Under the bed of stars

The twin­kling bed of stars
Blan­ket­ing the tran­quil lake and grass

Shall we call God, the notion/entity/force that makes life non triv­ial?
Not this vague unde­fined sense of pur­pose, as much as the enrap­tur­ing beauty.
What makes the twin­kling night sky, or the painted clouds, so much more charm­ing than the mar­vels of lamps, build­ings, and concrete.

Is what is inside every­thing, this life force, this star stuff, what is most worth cel­e­brat­ing?
Per­haps yes.
Give up your life, for all it is worth.
Squeeze all the juice out, for what else was it made?


What is the purpose of life, in the eyes of the universe?

What is the pur­pose of life, in the eyes of the universe?

So, noth­ing is going to mat­ter. And that is the same as say­ing, noth­ing really mat­ters.
You want to feel happy, or make a dif­fer­ence? All of that, will sub­li­mate. Will be vapor­ized with more than a nuclear fusion. Quite lit­er­ally dis­ap­pear as being sucked into a black hole, accord­ing to some the­o­ries.
You might as well die right now, because it’s not going to matter.

What can you do, then? Every­thing, almost cer­tainly, and inevitably, seems to remain a zero sum game.
A goal that you can choose, with sur­pris­ing triv­i­al­ity, that will really mat­ter, is to change the nature of the game. Fun­da­men­tally.
This, in entirety, seems to be oddly out of the scope of our usual thought process. It appears obvi­ous on the face of it, but all of soci­ety, a large part of [deep] wis­dom, and so on, con­di­tion us to believe that things are pretty hunky dory on the whole. I’m not sure what Stock­holm Syn­drome really is, but I have a strong feel­ing that being kid­napped in this usual struc­ture of the uni­verse, has made us fall into the belief that things are how they ought to be. This aim to jus­tify the nature of the universe’s game as appro­pri­ate, ade­quate, and not entirely incon­se­quen­tial, might also be the source of the attempts of jus­ti­fi­ca­tion of the uni­verse with notions of Gods, reli­gion, apart from all the lines of wis­dom appre­ci­at­ing and embrac­ing death, among other things.
[every­thing here is spec­u­la­tion, and is more than likely to be wrong, or not cor­rect — espe­cially in a proper nature of causal­ity. But then again, noth­ing can actu­ally be known because we’re all going to die any­way, right.]

–One ques­tion in the air I can­not address right now — where does our con­scious­ness come from, what would/should drive us to make any dif­fer­ence, or even be under the made up belief that we might be able to do the same?

I’m going to assume, that all of us want to make a dif­fer­ence. I can­not imag­ine why you’d want to live any­way if you’re okay with being entirely incon­se­quen­tial. Apart from choos­ing to be hedo­nis­tic. Sure, go ahead with that if you want to; not some­thing I’d con­done, because in a util­i­tar­ian sense for things that will mat­ter, and invest­ment of resources aptly, I think it’d be bet­ter if you’d die, really.

So, on an aver­age, when asked explic­itly, peo­ple are really okay with the gen­eral struc­ture of the uni­verse and how life hap­pens, because noth­ing can be done about it. But at the same time, there’s always a part of the crowd try­ing to fight out of it.
Peo­ple have fre­quently dreamed of immor­tal­ity, amongst other things.
There is a fas­ci­nat­ing oxy­moron that seems to have hap­pened here, on the pre­sump­tory obser­va­tion that peo­ple have reduced how much they believe in immor­tal­ity, than before.
In times of believ­ing in magic, when peo­ple didn’t know the rea­son behind things, they were will­ing to believe that one rit­ual or another, would help them live longer, for no well defined / sub­stan­tive rea­son. This may or may not have suc­ceeded in help­ing peo­ple live. And regard­less, peo­ple would die. In a time of magic, immor­tal­ity seems to be a more man­age­able belief, when you’re not really look­ing for a rea­son to explain phe­nom­ena.
In today’s world, when we don’t really know what death is or how it hap­pens [cita­tion needed] – {Feynman’s para­graph on how find­ing an immor­tal per­son, shall not change any estab­lished tho­eries, etc}, as in, we know _reasonably/rationally_ of *no* rea­son that says people/life should die. Some­how, in today’s world, we have embraced death and given up on immor­tal­ity much more, I think. (This again might be spe­cific to my nar­row set of obser­va­tions and peo­ple I’ve been exposed to, but is the gen­eral belief I gather and mostly used to have).
Ran­dom note, inter­est­ing thing to see: There are sys­tems I here, of peo­ple in Europe and the US who’re deposit­ing money over their life so that their dead bod­ies are frozen for 40–50 years, so that they can come back to life if tech­nol­ogy reaches the stage where dead bodies/people can be brought back to life. So there is a set of peo­ple who believe and have hope. There is also a nar­row set of peo­ple, who’re actu­ally work­ing to make this hap­pen, if not with the whole immortality-ambition, more ‘real­is­tic’ smaller goals.

I think it’s pretty triv­ial, that we should embrace the desire to change the game. Because that’s the only thing that’ll mat­ter. It might not end up being achieved; human­ity is totally likely to die much sooner than tech­nol­ogy or knowl­edge evolve to the req­ui­site extent. But *insert cliche about hav­ing hope here, because there’s not much else we can have*.

To be able to act, we will draw the line some­where, about how deeply we will philosophise. To get work done, you need to be able to decide not to become an arts stu­dent, because… I will try to elab­o­rate on this later, but yeah. I will believe that there will be some­thing beyond the edge of the uni­verse. The aim of human­ity, to impact the uni­verse, to be able to rise in size to touch that edge, to chal­lenge it, and to reach beyond it.
I only spoke about immor­tal­ity above.
If you’re will­ing to enter­tain the thought of this pos­si­bil­ity, it should be a log­i­cal fol­low up that you be will­ing to drop all social, or trained human pre­tenses, that age­ing, weak­en­ing, etc is a com­pul­sion.
But immor­tal­ity would free us of this strongly impos­ing dead­line of the notion of time. We would not need to travel faster than light, or break physics as is known today, to be lit­er­ally able to go beyond our solar sys­tem, and quite likely beyond the galaxy. Spread like the virus we are, resilient, evolv­ing, fairly smart, and pretty eager/desperate to reproduce.

The thing behind this, what will _really_ enable us to become super­hu­man, if we aren’t already some level of this con­cept, is knowl­edge – sci­ence, and ratio­nal­ity. It is known that one of the most crit­i­cal instru­ments to our evo­lu­tion was the abil­ity to write. What that did, was enable us to com­pile, archive, and pass on our knowl­edge. For the com­ing gen­er­a­tion, to stand and see not only on the shoul­ders of the sto­ries of their elders, but the shoul­ders of mil­lenia of grow­ing and accu­mu­lat­ing thoughts.
[cracked arti­cle]
And only around four to five cen­turies ago did we start to think crit­i­cally enough, to be aware of what we know and how we know it. I am pretty sure I can say that this has cause an unequiv­o­cal rapid increase in the gen­eral progress of knowl­edge, and simul­ta­ne­ously, human­ity. The rise in life span, liv­ing con­di­tions of the aver­age human, and how far we’ve reached into outer space.
So there are two things we’re going for, that we need to not for­get.
The first being, that we’re doing this for our­selves. For human­ity, and gen­eral life. This is what we have, and what we need to forge ahead with. Why we need com­pas­sion. And love. This is some­thing I severely lack really, so I think you shuold sub­stan­ti­ate this for me.
And the sec­ond thing, is ahead, far far ahead, beyond the hori­zon, we believe that we will tran­scend a bound­ary. It might not be any­thing con­clu­sive. It should not be, I believe. It’ll prob­a­bly be like the first moon land­ing. A small step for one man, a giant leap for mankind. We will have come a long way, and there will always be some­thing ahead to go to, to look ahead into.
The tool, and task we have to accom­plish this, is [refine] our mind, our intel­lect. I do not know if this is what makes us unique, but there is really no such need, even. We have this. We need to think, be not stu­pid, work to increase/improve the world’s cumu­la­tive knowl­edge, and empower our­selves to up, up and beyond.

Really, your hope­less­ness and nihilism might turn out to be right all along. And we might all just die in vain. It’ll only be so much fun if all you did through­out the ride was scream and be happy while just accept­ing that it’ll end at the same place it began. If we have the option of believ­ing we can break the roller coaster off the track and into the skies, and work to make it hap­pen, why the hell not. We’ve been made to sit on the ride any­way. That’ll make it a hell of a ride. And worth spend­ing the time.

Meaningless Megalomania - SMBC Comics

Because I like to repeat and rephrase, again and again. Once more.
Hold your hands. Respect life, and give it utmost value. It is your tool, weapon, and all you have.
Enjoy the ride you are on. But don’t believe that it has to end, that you have to come back with no change really. Do what you can to change it, loose some screws, rock the boat, and tell every­body to do more.
Believe that you can make this ship you’re float­ing on, fly. And there’s a won­der­ful sky above. Look above occa­sion­ally to appre­ci­ate the beauty, and then get to mak­ing it hap­pen. Hell yeah.

This comes 3–4 days after I first wrote this essay. I find this delight­ful, that it’s hap­pen­ing. I also felt a bit sad to read the linked arti­cle about how Google did try to do some­thing rad­i­cal with green energy but gave up because they felt they were fail­ing. But I find it most jarring/sad, is that an author for the MIT Tech Review, writes this arti­cle, and does not hes­i­tate from putting “LOL” in the title. It’s odd that this is so much out­side the scope of nor­mal human thought. To man­age real progress, we’d have to believe in the pos­si­bil­ity of a utopia, or at least get­ting closer to one. There’s really no point in stay­ing alive, otherwise.

In a sim­i­lar time span, this comes to my atten­tion. Which sounds beau­ti­ful, amaz­ing, and every­thing good all at once. There are peo­ple not only dream­ing of this, but mak­ing it hap­pen. There needs to be more peo­ple who work at this end, for this to be mean­ing­fully accepted, and be a use­ful part of our sys­tem, rather than just some­thing lazy slobs take up to be smug with their lives. But it’s great nevertheless.

Another comic on the SMBC one’s lines.


What I want to do in my life

I like being/interacting with peo­ple. I don’t think it’s par­tic­u­larly pro­duc­tive, but I find it per­son­ally pleasing.

Plea­sure is def­i­nitely some­thing one should be liv­ing for. Largely, if not entirely.
Play­ing, eat­ing deli­cious food, music, read­ing, think­ing, peo­ple, all that stuff.

Learn­ing, I believe, is another thing one should live for. ~Expand on this at some indef­i­nite point of time in the future.~
I do not know clearly why, but I believe the abil­ity to think, is of a great value. It is kind of what… makes us human, I think, in some weird short-sighted/egocentric view. One must try to enhance one’s per­sonal knowl­edge and expe­ri­ences, and as far as pos­si­ble, the sum total of human knowledge/wisdom/thoughts. As G.H. Hardy’s quote, for me, implies, the most impor­tant, and ever­last­ing things, are new ideas.

“A math­e­mati­cian, like a painter or a poet, is a cre­ator of pat­terns. If his pat­terns are more per­ma­nent than those of oth­ers, it is because they are made up of ideas.”

– G.H. Hardy

Com­pas­sion, I have come to believe, is a legit thing to uphold with impor­tance, in one’s life. To empathise with the world’s (beings’) pains, life, and try to cause an over­all bet­ter­ment. I can be as focussed/narrow as help­ing one’s own self, or fam­ily, to slightly wider in try­ing to help the poor peo­ple; to being as wide as the entire span of all liv­ing things (as far as pos­si­ble with­out con­flict of inter­est), and work for the bet­ter­ment of their con­di­tions. The ratio­nal Harry, seems to have pro­grammed him­self to hold sen­tience, with an incred­i­bly high regard. I can’t see pre­cisely why, but it seems like a nice moral to stand by.
† I recently kinda buried a kit­ten. Essen­tially we just car­ried it down­stairs in a plas­tic bag, and tossed it into the grass.

We had played with the kit­ten. There were two things that went by me. One, was that I was able to look at the body of the cat, and won­der why there had hap­pened to become large holes of wounds on its body. Oth­ers around me couldn’t bear to, as a mix­ture of sad­ness and dis­gust. I could not under­stand what switch I lacked in my head, that I felt no such dis­gust in par­tic­u­lar except want­ing to know why that wound was there, when I was look­ing at it care­fully. The other feel­ing, of sor­row, was fairly inter­est­ing. It was per­haps sub­dued because I did not have any strong attach­ment with the kit­ten. But there was still a soft feel­ing of loss. Some of it was sim­ply of the lack of the fairly cute and fun kit­ten in the room. But there was some feel­ing of the loss of a being. It was per­haps rather forced. I see it as a rather vol­un­tary and con­scious thought. But nev­er­the­less, there was a life in that body, which was lost. I felt sad.

And the vaguest term, the thing that seems to be of great­est impor­tance – of objec­tive value – to have in one’s life, I glean, is pro­duc­tiv­ity. There is seem­ingly no value of a per­son, not just in a cap­i­tal­ist, con­sumerist soci­ety; but in the basic car­nal, phys­i­cal (and pos­si­bly even spir­i­tual) sense of the world, who is not pro­duc­ing. So per­haps, the main ques­tion is, what must you be pro­duc­ing?
What counts, as a good out­put?
Hav­ing listed the things above, the answer, albeit in sub­jec­tive terms, appears to be rather clear.

One needs to work, in a way that is com­pas­sion­ate. Build­ing with a ‘love’, for people/animals/things.
That helps in build­ing the total knowl­edge of the world.
And in a way that one enjoys.

And doing the best that one can do. Doing the best that one believes can be done.

Noth­ing else, in my opin­ion and under­stand­ing of the world is last­ing, or more impor­tantly, matters.


I want life, to be worth living

I want to expe­ri­ence a gen­uinely life threat­en­ing expe­ri­ence. Where my deci­sions, and those of around me, are lit­er­ally, mat­ters of life and death.
Movies are replete with such sce­nar­ios. All of drama and lit­er­a­ture around us, espe­cially the good sort, makes every­thing that hap­pens in the story, crit­i­cal, and essen­tial.
How many chances does one get, to really make a deci­sion that will affect his chances of life or death, in a sub­stan­tial man­ner? I want the chance, to be able to lit­er­ally value my life. To be clearly aware of the pos­si­bil­ity of dying.
I don’t know why. There is that silly state­ment – toss a coin to make a deci­sion, so you’ll know what you want to do depend­ing on which side you’re hop­ing for. I’m rarely in a sce­nario so stu­pid that I need to resort o a coin toss, but even if I am, I can eas­ily dis­tract myself by the coin itself (prob­a­bil­i­ties? I’d much more often be toss­ing a coin sim­ple to see how the results’ dis­tri­b­u­tion wavers from, and still tries to remain close to half, and so on), to the extent that any hope or feel­ing about the deci­sion is stalled till a side of the coin comes up. Though I’m much bet­ter with sim­ply weigh­ing pros and cons.
Just like that, I also think that in fac­ing death, it’ll be rather easy to pre­oc­cupy one­self with avoid­ing death, such we’ll not be aware why we’re run­ning away from death at all. What is there in life, towards which we’re run­ning? Or are we lit­er­ally just dri­ving our lives away from death? Doesn’t the truth of this, feel hor­ri­ble?
I want to be get a jolt of feel­ing. Some­thing that tells me every­thing that I have. What really is my life worth liv­ing for? Why go on at all?
What will I most notice­ably value if I was about to die. What rea­son will I have, to want to live? It feels ter­ri­ble that I don’t already have an answer to this. I can’t con­cretely say, that this is some­thing, apart from just gen­er­ally hav­ing fun, for which I will defend my life. I will fight for my life.
I per­son­ally like that line a lot. You should live, for some­thing worth dying for. That the pur­pose, is so strong, so over­ar­ch­ing, that I can con­fi­dently die, if I know that it is a step to com­plete this job. It must be a beau­ti­ful feel­ing. Say, when the free­dom fight­ers, swore their lives for the nation’s freedom.

With­out a pur­pose, this entire life is such a waste. What am I breath­ing for? eat­ing or drink­ing for?
I don’t think it’ll be any time soon, when I will know what I should be liv­ing for.
I hope I find it soon. I hope you find it soon. And we will die for – and when – our pur­pose shall be fulfilled.


About speech and symbols

You may have seen this pretty funny nar­ra­tion by Rus­sel Peters.

When I was think­ing about think­ing about how peo­ple lis­ten to, and com­pre­hend pho­net­ics, and how it is influ­enced by their own speech habits, one of the things I noticed was that peo­ple seem to hear the same sound, my pro­nun­ci­a­tion of my name, dif­fer­ently (with respect to how I believe I pro­nounced it). I don’t know at what step their com­pre­hen­sion of the sounds change. Because the agents involved which mat­ter, include their com­pre­hen­sion of the word, and asso­ci­a­tion with some­thing they have heard before. And sec­ondly, the only way I know what they heard, is how they say it back to me. It was most pro­nounced (as in, notice­able) when Mo heard my name, and tried to spell it, by writ­ing it on the board. I’m not sure what he wrote, but as far as I remem­ber, it was on the lines of Vasheesh. I don’t know why that hap­pened, but that’s how stuff seems to hap­pen. You know what’s most freaky about this? It’s like the colour you might be call­ing red, might be entirely dif­fer­ent from what I call red, and we won’t know until we’re nam­ing the iden­ti­cal colour in front of each other. Maybe kids should be trained to iden­tify sounds and cor­re­spond­ing symbols/phonetics too, like is done with colours.

And on that note, I come back to the thought regard­ing which I put that video in there. That African dude, in Eng­lish expressed that pro­nun­ci­a­tion (appar­ently) with an !x. But that’s no sym­bol in Eng­lish that we’re taught to com­pre­hend, right? I’m fairly cer­tain that in what­ever native script he writes his name, there exists a well defined sym­bol for that pro­nun­ci­a­tion. Which makes me think, why not such a sym­bol in Eng­lish? Or Hindi?

One what basis, did the mak­ers of the lan­guage choose this belief for what would be the con­so­nants, the basics of the pro­nun­ci­a­tion of all the words to exist, and decide that these are ade­quately many. Clearly, the hindi script with 33 con­so­nants (and not just because of the num­ber) cov­ers many more pro­nun­ci­a­tions as basic, as com­pared to the Eng­lish alpha­bet, with just 21 con­so­nants. The dude behind the Hindi alpha­bet def­i­nitely was more orga­nized and did his job with deeper thought (I’m not going to say it’s much ‘supe­rior’ to Eng­lish, because the Eng­lish alpha­bet is much more made by evo­lu­tion over ages, rather than a sin­gu­lar focussed job, which was prob­a­bly the case with San­skrit and that Panini dude (and just pre-emptively, I know he’s pri­mar­ily the gram­mar dude, but he prob­a­bly did con­tribute to the prepa­ra­tion of the alpha­bet or some­thing)), which is prob­a­bly why I did men­tion that the Hindi alpha­bet even has some worth in mem­o­riz­ing, as opposed to the Eng­lish alphabet.

But nobody I know (apart from the Africans it seems) so far has been metic­u­lous enough to include pro­nun­ci­a­tions in their lan­guage, like a click.  how badass is that. The only (escapist) rea­son­ing I can imag­ine for this, is that most pro­nun­ci­a­tions out of our nor­mal voice­box can, in effect, be expressed using the sym­bols (and in the case of Eng­lish, accent marks) that are cov­ered in the alpha­bet. And they thought that’s enough. But bleh. Losers.

You know other pro­nun­ci­a­tions which aren’t really out of the lar­ynx, and I think deserve sym­bols? The ‘tch’ sound. And the cluck (gen­er­ally used to express dis­ap­proval or dis­agree­ment). Do tell if you would like hav­ing a more fun­da­men­tal sym­bol to explain a stan­dard pro­nun­ci­a­tion you like (or don’t like) to make.

Ran­dom note: Man­darin, as far as I can tell, doesn’t seem to be made out of basic let­ters of pro­nun­ci­a­tion at all. It seems to be made of glyphs which stand for words or phrases in entirety. I won­der then, how they decided how to pro­nounce whichever sym­bol. And how they choose to build new words and choose their pro­nun­ci­a­tion. Seems kind of liv­ing on the edge, if you know what I mean. 😛


Titled: Rant

How I, wasted my life so far.

I often blame oth­ers for poor cir­cum­stances in my life. It is some­times a mat­ter of com­pul­sion for me to believe, that an incor­rect or bad or mis­ap­pro­pri­ate deci­sion for my life was made by some­body else. This is incred­i­bly often true for things my fam­ily chooses for me, because I am the lame kind of stuck up, as well as laid back kind of guy, whom you wouldn’t nor­mally find, who sim­ply to avoid incon­ve­niene in his life, lets his fam­ily decide for him­self. The fam­ily is rather cool — they don’t really impose their deci­sion as much as should ide­ally be required for me to con­cede, but I let them do it. Isn’t fam­ily, espe­cially the expe­ri­enced elders, sup­posed to make a bet­ter more informed deci­sion than I?

That’s not what this is about. This is actu­ally sup­posed to be a rant on how remark­ably stu­pid our purivew about ‘edu­ca­tion’ and life expe­ri­ences are. And how I objec­tively (as far as pos­si­ble) fig­ured out why I cared so much about what kind of friends I will make at the col­leges I go to.

I spent the first upto class 10 being a lame stu­pid kid. I prob­a­bly have not been as lame as other peo­ple prob­a­bly have been — by which I mean, that I’m rather sure there exist peo­ple who spent upto class 10, with as much or more facil­i­ties than I had, being much lamer. That only offers the slight­est reprieve to me. Because I know that a lot of peo­ple spent upto class 10, with as much or fewer facil­i­ties than I had, doing far cooler stuff. And I could blame my fam­ily for that too. But I don’t like to. I hate blam­ing oth­ers for cir­cum­stances in my life. I do it, espe­cially a lot lately, but I hate myself for that. Because any mis­take in my life is and can only be my fault. So I believe. Plus, even for the upto class 10 lame­ness, I really ahve only myself to blame, because I def­i­nitely had an above aver­age expo­sure to ran­dom cool stuff I should’ve wasted my time doing, which my brother’d told me about, but I was too lame to under­stand then.
And by class 11, I like to think I had some sem­blance of thought and instances of cool­ness in me. I was still remark­ably lame (mostly still am, but def­i­nitely was back then). But I thought, we will do cool stuff along side this lame­ness called the JEE prepa­ra­tion. It was still, the­o­ret­i­cally, only sup­posed to be a learn­ing expe­ri­ence wasn’t it?
It prob­a­bly was/is. Though I wouldn’t advise it to any­one. At all.
It is prob­a­bly a bet­ter learn­ing expe­ri­ence than a lot of other expe­ri­ences go, like some of my some­what lame ‘friends’ (read: acquain­tances) who did not do any­thing else cool in their life, stud­ied for the boards and the ‘AIEEE’. I can par­tic­u­larly say that because I’m pretty sure I did bet­ter than them even in that one exam they stud­ied for with par­tic­u­lar focus. But that’s again off topic.

But that’s not a learn­ing expe­ri­ence worth wast­ing one’s time, life, and every­thing of two years with. For some rea­son, my brother did, and prob­a­bly still believes, that the JEE prep and IIT expe­ri­ence is worth putting an effort for. Maybe I’ll get out of IIT some expe­ri­ences bet­ter than I would get out of other IIT col­leges. Maybe I was so laid back/stupid/whatever-might-cause-whatever-happened-and-which-I-probably-shouldn’t-be, that I didn’t even get out of the JEE coach­ing stuff what­ever I ought to have, and prob­a­bly why I failed in the JEE, and why I’m so (self inducedly) sad with the fol­low up consequence.

But what I believe, after see­ing really cool peo­ple do their thing, dance, or sing, or hike, and/or play Domin­ion or what­ever else, along with doing math, or prob­a­bly what­ever else they want to do, and noth­ing else if so they choose that: one, it is impor­tant to, at least some extent, be deci­sively sure about what learn­ing expe­ri­ence one really wants or val­ues — the JEE coach­ing thing can be, for the sake of lyri­cism, ba called a jour­ney through which I expe­ri­ence lots of fail­ures, very few suc­cesses, but don’t really remem­ber _learning_ any­hing valu­able. You have a free of cost life, and lots of not very costly routes you can take to expe­ri­ence fail­ure, and even get mon­e­tary or other more sat­is­fac­tory returns than an idi­otic notion of get­ting good marks, in a test test­ing absolutely noth­ing that will be of any value to you in pretty much any of your remain­ing ‘real life’. I prob­a­bly didn’t have the expo­sure, or surity, that I could say I def­i­nitely want to do math, or what­ever it is I want to do (which I’m tempted to say is math, but still can’t be infi­nitely sure). An expe­ri­ence is just a super­fi­cial thing.

Expe­ri­ences are per­haps what we live our life for, so just tak­ing on a jour­ney because it has expe­ri­ences, which you don’t know the qual­ity or return plea­sure value of, is stupid.


I believe that I live essen­tially for the expe­ri­ence of life. It’s fun. Some­times it’s not. But as the hypo­thet­i­cal ‘they’ say it, that’s life. But it’s rather clear that one should try and opti­mize one’s life for max­i­mum fun. Not for some super­fi­cial kind of max­i­mum expe­ri­ences. I will do this sim­ply because it’s an expe­ri­ence. That’s prob­a­bly okay if you’re try­ing out a new piece of food, because it’s likely you’ll like it (unless you aren’t the exper­i­men­tal and lik­ing new food kind of guy I am), but prob­a­ble that you won’t like it too. It’s stu­pid when you take up JEE coach­ing because you believe it’ll be an expe­ri­ence, along­side which you’ll be able to do other cool stuff you dream of doing. It, or so I believe by com­ing this far (which isn’t really far, it’s just an exas­per­at­ingly slowly cov­ered lit­tle dis­tance), is extremely stu­pid to take up the JEE expe­ri­ence, screw your life for two years, in hope for a prob­a­ble four years of more enjoy­able expe­ri­ence. It doesn’t remotely, seem worth it. It’s okay if doing the JEE thing is so beneath you, in terms of apti­tude and capa­bil­ity, that you will pull it off sim­ply by virtue of your cool­ness, and aren’t really miss­ing out on any piece of your life in the par­al­lel time period. But you must make sure you’re not over­es­ti­mat­ing your­self when you believe that in your­self. And I can tell you if you actu­ally believe that, you’re almost def­i­nitely over­es­ti­mat­ing your­self. Not because the JEE is tougher than you think (it prob­a­bly is, though my brother says it isn’t), but because when you’re cool, you don’t really acknowl­edge it or are even aware of it — you just are. That’s mostly what I believe from the extremely cool peo­ple I’ve seen al around me, and have felt pissed at how uncool I am. But my obses­sion with being cool is prob­a­bly the clear rea­son why I am not cool enough.

So, when you pick on a life expe­ri­ence, think thor­oughly about what you want out of it. The JEE is not, by my stan­dards or inter­ests, a learn­ing expe­ri­ence. It is an expe­ri­ence, which was unduly sor­row­ful and not fun for me. But it is not a learn­ing expe­ri­ence. Like school. School was a fun expe­ri­ence for me. I learnt stuff, but _school_ per se, was not the learn­ing expe­ri­ence. I learnt out of my expe­ri­ences. When I say learn­ing expe­ri­ence, (and I did not know this explic­itly when I got into the JEE thing think­ing it’s a learn­ing expe­ri­ence), I mean an expe­ri­ence in which I get to indulge in reck­less learn­ing. Learn­ing, like an other expe­ri­ence, holis­ti­cally seems entirely equiv­a­lent to get­ting to do bungee jump­ing or any other expe­ri­ence — they have a sim­i­lar thrill, fun and fac­tor of new­ness. I haven’t done bungee jump­ing, but I have had a few learn­ing expe­ri­ences. I can’t imag­ine the for­mer being any *much* more fun.
A suit­able learn­ing expe­ri­ence, is appar­ently, rare, and tough to pick. It’s not easy to tell, that you’re really going to learng noth­ing with a par­tic­u­lar focus in the JEE coach­ing, and it will end up being a lot like school — a jum­ble of entirely point­less ‘stud­ies’ which you’re doing sim­ply to pass an exam at the end of the ‘jour­ney’.
A real expe­ri­ence is wholly con­tained within itself. Coun­terini­tu­itively though, on R^2 with a usual topol­ogy, every expe­ri­ence is like an open set. There is a neigh­bour­hood around every point, and it is not bounded. It is within itself, but with no pin-pointable bound­ary.
So if the JEE is a closed set, with an idi­otic bound at the JEE, it is sequen­tially closed at the same event, but it’s com­ple­ment is what’s really fun. =)






Being a global communicator

I just noticed how it is an effort for me to talk to pretty much any of the Assamese peo­ple.
Ziv said a very inter­est­ing thing: Peo­ple with their own accents and lan­guage, actu­ally ‘hear dif­fer­ently’. I thought the prob­lem was only an inca­pa­bil­ity of ren­der­ing the same pro­nun­ci­a­tion I was say­ing. I say my name is, most ele­men­tar­ily bro­ken, ‘Wish-aysh’. The lat­ter half’s vowel pro­nun­ci­a­tion, in the rare case that you don’t under­stand, is pretty much the stan­dard way any one enun­ci­ates ‘A’ as the first let­ter of the alpha­bet.
There were three dif­fer­ent pro­nuni­ca­tions the Amer­i­cans piked up on pro­nounc­ing my name. The few peo­ple who knew my name by spelling and tried to gen­er­ate the pho­net­ics for them­selves, pro­nounced it a Veesh-aaish. The aai is the best approx­i­ma­tion I can think of, for a stretched ay sound almost like the vowel part of ‘ack!’. That was David [Roe] and Susan, as far as I remem­ber. Then there was a mix­ture of Wish-eesh (which I find the most accept­able incor­rect pro­nun­ci­a­tion, because I spell my name with an ‘e’, which pro­nounced like an… e, is mostly fine), and Vaash-eesh. That was the most con­fus­ing. I would say my name and this was one of the most com­mon things they heard my name as. And I’m pretty sure it is not a fault of my speech, because peo­ple in India can under­stand my name rather eas­ily.
Also because the best pro­nun­ci­a­tion Dan and a few oth­ers picked up because I spent some extra time get­ting my name across to them, and because Henry made up funny ways of say­ing it, went like Veesh-aysh. Next time I meet them, I need to tell them about the shorter e in the first half of my name. I was also envi­ous about how I didn’t have as cool a single-syllable name as all of htem have. My name is so point­lessly.
Another inter­est­ing thing hap­pened recently which had hap­pened before, but I hadn’t noticed it in the same con­text. Proper regional Biharis are com­pelled to pro­nounce my name first as Bish-aysh. It’s not like they can’t say V. It’s just that they default hear any V as B. And try to say it like that. They would only switch to V when it seems com­pul­sory. B appar­ently, on some level, is a more con­ve­nient con­so­nant to pronounce.

So, the point of this nar­ra­tion, was less to get across the cor­rect pro­nun­ci­a­tion of my name — more to com­ment on how it is not entirely easy to talk to Amer­i­cans — I need to repeat myself occa­sion­ally if they weren’t pay­ing enough atten­tion; or even with locals of Indian states. I momen­tar­ily felt annoyed. I seem to not ‘belong’ to any place, where I can be com­pre­hended eas­ily. And I just real­ized that I do. It’s been a long time since I spent time there, but I really do belong in Delhi, in terms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Also the really cool part about that is, I can talk, to a large extent, any­where with Hindi, and/or Eng­lish. I saw the point/coolness of being ‘global’. Of being in a metro where the kind of expo­sure I have had, does not region­ally local­ize me, because if I were able to talk per­fectly to Amer­i­cans or to the Assamese, my com­mu­nic­tion with the other would be much more dithered, and unde­sir­ably tilted towards incomprehensibility.


I believe in magic (and some college-hatred)

This will not be about what it was sup­posed to be. It was sup­posed to be about how much IIT Guwa­hati and its hos­tel sucks balls. And how I hate my life, feel sui­ci­dally depressed, and ter­ri­ble, for hav­ing landed myself in such a sit­u­a­tion. And how, at a cer­tain point of time, I was actu­ally stuck in a rut how try­ing to blame myself rather than my par­ents for my end­ing up at a place so unde­sir­able in nearly all cri­te­ria. That was what it was sup­posed to be about. But it will not be.

Lately I received lots of pep talks. Talks only seem like pep talks when you’re depressed or sad or feel like you really need one. I have recently been feel­ing an unusual excess of sad­ness too. Maybe it’s with how I’ve been suck­ing up my life more than usual. Maybe it’s that just-getting-out-of-teen age. Which is maybe equiv­a­lent to the next maybe option of maybe life hasn’t given me as much ‘chal­leng­ing’ or ‘depress­ing’ sit­u­a­tions before. Maybe, though by most chances I believe, it’s just that I haven’t been tak­ing been tak­ing sor­row and ‘stress’ and stu­pid things seri­ously so far. And I don’t think I ought to. I also think I haven’t been tak­ing lots of life-ey things seri­ously, since a long time prob­a­bly, which maybe I ought to. Some­what. At least a bit more. But apart from that, stuff’s cool — always ought to be, and always will be. Unless I choose to believe it’s not.

For the sake of lyrics I’d say IIT Guwa­hati is [cool] — but I don’t say this because of the specifics of my brother’s recent pep talk which causes this essay to not be about what it was sup­posed to be — so, I have to say: any thing is, what we choose to make of it. I’d believe that any­ways much more than any­body else I usu­ally know. But I might have to put this in a bet­ter set­ting, and mix this with a story that was sup­posed to be dis­tinct, to make it much more profound.

Here’s the other story (which was writ­ten right in between this other post, but is a dis­tinct story. Yes, I’m that cool.):
I believe in magic. And not Sci­ence. 😮
Magi­cians never sur­prised me. That might clearly be an over­state­ment, but I never had a prob­lem in believ­ing that if there is not a clear mechan­i­cal trick or so called ‘sleight of hand’ involved, it might very eas­ily be ‘real magic’ — some­thing that sci­ence can’t explain and would mostly be com­pelled to call para­physics or some­thing. I mean, I really like the con­cept of The Matrix — and I’m not say­ing the part where machines are har­vest­ing humans for energy. The part where ‘there is no spoon’. And the part where the ‘rules of nature’ are sim­ply estab­lished by a pro­gram which cre­ates the ‘illu­sion’ of a life for us. I mean, among other things, because I was recently exposed to some thought about quan­tum physics, I would draw a par­al­lel with how it almost makes sense, that physi­cists find lack of ele­gance and over­com­pli­ca­tion a valid enough rea­son to not like a the­ory to believe in. Because if any­body made a pro­gram to describe the uni­verse (which by most chances some­body did), he (or she) would try to make it as ele­gant, sim­ple, and least default mem­ory using. Least run­time mem­ory too, I’d believe, but I guess you get the point.
That part. It might be because I never grew out of the I-believe-in-fairy-tales-age. Oh yes, I really do (believe in fairy tales, that is). It is also sup­ported because I once got to par­tic­i­pate in an activ­ity like that. Where four peo­ple (includ­ing me) raised a rather heavy per­son, each of us using just pairs of fin­gers. And we weren’t using clever physics, bal­anc­ing, or sup­port­ing ropes. We were made to do the equiv­a­lent of med­i­tate, and we just did that.
That’s not what this story is about at all (well, it prob­a­bly is some­what, but not really.)
This is about how I recently got this amaz­ing thing called a fol­li­culi­tis. Now if you aren’t clever (in temrs of vocab­u­lary), haven’t heard or read of it before, and just imag­ine the doc­tor say­ing it to you in a some­what heavy accent, you’d think it was some­thing. It’s pre­ced­ing symp­tom, I can tell you, even moreso.

On a slightly irrel­e­vant note, I rarely got ill after I broke my head two years ago. And yes, the sec­ond anniver­sary of my skull (mas­toid, specif­i­cally) frac­ture, is on the com­ing 13th of Sep­tem­ber. Meet me, greet me, gift me.
By rarely got ill, I mean I spent the win­ters extremely often with­out sweaters, and didn’t get a cold beyond occa­sional coughs. And that coin­cided wth the time when my belief in magic got far too strength­ened because of myself, Richard Bach, and ran­dom stuff.

So, it started with an extremely arbi­trary and painful swelling in the back of my head. And that swelling grew rad­i­cally within a period of three days. Scar­ily so. It swelled, and it got more and more painful. So much so, that by the time I’d decided going to the doc­tor, I was entirely look­ing for­ward to find­ing myself hav­ing brain tumour, or some­thing com­pa­ra­bly cool. 😉
What was unusual was that I had got­ten used to will­ing my ail­ments away, mainly cause they had been so insignif­i­cant — I would have coughs, I would believe that I wanted to be healed, and that they weren’t there any­more, and within a day it would be so. So my whim­si­cal self liked to believe, of course. This swelling, wasn’t as easy to believe in the absence of (if you get what I mean). And I finally went to the doc­tor. And he used this scary (sound­ing) name, wrote it in a mostly inscutable scrawl that is cus­tom­ary of doc­tors, and gave me an antibi­otic.
My mother believes in pop­ping pills ran­domly, when­ever she feels like them. That is not really true, not at all like how I make it sound, but I still like to make it sound like that. She self med­icates in antibi­otics, for ran­dom pieces of time, so on and so forth. I believe in a rigor in med­i­cine — antibi­otics are sup­posed to be pre­scribed, and con­sumed for the directed amount of time, and not more or less, with­out instruc­tion. Not that I believe in med­i­cines. I like placebo tests, the sta­tis­tics behind them and how it works, and how home­opa­thy fails placebo tests and ran­dom stuff like that. But I don’t believe in med­i­cines, and in that they work. And I took that pill for a week, and _it “mag­i­cally” fixed_. You have no idea how stunned, impressed and weirdly happy I was. I found it incred­i­ble that med­i­cines actu­ally work. And on a bit of meta-though — I was sur­prised at my own sur­prise. Did I really believe in magic and _not_ in sci­ence? For some rea­son (that I know or think truly jus­ti­fies my belief, but is beyond the depth of this arti­cle to dis­cuss), I believe in magic and not in sci­ence. And I can’t remem­ber what else I’m sup­posed to tell you here, so I’ll just tell you that fol­li­culi­tis turned out to be the name of an inflam­ma­tion of a fol­li­cle. Not _the_ fol­li­cle. _A_ fol­li­cle. A swelling of the bloody small dot any of my hair grows out of. That ridicu­lously lame. And I was hop­ing brain tumour. What ter­ri­ble poor luck I have.

So that inci­dent made me try to aban­don my stark belief in magic, and try and believe a bit in sci­ence too. I did recall how when­ever math worked/works, I felt happy and sur­prised. The VM tests, and I’m pretty sure the JEE, and every exam, actu­ally fits the Gauss­ian Curve (or Erlang dis­tri­b­u­tion, I don’t remember/know for sure). How cool. I still do. Math can be estab­lished by exper­i­ment. Espe­cially shit like prob­a­bil­ity. How far fetched bizarre, and unusual. Don’t you think?



Solving life (momentarily, and only in a narcissistic sense)

Every fail­ure in my life is my own fault. And I will change that.

My life is in my own hand.

Travel doesn’t seem to help, except pro­vide me with lots of waste­ful time. In-flight enter­tain­ment being the most banal of them all.
Solu­tion to my life:
(pre­cur­sor: I don’t want to leave it to a last moment deci­sion. :/ But that’s the best I’ve fig­ured out yet.)

DCE does seem bet­ter than B.Des.

Mer­its of B.des.:
I will learn stuff about design — Ps skills and things, which I will def­i­nitely use in the rest of my life; web design­ing; and will be involved in cool projects. None of them I will fail to do in my real life.
Demer­its — not a sci­ence degree. I lose out on other’s opin­ion, and pro­grammes which are sci­ence specific.

I feel so lame, because the answer just slipped out of my hand again.

Because apart from get­ting to be trained in math, the one thing I imag­ine would be tough to do myself, the only merit of dce is a sci­ence degree. And rare chances I even find any cool people. :(

Doing math is in my hands. Doing design in my hands (even more so).
Being in cool projects is in my hands, doing awe­some math is in my hands, and just being amaz­ing is my thing.

So what do I want out of col­lege?
I want a super­fi­cial degree. And courses.
The courses are sup­posed to help me do/learn math (or design, but the for­mer is tougher for me), in an orga­nized man­ner — one so I’m for­mally trained in it, two so I can claim to have course expe­ri­ence for fur­ther stud­ies.
Ooh, I also want to study semi­con­duc­tors and all.

And I want com­pany. But Uncol­lege says that not tough to find. I’m going to math­camp. I’ll find awe­some peo­ple where ever go. Because I am awesome.

So we’re join­ing DCE unless we get a sci­ence degree at an IIT. Basi­cally any­thing bet­ter. It seems I am in opti­mizedly worst case sce­nario in my life, where every­thing has to dan­gle down to last moment deici­sions.
But that’s cool.
This too shall pass. And we’ll always remain awesome.


The prequel to Goodbye JEE: Sucky Education systems

So, today I’ll tell you what the prob­lem with the edu­ca­tion sys­tem really is. Obvi­ously it’s not that many exams like the boards and the JEE stress the stu­dents. Please. If peo­ple can com­mit sui­cide after/due to fail­ing in the class X boards, you can do noth­ing to remove the stress of chil­dren. The stress is a prob­lem. But their cause is not the exams. Point one.

The aim of the life of a stu­dent, it seems, is to get marks in exams. My par­ents have actu­ally used almost exactly those words at times – “We have so many duties to ful­fill in our life. We ask you to just do one thing. Study and do well in your exams.” Right now, I find the pos­si­bil­ity of this state­ment ever hav­ing existed, humor­ously ludi­crous. But I’m fairly sure it was said to me. And I kind of accepted it. Kind of. In that I never really ended up get­ting marks (I prob­a­bly didn’t study either, but that’s very arguable and sub­jec­tive. What can you say for sure? I surely didn’t get marks (up to my par­ents’ stan­dards, that is. But I won’t argue about the sub­jec­tiv­ity of that. I shared their dis­ap­point­ment, so let’s accept those stan­dards as an absolute) And my mother def­i­nitely did say to me that not get­ting marks was a def­i­nite indi­ca­tion of not hav­ing stud­ied well enough). This might not be impressed upon every­body as explic­itly, but every stu­dent in school (at least ‘above’ a cer­tain level of… car­ing about… I don’t know… marks) thought that get­ting marks is not just an oblig­a­tion, it’s a duty. I don’t dis­agree, really. If you’re going to school, get­ting marks is a fair enough thing to choose as your job. For starters, that’s what every­body thinks ought to be your job. And sec­ondly, it makes you employ­able. Some­what. At least in the­ory, you can claim your marks, and either get a job directly (if you’re in some kind of a hurry) or you can claim your marks and get into a col­lege, and get some more marks there, and claim those, and either con­tinue to become a post grad­u­ate and get some more marks, and then get a job, or have spent an ade­quate amount of time hav­ing lost your mind, and go ahead and do a doc­tor­ate, and become a uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sor. (On a side note, my school’s head of depart­ment of math­e­mat­ics claimed to be a Dr. If she actu­ally got a doc­tor­ate in math, and ended up as a school teacher, I would imag­ine many pos­si­ble remarks about her per­for­mance, or the col­lege she got that from, but shortly put, God save human­ity.) So in an indi­rect, twisted man­ner, marks are mak­ing you employ­able. Yay, go exam­i­na­tions.
For 12 to 16 to 18 years of our life, our par­ents pay schools, to pre­pare us to be in a sta­tus where we can pay for our­selves. And even­tu­ally make kids of our own for whom we pay schools so they can get out of the schools to pay for them­selves. It’s a nice self per­pet­u­at­ing thing.
What hap­pens in this time span? We push off, for our­selves, the point of time where we’d be busy mak­ing our­selves sur­vive on our own capac­i­ties. In the­ory, we’re spend­ing more time to gen­er­ate a greater worth for when we get into hav­ing a job, we’ll be paid bet­ter. But rarely, if ever, can that really hap­pen in an edu­ca­tion sys­tem. Where can it hap­pen? In a place where you do stuff. Not school. Out­side of school. That place you’re delay­ing being in. That’s the place that’s going to deter­mine and build what­ever rel­e­vant fac­ulty you need/have to sur­vive there. Unless you want to be a school teacher/professor/something on those lines. Then, fol­low­ing school and col­lege makes some kind of sense. Though even there, I don’t think that’s the best way to be an accom­plished aca­d­e­mi­cian or pro­fes­sor or thing.

Going back to the self per­pet­u­at­ing process: It’s all nice, except that I believe the fun­da­men­tal prob­lem, is some­where in the start. And some­where before it as well. I don’t know why schools exist, and I don’t know why every­body col­lec­tively started believ­ing that one’s job should be to get marks.

/strikeout{I’ll tell what rea­son­ing I think is given. Schools were made to mass edu­cate chil­dren, with basic skills, so that they could all be said to have such and such knowl­edge, and have the basic apti­tude to be able to do this class of tasks. Because, some­body thought that _everybody_, should really know this stuff and that. Really. They can’t be worth any­thing if they don’t know this stuff! And then exams came out of the}

The ratio­nale behind school is some­thing on the lines of train­ing chil­dren with basic skills essen­tial to what­ever they may want to do in their lives. The point of exam­i­na­tions is to gauge how com­pe­tent in the same skill, the peo­ple man­aged to become, so that this mea­sure­ment can be used to var­ie­gate the value of employ­ing their skill in some­thing hope­fully rel­e­vant. Sadly, this sys­tem, if ever sen­si­ble for the exist­ing lay­out, is def­i­nitely not appro­pri­ate for today. There are few things that make you com­pe­tent, at prob­a­bly any point of time (in civ­i­liza­tion). Basic skills, I find it hard to imag­ine, were one of these essen­tials. Today, you do not need to have a basic skill level to be able to do things. You do not _need_ to know a pro­gram­ming lan­guage, to be an able pro­gram­mer (at least no in the algo­rith­mic prob­lem solv­ing capa­bil­ity.) You can always learn what­ever lan­guage you need to use, to solve a prob­lem, as and when you require it. You need to be able to solve the prob­lem. And you don’t need to know how to solve prob­lems, off textbooks.

Being asked a prob­lem in real­ity, is gen­er­ally some­body look­ing for an answer. Not some­body who knows the answer and is test­ing if you can tell him the same thing back. Because he did tell you that answer at a pre­vi­ous point of time.

In today’s world, school has no mean­ing. It is teach­ing noth­ing of any value, and is doing noth­ing except stuff­ing peo­ple with idi­otic prej­u­dices and opin­ions about what mat­ters (not about stuff that mat­ters. Fill with opin­ions mak­ing peo­ple believe that weird entirely irrel­e­vant stuff mat­ters. Media does a bet­ter job of that per­haps but school is one of the places we’re also con­di­tioned to believe in that the media is impor­tant and we ought to pay atten­tion to news). I mean, in India, peo­ple aren’t even glean­ing knowl­edge from the edu­ca­tion sys­tem. Peo­ple still believe in the left brain-right brain the­ory, and we’re still taught the dia­gram of taste buds on the tongue (last I checked, to say the least) – and it’s not like the books aren’t doing any­thing to dis­pel these myths, how­ever point­less know­ing them, or of their accu­racy, might be – more often than not our books teach these things.

So, hav­ing lost track of what I started with almost entirely, I’ll just say that again, and assume that point to be con­cluded. The aim of a student’s life hap­pens to have ended up being, obtain­ing marks. With almost no pur­pose­ful sub-aim as part of the edu­ca­tion sys­tem. To do any­thing bet­ter, you need to break out from the sys­tem. And you’re not doing any­thing a teacher, or the sys­tem expects you to be doing, or is prob­a­bly even remotely capa­ble of help­ing you do.

The sec­ond point, with regard to what the prob­lem is (hav­ing stress, and peo­ple think­ing exams are the cause), is that the stu­dents aren’t hav­ing fun. Now I could go on and on about how stu­dents could hav­ing fun. By doing some­thing that they want to, for starters. And being able to pur­sue it in whichever crazy direc­tion they want to go ahead with it. How­ever pur­pose­ful, or for the ran­dom sake of it, it may seem to be being done. Of course, there are a lot of rea­sons for why, doing that is not fea­si­ble. Teach­ers aren’t smart enough, might be one of the notice­able rea­sons, though only one which comes at the end. Of course there are other things. How can we call this school? School is sup­posed to be a painful expe­ri­ence by def­i­n­i­tion, right? It’s sup­posed to be all the pains we learn to man­age, so we can cope with doing th work in our elderly lives, doing things we don’t want to, have no pas­sion for, because that’s what school con­di­tioned us excel­lently for. Who has the right, to do what­ever they want to, huh? How could school drive this ridicu­lous notion ever? Of let­ting stu­dents have fun, and do what­ever they want to.

How would you test a process like mak­ing glass paint­ings, or com­pos­ing music, or design­ing logos for com­pa­nies and stuff, if that’s what some­body picked as their activ­ity of inter­est? I mean, at one loca­tion or another, in spe­cial­ist schools too, they do make a test­ing pro­ce­dure out of these things. I don’t think they do much to actu­ally make the per­son more excel­lent. I don’t think Cold­play, or Rah­man, reached the level of doing things that they do, because of any school exam­i­na­tion. They reached their lev­els, sim­ply by doing their thing. I don’t think they even went to any kind of music school. And I’m not say­ing school would’ve been bad, if it helped them get expo­sure to the tech­niques of play­ing instru­ments. It would’ve been bad if it imposed upon them a need to learn stuff they didn’t feel like, to a depth they thought unim­por­tant, with the aim of being able to pass the final exams.
Oh wait. It seems like I suc­cumbed to say­ing exams are all wrong too. So of course, the next log­i­cal deduc­tion should be, let’s make exams to be easy so peo­ple aren’t stressed with fac­ing them. Oh we’ll make them objec­tive too, so you can ask one or another kid around you. We’ll pre­tend we don’t want that, with pre­ten­tiously strict invig­i­la­tion and every­thing. Because we have money, and we like to spend it. So why not on teach­ers who have noth­ing in their lives except to sit in a class­room for 18 hours, 3 hours for six days in a span of 2 or 3 weeks, doing essen­tially noth­ing. I find it appalling that crea­tures like those exist at all. Couldn’t they earn more in that time, sim­ply by beg­ging on the streets? At least they’d not begin to die of that seden­tary and job­less lifestyle. That’s kind of what the board seems to lean towards. The exams becom­ing lame and easy, being the more impor­tant part, than the invig­i­la­tion.
No. The fix is not nec­es­sar­ily to remove exams. Or make them eas­ier. The aim, should be to make them: one, fun; and two, chal­leng­ing. Kids likes chal­lenges. Look at any kid and how he tries to lap up things you say are out of syl­labus, espe­cially in a topic he finds inter­est­ing. I liked math. If a teacher offered to teach some­thing out of syl­labus, I’d be far more inter­ested in that than any­thing else. And I’m pretty sure any­body who’s been inter­ested in any sub­ject, knows about that eager­ness. Don’t try and chal­lenge a kid wrt every­thing. Chal­lenge him in what he’s inter­ested in. I like math. Then don’t ask me to sit for exams apart from math. And the math exam that is, should not be a 3 hour stretch of repeat­ing rote tech­niques I’ve been trained to per­form. It should be a year-long work on a prob­lem, as tough as I can try to han­dle — or maybe tougher — and one in which I can col­lab­o­rate with every per­son I can find, in what­ever way I can think of. That’s how I under­stand real world prob­lems are faced. Maybe not with year-long time lines, but pretty much how. How much a kid pro­ceeds with this prob­lem set given to him, is a per­fectly valid way to gauge his com­pe­tency [so I believe, of course]. Sit­ting in an exam hall and attempt­ing ques­tions? Rarely, if ever.
When one fan­ta­sizes about such things, it is more than triv­ial to accept that it is almost impos­si­ble for a real world school to work like that. Among other rea­sons, because my struc­ture, I myself don’t think encom­passes every­body. Even if schools never wasted their time sup­press­ing the cre­ativ­ity of the stu­dents and desire to do what­ever they want to — I don’t think every per­son will be able to find a direc­tion. I don’t know how to account for them. If you set a lower bound on cool­ness: if you’re any lamer than the cur­rent edu­ca­tion sys­tem and you can lit­er­ally go kill your­self, that’s a sys­tem that works on good enough. What­ever we’ve done, is good enough. Let’s try and drive this need of good enough even lower into the ground. Let’s not ask the stu­dents to study for a JEE to get into an IIT, but study for an ISEET. In Seth Godin’s words, we are run­ning a race to the bot­tom. Where the least we expect out of stu­dents, amongst other things, are as worth­less as can be. When does this end? It ends for the very best, when schools (and all edu­ca­tion sys­tems) finally real­ize that they’re not really help­ing. It is almost com­pletely impos­si­ble for them to serve any real pur­pose.
So, what’s the point I’ve been dri­ving at? That peo­ple should real­ize schools aren’t impor­tant. They shouldn’t even exist. Peo­ple should under­stand, that learn­ing and expe­ri­ences are. And that’s what chil­dren should be con­di­tioned to love, to want to indulge in, all the time. Fun is fore­most. And we should be taught, from the day zero, to have fun. Given some guid­ance, on fun. But never restrained. Never told that the real life is sup­posed to be work, the very oppo­site of fun, and things like that.
And fol­low­ing up on that, school should be fun, and really worth it too.

//You may or may not be able to tell this post was writ­ten over numer­ous days of entirely dis­co­or­di­nated and bro­ken thought. If it doesn’t make sense, and/or appears totally incom­plete, you only have me to blame. You’re wel­come to point out any such things, if you’re in a short­age of other more rel­e­vant things to point out to me, in any case.