Our Culture, Us and mutual evolution – Part 2

back to Now  –

let’s relate Part 1 with our ancestors, our grandparents generation and then our parents’ generation and then us, since we are talking of culture and it is all about cumulative effect.

Our grandparents belonged to an era when resources where ‘scarcity’ and ‘collectivism’ values where stronger if not strongest. it was an orthodox culture with little air of change. ‘castism’ i.e. social distances were much visible in terms of social hierarchy so they were very cautious of that aspect. For them stability was crucial and so was social acceptability and since towns were small and mobility was limited, people knew each other. So  he old norms were followed without scrutiny, an era of intellectual materialism. ofcourse there were attempts to purify those norms social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Jyotiba Fule were some of the activists.

Simultaneously as per the patriarchal cultural norms girls where liability and boys were an asset. The women had an influence of existing norms. There was no internet or telephone – the spread of ideas was extremely limited, education was limited and so the new perspectives. The girls were married at an early age- mostly child marriage. And then there was this big size family of at-least 8! but they did it because there was uncertainty of life and no planning, as it was not ‘problem’ for them then, survival was only intention given the large child and maternal mortality rate prevalent then. (need of stability) As it was an emerging family it had huge constraint of resources, too many mouths to feed. The parents were busy in the basic activities of gathering food and providing shelter.

The children (our parents) where observing this and learned this as their culture. (the habits coming from sharing and scarcity are even visible sometimes). The children(i.e. our parents) were good at sharing of resources living within what was available. There was creativity but its focus and much emphasis was on survival of the stability. For them courage was to stand tall in the existing society and achieve their acceptability. There was no scope to challenge the believe system.

there was another peculiar event that was taking place i.e. for these emerging families the model of best family was that of ‘Bramhins’ which was the highest family in social hierarchy. but they had their secret norms inside family and what was visible for outsides was just pick of iceberg. this tendency of following and trying to be like upper caste is known as “sanskitization”, which is even prevalent now. This ‘superficial’ following on their norms muddled the cultural norms of overall society, prevalence of more intellectual materialism.

Then came our parents’ generation. (Post teenage) Castism was considerably reduced at least in practice but there was fear. They were just empowered to establish their identity as they were educated. however, there was still that fear of social acceptability, lack of creativity, lack of critical thinking and tendency to accepting things as they as since ‘it’s just the way to do the stuff!’.

There was flow of ideas from books, but there was no support for the challenger – the fight was still on for survival. The women where first seen as liability on father and then on elder brother – continuation of old trend. Also, the culture said respect the elders so there was this feeling of great gratitude! And love for each other.

the women were thankful to their brother and they were married to random person chosen by their brother or father, they had to accept it coz that was the norm and social acceptability,

(do listen to this song later: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOZBB53lGTk)

and that’s how even our mother’s got married.

Again rating the parameters, i.e. stability, freedom, acceptability, etc.  there was certainty about life- each had a good job. Flow of information was still limited, but there was some scientific approach. The social norms where relaxed and culture was put open for introspection. But the structure of society was still patriarchal and male had all rights to take decisions, no democracy in family (even today it is presidential democracy with veto power at father). The female had accepted this norm for the stability of family and never thought of this as problem. Thus there was no thinking about other situation than what was going on.

They (mothers) had accepted the double work of job n looking after family as part of their life for the sake of stability, they lacked any time to think and reflect about their situation it was a strict tough routine for them. Out of box thinking rarely spur in such context.

even in some families the husband was beating or abusing their wife but the women didn’t knew other way because sadly even husband beating was a norm! not a problem for society, A part of deal called marriage. (disturbing it is but its ‘prescribed’ in the books of religious!!!)

the female were alert but helpless as they lacked any social structure support as the structure itself were male dominated, both physically and ideologically. They couldn’t challenge those norms as they feared that doing so might escalate the matter and the life of divorcee was not worth living! they even lacked financial autonomy. By then, meaning of courage was not in fighting but in surviving, survival mode made them defensive and reactive but to change they needed to be assertive and proactive, they didn’t understand that because their own interest was not their priority, as it was bombarded to them – marriage and family i.e. their 2nd life! they didn’t thought about what other aspect of life meant and how to get there.

Besides they choose to be defensive because of us, their children, to give us better future stability was necessary. they made us their source of inspiration. The women tried to find their peace of mind in their children, they invested all their emotions in their child, in this the ‘hurt mothers’ became over protective for the child… forgetting that anything in excess is bad even if it’s good.

Our generation was free from the scourge of castism, it was open for ideas, because our parents had created a better world for us to explore. we were set free to mingle with cross society, exploring various sub-cultural norms. There was scientific education and internet at our teenage to shape our ideas. Our family size was limited so there was abundance of resources and we had plenty of time to explore. And there was one big source of ideas the Television; we were so engrossed in it all. our parents where happy because they felt grateful that they could give their child so much that they didn’t had in first place.

We didn’t bothered about it, neither we bothered to help our mother when we were kid, we took it for granted as there was no uncertainty. We also accepted a norm to get out of room when any fight between any elder members was going on… never thought why to do so. (That’s how norms work) besides your opinion never mattered as you were child. (Color of hair not merit of idea that mattered)

even the mothers didn’t told us their story because by now they had developed new habits of accommodation.

Compared to our generation, we never feel need of accommodation, our knowledge was greatly shared between friends so the problems, resources and ideas. Then there was torrent of ideas as internet and mobile arrived, our world turned into a global village. We came in contact with the western values based on Individualism – freedom, liberality, rationality. And a funny thing happened.

Because of collectivism we had a strong family base a strong social support system that we took for granted. Then came this individualism mostly from movies and Internet. we thought this is a good way because it was ‘new’ and following our curiosity we accepted these views with their explanation. Meanwhile, ironically, the educated western societies adopted the collectivism values to build a strong social structure and stable family. they took the values keeping aside identities. they tried to made best from both societies.

This confluence of culture is intense right now. the mistake we are doing is we are not emphasizing or exploring our own good cultural values we are blindly declaring many of our good habits and accepting the western values (without evaluation) just by looking at western lifestyle. we are not learning.

Today things have changed drastically. The government is standing for rights of women. Human rights movement is vigilant. There are NGOs and civil societies ready to help and people know the effects of wrong doing. society has accepted need of change so there is deterrence. this has wiped away the superficial norms but the sticky norms, one which deals with self image still persists. one of them is status. is in our society nothing matters more than status. That is true in our family too. such sticky norms take the most time to change so we must wait, there is no point in fighting against it.

The women in our family are not proactive they are not assertive yet and the fathers cannot give up their domination psyche overnight it’s another sticky norm. both men and women have reached statuesque agreement and stability. And after we, their children becoming independent they don’t find point in defining new stability, they are okay with it, but that hurts us.

this is my observation and understanding of situation.

conclusion:

i don’t think its worth now changing the oldies unless its harming our present and future and they are open to such change. we should not try to model their world in our ideals. as individual they have right to live their life as they want so we must accept it and monitor it proactively, but if we think something is wrong we should express our opinion rationally, proactively, in clear language without being emotional.

fighting with cultural norm is challenging, if you want to do it – get out of all cultural structure, but if you want to live within them, accept them and induce small small changes- tipping point is triggered with such small changes and right opportunity. wait for it.

there is an old Chinese saying, “wisdom can be acquired in 3 ways, first by  experience which is the bitterest. Second by imitation which is the easiest. Third is by reflection which is the noblest.” We try to learn things by first 2 ways but hardly use the third because the art of reflection asks for giving up all help thoughts, belief and judgment. It asks us to evaluate them impersonally.

anyways, lets enjoy what we have today. The past must not haunt present if present is hurting be assertive, if culture is not allowing you to do so, if it’s a sticky norm, you must accommodate and adapt accordingly, fighting will only hurt you. besides the problem in fighting with stupid is they ultimately drag you to their level, so it’s better to evade that situation creatively. Know their norms and be proactive, once you win heart, you can softly expand your views and win back your freedom.

finally, its a know fact that perfection does not exist and with that we must accept our culture with all its faults n extremes. its our so we must fix it. the purification process is going on and we should look at it cautiously.

4. Calculated RISK of opportunity

previous article: The essence of engineering and technology 

“There is much in the world to make us afraid.

There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid”.

~Frederick W. Cropp

Risk is a most interesting part of life and a characteristic of the youth! If directed in proper way the risk can be managed without any sort of hazard. Fear is always associated with the risk, it’s an interesting feeling some people fear the ‘fear’ and restrain themselves from the challenges, While some embrace their fears and achieve greatest success in their life. What make them successful is they take calculated risks by believing in their self rather than just following adhoc methods. It is these ‘calculated risks’ which converts the hazardous risks into opportunities and hence success.

watch the following video, its not explicitly related with technology but the  implicit message is more important… to DARE.

Complexity and risks are inherent in the technology, so rather than staying away from it and being dependent on somebody else, one should run towards it just like shown in video. The complexity, risk and fear are inherent part of engineering and technology one should accept this eternal truth and just go for it with scientific temper.

Remember in technology if your logic is correct based on scientific fact, nothing can go wrong as long as you are working with scientific temper. Your calculated risk in such cases will always turn as risk of opportunity making your experiment a fruitful event.

The Risk in general terms…

To be expert in techworld you need to be more practical than just cramming the theory. In fact it’s not at all difficult to execute most of the part of theory into practice. A lot of risk is obviously inherent in all these activities but you should be always ready to accept these risks. In plain English ‘risk is likelihood of occurrence of a hazardous event and the consequences associated with it, like some injury or financial damage. Risk is of two type risk of failure and risk of opportunity. There is something known as calculate risk. Risk is calculated, when you know what you are doing and you can predict possible consequences based on your observations and previous knowledge. A risk is called as  risk of failure when the risk in the project becomes reality and causes catastrophic effects on the project, that is failure. In most of the cases Risk becomes reality due to ignorance and unawareness. It is possible to control every risk if we adopt a proper strategy to deal with it.

when you accept a new endeavor or a project, always some sort of risk is associated with it. You recognize the risk involve in the project and you still carry your activity and you successfully achieve the result managing all the risks cautiously then the risk in such cases is called as risk of opportunity. it is called as opportunity since such risk not only boosts your confidence but also motivates you to pursue next level in your work, opening new doors of possibilities. ‘Nothing succeeds like success’ just like that. this also increases your credibility in the society and between your colleagues.

Converting a Risk into Success.

To understand above theory let’s put together it in practice with following video clips, again it is not directly related with the technology. But you can easily relate it with what i want to convey, ‘converting risk of failure into risk of opportunity and hence success’.

the clip is from movie Shaolin Soccer. The clips are from hindi translated version of the movie. There are 2 clips, in first part the actress is shown as  a chef in a small hotel where she cooks pastries using her special kunfu-skills. Watch how she uses her talent,

in next part when the team`s goal keeper suffers from injury and the team has no replacement, the actress turn in to the game as replacement player, Despite of the fact she has never played a single game of football. what happen next is this article is all about.

let me help you to relate the concept, in this scenario the ball is most crucial and volatile aspect of the game. If it enters in her goal post then for her team it is failure, but if it is in opponents goal post then it is success. Considering what had happened with previous keeper, standing in front of the ball was a risk, risk of injury. considering that she was playing her first football game there was also risk involved in she acting as goal keeper. overall there were two risks of failure- risk of injury and risk of scoring goal. but in spite of all this she accepted the challenge and stood to defend the goalpost.  when the opponent player got hold on the ball she kept faith in her skills and by using then she converted the catastrophic impact of ball into a mild attack and hence prevented the goal. Then she got full command on the ball using her skills again. i.e. she converted the risk of failure into risk of opportunity; an opportunity to score goal on opponent. With teamwork finally her team did score the goal and emerge as the winner of the game.

Life is all about this: identifying your skills, having faith in it and using them when the situation demands. Risk is muddled up by the fear factor, just overcome your fear, perceive the problem at its root, just be yourself and deal with the problem… you are bound to be successful. So to convert a ‘risk of failure’ into ‘risk of opportunity’ followed by ‘success’ you need to understand the system, know your skills, identifying your mentors and have faith in all.

If you have seen the video cautiously then you will notice that the girl uses her kung-fu skills as situation demands,  for cooking, for mixing the flour, for catching the pot, and finally while playing football. that’s what optimization, flexibility and adaptation is all about. Just like that you too can relate your skills like reading, dancing, singing etc. with your study, play and even while working in techworld. (if not exactly the skills at least the side products, confidence being one of them.)

  • Technology is for all

Let me clear something about the technology world, it is not like that this area is a privilege of someone or you need to be gifted or something like that, neither it is fact that this is male chauvinistic field. Infact girls can also do equally well if they believe in their selves. As per my observation its natural female tendency to be on safe side and tendency to restrain from the risk factor and hence complexity of technology. girls should look to break this ‘illusion of control‘.

You should be always ready to take risks in this field, not just calculated but sometimes risk as it is without prior knowledge of the activity. in any case the experiment fails then you should have a mitigation strategy to bring the system back to normal.

What drives the engine of progress in the world of technology is your anxiety, patience and never giving up attitude- ‘A real warrior never quits’. (watch kung-fu panda, it is one of my favorite movie)  all of these driving agents needs engineering spirit as their driver, vision of the engineer. as discussed in the article, essence of engineering and technology the two aspects, engineering and technology are interrelated and complies each other.

  • Illusion of control

Illusion of control is anything that holds you back from taking an action just because you think you are not worth of doing it. the concrete wall of assumption in which  you  try to enclose most volatile thing in the world… your mind. Problems, mistakes, fear all of these lies in your perception- illusion of control,

‘your problem is not actually your problem, your reaction to the problem is actually your problem’.

Therefore you must let go the illusion of the control to achieve the greatest success, what you truly deserve. To break the illusion of control  you must break the wall and be open to accept the truth. your own mistake will help you a lot, learning from history is very crucial aspect of our life, one who learns from own mistakes as well as others mistakes achieves the heights in less duration with less pain. (Hard work is inherent part of success so I say less pain (: )

Remember the last glory you achieved and keep in mind that you have done this before and now you are going to achieve it again. It really works but just don’t give up at all, you will be successful.

  • Learning from the mistakes…
“One of the greatest and most comforting truths is that when one door closes,
another door opens, but often we look so long and regretfully upon the closed door
that we do not see the one that open for us.”

 

Your passion for the work that’s all matters, success is just matter of time, because in life no body ask how badly you fail but they always look upon how you stood up after falling. This is the most important lesson your should always remember in your failures, don’t keep crying after being fail, as failure is also relative term and momentary truth. It doesn’t mean that you are not going to achieve it ever but just not at that time.

In such situation you should analyze the system to check which risk became reality and if there was something unexpected factor which caused the damage. Learning from the mistake is what I call this. Learning from the mistakes and avoiding repetition of mistakes is crucial aspect of engineering and technology education. One irony is that you are always open to do new mistakes, as most of the discoveries are accidental not intentional. But it’s also very important to learn from the mistakes each time.

learning from the mistakes involve taking note of own mistakes as well as listening to the advice of your mentor or experienced person to reduce risk. It also include learning lesson from others mistakes. This activity helps in self criticism and acts as barrier in yourself and the evil of ego.

  • Help yourself

While working you should always try to do things on your own based on some guidelines. It can be based on your previous knowledge or guide lines from manual or blog. If you came across any difficulty try to solve it using Google and if that also don’t work, ask your trusted guide. A guide can be anyone, topper of your class, your subject teacher or any teacher, your friend. Just make sure that he actually knows about the technology about which you are going to ask.

to get clear cut idea how it works just check out the following flowchart. the flowchart is how we people learn any new software, i have learn photoshop just like that!

trust me technology is this simple, your patience, endurance, anxiety and logic that’s all it take!

So all along this article I want to say that, risk is inherent part of technical education and rather than fearing it, one should accept it as a challenge and just go for it based on own logic and past experience if any. Learning process should be on going while doing any project. The doors of technology are open for such persons only and are independent of any other factor.

conclusion:

i know that this article was a bit of heavy so i am writing this part separately,

  1. always have faith in yourself in your skills. never underestimate yourself.
  2. have faith in your mentors, teachers and technology. respect them.
  3. success and failure are momentary truths so don’t get over exited by success and depressed by failure. enjoy it n learn from both.
  4. never repeat your mistake, although you are free to do new mistakes but learning  lesson from it is most important. (this doesn’t mean your work should be error prone (; )
  5. don’t run away from the problems and difficulty, just go for it with scientific temper and test the fruits success that you truly deserve.
  6. ‘an original is hard to find but easy to recognize’: know your skills sharpen them with help of your mentors, role model but never loose your originality. don’t discard yourself, be more of it.
  7. ‘opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work’. don’t run away from the work, optimize it for your benefits. your assignments are just another form of opportunity, have you ever thought of it in this way?
  8. ‘keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadows’. (follow the above 7 steps and you will never regret for what you are and what you are doing)

in the next article i have tried to introduced you with the world of open source. open source is something which cannot be told what it is one has to be there to feel it. (just kidding, this blog is also part of open source.) nevermind! check out the next part of article, open source true essence of freedom.

This article is dedicated to one of my favorite teacher and friend Ms. priya nagwekar, who imparted above mentioned skills in me n all my friends during our academics, by concealing the complexity of engineering management stuff in general terms.

2. The essence of Engineering and technology

previous article: the inconvenient truth about engineering

Engineering As defined by Wikipedia, ‘Engineering is the discipline, art and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize solutions to the needs of society’.

In plain English engineering is ‘what the engineers do’. Or in today’s context at least what they are supposed to do.(It’s very risky to say what engineers do is engineering! That’s why I am writing this post)

Definition defines engineering perfectly that’s beauty of Wikipedia! So engineering is about the application of skills of individual or the persons associated with the work. As engineering students it is your duty to acquire these values during the four years course and impart these engineering skills in yourself. The skills and expected transitions associated with it are discussed in the next part of this article.

Someone might tell you that such skills are inborn or something like, that but let me promise you it’s a C.R.A.P. and just ignore any such advice. Every person has some skills and you also have some.  its just that you might not be aware of it and in this course of engineering you are supposed to discover them. all you need is a good teacher. It’s a good teacher who helps the students to direct these verities of skills into the skills required for engineering. (just like a converter!). So it’s a matter of good teacher and it’s your duty to look for such good teacher and follow guidelines issued by him. All you have to believe in your teacher n yourself with a scientific temper.

Scientific temper as defined by Wikipedia, ‘Scientific temper describes an attitude which involves the application of logic and the avoidance of bias and rigid ideas’. While working with scientific temper you should be always open to the new ideas even if it threatens your current believed system. Discussion, argument and analysis are vital parts of scientific temper. Elements of fairness, equality and democracy are built into it.  This temper gets developed as per your anxiety. This is inherent part of engineering and technology.

Let me give you small example as how scientific temper may work, all of you use mobile phones and send 100s of SMS daily but have you ever wonder why SMS is limited by 160 characters only? 160 is not in power of 2 (2^(any whole number) != 160)which means it’s not data compression size which limits the SMS size! Then what it might be? Thinking in such way for our daily activity is what the scientific temper all about.

There are more values which reflects the true spirit of engineering but for that aid of technology is needed so I have discussed it separately in last part of this article.

As a professional engineer or engineering student you should always remember that, true essence of engineering lies in your daily behavior, it lies in how we treat the people, how you handle the situation. This is what makes the difference between other fields people and engineers. ‘Creating plan with cool mind and executing it with full zest is what defines the true engineering spirit’. the engineering advantage really works and you gotta feel the power of knowledge, it’s amazing.

The essence of Technology

Technology as defined by Wikipedia,Technology is the usage and knowledge of tools, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization’. In plain English It is an application of science to solve problems. Technology comes from necessity. You have a problem to solve, so you invent the solution. You must use technology or innovate new technology to solve the problem.

Since the invention of wheel, probably the first machine technology has changed life of human radically, and engineers have evolved the technology based on their innovations.  Most technology is to defer labor, reduce human efforts and to make life of human simpler. Therefore while thinking of technology your approach should be in this way only: to make life simple.

Technology is often a consequence of science and engineering. Although engineering and technology overlap most of the times, there is very subtle difference between technology and engineering which is discussed in next section.

The true essence of technology lies in its complexity, risks and never giving up attitude. Complexity and risks are inherent in the technology.  The complexity and risk have something more integrated with it and I have discussed it separately in the article ‘calculated risk of opportunity’ :- the basic strategy to work with technology successfully. Rather than staying away from the complexity and risks and being dependent on somebody else to do these jobs, one should go for it with proper planning. Your never giving up attitude and patience helps you greatly in all these activity.

Engineering science and technology are interrelated and interdependent phenomenon and complies each other. So let us discuss them together to get most of from it.

The essence of Engineering and technology

Technology always helps or results in productivity and marketing while engineering is all about the skills required to achieve it. In the language of IT, engineering is more of software aspect while technology is the hardware aspect. Engineering is about the ethics and skills while working or solving a problem and technology is application of science with help of engineering skills for innovations. So science technology and  engineering are actually inseparable things and one should pursue them as a single entity.

How to do it? well read all further part of this article.

To get better idea about engineering technology and all, check out following diagram,

Confused? Don’t be, As I said you earlier complexity is inherent part of technology! So just give away this illusion of control that technology is difficult or complex and believe me after some time you will find these things simple and in fact you will also learn to talk and write with such complexity. How to break this illusion of control is discussed in the article, ‘calculated risk of opportunity‘.

You find this confusing since you are not familiar with it.  you haven’t read enough technical stuff, infact it largely depends on your habits, I don’t know how often you read something knowledgeable not fiction. So reading is most essential part of learning, you don’t have to be reading like arts students, 1000s pages book… no not at all, technology is not that difficult either, unlike history or politics students where each concept largely differs from other and not necessarily happen for a good reason, in tech world things are always related and happen for a certain reason to make things better. So if you study something about mobile OS then you can always relate this with computer OS, if you study layered architecture in networking then yes you can always relate it with all other layered architecture.

All you need to push up your anxiety and greed to next level for search of knowledge and will to know things: how stuff works.

In next article 12 transitions from academic to corporate life i have discussed the skills required for engineering and after that , i have discussed about the risk and complexity of technology in the article, calculated risk of opportunity. you can read either of article first. the articles are framed based on the diagram shown on this post, however going with the sequence is always recommended.

The essence of engineering

Engineering As defined by Wikipedia, ‘Engineering is the discipline, art and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize solutions to the needs of society’.

In plain English engineering is what the engineers do. Or in today’s context at least what they are supposed to do.(It’s very risky to say what engineers do is engineering! That’s why I am writing this post)

Definition defines engineering perfectly that’s beauty of Wikipedia! So engineering is about the application of skills of individual or the persons associated with the work. As engineering students it is your duty to acquire these values during the four years course and impart these engineering skills in yourself. The skills and expected transitions associated with it are discussed in the next part of this article. Someone might tell you that such skills are inborn or something like, that but let me promise you it’s a C.R.A.P. and just ignore any such advice. Every person has some skills, you are also having that.  It’s a good teacher who helps the students to direct these verities of skills possessed by individual into the skills required for engineering. You know just a converter. So it’s a matter of good teacher and it’s your duty to look for such good teacher and follow guidelines issued by him. All you have to believe in your teacher n yourself with a scientific temper.

Scientific temper as defined by Wikipedia,< ‘Scientific temper describes an attitude which involves the application of logic and the avoidance of bias and rigid ideas’. While working with scientific temper you should be always open to the new ideas even if it threatens your current believed system. Discussion, argument and analysis are vital parts of scientific temper. Elements of fairness, equality and democracy are built into it.  This temper gets developed as per your anxiety. This is inherent part of engineering and technology.

Let me give you small example of scientific temper, all of you use mobile phones and send 100s of SMS daily but have you ever wonder why SMS is limited by 160 characters only? 160 is not in power of 2 which means it’s not data compression size which limits the SMS size! Then what it might be? Thinking in such way for our daily activity is what the scientific temper all about.

There are more values which reflects the true spirit of engineering but for that aid of technology is needed so I have discussed it separately in last part of this article.

As a professional engineer or engineering student you should always remember that, true essence of engineering lies in your daily behavior, it lies in how we treat the people, how you handle the situation. This is what makes the difference between other fields people and engineers. ‘Creating plan with and executing it with full zest is what defines the true engineering spirit’. the engineering advantage really works and you gotta feel the power of knowledge, it’s amazing.

The essence of Technology

Technology as defined by Wikipedia,Technology is the usage and knowledge of tools, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization’. In plain English It is an application of science to solve problems. Technology comes from necessity. You have a problem to solve so you invent the solution. You must use technology or innovation to solve it. So trial and error until you succeeds. Most technology is to defer labor, reduce human efforts and to make life of human simpler.

Technology is often a consequence of science and engineering. Although engineering and technology overlap most of the times, there is very subtle difference between technology and engineering which is discussed in next section.

The true essence of technology lies in its complexity, risks and never giving up attitude. Complexity and risks are inherent in the technology.  The complexity and risk have something more integrated with it and I have discussed it separately in ………… basic strategy to tackle technology successfully. Rather than staying away from the complexity and risks and being dependant on somebody else to do these jobs, one should go for it with proper planning. Your never giving up attitude and patience helps you greatly in all these activity.

Engineering science and technology are interrelated and interdependent phenomenon and complies each other. So let us discuss them together to get most of from it.

The essence of Engineering and technology

Technology always helps or results in productivity and marketing while engineering is all about the skills required to achieve it. In the language of IT, engineering is more of software aspect while technology is the hardware aspect. Engineering is about the ethics and skills while working or solving a problem and technology is application of science with help of engineering skills for innovations. So science technology and  engineering are actually inseparable things and one should pursue them as a single entity. How to so it? well read all further part of this article.

To get better idea about engineering technology and all

Confused? Don’t be, As I said you earlier complexity is inherent part of technology! So just give away this illusion of control that technology is difficult or complex and believe me after some time you will find these things simple and infact you will also learn to talk and write with such complexity. How to break this illusion of control is discussed in the article, ……………..

You find this confusing since you are not familiar with it.  you haven’t read enough technical stuff, infact it largely depends on your habits, I don’t know how often you read something knowledgeable not fiction. So reading is most essential part of learning, you don’t have to be reading like arts students, 1000s pages book… no not at all, technology is not that difficult either, unlike history or politics students where each concept largely differs from other and not necessarily happen for a good reason, in tech world things are always related and happen for a certain reason to make things better. So if you study something about mobile OS then ye you can always relate this with computer OS, if you study layered architecture in networking then yes you can always relate it with all other layered architecture.

6. bridging the digital divide

previous article: Open source : true essence of Freedom

The digital divide refers to the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology, and those with very limited or no access at all. It includes the imbalance both in physical access to technology and the resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen.

A digital citizen commonly refers to a person that participates in society using a certain amount of information technology (IT). IT engineer is supposed to be by default a digital citizen. So being a digital citizen he is supposed to be familiar with the basic technologies and should strive to expand it in the society.

Unfortunately there is digital divide between the text books and real-time technology, teaching methods and the technology that they teach, students knowledge and existing technology. This digital divide is not created intentionally, it’s practically impossible to keep-up with the pace of technology. therefore It is necessary to bridge this divide by means of open source. Open source has the potential to bridge the divide seamlessly but for that faith, little commonsense, patience and hard work is required.  The open source is easily accessible via internet. The internet is not available for free of cost, little financial support is also needed. But that’s part of professional education.

To get idea how things have changed just check out following video, the video is created by Brunswick school of US , it is not important who has created it, what is said in the video: the message that’s all matters.

So it is very necessary to upgrade things as per changing environment, adaptation that’s what we call it. Such kind of environment is available today on the web; you just need to take note of it.

I hope that you have read the first 3 article before turning to this article. If not then at least check out 12-transition-from-academics-to-corporate-life this article as that is the final goal of all this and blog.

Some thing about social divide,

one inconvenient truth about today’s eduction system is that, it is seemingly moving away from the social aspect and is dedicated more towards producing man power ready for job. thus designed education is framed in a such way that it has hardly any dimension than touches social or environmental aspect of life. where as ideally it is expected that education should liberate the students, what i mean by liberate is discussed in this article, Education is that which liberates if you really want to know about aim of your education then you  should read it. further it is also expected that by getting liberated from the outdated social structure one should develop scientific temper (which i have discussed in the essence of engineering and technology ) to understand and develop ration thinking attitude to reason the activities happening in the society and in day to day life.

This can be considered as another divide, social divide, where education is dedicated towards creating labors rather than producing creative, critical thinking minds who will solve the problems as if they are playing with them. i will elaborate this concept in last article moving towards a sustainable life of this series of articles. right now lets get back into technology world considering the current system.

The following point are framed considering computing as the baseline thus they are largely applicable for IT and computer related engineering only, but one is free to relate it with their respective field of learning.

Something about academics.

Many time I came across the queries from students as we found lectures very boring and we just hate the attendance rule.

Well it’s not just you but I have also faced this situation, but look at this from an optimist perspective, these lectures enhances your tolerance towards torture J the hard time help you in developing patience. So while sitting next time for such boring lecture tell your mind that this is all for my goodness. Attendance rule is made compulsory since students take frequent common offs. And as per university ruling 75% is made compulsory so just be patient soon this rule will be relaxed, trust me 😉

There are some activities which you can do on your own to make teaching learning process interesting, you should discuss this with your seniors and class teacher.

Role of class teacher

In my engineering college FAMT, along with some senior teachers I put forth concept of class teacher but due to administrative reasons the actual concept got foiled and instead of friendly councilor it turnout as a police supervisor. Well can’t help it, but still the roles of class teachers are there but they are hidden so here I am going to discuss then, as I put the idea of class teacher.

“The class teacher should be a senior faculty from department having excellent communication skills, his role will be of proactive nature anticipating the problems of students and suggesting solution on them. Class teacher will be guide for student in entire semester making students aware about the dangers and opportunities in coming semester and current semester. He will also play a key role in extirpating corruption from academics and will help in developing the 12 transitions skills described in earlier article. It will also introduce students with the senior faculty of academics which will help in sharing of experience and opportunities. ‘A pioneer of open source’. “Although officially it is not written in the notice the logic behind class teachers still the same. So now its students responsibility to approach the respective class teacher and get solution on your difficulty.

“No sacrifice, no victory”

Since there is no shortcut to the success, for doing all this you will have to sacrifice some of your current life style leisure. But with proper planning we can most of from both leisure and success. It is not like that you are supposed to be studding for 16-20 hours a day, it is not compulsory to be in isolated doing your study… nothing like this. Daily 2-3 hours work depending on your capacity that’s all. infact after doing all these activities you are free to give time for your friends for leisure. Choice is all yours whether to be stuck with the outdated system, stay in illusion of unawareness or accelerate with the outside technology giving proper air to expand the wings of your talent and aspiration and stay competent of world-class standards… choice is all yours…

why to sit in lecture? it su*ks…

hmm…do you really have any option? what if you were in corporate company? so better accept the fact that you have to be in lectures for 5-6 hours. once you accept this now apply some creative methods to spend the time either for creative purposes or for time pass choice is all yours. during my academics i used to carry books for boring theory subjects, and as the teacher starts his/her lecture i used to underline that part from the book, it was  an amazing activity since while doing this i used to understand the concept plus i was able to catch the mistakes of the teacher. just have this clear equation in your mind above 95% attendance= 5 marks for free + recognition from the teacher which helps in viva and teamwork. so if your friend is not sitting in lecture be it dont run behind him, be little selfish and get the marks and recognition. besides being in lecture and answering teachers question is what a students duty.

how to manage open source stuff and study?

IF YOUR A CRAMMER FOR LAST FEW YEARS THEN THIS CAPS MESSAGE IS FOR YOU… “OPEN SOURCE+SYLLABUS STUDY IS ONLY POSSIBLE IF YOU CARRY THE ACTIVITIES AS PER ETHICS ON REGULAR BASIS”

it is very easy to manage both the activities. in fact as earlier said, your journey in BE will be cakewalk if you took good effort to dig the roots of technology with help of open source.

how to do it then?

for becoming expert IT  professional you must be reading the reference book of the subject. the techmax is a piece of crap another illusion to make you crammer mindless robot… why to learn technology without understanding what it does? and how it works? such data collected by cramming is not of any use. so read the reference book, for any new term, look for its elaboration on wikipedia. on wikipedia you will find more related terms so just go on clicking till you fill satisfied by the information. don’t just go on reading entire article read it till you get idea. the reference books contains images, work flow diagrams that plays crucial role in your answers. try to memorize it. other important activity is reading of technical magazine like digit.all these activity will help you in enhancing your technical language which will intern will help you in writing your exam papers.

your new syllabus is totally dependent on the application layer so you are also supposed to concentrate on the application layer i.e. software and features provided by it without concerning how it works at hardware level. such knowledge will help you in writing your assignments too. don’t copy the assignment the activity of assignment is an opportunity to express your self and your understanding for technology. it is also an opportunity to win the trust of your teacher. so give your best efforts to write assignments. you are free to use wikipedia and other sited as reference.

But why to take so many efforts while the company is ready to pay  handsomely with a ‘good’ package.

You are right. but just read the following part and then think again.

  • the good package can be really ‘good’ but tell me, what factors decides the goodness of the package?
  • have you ever realize that you really deserve only that much goodness or your worth is more than that?
  • how much sustainable it is going to be?
  • Besides have you ever realize what is your worth by your own?
  • Why to set your cost with respect to a job package?
  • How you ever realized level of your talent and potential?
  • don’t you think your job package should be directly proportional to your talent, skills and capacity to work?

If answer for all the questions is yes then you will not be just reading this blog, in fact just like me you would be doing something what you enjoy doing the most.

Nevermind you have still enough time… the college time is golden opportunity to challenge the limits to test yourself so take every opportunity to test yourself your talent, potential and calibrate your worth. Collect  information about the techworld and keep checking with your interest as what activity you like the most, what factors motivates you. In this way you will realize your true strength and weakness. Infact it is believe that your BE project should reflect your field of interest and should support you in building in-depth knowledge about it. just like if someone finds his field of interest is web then his project should be dedicated for web development. The 12 steps described in previous  article will help you in this whole exercise of discovering yourself.

All I want to convey to u is, don’t keep your talent underdeveloped, identify your talent and flourish it. you have 3 complete years to discover your true worth make most of it and avoid future frustration. depending on your worth if you find that you are not good in any IT skill no problem the ‘good’ package job is for you only, whatever efforts u have taken while learning engineering so go for it!!!

in next article i am going to discuss the essential ingredients that are needed to be master of technology, i will publish it soon.

5. Open source : true essence of Freedom

previous article Twelve transition from academics to corporate life and calculated risk of opportunity:

Open source in its true form is totally based on Indian religious value, I believe that old Indian traditional values are the source code of open source. So the concept is quite huge, vague and beyond words just like historical values that can be learn from Indian history and traditions. Now I have introduced you with the scope of open source so don’t get overwhelmed by this fact, as said earlier go step by step and you will learn to be with the open source world.

Let’s move step by step,

What is open source: In open source the developer who has knowledge of the software world contributes to an open source project through coding. The code that he writes is made available for all the users. Thus when software is created as open source that means its source code is also available to any user who wants to see it; he is free to modify it as per his wish. This is an optional feature, it is not mandatory to have knowledge about the source code and one can use the software without any interaction with the open source world too. That means in case an individual wants to modify any content of the software as per his need, he is allowed to do so. This entire exercise is done for improving the quality of the software and to bring out the best possible solution to a problem. There is no shade of ego in this world here technology and ethics are more important than people`s self esteem. Have you ever worked without thinking  your role in it? being selfless? try it, its more fun than being selfish.

Other motive which is coined by jimmy weles founder of Wikipedia as, “imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.” Today Wikipedia is one of the biggest open source project serving all sorts of information for all mankind. That is power of open source, constructive use of technology. This is other aspect of Open source, not just software but the logic and intellectual knowledge require for doing an activity is also shared. The web is the platform used for doing these activities and any site, any forum that is sharing such knowledge is part of open source.

With all these features and efforts one stunning feature of open source is that, it is absolutely free of cost. It is just like ‘daan’ in the religious value, one who knows virtues of the open source contributes to the technology in his possible way to enhance it and to make it available seamlessly to other needy people. So open source is not just about the software coding it is more about the ethics and professionalism. The open source philosophy says “one should get what he deserves

The open source project involves highest level of team work, coordination and commitments. Often the project work is distributed across the world, people from various countries contribute to the running project yet the project is carried out in highly systematic way. These are the professional skill we need to develop in the today’s youth.

All of this is nothing but the old Indian saying, ||सर्वेपि सुखिनः संतु|| (may all be happy). We have forgotten these things and the western world is flying with these values. We need to wake up and identify our true assets.

The open source projects to start with:

1. Google: do I need to say anything about Google? Everything you need is just a click away just enter a correct searching string and you will get result. Try to master the skills of searching on Google, best source learn about this and many more concepts related to web is a book called “rough guide to the internet”(look for latest edition) (might be available in the library).

2.Wikipedia.org: the free and open encyclopedia, as said earlier it is developed on simple philosophy as “imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge”.

Don’t use the articles of Wikipedia as only reference source, if any article efeatures title as citation needed then most of the time its content can be ambiguous so just beware of these facts. While Reading the article from wikipeida, it is not necessary to read the whole article, sometimes  just by reading the first introduction (part of article  before content list)  you get the idea about the technology so in such case you can skip the rest article and return to your text book. After that you should relate that concepts with your textbook matter, if any doubts take help of your subject teacher. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, as a student it’s your authority to ask questions and get knowledge.

3. Howstuffworks.com: this site is very much reliable as it is maintained by experts. Unlike Wikipedia the contents are not open for editing. You can learn live working of technology here.

4. Youtube.com: you must be knowing YouTube for all sort of fun stuff but yes YouTube can be used for educational purposes also. Plain English tutorials explains technology in very simple language.

5. Blogs: there are various important blogs like this blog; the college faculty can also have his/her own blog. You should be aware about these blogs and should read good article from these blogs. Smashingmagazine.com is also a good source as blog.

6. Forums: these are the best place to solve your queries and satisfy your queries. Whatever question you have, you are supposed to find a relative forum using Google and post your question on that forum. The experts from that forum gives answer to your queries.

Some interesting forums to begin with,

  1. Digg.com
  2. Smashingmagazine.com
  3. Techrepublic.com
  4. Thinkdigit.com

Interaction on these forums is easy

Last part about his all activity is development of temper for cooperation. This step is very important, you should discuss the new technology with your friends, teachers. This will also help you in strengthening your own concepts.

In all these activities a lot of English reading is required, and this is also very important skills that 21st century demands. So it is very important to be skilled in soft skills. To deal with jargon language of text books you should start reading technical magazine like digit. Not entire magazine but the part which you will find interesting.

That’s all friends, if you start studding by keeping touch with the web, you will learn many more things to make your learning process more interesting and effortless. After four years of course you will emerge as an engineer of your era which will defiantly benefit you in the job interview and while actual field work.

In the next part of this article, bridging the digital divide I am going to discuss various problems of students and possible solutions on them, also I will also try to burst few myths.