Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Left to swim in cold waters

Is it better to be taught something or to learn it the natural way ?

During my school days I was always a little ahead in knowing about the things that were new in and around us ... ( blatant self promotion ) .. but when it came to learning about it and then mastering it ... I would be the last one to do it ! ( sceptic and questioning still ! )

I learnt cycling when I was 14. ( 4 years late than an average kid ) .. I learnt swimming when I was 18 ( very late ) .. but by then I had put my fingers in almost everything ... It was just the initial fit of excitement.. it would never last long ... As a kid I learnt dancing for more than 4 years ( Bharatnatyam, a traditional dance of south India ) .. I was trained in carnatic music for almost 8 months .. was trained in table tennis for almost 6 months , personally trained in guitar for 8 months, was professionally taught chess and painting, I tried Japanese for 3 months ( yeah i got a certificate for that ) and French for a month . And if I were to list the things I tried myself ( and soon gave up ) ... that would be more than lengthy ...

I always believed that learning should not be imposed .. it should come naturally .. let me underline this fact by citing an example that I thought of when i was travelling today morning .. Given a chance to train two dogs to swim ... which one do you think would be a better swimmer in a month ? One trained by a human in a controlled environment or one who is thrown into a pond and left to itself ? Now lets extrapolate this to humans .. who do you think would be a better swimmer in a month ? One trained in a warm swimming pool ? or a fisherman kid ... who has the urge to learn swimming for his survival ..and has the cold ocean as his testing bed ?

Monday, August 29, 2005

Argument for Arguments sake

This is probably the tenth or twentieth time Iam "arguing" with my (elder ) brother on the lamest of all topics -

Are first-born children better achievers?

My argument ( along with my sister-in-law's ( "incidently" my brothers wife ) was that first borns are prototypes of nature. The second borns are the real product out of the engines of creation. My brother simply refuses to accept it .. he has his own ways of getting to a conclusion ... and he replied back in a mail with the following link ... here is BBC for you .. on the same debate ..

But I think the more I try to debate .. the more I move away from a fruitful conclusion.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Guilt ,Shame and ethics

What is the difference between guilt and shame ? Read a page from a book that goes ahead in helping the reader find his perspective on it. And the author provides a generous helping of this thoughts thus ... Guilt is when you feel that you had done something wrong. Shame is what you feel when others discover that you have done that wrong . Why do 'adolescent children' run away from homes ? Is that shame or is that guilt .. or an un-proportioned mixture of both ?

Guilt and shame could happen together. And its not necessary that either happens too. That brings us back to the question of morality, ethics and whats right and wrong. ( Probably I have read, thought and written about it more than a dozen times ) .. but something that still has not been satisfyingly answered by myself. ( This is purely subjective and a matter of ones perspective .. the generic laws of society fail to suit all individuals in the same way , therefore it necessitates the framing of ones own personal commandments )

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The man who knew infinity

I was always enthralled by Mathematicians though I never had any particular fancy for Mathematics. Ramanujam is one of them .. ( John Nash and Turing are other ones). Currently the book that i have delved into is a biography about the strange but naive life of Ramanujam the super mathematician of India.
The life is more interesting than his works ... The house in which he was born, is still intact . Someday I plan to go to that place, walk around , smell the air , go into all those temples and walk my way down to the roads that he used to travel while in college .. That should be cathartic .

"Florentino is so in love with Fermina that he eats gardenias and drinks cologne so that he can know her taste. He becomes drunk on the cologne, and his mother finds him the next morning, in a puddle of his vomit, in a cove of the bay where drowning victims are known to wash ashore" - Love in the time of Cholera