education which helps you lead a better life.

    The first set of books(technical books)you mentioned actually help us in getting a good job and earning handsome salary. And the second set of books which you have mentioned tells us how manage our life, work better so that we can live better.

    In my opinion a balanced study of both type of books is very essential in leading a better life.


    March 24, 2010 at 12:47 pm

  18. Agree agree agree. Engineering textbooks dumbed me down. I would gladly trade them for a few good ones!


    March 24, 2010 at 6:55 pm

  19. @Len Kamei
    Len!! You just lost a post as a comment. 😉

    Your disagreement is valid. 🙂
    What I wanted to bring over to discussion table was that our systems need to be changed a bit to prepare us for our lives, and not just jobs.

    🙂 I can empathize. 🙂


    March 24, 2010 at 10:54 pm

  20. I’ve never thought about this, great topic and even greater post.. So glad I found my way to this blog


    March 24, 2010 at 11:12 pm

  21. Not a bad idea..real life education will definitely make more sense in our life 🙂


    March 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm

  22. @souldose

    It definitely will be a wonderful addition to our systems.


    March 25, 2010 at 10:44 pm

  23. Awesome! 🙂
    ..n I love the pic at the end! Hehhe, it is so cute! (u may ask – u feel somebody hanging cute?! 😉



    March 26, 2010 at 9:46 am

  24. I don’t have much regard for formal institutionalised education and pity the kids who must go through it.


    March 27, 2010 at 8:25 pm

  25. Heyy!
    Came here thru ColorsMag 🙂
    8th Sem Comps are we?! I was studying these exact same books a year ago and wondering why god why!!!! 😛 😀 This sure was an innovative post 😛 hehe… loved it!



    April 23, 2010 at 3:17 pm

  26. @Smilie!
    Thanks….it did actually take ‘some’ effort to hang that guy.

    Same here.

    Thanks Annie. And my guess is that even God won’t have answer to such questions. 😉


    April 24, 2010 at 1:54 am

  27. Very creative indeed. Especially liked comparison of Men are From Mars.. I agree this could be very enlightening.. imparts Life Skills 🙂


    April 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm

  28. @Pal
    🙂 Thanks


    April 26, 2010 at 2:24 pm

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