Transcendental Move

"A Human being is not a passive wax upon which experiences and sensations write their absolute and yet whimsical will."-Immuneal Kan

Immuneal Kant has proved the above statement as below :
If there is no role of the mind, how could the same experience leave one man mediocre,and in a more active and tireless soul(i.e.brain) be raised to the light of wisdom and the beautiful logic of truth?
 Now, how a human mind learn?
 A storm of stimuli beats upon the nerve-endings which help us to experience the external world through our sense organs.But not all the stimuli/calls/messages are accepted. The mind SELECTS only those that can be moulded into the perception suited to the present purpose of the person (or that brings life threatening fear.) Let the purpose be addition,and the stimulus "two and three" brings the response "five" ; let the purpose be multiplication, and the same stimulus brings the response "six". What a person learns form his experience is decided by the purpose of the person's mind.
This agent called mind arranges sensations into perceptions by allocating it the sense of space and the sense of time. Just as a human mind perceive a thing by combing the sensations about the thing with the sense of time and space; the mind conceptualizes the perception by categorizing them into causes,unity, relation, necessity,etc.
This journey of sensation to perception to concept becomes knowledge.

So,said Kant, absolute knowledge is impossible, if all knowledge comes from sensation, from an independent external world which owes us no promise of regularity of behavior.

But, what if the knowledge is independent of sense experience ? Can it then be the absolute truth? The wisdom?
Indian Philosophy answers the last question : "yes." 
Go and read it !


What is reality ?

*INCEPTION- what a brilliant script. but, its at psychological level. MATRIX has touched the Philosophy n that also of across the world. for INCEPTION, a squeal is in the queue, i guess ! n apne ghar ka tilasm to hume pata bhi nahi shayad. AKS-by Rakesh Omprakash Mehra-the Rang De Basanti fame... he has touched this idea of unconscious. This idea is also in BHOOL BHOLAIYA by Priyadarshan. But,but...Inception goes much beyond them. Sidhdhartha fame Hermann Hesse has presented dreams as a tool to free the troubled part of unconscious mind in his novel The Steepen-wolf. Souls of S.Freud and Karl Jung must be clapping.


Teaching Science - II

The book 'Science, Ethics ans Society' has questioned about the curriculum of Science in the chapter 'Science Education System'.The book is a collection of essays on Science by Prof.Sudhir Pandya and published by Gujarat Science Academy.

That chapter helped me to construct my vague ideas about the curriculum of Science, evoked by Feynman.
Let them be expressed in the words of  Prof Sudhir : Teaching of properties of matter, one should be taken to quarks and anti-matter. A great deal of advanced physics can be taught without mathematics, without details of basic   Physics. It will provide motivation and zest for mathematics, for more details later. Teaching of lights should lead to lasers, to how we learn about stars. Projectile teaching can profit from examples of satellite orbits, rocket power, orbits to distant planets and so on. While talking of conductivity, one should be told about superconductivity and the fantastic world of super-low temperatures. Limitations on the particle trajectories and wave motions imposed by quantum mechanics can be described at a very early stage, as also the incredible adventure of Mr. Tompkins in the relativistic world. All physics teachers can profit from Feynman course.

Feynman has echoed same thoughts in his speech : http://www.fotuva.org/feynman/what_is_science.html

Prof Pandya has suggested a new way for Science practices : I wish to plead to abolish many small routine mechanical experiments and give the students a few long experiments which will exercise his skills and provide him with a challenge. I believe that a student would profit more if asked to grind a lens or mirror himself then study its properties and defects-let him take several weeks to do this-rather than he perform many routine experiments in optics.(this example suits for higher education. but, at primary, project can be assigned that requires relatively long time observations, or making models.)

Much is talked n said about HOW to teach and still there is very little improvement. Over to Prof. Pandya with some edits : The class demonstration plays a very important role. They are most valuable tool in the hands of competent and innovative teachers to inspire and excite the fertile mind of the student. Today this art is almost dead. I would plead for a revival. No class room teaching is complete without a live demonstration.

Prof Pandya has coined an important issue regarding the quality of Education. He wrote :A major hurdle in Education is, in my opinion, that it has been too democratic. What I mean is that instead of raising our standards of excellence progressively, we have created to the needs of the lowest class of students. Our concern has been focussed towards these students who fail, rather than those who get first class and distinction. Examinations are arranged to pass the maximum number of students, the courses are arranges do that they can be taught easily in the minimum number of hours that the worst students in the class are willing to devote. . . To improve the quality of Education, we need to develop a system to identify and collect those with special gifts, those who have specific talent and excellence and then develop for them a special course.

(see seven natural wonders at .http://forum.globaltimes.cn/forum/showthread.php?t=5274)


Teaching Science

Let me start the topic with the words of Dr Fenyman : In a field which is so complicated [as education] that true science is not yet able to get anywhere, we have to rely on a kind of old-fashioned wisdom, a kind of definite straightforwardness. I am trying to inspire the teacher at the bottom to have some hope and some self-confidence in common sense and natural intelligence. The experts who are leading you may be wrong.

We all know how science is taught these days. Many good schools have very good laboratories and they do give freedom to the students to do experiments, note down their observations n so on. But, what if the curriculum itself is on the wrong track?

Our science curriculum is planned this way- first teach the students the classical physics up to under graduate level, even up to graduate level. if the student survives this, then take him to the mystery of science or to the quantum physics or to the cosmology.

Well, classical physics deals with the formulas and definitions of gravity, mass, speed, types of matter and maths formulas for each of them. All things are divided in parts and it is assumed that it will be easy for a child to learn then the whole. There is physics, chemistry and biology.
But where is the wonder?  Wonder, which is the first criteria for inquiry, learning ! And it is a proven fact that a human brain understands a concept better when it comes with a whole package. For example, it is easier to understand ' an apple' then 'a'. 

This formula of  divide n teach is good for teaching but not good for education.
It breaks up the human being in parts, it kills the wonder for mystery.
We r all evolved from a cell, or from a nonliving atom. And so, everything is interrelated with each other. So , why not to start Science teaching by interrelated natural mysteries ?

Though, I do not have any practical suggestion about the curriculum outline, the idea appeals me. Here is one more quote form John Gribbin(author of Schrodinger's Kittens) : There is a deep flaw in the whole way in which Science is taught, by recapitulating the work of the great scientists from Galilio to the present day. The right way to teach Science is to start out with exciting new ideas,things like Quantum Physics and Black Holes.,building on the physical principals and not worrying too much too soon about the math subtleties. Those children who don't want a career in Science will at least go away with some idea of what the excitement is all about, and those who do want a career in Science will be strongly motivated to learn Maths when it becomes necessary.  One of my classmate,JG,got turned on to science in just this way,by reading books that were allegedly too advanced for him and went way beyond the school curriculum,but which gave s feel for the mystery and excitement of Quantum Physics and Cosmology even where the equations were at that time unintelligible to him.


What issue we choose n what stand we take on that reflects our self concept. when one chooses to work for issues like river on which the whole civilization has evolved n for climate change, it declares that the person is concerned for the harmonious evolution n sees one self as an integral part of the universe. Bravo to all efforts.