The fractal nature of the generalization that education matters holds across time and space. Irrespective of the granularity of analysis, education aids development through the intermediate step of economic growth. At the finest level of detail, an educated individual anywhere in the world is more productive than an uneducated one. At the broadest level of analysis, the modern world is more productive arguably because it is more educated compared to the world that existed before. A cross-sectional study of the world today, or at any earlier time, reveals that the general level of education of the population is a good predictor of the success of the population.
This is obscene. The way we get our priorities mixed up is seriously obscene and disturbing. A bunch of people — clueless retards, more descriptively — get offended by some Hollywood actor kissing some silly young woman on the cheek in public and publicly protest what they call an attack on their cultural ethos. Worse yet, a case if filed in some court and the judge orders the woman to appear in court and orders that the actor be arrested if he sets foot in India.
Very young children in Christian households (especially in the US) are led to believe that if they are good, Santa Claus will bring them gifts during Christmas. It is rather cute to see their eyes light up with eager anticipation of the stuff that Santa would deliver. By the time these kids are teenagers, most realize that it is a just a harmless story and Santa does not really exist. While it would be sad to see a grown up believing in Santa, what would be really pathetic is if a grown up starts believing he is Santa. That fellow would be in serious need of professional psychiatric help.
Today I was favored with an email from the PanIIT alumni organization. The subject of the email was “Required for IIT alumni Reach 4 India! organisation” and the text was about their search for a “Chief Operations Sevak” and a “Chief Finance & Funding Sevak.”
I wrote back promptly asking if among the illustrious alumni of the much celebrated IITs there wasn’t someone who knew the distinction between the numeral “4” and the word “for”? Methinks their reach exceeds their grasp.
[I have written previously about PanIIT here: Inspire, Involve, and Transform — Part 1, and Part 2.]
Gordon Dryden, the New Zealand-based co-author of The Learning Revolution, and more importantly a dear friend of mine, disagrees with many of the key points proposed in Charles Murray’s series of three articles from the Wall Street Journal mentioned in the post Murray on Education yesterday. It is important for me to note that Gordon himself “dropped out of school at age fourteen, and started learning.” Here is his response, parts of which I do not agree with but for the moment post without comments: Continue reading
Hauled from the archives: India’s Cargo Cult Democracy.
Yes, I do like that post. So sue me 🙂
When I stumble upon something that clearly expresses how I feel about a subject, it is a sheer delight to read. Brain candy to be enjoyed and hoarded. I immediately thank the god of the world wide web (aside: I think I will nominate Ganesha as the ruling deity of the www as he represents wisdom and learning) and kiss the LCD display with gratitude. I carefully save a copy on my laptop and email a dozen people hoping they would drop everything and read the gem I discovered. The great thing about brain candy — as opposed to regular candy — is that it is a public good — you can distribute them to everyone without ever diminishing the amount available to anyone.
One of the rewards of writing a blog is the occasional email expressing gratitude for something which resonated with the reader. I get those emails fairly regularly on a variety of topics. The flip side is of course the rant from some disgruntled reader who finds something objectionable about my opinion. I get these very rarely but when I do, it is always from a follower of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I believe that the most commented post is the one titled “A Letter from a Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Worshipper” which to date has 74 comments. (One of the sites maintained by the devotees of SSRS has a link to this post. I am pretty certain they did not bother to read the post — they mistakenly think that it is a news item praising SSRS.)
Here’s an informative letter from someone who has attended SSRS’s Art of Living course, for the record. The writer wishes to remain anonymous. Continue reading
Everything you have ever wanted to know about the One Laptop Per Child but never dared to ask has been answered in an excellent feature titled The Laptop Crusade by Tekla Perry in the April 2007 issue of the IEEE Spectrum. (Here’s a link to the print version of the article.) Continue reading