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  #1  
Old July 13th, 2011, 01:00 AM
Shringarey Shringarey is offline
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How Much Should You Learn & For How Long?

Peaceseeker made a comment on another thread -

Shringarey, how much can one 'learn' in life man? and how long does one one keep learning?

there has to 2 be two phases of life - one where u learn more and apply less [growing-up] and second where u apply more and learn less [grown-up]. how can one keep learning entire life with no or inadequate application? and why should one, it does not make sense either.



I did not want to derail that thread, so I started another one.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 01:08 AM
Shringarey Shringarey is offline
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What does LEARN mean

PeaceSeeker,

Firstly, I wanted to point out and "learn" does NOT mean you read books - though it also includes that. You must consider learning in a far "broader" sense. It includes knowing how to fly a kite, how to write accounts, how to deal with a local goon, how to bribe the officer/inspector. It includes pleasant manners, how financial systems work, how to suck up to your boss (brown nosing, if u will), how to kick butt of your underling, how to invest.

So, please do not take learning to mean a narrow sense.

If you do not learn, you will be taught - by life. And that teaching would be painful. If you do learn, you will still be taught (becoz, you may not have learnt a specific thing required at that point in time). Yet, you would have the ability to learn and go ahead.
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  #3  
Old July 13th, 2011, 02:11 AM
Shringarey Shringarey is offline
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The Devil's Tag

Learning is associated with Devil's Tag. Let me explain what this "Devil's Tag" means.

I will take the case of John Appleseed (see internet). He would plant apple seeds and let the trees grow. Thats what he would do. This was in America, a few centuaries back. He knew that more and more white men would come and they would eat his apples and settle down. Over a period of 30 - 40 years, he planted apple seeds. Over a 30 year period, the area he covered and the trees he sowed were so many, that a modern estimate of an organizization doing it is :3 million man years. Yet he spent only 30 man years (one man x 30 years). He was neither particularly organized or disciplined. If it struck him, he would plant 30 trees in a day. Some days he would do nothing. He had subtle power.

You try to do it. You may do it for a year or two. Then someguy would come in a Merc and say "PeaceSeeker, what r u doing? Planting trees? How stupid - when you can change the world!" And u would leave it and probably not change the world. Yet, appleseed did it. He changed the world by enabling white settlers to settle. He had some power called "subtle power"

Imaginne you doing it. After a while you will feel bored. The monkey in us will not allow us to do it. That is Devil's Tag

This is a human failing. If someone came to you and said "Learn to read and write. Learn to be with 'books' for 20 years. Then you would have a fabulous lifestyle". We are unable to do it. The only long term thing we humans do is education, because we have created a "system" around it. We have given children "something to do" which meets parental approval. We give "gold stars" and "marks" to keep him motivated. Otherwise, studying for 20 years looking at a 20+year tomorrow is outside human comprehension. Now that exams are removed by Sibal, a critical "focus point" is lost. See the results.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 02:19 AM
Shringarey Shringarey is offline
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Time v/s Time

Peace Seeker,

You feel and ask "How 'long' must we learn?" You are asking - "How much Time". But there are two concepts of time we should understand.

First "time", which i called "effort-time" measures the effort in hours/days. The second time which I will call "result time" measures time to get results.

For Appleseed, his effort time was "2 hrs per day." He needed to spend only 2 hrs every day. Thats all. Yet the result time was "30 years". You get results after 30 years. This "result time" is so large that we get intimidated by it.

Suppose I ask you "how long must we exercize". I would say "3 hrs per week". That will give you substantial health benefits. That is "effort time". Yet, another answer would be "Life Long". You must exercize "life long - as long as you live" that is result time.

All of us brush our teeth. We take say 10 mins a day to do it (5 mins x 2 times). We know that ot is a simle way to have healthy teeth. We learn from our parents, and we try and inculcate it in our children. Effort Time = "10 mins a day". Result Time = "Life Long".

Once we accept the difference, I can answer your question - "How long must we study" by stating the two times required. Effort time = 3-14 hrs/wk. Result time = "life long"
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  #5  
Old July 13th, 2011, 02:28 AM
Shringarey Shringarey is offline
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Technology and Chatur-Ashram

Peace Seeker,

You said -

there has to 2 be two phases of life - one where u learn more and apply less [growing-up] and second where u apply more and learn less [grown-up].

This is the way our ancients decided the course of life. "First, he studies, then works". (Bramhacharya, Gruhastha). Even Western world was similar. Learning is easier at a young age. Application comes next.

It sounds wonderful, and it was wonderful. For a person who wanted to lead a non-academic life, it was great. Yet, there is a force that is changing this - technology! Technology is changing our world so fast that,

a) A lot of what we have learnt is obsolete
b) What we have learnt is inadequate

A marketing guy, used to a marticular media finds it difficult to use social media for marketting. The principles are all turned upside down. Either he learns it, or he perishes. His experience in print media is worthless. We all had to realize that our knowledge of DOS commands are obsolete, and our knowledge of Windows is inadequate. We will face this again and again - in different situations - all of us. We have to keep learning.

The old paradigm of First learn then Earn is breaking down fast. A newer paradigm of earn and learn is taking shape.
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  #6  
Old July 13th, 2011, 08:48 AM
PeaceSeeker PeaceSeeker is offline
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Re: Technology and Chatur-Ashram

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shringarey View Post
Peace Seeker,

You said -

there has to 2 be two phases of life - one where u learn more and apply less [growing-up] and second where u apply more and learn less [grown-up].

This is the way our ancients decided the course of life. "First, he studies, then works". (Bramhacharya, Gruhastha). Even Western world was similar. Learning is easier at a young age. Application comes next.

It sounds wonderful, and it was wonderful. For a person who wanted to lead a non-academic life, it was great. Yet, there is a force that is changing this - technology! Technology is changing our world so fast that,

a) A lot of what we have learnt is obsolete
b) What we have learnt is inadequate

A marketing guy, used to a marticular media finds it difficult to use social media for marketting. The principles are all turned upside down. Either he learns it, or he perishes. His experience in print media is worthless. We all had to realize that our knowledge of DOS commands are obsolete, and our knowledge of Windows is inadequate. We will face this again and again - in different situations - all of us. We have to keep learning.

The old paradigm of First learn then Earn is breaking down fast. A newer paradigm of earn and learn is taking shape.
thats what i am saying. change is accepted. but u cant change urself with every fcuking change thats happening. this particularly applies more to technology. fundamentals need to be constant to appreciate change

When i was learning html, like most of us, it used to feel wonderful when u write a script to open a new browser window of a certain height and width and it opened. but when i dug deeper, its so superficial. someone 'defined' html. someone else 'coded' applications to process html [the browser]. two different processing applications seldom behaved exactly the same way for the same input. and here i was rejoicing over how i was successfully able to open a specific sized window using an already defined markup language processed through an already created application. change is always superficial. fundamentals don't change much. thats why they are fundamental. basic.

I came to know that this was true for most of the workforce of 'IT Superpower' India.

I dont want to deny the brilliance of brilliant people but hey, did they not stick to the basics and not changed with every change? Some got their brilliance rewarded. While some others lagged behind. 'Adapting to change' category formed the middle layer- kabhi idhar, kabhi udhar.
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Last edited by PeaceSeeker; July 13th, 2011 at 09:02 AM.
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  #7  
Old July 13th, 2011, 08:53 AM
PeaceSeeker PeaceSeeker is offline
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Re: Time v/s Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shringarey View Post
Peace Seeker,

You feel and ask "How 'long' must we learn?" You are asking - "How much Time". But there are two concepts of time we should understand.

First "time", which i called "effort-time" measures the effort in hours/days. The second time which I will call "result time" measures time to get results.

For Appleseed, his effort time was "2 hrs per day." He needed to spend only 2 hrs every day. Thats all. Yet the result time was "30 years". You get results after 30 years. This "result time" is so large that we get intimidated by it.

Suppose I ask you "how long must we exercize". I would say "3 hrs per week". That will give you substantial health benefits. That is "effort time". Yet, another answer would be "Life Long". You must exercize "life long - as long as you live" that is result time.

All of us brush our teeth. We take say 10 mins a day to do it (5 mins x 2 times). We know that ot is a simle way to have healthy teeth. We learn from our parents, and we try and inculcate it in our children. Effort Time = "10 mins a day". Result Time = "Life Long".

Once we accept the difference, I can answer your question - "How long must we study" by stating the two times required. Effort time = 3-14 hrs/wk. Result time = "life long"
i guess i meant 'result time'. i dont wish to learn something which will have no 'result' in my lifetime. unless ofcourse its my love or hobby from which i dont expect a result. i love music. i sing. i enjoy singing. i learn singing everytime i sing. but i dont want a result from it. the result from it is instant - soul satisfaction.
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Last edited by PeaceSeeker; July 13th, 2011 at 08:57 AM.
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  #8  
Old July 13th, 2011, 08:56 AM
PeaceSeeker PeaceSeeker is offline
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Re: What does LEARN mean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shringarey View Post
PeaceSeeker,

Firstly, I wanted to point out and "learn" does NOT mean you read books - though it also includes that. You must consider learning in a far "broader" sense. It includes knowing how to fly a kite, how to write accounts, how to deal with a local goon, how to bribe the officer/inspector. It includes pleasant manners, how financial systems work, how to suck up to your boss (brown nosing, if u will), how to kick butt of your underling, how to invest.

So, please do not take learning to mean a narrow sense.

If you do not learn, you will be taught - by life. And that teaching would be painful. If you do learn, you will still be taught (becoz, you may not have learnt a specific thing required at that point in time). Yet, you would have the ability to learn and go ahead.
By learning, i too meant all types of learning. including bookish, real-life and all others.

if i am forced to learn, i will have to deal with it. but i cant be prepared to learn everything the moment i know about it.
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  #9  
Old July 14th, 2011, 08:41 AM
PeaceSeeker PeaceSeeker is offline
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Re: How Much Should You Learn & For How Long?

I would like to add:
When a man thinks that he knows it all, has learnt it all, a woman will appear and tell him - NO, YOU HAVE NOT.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 10:11 AM
PeaceSeeker PeaceSeeker is offline
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Re: How Much Should You Learn & For How Long?

Shringarey, khud thread start karkey kalti maar diya
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Old July 14th, 2011, 10:33 AM
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Re: How Much Should You Learn & For How Long?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceSeeker View Post
I would like to add:
When a man thinks that he knows it all, has learnt it all, a woman will appear and tell him - NO, YOU HAVE NOT.
our(organization's) fundamental dictum about life

you are never the boss of the system, just a master tool of the machinery, as whole machinery keeps on upgrading, keep upgrading yourself otherwise everything will fall apart and you would be responsible for that. and learn what is necessary, things that don't affect you directly or indirectly should not be even considered for thinking and analysis. system works best when all indicators are normal

jeetIAF
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Old July 14th, 2011, 11:23 AM
Shringarey Shringarey is offline
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Re: How Much Should You Learn & For How Long?

I agree with most of what you are saying. It is very difficult to spend a lot of time (result time) learning something which you never know when you will use.

But take the classic case of "literacy". When you learnt to read and write, when you went to school/college, you could not "see" how it was useful. You did it then as "part of system". But now you can appreciate the great benefits, and want to impart to your children.

I ask that you continue to do so. Forget the result. Spend very little "effort-time" (say 40 hrs/month). You will never know what is useful and what is not.

A simple suggestion to decide what to learn - Divide your "effort time" into three parts. In one part, learn about your profession - say DHTML, etc. The other one-third you spend on practical stuff, immaterial of profession - say accounts, sales, managing people, being organized, maintaining relationships, etc. The third 1/3 you devote to the sublime -s omething which you love, like music.

It is not as easy as it sounds. A question comes in our own mind - why? Why should I do this? Is it worth it? Especially when you have wife(s) and kid(s). You have to chase receivables, etc. You feel angry. So you stop. It takes time.

Look upon it as exercizing. We spend a lot little effort time, but a lot of result time. Yet we find it difficult to continue, knowing fuull well that it is a great thing to exercize regularly. So we reward ourselves by flexing our muscles in the gym in front of a mirror.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 09:00 AM
PeaceSeeker PeaceSeeker is offline
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Re: How Much Should You Learn & For How Long?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shringarey View Post
I agree with most of what you are saying. It is very difficult to spend a lot of time (result time) learning something which you never know when you will use.

But take the classic case of "literacy". When you learnt to read and write, when you went to school/college, you could not "see" how it was useful. You did it then as "part of system". But now you can appreciate the great benefits, and want to impart to your children.

I ask that you continue to do so. Forget the result. Spend very little "effort-time" (say 40 hrs/month). You will never know what is useful and what is not.

A simple suggestion to decide what to learn - Divide your "effort time" into three parts. In one part, learn about your profession - say DHTML, etc. The other one-third you spend on practical stuff, immaterial of profession - say accounts, sales, managing people, being organized, maintaining relationships, etc. The third 1/3 you devote to the sublime -s omething which you love, like music.

It is not as easy as it sounds. A question comes in our own mind - why? Why should I do this? Is it worth it? Especially when you have wife(s) and kid(s). You have to chase receivables, etc. You feel angry. So you stop. It takes time.

Look upon it as exercizing. We spend a lot little effort time, but a lot of result time. Yet we find it difficult to continue, knowing fuull well that it is a great thing to exercize regularly. So we reward ourselves by flexing our muscles in the gym in front of a mirror.
an almost illiterate person once told me long back "beta, life is not very complicated. divide a day into 3 parts. work hard for 8 hours, enjoy for 8 hours and sleep tight for 8 hours".

i really liked it then [i was in my late teens]. but life is not that simple.

discipline can really make wonders in long term. but you have to get past a stage b4 u start liking it. and for most of us, it never happens.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 09:59 AM
Shringarey Shringarey is offline
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Re: How Much Should You Learn & For How Long?

PeaceSeeker,

I'll answer it by a shloka from Gita (sorry, translation is bit screwed up)

If you cannot concentrate on GOD
completely and absolutely,
I'll tell you a trick, O Arjun,
To make the task Simple.

With a desire to attain GOD,
think of HIM
with all your heart and soul,
if only for a second.

As you get into the Habit,
Of thinking about GOD,
Little by Little, you will get used to it,
Enjoy it, and be wholly able to surrender to HIM.



This is the way. DO NOT MAKE PLANS. They do not work for lifestyle changes. Easy does it. Give yourself time. Say that you will read 4 pages of non-fiction a day. Thats all. Do it. DO NOT SAY TO YOURSELF " First week 4 pages, next week 6 pages,..." etc. The inner tension will kill you. Just stick to 4 pages for a couple of months (remember, we are talking about lifetime of result-time). Then make it 6 pages for 3 months. Let the habit set in. Slowly.

It will work wonders.
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