Monday, September 19, 2022

The Dream I fact-checked!

In a world where people create stories, start believing in it, and  then trouble other people who do not trust in their stories, one gets skeptical to even fact check their dream. 

So last night starting around 2:30 am, I had a dream which continued in the same context but different scenes till 6:30 am. 

In the dream, I had gotten a chance to visit some place in the United States (the dream context had Stanford University, but surprisingly I visit a home where one of my relatives stays). 

In the dream I talk to several people who mention the name London, as a railway station, from where I would reach the final destination within two hours. 

Fact check - London is in the UK, and a journey to Fayetteville from London is possible by air within two hours. Further, there is a place called the New London Railway station but that is in Connecticut. There is no station named New London near Stanford University. 

While I do not talk to my relatives in the dream, I visited a house which looked like typically Indian with an Indian squat toilet. However, the toilet was essentially covered, so I was unable to locate it (first dream break when I had to take a leak). 

Fact check: Yes, Indian squat toilets are there in the USA, according to a YouTube video from 2015.  

I, then visit certain houses in the place, and then find one which I enter. I find several apartments with Indian scripts and names with bright cane web wallpaper. Inside, I found several apartments with  owner's names written with Alta (Mahawar), in Devanagari and at some places in Tamil. Further, inside of the building, when I found a staircase, a resident told me that it was a fire escape. I went up the stairs only to find a vertical hole going upwards.

Fact check: Cane web wallpaper is actually available, and there are several Indian towns in the USA, known as Little India. Cane webs form a part of Gujarati architecture. Fire escapes are located outside the building and not inside. 

I was involved in several shenanigans with a few of my fellow IITKians whom I found staying in a student dorm. One of them was very familiar to me, because he stayed in the same hostel where I lived. 

Fact check: Yes IITKians stay in dorms to save money. In fact several Indian students do the same. 

My dream discontinued with a shock near the morning when I looked up and found arrows in the same building pointing to areas labelling them "Upper Castes" and "Lower castes". I found myself, in the dream, discussing this with two of  my colleagues from Aurangabad!  The labels were in English, Hindi and Marathi!

Fact check: Well I found some articles on the Internet talking about caste in the USA, but they were mostly about White and Non-white segregation.

The four kinds of people

This world has four kinds of people: The gullible, the reasonable, the indifferent and the conspirators. Out of these four, the indifferent and the gullible are the largest in number. On the contrary, the reasonable and the conspirators are smaller in number. 

However, it is the gullible people who suffer the most in this deal, the reasonable ones are merely backstabbed or outnumbered. 

Take for example, a subset of the complete world, India. The Biodiversity rich lands of the north-east were full with people who worshipped the forests and preserved them as sacred. Little conspiring tribes from the far fetched isles and islands arrived in this lands and taught the gullible villagers that worshipping forests was a 'blasphemy', with prescribed punishments such as Hellfire. They invited them to join their tribe and be prosperous and promised rewards in heaven, sometimes even enjoyable sex after death. The end result, sheer disrespect for nature and the local lands. The voices of the rational beings who were a face in the crowd were suppressed again and again, by literally insulting the literature and the knowledge that had passed down the generations. 

Time and again, history keeps on repeating itself at various levels, macro as well as micro. The generations of so called peace loving tribes keep on insulting the mothers and sons who died for the country, some even refusing to carry the banner of the country. And the mere gullible people of the land keep on supporting such tomfoolery, in the name of openness and intellectuality, because the balance is tilting in the favour of some important people who care only for themselves. 

It is important that the scientific temper and ability to reason be restored in this country. Not by telling the countrymen that we were the innovators in everything, but the educating the people. Educating them should involve telling the people, that if they do not quit their gullibility, the country or land which was once theirs, would belong in the future to conspirators.

On why one might need to pacify the unreasonable

Over the last few months, I have changed the way how I reach my place of work with respect to the path I take, almost independent of vehicular pollution. 

On a daily basis, I cross a house which has a pet dog. By its appearance, the dog looks ferocious. Furthermore, it barks and becomes violent on seeing me. 

Grunge Dog

I remember that I used to become really angry and grit my teeth whenever the dog barked. Sometimes, I would turn and show my teeth with an angry face  to the dog, and it would bark more and become even more violent. Perhaps, if there were no social media, and there weren't many people ready with mobile phones with HD cameras, I might have thrown stones or sticks at the dog. 

Five or six days ago, I did not show anger or my teeth. Instead I made "pchh, pchh" sounds with my mouth. Surprisingly, the dog became confused and eventually stopped barking! For the last five days, the dogs hasn't even paid attention to me, even if it looks at me. 

My anger regarding the matter has come down, obviously. It also dawned on me that the dog's barking was indeed unreasonable, in my perspective, and the language of pacification was also in my perspective. 

Suppose one were to translate this learning to the society of men. There are several unreasonable and irrational beings amongst us humans too. Do pacification techniques work on them? What is this in DNA terms? Dog genes?

Monday, March 21, 2022

Upcoming UGC Frameworks

It so appears that the University Grants Commission #UGC is coming up with several #frameworks for undergraduate programmes. While the #newspaper articles reveal that the UGC is likely to provide these frameworks for #public #evaluation and #feedback, it is #imperative to understand that the #principal #stakeholder of these are the #students, and any #omission of them in the policy would cause major #damages to the next #generation. In this regard, here are my two cents on what could also be #integrated into the frameworks (#suggestions)

(a) All undergraduate programmes should promote the spirit of #scientific #inquiry , #criticalthinking and #social #innovation, in the light of #human #values and #social #welfare.

(b) Undergraduate programmes in the domains of #Engineering and #Technology shall #reinforce the requirement of a #strong #foundation in the domains of #mathematics and #basic #sciences. Further, in order to deal with stochasticity/uncertainty in #engineering systems, #statistics shall be a must in the curriculum.

(c) The UGC shall provide a framework on who can recommend the #modifications in the contents of the syllabus or pedagogy. It has come to light that certain organisations are engaging non-achievers either in industry and / or academics to recommend modifications in the #curricular contents.

(d) The UGC shall make sure that the entire built-up floor-space, the #approved numbers of each of the #programmes, and the total numbers of the programmes are #commensurate with each other. In this regard, the UGC shall appoint a state-wise watchdog/watch committee which shall monitor all universities whether #public or #private.

(e) The UGC shall ensure that online #commercial #MOOC platforms are NOT used as a #partial or #full #academic #credit #transfer mechanisms, OR shall provide a list of approved and #pedagogically standardised MOOC platforms (like #NPTEL), with quality markers.

#university #pedagogy #universities #quality #highereducation #highered