Tweaking education in a battle against education
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.