From the moment I get up to the moment I fall asleep I am engaged in some form of computing. When I am asleep I let it run on its own to perform desired actions. Technology works clock round and we depend on it. How much of our lives be different if our primary form of work and entertainment be analog. And we have seen that age. Analog age was disconnected and tedious. The more we know about ourselves and environment around us helps better prepared to face and direct it. Numbers are clear but interpretations are always up to us.
Human brain is still analogue in the way we understand it. Technology throughs information at us that conscious brain can’t handle. There is no physical aspect to bottleneck flow of information that we receive. Human mind also has higher preference for quick-gratification. If life is under constant attack from beasts or weather, quick-gratification is the way to live. Where does balance lie between good use and quick gratification in the new technological world?
This is an exercise to think about things that I loved as a kid that later helped me learn things that I do now.
I have played with many toys. I have broken many toys. I have tried to fix many toys. At some point of time, I stopped being a maker. I can’t say I had a set of Gears of My Childhood but this process of breaking and fixing has had a profound effect on my mind. It shaped the way I approach life and problem. It has also made it hard for me to get into non-spatial learning. Most part of undergraduate classes are non-spatial.
I remember using resisters and then learning how color coding on resisters are used to ascertain resistances created by the resister.
As an adult, I find myself easily following manuals and instructions to build and tinker with any sort of home or work applications.
Joi Ito, director of the Media Lab, is one of the best examples of why we need to bring innovation in education. Education is a highly private affair. Education in its current form was established to fill ranks of industries’ skill workers. Industries have now become highly modernized and mostly controlled by machines but we still treat human beings as skilled workers.
We are thinkers. Thinkers think, absorb and create on their own time and not sometime around 8:35 am at ASB building. Education can’t be imparted by a scientist who pretends to be talking to 300 students. We have to make it a social affair where we can see, touch and modify science.
Scientific research and biographies tell us that there is an intricate method in the way creative people worked. One of the most popular hypothesis is 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. The other popular hypothesis is 4 hours of cognitive work over a long period of time. The important thing in both of the above mentioned premises is how do you keep yourself unaffected with modern distractions. World has moved from type writers to computers and computers can be very complex. Now phones and handheld devices are catching up making it’s even more harder for us to focus. I don’t think its possible to moderate exposure to quick-fix-of-information. Facebook, RSS readers, News aggregating websites, etc. are all over the place. I have tried restricting them but shunning them all together seems to be the only best possible option.
Tim Ferris came on the latest Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Tim Ferris talked about he being a non-fiction writer read extensively about how to write fiction. It is an interesting preposition. It made me wonder if you could learn by imitating and following masters of your field. Everything that we perceive in our day to day lives are connected to each other. One thing is extension of other. Nothing is uniquely authentic. Everything is know in relation of other. Good fragrance can only be smelled in contrast of bad fragrance. Beauty can only be perceived in ugliness. So, that makes sense. I also remember reading somewhere on Internet that writers have a strong comprehension abilities. Writers add this unique quality to their reading habit that makes them more aware of writing itself.
An excessive amount of information is available on Internet. The ease and availability has enticed common folks to produce more and more content. Internet has also made it far more easier to spread information. This has enabled a generation to be less responsible with words. People are looking for quick real time information. Content producers are in pressure to produce more and more half baked under-sited information. In my opinion, any piece that is written in haste to provide quick information is not worth writing. It might be okay for young writers but for established media organizations is a shameful act.
Autobiography of a Yogi by Yoganand Paramhansha is the only book that Steve Jobs downloaded on his ipad. He is said to have read it at least once every year starting his youth days. I have read almost five chapters for the book. I am not so impressed. Yoganand sounds like a promotional guru. He recounted his encounters with various Hindu yogies and none of them were simple non-accomplished human being. All of them had spent ages and decades cultivating powers as minuscule as generating fragrance out of thin air. Osho is right to say that yogies are without ego to have written self-promoting autobiographies.
People of India are on roads demanding justice for heinous gang rape that occurred in the capital city. It took everyone out of surprise both people and politicians. I am still trying to comprehend what actually happened, why politicians are so helpless and why people are in a stage of rage. People seem to have divided themselves in two or more groups. The good and the bad. I can’t help myself to think it is the same side of coin. These are the people who allow such activity in their day to day lives. We tend to look for solution of crime in penal system. We want to remove these criminals from our society and lock them up in some dark hole. If a change has to come, it will have to come in society.
The Verge’s Thomas Houston wrote an interesting article on how he works and more importantly his way of building a digital memory using Evernote. He saves links, web clippings, Kindle annotations, hand-written notes in Evernote. Evernote employs Google search and presents it along with global search.
I have previously used Evernote. I would make more use of Evernote if it had a decent Linux client. One important aspect of Thomas Houston’s workflow was that he isn’t worried about digital clutter it might make. It is in fact a good idea to dedicate a notebook to digital ramblings. If I ever search similar term on Google, I will be able to see it along with other results.
Ubuntu Unity’s inclusion of online-search-results in its dash is an interesting example of slippery slope paradigm. GNU/Linux core must be kept free from any proprietary code. Once we start adding proprietary code in core OS it paves way for further inclusion of malicious codes. It is understandable that Ubuntu aspires to make its Unity dash exceptionally useful but users have little choice on who gets to use the data. No one company is evil or good. I am not a great fan of Amazon as they cut off Wikileaks’ funding and don’t ever hesitate to delete for example Kindle data. I also don’t like their offer emails which I have no rights to unsubscribe from. I should have a choice to receive only certain kind of emails. I as much as am apprehensive of providing my personal data have allowed Google to stalk me.
I like Ubuntu Unity’s vision. Like Google search I should be able to do basic calculations and pull weather information from Unity dash by typing ‘weather.’ I respect Richard Stallman as we the people are at great risk because we are constantly being tracked and this data will eventually used against people in a technological warfare. We will have to find a balance and make laws that will prohibit organizations from having a bias against people as a result of this readily available personal information.