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Readers' Paradise - September 2015

Readers' Paradise - September 2015

TestFunda ,  03-Sep-15

About Readers' Paradise


The Real Value of Real Education

This one is a really good commencement address written and delivered by David Foster Wallace in 2005. Mr. Wallace gets some piercingly hard truth across to the audience that certain clichés in life have deeper meaning. For instance, education must prepare us to think. But of course we are thinking beings. The point is not about our capability to think but to think deeply. He talks about changing our default settings of the brain to think well. He also talks about getting out of the circle of boredom, routine, and petty frustrations that are generated by the daily motions of living; he emphasizes that we need to cultivate attention, awareness, and discipline. Mr. Wallace defines the freedom of a real education. All this might seem like a lecture on moral education but that is not the case. I guess it is better to hear from Mr. Wallace himself.


Doping should be allowed

How would your days be in the middle of nowhere, in wilderness? Won’t you get bored of buzzing mosquitoes, or loneliness? How would you stock grocery? How would you explain to your people why you prefer being on your own among dangers and few people? Would it be a better life than the daily grind and routine of job and home? Is it all exciting and happening in the wilderness or is it slow? Here’s a person who wants to live like Thoreau and manages to experience that too. She will tell you what it means to live on the edge of experience. She will tell you that to live is to just fill a day and that it can be a tricky yet essential business.


To be stupid

In the computer lab, a student had issues with printing and I was the one helping her/him out. I told the student to not give multiple print commands. Yet, when I would check the printer, I would see multiple prints. I again went and specially repeated that s/he must not issue multiple prints. The result did not change. I was frustrated and my face must have shown my annoyance when s/he asked if “multiple” meant several times! (I wish s/he had asked the first time rather than dumbly doing the same thing.) I believe I had less patience with slow or less smart people. However, a teaching experience can change your views (sometimes) for the better. I recognize that smartness is relative and ‘stupidity’ might mean incompetence, or (the person) needs help. It might also mean that the person is stupid at one thing but smart at another. In any case, is it good or bad to know that one is stupid? How does it feel to be stupid? Here are some really good answers:

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The Masters of Star Creation

A Britney Spears, Rihanna, or Taylor Swift does not have the time or many times the skill to create her music – the script is written by tried and tested song-writers, the music is drawn from plagiarizing aspects of hit music, and finally ruthless digitization, outsourcing, and strong marketing are applied to it. Record label executives also play a major role in the business of popular music. The irony is that the performers are called artists and the people behind the music largely remain anonymous.


Doping should be allowed

The next link will take you to a discussion on why letting athletes dope is a better idea. He reasons that if it is alright for doctors to take drugs for better attention and scientists to use drugs for cognitive enhancement, why shouldn’t professional sportspeople use performance enhancing drugs? He also reasons that if doping is allowed, it would become healthier and more efficient; it would lead to better standardization and also allow more athletes to compete, in turn enriching the show for spectators.


Bringing life to work

Why do we work? Is pay the only motivator at least for low-skilled or blue-collar jobs? Do people do years of monotonous drudgery and soul-sucking jobs just for money? Here’s a person who wants to put meaning back into work. He discusses in an interview on steps that can be taken or change that can be brought in theory and practice about any work and attitudes to work to make work more satisfying and meaningful.

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