By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. – Confucius

SoCS: Using a different medium

There was a time when I liked to read text books but now, just the mention of it puts me to sleep… I love to learn new things, new languages etc…But starting with books ? Naaah…Give me a good novel anytime now and I will stay awake the whole night! 😉
Now I like to sort of learn things through visual medium, which is more effective. But again, it shouldn’t be too long a video else I will just snooozzzze. Here is one which I saw recently, about the philosopher Kant and his maxims. It was cheeky, funny and to the point. I don’t know much about philosophy but I like these kind of short introductions.

Post for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “vis.” Use a word, or tie your post’s theme around a word, that contains the letters VIS, in that order. Enjoy!

SoCS Badge by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

Some things are hereditary

Yesterday when my sister had called me, half the time she was yelling at her son to go slow in his cycle. She was constantly complaining how he is too fast with his cycle, especially now that he has properly learnt to do the pedaling correctly and doesn’t keep his foot on the ground. But he is not ready to learn how to brake in spite of her constant efforts. I told her that she should really chill out and relax. He is a kid and they learn at their own pace. If he is a little fast , its perfectly fine. Somethings just run in the family. We just can’t help it. (For the background story which involves a few of my bicycle memories, you should probably check out this post). She was like , yeah right. OK for you to say it but if he runs over some one else I would have to do the explanation. And then the yelling started again. I couldn’t help but smile. This kid, my nephew, wanted to do wheeling in his small cycle even when he was around 2. And with the size of the cycle all he could do was to lift it up and turn it around and slam it back on the ground. I can see it vividly how things are going to happen later once he gets his hand on a better cycle. (And aunts are known for spoiling their nieces and nephews 😉 ) I hope he learns to do all these stunts a little carefully without any harm to himself. A little bruise and some pain is OK according to me, without which we cannot learn anything at all. And that way he would also know his limit.

My sister wouldn’t know about getting hurt while learning something because she is one of those people who did not learn to cycle because the probability of getting hurt was too much. I have had my share of bruises and accidents but I have always been amazed by how my sister, when she was trying to learn to cycle or rather when we coerced her to learn, did not get even a single scratch on herself. Whenever there was a small hope that she was gonna fall down and get bruised, she would somehow push the vehicle down and stand and at the end, the vehicle is the one that got severely scratched everywhere. And after a few such scratches I refused to give her my cycle to learn. But now after all these years, she has at least learnt to drive a two-wheeler (geared vehicle) even without knowing how to do cycling and she managed to fall from the vehicle too. Not once but twice. Thank God she did not hurt herself. If my nephew is going to look up to someone to learn about cycling or driving and stuff and if he looks up to me or my brother (he has the highest chance because of the proximity), then my sister is gonna be worrying for a very long time in her life. My nephew likes to ride with my brother in his bike, especially when he is driving fast with all that wind in his face…really, some things are hereditary I say. And he loves cars and going for a ride especially long drives. He loves riding with me in my two wheeler because I go faster than his dad or mom. And that is what excites him (and 40-60 isn’t that bad especially in my home town where the traffic isn’t that worse). Now I am just waiting for my second niece who is as rowdy as my nephew to catch up to him. And with her father (my brother) as her example, there are some fun times ahead.  

Islands I never knew – Thanks to Stats

One of the interesting things of checking out the ‘Stat’s page of WordPress, apart from the views, visitors and the count is the ‘Countries’. My eyes always go there first to check if there is a country which is unknown to me. I know that when people use proxy’s (like me, when I am at work) it would always show a different country from the one they are actually browsing. So there is no definite way to figure out anything based on the country data. It is still a piece of information. Once in a while I get to see a few new countries which haven’t been in the list till then. Out of the lot, so far, there have been two countries which I did not even know existed.  Not that I knew about the rest in depth. But at least I had heard their names somewhere sometime, so they weren’t alien to me.

a) Guernsey: A wee island in the English Channel and not part of the European Union.

b) Réunion: A French island in the Indian Ocean and part of the European Union.

For the visitors and viewers from these two islands, I am glad that you made the visit in turn letting me learn about your country. Are there any countries in your ‘Stats’ that you found interesting or you didn’t know they existed ?

Relationship – fiction or not

I like learning stuff. But with the current work environment and the crazy schedules it becomes very difficult. I wasted a quite a amount of money registering for courses and having to leave them mostly within the first month of it. So I decided that if I want to learn about something then I better go with some free materials or free courses. And that is how I started with Coursera. But guess what, no luck there too, because I get too swamped by work sometimes, I have little energy to learn anything other than unwind with a novel or with my camera. If I ever get serious about a subject, I really have to take a sabbatical to learn it without any distractions and I am really not sure how that would go. OK I digressed a lot from what I really wanted to write about today. 
I could have used this as my Stream of Conscious Saturday prompt post, but then didn’t want it to be a very cliched one. So decided to go with my first thought on reading that prompt. And ‘this’ is about a course in Coursera called ‘Fiction of Relationship‘.  I was intrigued by the title (as always) and enrolled for it. I completed the 1st week’s video lectures. Let me be very honest, I am not looking to complete the courses and get a certificate, if I opt for it. I just wanted to learn about things that interest me , if offered freely, and may be, just may be participate in the assignments or at least go through the reading materials at my own pace. There was one other course which I went as far as 2 weeks, so I am still not sure how far I would go with it. Let me see. This course has a lot of mixed reviews going for it. But at least from the 1st week’s lectures, I should say I find it interesting. 
Let’s start with the topic. As soon as I saw it, my first question was ‘how can a relationship be fictitious’. I honestly thought that it would be about philosophy and humanities. What surprised me was it was more about literature and the philosophy and humanities associated with it. Never judge a course by its title. They start by asking you what do you think a relationship is ? The discussion forum there had a lot of wonderful definitions by the registered students. Let me try my hand here. Relationship for me is that link between x & y, can be shown as x <-> y. If it is a relationship unto ourselves, then y = x and hence x<->x. Now, <-> which is the link can be anything, biological, philosophical, etc…etc…But how much of it is real and how much of it is fictional. Is the link that defines the relation between x & y based on x’s view which is more real to x than to y ? How much of x’s views are unreal or fictional to y and vice versa ? What is fiction actually ? Does it mean that it is just a glorified version of real thing ? or does it mean Utopian? If it is a glorified version of a real thing, then does relationship fall into that category ? Is that why we have that many complications in it ?
When we read a novel, is that considered a fiction of a relationship? According to the course, it is. We are reading about another relationship which may or may not have been real, but we also imagine a lot about what it portrays about a relationship don’t we ? Don’t we all try to actually relate at least a small part of those relationship to our real ones ? Don’t we imagine what it would be like to be part of that kind of a fictitious relationships that are portrayed in some nice romantic novels ? Or may be it is just me, a hopeless romantic that I am. 
There are lot of such stuff that this course in its first week made me think. And they also have quite a few books for reading which will be used for the lessons and to analytically and creatively discuss the relationships (and their complexities) that are portrayed in those novels. I don’t know how far I will go in this journey of understanding the fiction of relationship. But I hope to give it a shot.