Let’s Learn Together:
About 110 years back, Charles Eliot, the President of Harvard University, compiled and edited a 51 volume anthology of classic works from world literature. In his speeches he had said that the elements of a liberal education could be gained by spending 15 minutes a day from a collection of books that could fit on a five foot shelf. The publisher P.F.Collier and son exhorted Eliot to develop this collection of works, and the Harvard Classics was the result.
In due course, this became available as a set of DVDs: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HARVARD-CLASSICS-FULL-SET-ALL-72-BOOKS-ON-DVD-WORLD-FAMOUS-LITERATURE-FICTION-/163689097518
As we enter the third decade of the 21st Century at the intersection of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the 4th education revolution, the young have to be technically sound with the mental dispositions that result from a good liberal education. Robert A Aoun, President of the Northeastern University proposed an education in “humanics” as the descriptor of a Robot-proof education.
The New Education Policy 2020 refers to the need for multidisciplinary education, rather than a following a narrow single discipline, the need for learning to learn and……..
Towards these goals of a world class multidisciplinary education, I have created the following program suited to the learners of the 3rd decade of the 21st Century. While Eliot had kept 15 minutes a day as the time needed, I am proposing about 20 minutes a day, of not just reading text, but watching videos or hear audios…a multiple media mix.
Schematics of my program:
In September 2020: 20 minutes/week ( on Fridays) [ 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th]
In October 2020: 20 minutes twice a week ( on Mondays and Fridays)
In November 2020: 20minutes thrice a week ( on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays)
In December 2020: 20 minutes 4 times a week ( on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays)
From January 2021: 20 minutes 5 days a week ( Monday to Friday)
The topics for each day would be in one of the following broad domains:
- Information and Communication Technologies ( ICT) including Quantum Computing
- BioTechnology including Quantum Biology
- Cognitive Sciences including Neuroscience
- Philosophy, Literature and Life
- Inspirational excerpts from biographies, autobiographies and obituaries
In the first few months, there may not be a set pattern to the appearance of the topics within the domains, but from January 2021, one day of the week would be devoted to each domain.
The 4 topics planned for September 2020 are : every Friday
- What is a Faustian bargain?
- What is Cassandra’s curse?
- What is worth learning ?
- What is complexity?
The 9 topics planned for October 2020 are : every Monday and Friday
- What is the Midas touch?
- What is Occam’s Razor?
- What is abiogenesis?
- What is a fallacy?
- What is a Fermi problem/ estimate?
- What is narcissism?
- The Yaksha Prasna
- What are vanity metrics?
- 55 words of inspiration
The 13 topics planned for November 2020 are: on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
- Design Thinking
- What is a paradox?
- Religion without revelation
- The importance of emotional intelligence
- The idea of justice?
- On being the right size?
- What is consciousness
- Knowledge Representation
- The significance of Computational Thinking
- Overcoming Maths Phobia
- Brain Computer Interface
The 18 topics planned for December 2020 : on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays
- Tragedy of the Commons
- What is DNA and why it matters?
- What is Epigenetics?
- The importance of Ikigai
- The Science of information
- What is life?
- What is a low hanging fruit?
- What is thinking out of the box?
- What is IoT ( Internet of things)?
- What is 5G?
- What is Blockchain?
- What is Quantum Computing?
- What is disruptive innovation?
- What is FOMO ( fear of missing out)?
- What is ‘freemium’?
- What is ‘sui generis’
- What is ‘ swarm intelligence’?
- What is the ‘ Gig economy’?
- This is a tentative sequence of topics. It may be tweaked as new ideas and suggestions keep coming up……