Learning to Self-Learn:

Learning to self-learn: L2SL

The NEP 2020 at para 4.6 states that its thrust will be to move the education system towards real understanding and learning how to learn – and away from the culture of rote learning. Its goal will be to create holistic and well-rounded individuals equipped with key 21st-century skills. Self-Learning is perhaps the most important 21st Century Skill. Once a person has ‘learnt how to learn’ the person is on the way to become a self- learner. Robert Frost, the famous poet and Professor said “ I am not a teacher, I am an awakener”. And Richard Feynman in his famous “ Lectures on Physics” quoted Edward Gibbons ‘ and the power of instruction is of little efficacy except in those fortunate dispositions, where it is almost superfluous’.

This course begins with drawing attention to the significance of self-learning, describes the attributes of successful self-learners, illustrates how technology in general, and AI in particular can help in making a better self-learner, and concludes with sharing the techniques ( or you may call them the toolkit) for becoming a successful self-learner.

The methodology:

This is a one month ( 4 weeks) program with approximately one hour sessions from Monday to Friday every week, a total of 20 sessions. There are suggestions for activities to be carried out by the learners during each of the four weeks. The weekends are for reflection and practicing the principles, practices and techniques shared during the week. Guidance is also provided for weekend activities for three weekends. The fourth weekend may be used to peruse additional resources, and develop a personal learning plan and “to learn” lists for the future.

Course access and delivery process:

1. A WHATSAPP group will be created for each edition of the program. The group formation is not contingent on a minimum number being enrolled. The program will be delivered, even if there is only one participant, enrolled, for a particular week.

2. At a time that will be announced in the WhatsApp group, I will be posting content. The posts may consist of of text, images of PowerPoint slides, my audios, videos or curated videos.

3. If any course participant has a query, question or observation, and if it concerns the whole group, (s)he may raise it, instantly, within the Group.

4. However, if it is meant as a message to the Course Administrator only, please prefer sending a direct message, rather than posting it in the group.

5. If I can make a quick, short and effective response, without losing the thread of the conversation, I will respond immediately, else I will pool such responses and make a special additional post.

6. All the posts and conversations (including audio) will remain with you until you consciously and deliberately delete them. This is the greatest advantage of this method.

Program structure:

Week 1: Self-learning: the most important 21st Century skill?

L2SL1: Drivers of self-learning

L2SL2: Examples of well known self-learners

L2SL3: Mindsets and other barriers to self-learning

L2SL4: Self-learning as a vaccine against ‘uselessness’

L2SL5: Range : Why generalists succeed ? David Epstein

Week 2: Attributes of a successful self-learner

L2SL6: Motivation

L2SL7: Overcoming Procrastination and efficient time-management L2SL8: Angela Duckworth: Grit: Focus, perseverance and persistence 

L2SL9: Tony Buzan’s Mind-mapping to enhance understanding

L2SL10: Paul Tough : How children succeed? Habits fostering success

Week 3: Techniques to become a better self-learner

L2SL11: A stepwise approach to self-learning and The Feynman technique to learn anything

L2SL12: Scott Young : Ultralearning

Third Weekend

L2SL13: Switching between social learning and individual learning

L2SL14: Guy Claxton: Building Learning Power

L2SL15: Learning while asleep

Week 4: The 21st Century Learner’s Toolkit

L2SL16: Learning from WhatsApp, other mobile apps, Internet and MOOCs

L2SL17: Speech to text, and Text to Speech

L2SL18: Using Automatic Machine Translation

L2SL19: Duolingo for language learning : AI powered apps for learning

L2SL20: Learning Prescriptions

• Fresh batches of this 4 week program begin on the first Monday of every month. The next begins on Monday 1st November 2021. 

• In order to enroll for the Programme, please send a WhatsApp message, with

the following text: ‘L2SL’ to +91 98100 73724.

• Please do mention your name and WhatsApp mobile number on which you would like to pursue the programme through WhatsApp

• You will be included in the cohort beginning from the nearest Monday to your request date.

• The Programme Fee of Rs. 5000/– (Rupees Five thousand only) may be remitted by PayTM to mobile number 9810073724 or deposited into the following Bank account:

• Name: Madan Mohan Pant

• HDFC Bank Account No. : 26451000000301*

• *(The account number is 26451 followed by six zeroes followed by 301)

• IFSC: HDFC0002645

• Address: HDFC Bank, Unitech Cyber Park, Sector 39, Gurgaon

• Should you desire to know more, please WhatsApp, your query to :

• Prof. M. M. Pant at +91 98100 73724

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UberSmart Learning Hour

UberSmart Learning Hour: 

The prevailing model of education is very old, and doesn’t adequately meet the needs of the future. In fact, Anthony Seldon in his book “ The fourth education revolution” states that there have been only three education revolutions in the last three to five million years. And the third education revolution happened about 400 years ago, with the arrival of the printing press. 

There is vast amount of research demonstrating the ineffectiveness of lectures, but most of present day education is still centred around lectures. Innovations such as ‘ flipped learning’ have greatly improved learning outcomes. The learning pyramid ( https://www.educationcorner.com/the-learning-pyramid.html) suggests that “Lecture” is one of the most ineffective methods for learning and retaining information. Lecture is a passive form of learning where you simply sit back and listen to information being spoon fed to you by your teacher or professor. Guy Claxton draws attention to the unintended consequence of present day schooling to produce victims of ‘taughtitis’ (  https://youtu.be/JxWybvns1jg ). It is therefore of great importance that we help develop active learners. 

Of the various possibilities for education in the third decade of the 21st Century, before teachers are replaced with AI, I have created a model  for a ‘niche’ that is aspirational,for those who hope to prosper, thrive and flourish in the coming age of Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Technologies, when the majority is condemned to perish,becoming part of the “ useless class” identified by Yuval Noah Harari (https://youtu.be/OMDlfNWM1fA). 

The UberSmart Learning Hour is an attempt to develop active learners, who can then evolve to self-directed lifelong learners. The futurist Thomas Frey says “ Over the coming decades, if we continue to insert a teacher between us and everything we need to learn, we cannot possibly learn fast enough to meet the demands of the future.”

The UberSmart Learning Hour comprises 4 familiar elements, to make it more effective than the standard lecture. The first is a 20 minute explainer talk by the faculty, similar to a TED talk, delivered through WhatsApp. This is followed by about 30 minutes of Q&A by the learning cohort. Finally a 10 minute wrap up by the faculty based on the interaction that happened. The fourth element is a set of further readings and links to audio and video resources to pursue further.

The UberSmart Learning Hour will be observed around dinner time from 8pm to 9pm, on Monday to Friday, has at present 10 topics which are delivered according to the following schedule:

Monday (1st and 3rd week of the month)  : Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence

Tuesday (1st and 3rd week of the month) : Avoiding Natural Stupidity

Wednesday (1st and 3rd week of the month) : Re-Program your mind

Thursday (1st and 3rd week of the month) : Living a long fulfilling life

Friday (1st and 3rd week of the month) :  Quantumgency Planning  ( Contingency Planning for a Quantum World)

Monday (2nd and 4th week of the month): Reading Effectively

Tuesday (2nd and 4th week of the month): Using Artificial Intelligence to improve your English

Wednesday (2nd and 4th week of the month): What is worth learning?

Thursday (2nd and 4th week of the month): Dispositions for Success

Friday (2nd and 4th week of the month): Exploring human consciousness 

In addition to this “menu” of topics, if a learner is curious about anything else such as time crystals, meta verse, metallic hydrogen or anything else, that you would like someone to ‘explain’ to you, just go ahead and make a request to Prof MM Pant by sending a WhatsApp message at +919810073724. Active and regular participation in these UberSmart Learning Hour( USLH) is a sensible “ Quantumgency Planning”, Contingency Planning for the age of Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Technologies. 

Methodology : 

Every evening there is a USLH, according to the schedule given earlier. 

You can begin by sending a WhatsApp message to +91 9810073724 indicating the topic of the session and the day/ date when you would like to join. 

Please do mention your name and WhatsApp contact information on which you would like to participate in the session through WhatsApp

The participation fee for each session is Rs. 500/– (Rupees Five Hundred-only) may be remitted by PayTM to mobile number 9810073724 or deposited into the following Bank account:

Name: Madan Mohan Pant

HDFC Bank Account No. : 26451000000301*

*(The account number is 26451 followed by six zeroes followed by 301)

IFSC: HDFC0002645

Address: HDFC Bank, Unitech Cyber Park, Sector 39, Gurgaon

Should you desire to know more, please WhatsApp, your query to :

 Prof. M. M. Pant  at +91 98100 73724

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Quantum Readiness:


Towards a Quantum Ready workforce: 

Young people, still in School have a common interest in pursuing careers and studies that will help them have a good future. The answer today is the old Boy Scouts motto “ Be prepared” followed by the words “for a Quantum World”.

Ever since Richard Feynman first theorized a practical Quantum Computer in 1982, the field has been marked by a wide diversity of opinions – on hardware approaches, scientific theory, the best path to commercialization and more. But one issue has everyone united: There’s a huge shortage of quantum computing talent.

A trained, well-rounded quantum workforce is key to realizing the full practical value of quantum computing.There isn’t a direct pipeline from universities, and there’s fierce competition for the limited talent that is available. Currently, most quantum scientists are from other related fields, despite the highly specialized tasks they perform on the job, such as designing quantum computer shielding systems or building quantum processors.

To continue expanding the quantum ecosystem, we need to grow the number of quantum-literate experts — now. Stakeholders in governments, universities and private companies – have to step up by investing in the budding quantum workforce and encouraging their peers to do the same. We’re entering an increasingly specialized economy, particularly in the quantum industry, and that makes identifying and developing talent tough. The good news is that there are a few fixes we can make to grow the quantum talent pool.

Quantum education has to be approach-agnostic if we want to realize the full potential of the technology. There are many viable theoretical approaches to quantum computing, but going all-in on one method inhibits innovation. Look at the landscape today. IBM is pursuing gate model. Microsoft is going after topological qubits ( which received a slight setback recently). D-wave has built an annealing quantum computer. Each holds its promises and challenges, and each approach requires talent.

Quantum computing holds tremendous business opportunities and will benefit virtually every part of the economy. Many of these areas are critical to act on now, like energy distribution, climate change and drug discovery. Quantum computing’s power to impact nearly every facet of society means that broad investment in our workforce is crucial.

We are in the midst of 2 great revolutions: the 4th Industrial Revolution and the 4th Education Revolution: they have to be responded to coherently and concurrently. 

Alvin Toffler had exhorted us to pursue learning, unlearning and re-learning. Understanding the Quantum World is a good project to pursue with this in mind.

21st Century educators, especially in the 21st year of the 21st Century must be enthusiastic lifelong learners who share and spread their enthusiasm for lifelong learning. 

The NEP 2020 emphasises learning how to learn and lifelong learning…. learning about the Quantum World is a good way of doing this. 

Phrases like Quantum Jump are part of everyday vocabulary now. On 12th May 2020, the PM said “ the country needs an economy that brings quantum jump, not incremental change.”

Earlier in the budget in February 2020, the FM made an allocation of  Rs 8000 crores for a National Mission on Quantum Technologies.

So if you want to benefit from the opportunities in this field for your students, children or grandchildren, you must start to appreciate the magic of the Quantum World. Watch this video : The trillion dollar Quantum gold rush : https://youtu.be/wKN8wBl4X1M

Quantum technologies will impact, not just a few, but like the Internet have a universal effect. China has already made progress with the Quantum Internet. 

To have a glimpse of what the future has in store, please watch this webinar (1 hour 40 minutes). There are some glitches during the first 3 minutes of the video. But the webinar on Quantum Readiness (1 hour 40 minutes)  : https://youtu.be/U5XZL5F0vwE  is very informative and timely. 

To know more and to pursue a one month awareness course on Quantum Technologies visit : https://mmpant.com/qt4fr/

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FPYC: For parents of Young Children:

FPYC: For young parents

I have often been asked to describe what I do. Although broadly speaking my interest is educating for future success, to make it a little intriguing, I would say that I work in the area of FMGC products. Since most people are familiar with the jargon of the business world, many would promptly respond “ Sir, do you mean FMCG products?”

I would explain that I use FMGC as an acronym for “ For My Grand Children”. Because I am concerned with being ready for the world of 2030s and beyond. As I thought over it, I realised that my thoughts would be helpful to several other parents of young children, who realise that this is a time of very rapid changes, and the formal system is ill-equipped to deal with future educational readiness of the youth. So it seems that an effective approach may be to help parents of young children to oversee the cognitive development trajectories of their children, each with its unique talent and potential.

As I have been using WhatsApp for several years for lifelong learning, I have formed a WhatsApp group for this purpose, labelled FPYC: For parents of young children. Or FPYC: For Young Parents, to fit into the WhatsApp restrictions for naming groups. 

This is a group for informed and enlightened parenting of young children focussed on the cognitive development of young children, typically below 10 years, to be ready for the age of Artificial Intelligence and to thrive prosper and flourish in it. Their future is a world very different from that in which their parents or grandparents might have grown up. There is a critical need for curated resources such as books, videos, audios & articles for and from these young parents to take decisions affecting their children’s future, so that they don’t become one of the ‘useless class’ predicted by Yuval Noah Harari. The antidote to becoming a part of the useless class is to become invaluable, the Ubermensch as espoused by Frederich Nietzsche . And it is indeed possible to Become invaluable , not useless : https://mmpant.com/binu/

At a recent event, I dared to predict that in the foreseeable future, India will be the education hub for the world, and the best education and learning destination.

Some distinguished educators expressed their apprehension that I had perhaps gone ‘too far’ in my imagination, given the present ‘reality’ of Indian education, especially when compared to US, UK, Finland, Estonia and other digitally advanced countries of the world.

We had Chautala undergo a 10 year prison sentence for teacher recruitment scam, the Vyapam scam, and lots of more evidence of the pitiable state of Indian education.

In spite of being fully aware of this, I continue to hold my view like Galilieo said ‘ e pur si mouve’ even though he was sentenced to death. And Socrates was asked to drink hemlock as he was accused of ‘corrupting the youth’.

Coming back to the point, my first thought is that education is not the ‘right’ of the Government and it has adversely taken over education, and in due course educators will reclaim learning from the bureaucrats and politicians, who are symbols of the state power. The state does not create ‘knowledge’ nor does it own the intellectual property rights on ‘knowledge’ but claims the sovereign right to education delivery.

Philosophers, thinkers, Scientists and men of letters all created the common body of knowledge for which the ‘State’ usurps the right to disseminate and certify competence, without any evidence of competence, solely by the coercive force of ‘law’.

We will very soon realise that learning is for the learner, and is mutually created by the teacher and learner and the State has no role in it.

As an example, when Bill Gates and Paul Simon founded Microsoft in 1975, could they have imagined that in less than 40 years, it’s CEO would be a person educated in India ( and not in the famed IITs, but an enterprise promoted by a private organisation). Incidentally Madan Mohan Malaviya who was conferred the Bharata Ratna recently, was primarily for the first private initiative in creating an Indian University.

So in the refrain of Karl Marx who exhorted the workers of the world to unite, I have the dream ( Martin Luther King) of educators of the world ( or at least this country to unite).

In fact, Science the most glorious of human achievement flourishes because it is a community of Scientists that drives it, and not bureaucrats and politicians ( except for a brief episode of Lysenko in the Soviet Union).

So once this happens, what are the drivers of success? The future of education is technology delivered, AI empowered in the English language and developing higher order cognitive skills. And Indians have leadership in all the above elements.

And I always like to be inspired by two very eminent women in confirming my beliefs.

One is Elinor Ostrom who won the 2009 Nobel Prize in economics for demonstrating that unlike Garret Hardin’s tragedy of the commons, the resources held in commons are better managed by the community itself than either by the Government or the private corporate. We are the learning community.

The other is Margaret Mead, the well known anthropologist who said ” never doubt that a few committed and passionate people can change the world. Indeed this is the way it has always been.”

If you would like to be a part of this community, please use the following  link to join the WhatsApp group: 

https://chat.whatsapp.com/CgQgkAcKoxjG20dOZHD7tT

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RPYM: Re-programming your mind :Negotiating an unknown and uncertain future.

RPYM: Re-programming your mind : Negotiating an unknown and uncertain future: 

I have been offering course programs and seminars through WhatsApp for sometime and a few thousand persons have experienced this method of learning and appreciated its benefits. 

But a large number of people have had their first experience of remote learning through Zoom or it’s alternatives simulating a lecture. Those familiar with the concept of learning pyramid (  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_pyramid ) are aware of the low effectiveness of the lecture mode. Synchronous online lecture without supporting tools is even less effective. It is only an AI powered learning app, like Duolingo for example that is a really effective. 

But WhatsApp with its a-synchronous possibilities permitting both social ( group) learning as well as individualised personalised learning features provides a very effective learning experience. 

This session priced nominally to encourage ‘impulse’ learning is of use to almost everyone, because it helps address the larger more universal  issue of readiness for the future. Participants will also receive an electronic document with links to more resources. 

It is undisputed that we are living in very rapidly changing times. One visible thing is the rapid advances in Artificial Intelligence from the Dartmouth Conference in 1956 where the technology first got its name to the incredible advances in the last 2 decades and amazing predictions for the coming decade. 

And the other wave is of Quantum technologies which began with Richard Feynman’s remark in 1981  suggesting that because the world is really ‘quantum’ in nature, a Quantum Computer will be needed to solve the really challenging problems, to the achievement of Quantum Supremacy in October 2019 and the rapid developments of various aspects of Quantum Technologies. 

Alvin Toffler  had anticipated  the trends of exponential growth and 

wrote ( in Future Shock page 415) that “ by instructing students how to learn,unlearn and re-learn, a powerful new dimension can be added to education”.  

VUCA is an acronym – first used in 1987, to describe the more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous multilateral world. More frequent use of the term “VUCA” began from 2002, with recognition of the importance of digitalisation and the Internet. There has been a consequential rush for learning programming and coding, even for the very young. But more important is the need to re-program the mind. 

This WhatsApp session begins with emphasising optimism. 

The most essential element for progress is optimism. The view that everything around us can be improved. Even a 1% improvement every day : https://youtu.be/mNeXuCYiE0U will lead with mathematical certainty to a huge improvement given enough time. 

It then touches upon The habits of effective people. Dispositions of unsuccessful people; Building Learning Power: L2SL; Self-improvement through self-learning; Preparing for a hundred year life. No longer learn, earn and return;Managing information overload : The Baloney detection kit : Karl Sagan; First Principles used by Elon Musk and finally Being responsible for yourself 

Enrolment and fee payment: 

  • Participants can join this session on any day that suits them, on or after October 11th 2021. I will be making my posts every evening between 9pm and 10pm. But you can access them anytime that suits you. 
  • As the course is being delivered through WhatsApp the enrolment process is simply that of sending a WhatsApp message with “ RPYM”  to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724
  • The fee for participating in this WhatsApp session is Rs 100/- ,and can be easily remitted through PayTM to MM Pant ( mobile number : +919810073724).
  • For those who would rather pay into a Bank account, the relevant information is : 
  • Madan Mohan Pant
  • HDFC Bank, Unitech Cyber Park, Sector 39, Gurgaon 

        A/c 26451000000301

        HDFC0002645

  • (The account number is 26451 followed by six zeroes followed by 301)

To know more, contact Prof. MM Pant by sending him a WhatsApp message at : +919810073724

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My WhatsApp Courses:

My pool of Whatsapp delivered courses : 

The NEP 2020 at para 4.4 has emphasised the criticality of “ learning to learn”, in the following words: 4.4. The key overall thrust of curriculum and pedagogy reform across all stages will be to move the education system towards real understanding and towards learning how to learn – and away from the culture of rote learning as is largely present today. 

It has also mentioned “ scientific temper” in perhaps 5 places. 

Once learners have become aware of the techniques of self-learning, and have acquired the habits and dispositions of successful learners, they need not pursue any further courses, but can construct their own personalised learning strategies, curricula and learning pathways  from the vast amount of free and paid knowledge resources available from a variety of sources. 

Thomas Frey of the Da Vinci Institute emphasises the criticality of self-learning in the following words “Over the coming decades, if we continue to insert a teacher between us and everything we need to learn, we cannot possibly learn fast enough to meet the demands of the future.”

Towards this goal, of ‘future readiness’ I have developed and offer five monthlong courses, and four weeklong courses that are in a “ Guided Self-Learning” mode. 

The Covid 19 pandemic had established remote learning as a means of learning. While some may quibble about its effectiveness in imparting traditional ( read obsolete and irrelevant) knowledge, there is no doubt that it is the only method to be future ready and abreast of emerging technologies and skills. A very valuable feature of these courses is the provision of a curated list of a number of very useful resources on the subject. 

Monthlong Courses:

1:“L2SL: Learning to Self-Learn”  is a monthlong course for all learners and it’s purpose is to help everyone become a better self-learner. 

This course begins with drawing attention to the significance of self-learning, describes the attributes of successful self-learners, and explains the techniques  for becoming a successful self-learner. It concludes with sharing how technology in general, and AI in particular can help in making anyone a better self-learner. 

For more: https://mmpant.com/l2sl/

2:“ AIFSE: AI fluent SmartEducator: “ is for all educators from School to higher education, to help them transform themselves from the present role of a teacher who transacts a prescribed syllabus to prepare its learners for specific examinations ( a role that will disappear soon) to become a cognitive scientist, over a reasonable period by self-learning AI, Data Science and Cognitive Science. For more: https://mmpant.com/aifse/

3: QT4FR: Quantum Technologies for future readiness

Quantum computing has evolved from science fiction to foreseeable reality within our lifetime. From Google to IBM, China to the U.S. — everyone everywhere seems fixated on realizing the power of quantum computing which is  the number one technology today:see the video : https://youtu.be/wKN8wBl4X1M

As preparation for the future, an awareness of the importance and significance of Quantum Technologies will be essential. I have created what I call a “ Learning Ramp” for Quantum Technologies.

Quantum physics is also a gateway to a lifelong love of science!

For more : https://mmpant.com/qt4fr/

4: BINU: Becoming Invaluable , not Useless

There are several reports that suggest widespread job losses for educated workers and professionals. CGP Grey had created a 15 minute video, about 6 years ago ( over 14 million views) with the title “ Humans  need not apply”, https://youtu.be/7Pq-S557XQU In the year 2017 Yuval Noah Harari in a 4 minute video announced the arrival of the “useless class”. https://youtu.be/OMDlfNWM1fA by the year 2050. People who are not just unemployed, but unemployable. 

The WEF in its January 2020 meeting estimated that about a billion people have to be reskilled by the year 2030. The Davos agenda 2021  is explained in a 30 minute video https://youtu.be/MK3TsnVaSEk.

The key to prospering, flourishing and thriving in the future will be to continuously enhance your value and become the most ‘invaluable’ person in your niche. A perfect mix of charm and grace is not what makes people invaluable. Empathy, proactivity, self-learning and an attitude of gratitude is what will make you the person no one can let go.

For more: https://mmpant.com/binu/

5: TFOB: The Foundations of Biology

Biology is the science of life. Its name is derived from the Greek words “bios” (life) and “logos” (study). Biologists study the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution and distribution of living organisms. The customary introduction of fundamental biological entities such as individual organisms, cells, genes, catalysts and motors remains largely descriptive; constructive approaches involving deductive reasoning appear, in comparison , almost absent. As a consequence, both the logical content and principles of biology need to be reconsidered. This new monthlong introductory course attempts to  describe the foundations of biology. The foundations of biology are built in terms of elements, logic and principles, using both the language and the general methods employed in other disciplines. This approach assumes the existence of a certain unity of human knowledge that transcends discipline boundaries. 

All the branches of biology can be unified within a framework of five basic understandings about living things. Studying the details of these five ideas provides the endless fascination of biological research:

For more : https://mmpant.com/tfob/

Weeklong Courses: 

6: AI4English : Using AI to learn/improve your English 

For many people, not only in India, but in other parts of the world, English is a second language. But it is a very important and useful language. 

While computer languages have changed in their popularity over the last 55 years : https://youtu.be/YqxeLodyyqA, in human languages the usage of English continues to increase. 

Until the advent and proliferation of Artificial Intelligence and mobile Apps powered with Artificial Intelligence, the learning of English as a second language was not only quite expensive, but not readily accessible, and took a lot of time.

But in the last few years, this has changed rapidly and it is much more feasible not only to acquire a working knowledge of English, but continually improve it. Regular use of a language is important in acquiring fluency in it. Athletes do regular training. Musicians train. Performers train. To be proficient in a language ( human or computer) one must practice the skills regularly. ‘Use it or lose it’ is the law of nature. 

To spread awareness of these new tools and techniques, I have created a special Weeklong WhatsApp delivered course that covers : Why English? Challenges in learning English; AI powered tools to learn English; Strategies and techniques for better English and Benchmarking your English. For more : https://mmpant.com/ai4english/

7: THYL: The Hundred Year Life

The life-spans and life expectancy at birth have been continuously increasing over the last decades, creating new unforeseen and important changes in the social and economic fabric of society as well as personal challenges for those with the blessings of a ‘long life’. 

But during the last 3 years, in the US there has been a slight drop in this trend. It can be dismissed as insignificant or interpreted to suggest that leading a long life is not enough. Humans want to lead a meaningful life as well. 

Japan on the other hand has a large number of happy persons who have found their Ikigai and are living to be 100 and beyond ( many in Okinawa). 

The psychologist Karl Jung was perhaps the first one to suggest that one cannot lead the second half of life on the principles applicable to its first half and lamented the lack of a ‘ School for the second half of life’.

This program attempts to fill that need in part, and shares the tasks that Jung recommended for the 2nd half of life. 

For more : https://mmpant.com/thyl/

8: EHC: Exploring human consciousness 

Consciousness is often described as the mind’s subjective experience. Even in the 1970s and 1980s, as cognitive science became established, consciousness remained a controversial topic among scientists, who openly questioned whether it was a valid area of scientific investigation. Early in his career, molecular biologist and Nobel laureate Francis Crick wanted to study consciousness, but instead chose to work on the more tangible mysteries of DNA. 

Scientists have also started to test ways of detecting consciousness without the need to give people verbal instructions. As scientists have become more adept at detecting consciousness, they have begun to determine which brain regions and circuits are most important. But there is still much debate about what constitutes consciousness in neural terms, with particular disagreement over which brain processes and regions matter most.

Since at least the nineteenth century, scientists have known that the cerebral cortex is important for consciousness. Fresh evidence has highlighted a posterior-cortical ‘hot zone’ that is responsible for sensory experiences. It has become increasingly clear, however, that consciousness is not confined to only one region of the brain. Plenty of unknowns remain. For more : https://mmpant.com/ehc/

9: TMIA: The meaning of it all

The name of this weeklong course has been taken from the title of a book by Richard Feynman “ The meaning of it all” which comprises the texts of three lectures by him. 

Socrates had said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Steven Weinberg’s statement on the second-to-last page of his first popular book, “The First Three Minutes”, he concludes after sharing the story of how our universe came into being with the big bang some 13.8 billion years ago, and how it may end untold billions of years in the future, he concludes that whatever the universe is about, it sure as heck isn’t about us. “The more the universe seems comprehensible,” he wrote, “the more it also seems pointless.”

Religion has been very successful in creating a meaning for this pointless universe. But Nietzsche proclaimed in 1882 that ‘ God is Dead’. Richard Dawkins referred to religion as delusion. Dawkins argued that religious faith is “persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence”, and thus delusional. Steven Pinker commented on the dangers of evangelical religious belief in the coronavirus era. Writing on Facebook, he said:  “Belief in an afterlife is a malignant delusion, since it devalues actual lives and discourages action that would make them longer, safer, and happier.” We begin with Socrates exhortation that an unexamined life is not worth living. Then deliberate upon Steven Weinberg’s view of a comprehensible but pointless universe. We explore how religions have offered guidance on how to live. We also consider Julian Huxley’s Religion without Revelation, Nietzsche’s ‘God is dead’ and Richard Dawkins ‘God delusion’. We end with exploring the way ahead with a rationalist approach. 

For more : https://mmpant.com/tmia/

To know more about any of these courses, feel free to send a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724 after going through the information provided at the link given here. 

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My Social Media presence:


My social media presence:

I had been trying out various social media platforms from time to time. From the now forgotten Friendster, Orkut and MySpace…… to the present day Instagram and Clubhouse. In July 2012, when I turned 65, I opted out of all except Twitter and WhatsApp, in a sort of “ digital vanaprastha”. 

I created and ran several Whstsapp courses on a variety of topics. But in the last two years, I was pushed again into the cyber-world as moving around in the corona affected world was not advised for persons of advanced age and co-morbidities. As I now turn 75, I am once again re-visiting my personal social media policy. In the past I used to post occasionally on a few social media platforms. 

From January 2022, I will keep a schedule of regular posting on social media: 

1: Tweeting every day: from Monday to Friday, at around 8am. My Twitter handle is @mmpant

2: Blog on every Sunday at around 8am at mmpant.com

3: Post the text of the same blog on Facebook and LinkedIn 

4: No Instagram, or any other social media platform. 

During the transition months from October to December …in preparation for this, I will Tweet every week on Friday, at around 8am. And blog every month : On the second Sunday of every month, around the same time. 

My blogs and tweets will be on matters educational, in the broad sense of enhanced cognitive development with the purpose of re-programming your mind. The problem with traditional education is a focus on lower level cognitive activities, with the result that we are creating millions of people, who have a biological brain, but don’t have the ability to use it; somewhat like birds who have wings, but can’t fly….like the ostrich. 

A list of topics that I plan to be blogging on is :

  • What is worth learning? In an age of Artificial Intelligence
  • The usefulness of useless knowledge
  • The unreasonable effectiveness of Mathematics
  • Field theory of learning
  • Cassandra’s curse
  • Kafkaesque
  • Reductio ad absurdum
  • Faustian Bargain
  • The Fermi method of estimating answers
  • Drake’s equation
  • The use of metaphors 
  • Carl Sagan’s Baloney detection kit 
  • The 100 year Life
  • Laplace’s demon
  • Chaos
  • Fractals
  • Complexity 
  • Emergence 
  • Conformal Cyclic Cosmology : CCC ( Roger Penrose) 
  • Time Crystals ( Frank Wilczek) 

This is a tentative illustrative list of topics to give an idea of what to expect. The length of a typical blog will be 750 to 1000 words. With links to further resources.  Assuming a reading speed of 200-250 words per minute, the time to read these blogs should be about 3 to 5 minutes. 

To see my tweets, Twitter.com/MMPant. My Twitter handle is  @mmpant. And my blog at MMPant.com or on Facebook and LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/madan-pant-794b5a186

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Negotiating an unknown uncertain future:

To avoid joining the herds of the unemployable, the young have to train themselves to be useful in the age of accelerating AI with projections that in about a decade AGI would have progressed to doing almost anything that humans do today. 

The young must get ready to thrive in an AI driven world, where they create their own future by serious self-learning. Begin with an introductory WhatsApp session on “ Negotiating an unknown and uncertain future”. Participants will also be given a set of links to further resources for preparation for the future.  To know more send a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724. 

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Self-Learning:

Self-improvement through self-learning:

At present, and in the coming future being a self-learner will be the most competitive advantage that an individual ( man or woman) can acquire to progress.

I will suggest that  you view this video which will urge you to shun the approach and attitude of the majority of merely entertaining themselves, and strive to be among the upper levels of achievers and successful people and focus on  learning and being creative : https://youtu.be/wlCz8nkDNqo

Once you develop this attitude of being creative and a having a desire to learn, you will find this ~ 5 minute video of the former US President, who wants to learn particle Physics at the age of 70 very inspirational: Bill Clinton on lifelong learning: https://youtu.be/L_nUOfaWEC4

You might now be excited to start your self-improvement through self-learning journey, but feel that you need some hand holding. Well, here is a ~10 minute video by the motivational speaker Jim Rohn listing three steps for a brand new life: https://youtu.be/ORIjy0WLPPs

By this time, you would be beginning to appreciate the importance of good habits.  So here is a ~ 7 minute video about the power of discipline as an essential ingredient of success by another great motivational guru, Brian Stracy : https://youtu.be/pyNfB24Eo4A

Failing to plan is planning to fail, is a nice way of remembering the key takeaway from this. 

As you watch these videos, the AI recommendation engines will be doing their work and you will be flooded with information on more videos about self-improvement, not only of Jim Rohn, but of others such as Brian Tracy, Seth Godin, Robin Sharma, Dale Carnegie, Steven Covey, Shiv Khera, Zig Ziegler……and soon you will have the problem of not having enough time to learn all that you want. 

At this point of time, a video about managing your time efficiently is a useful one. So here is a ~ 20 minute video on how to multiply your time : https://youtu.be/y2X7c9TUQJ8

Any conversation on inspiration and motivation would be incomplete without sharing the now famous commencement speech by Steve Jobs for Stanford University 2005: [HD] Steve Jobs – 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech.mp4

If you followed this prescription and spent time in reading this text and watching these videos, it would already  have had some effect on making you a more successful person. To know of a whole suite of courses for self-improvement through self-learning : MMPant.com

To join any of those courses or to know ore about them, please send a WhatsApp message to Prof. MM Pant at +919810073724

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Informed Education

Informed Education: 

Most people have a degree of disappointment with the state of education of their children, and grand-children and nephews and nieces. But too often they adopt an approach of helplessness. People do go to a relevant professional to seek advice and guidance. They routinely consult doctors, in person or online for biological health related matters. When needed they do approach lawyers, tax experts or financial planners, even astrologers to be able to adequately prepare for their future and that of their loved ones. 

But when it comes to learning or in a broader sense the cognitive fitness of the very same people, they take no action other than praying or joining a tuition centre. Here is a short video that points to “ taughtitis” an infection which young children catch at school: https://youtu.be/JxWybvns1jg

Unfortunately the image of an educator is someone standing in a class and transacting the prescribed curriculum, which is part of a national mission of “ education for all” but useful to none. But an educator is an agent of transformation ( an alchemist) who transforms an ignorant learner to a knowledgable person and onwards to an expert through 4 stages : https://www.mccc.edu/~lyncha/documents/stagesofcompetence.pdf

Just like lawyers, doctors and other experts provide written opinions to help their clients choose proper paths for future actions, I ( mmpant.net and mmpant.com)have decided to provide to those who seek, written “ educational opinions” to enhance their cognitive fitness. To know more send me a WhatsApp message at :+919810073724

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