Jain Daugh

Reflections on Learning and Human Beings




Further reflections by Jain Daugh to stimulate a conscious appraisal of current reality in order to be in control of the direction to give to our life instead of being controlled by external forces of different type (politic, economic, cultural, technological).




1- It is my intention to encourage any person to trust and make use of their own ability to think.
I am constantly astonished with people who confuse thinking with repeating something that they heard/read, taking that unchallenged into their own mind as a 'fact'. When I hear/read something, I am all the while checking with my own experiences and logic to discover if what I am hearing/reading makes sense to me.

2- One doesn't need credentials or schooling to do that, just practice and confidence -
Schooling originally developed out of the 'Prussian model' which was used to teach soldiers to walk in/onto swords. Education is more about adding information and skills for use in one's life than simply gathering 'knowledge'. Unfortunately education has slipped into indoctrination - or as has been said. "Tell a big enough lie often and long enough and it becomes 'fact'." - so too education has become a hallowed ideal without much if any substance to justify it. Infants do NOT go to 'school' to learn to eat, speak or begin interacting with other humans. And what infants learn is not what they are TOLD, it’s more what the infant needs to learn for their own development. The need to continue learning is instinctual for humans, yet they are TAUGHT to suppress that native urge in favor of presented (to them) 'knowledge' by seemingly superior humans (aka adults).

3- Confidence - usually built on DOing, even learning from mistakes that we all make.
I have heard it said, and it makes sense to me, that mistakes and errors provide a lesson of their own - what NOT to do. Trial and error is all part of the learning process. It indicates and eliminates where thinking and application of effort didn't create desired results, thus encouraging efforts to be directed to other ways. Regrouping and trying again builds confidence in one's ability to achieve what is needed.

4- Our current world is - in my opinion - way too 'top->down' oriented where people are being treated as, and acting like, mindless children needing to be directed.
Specialization has been taken to an extreme of where only certain people can 'do' a PART of what needs to be done. Designers lay out a vision, fabricators create a model of that, buyers discover component sources, accountants determine the costs allowed, manufactures set up assembly, sales find orders, billing receives payment and management makes sure everything gets done. Remove ONE aspect and nothing gets built, no jobs get paid because no product is made. Education is directed towards passing on KNOWN information so that people can function like robots in their limited capacity/positions of 'action'. Management evolves into a god like attitude because without its directions, nothing would happen.

5- Only when each person decides to be an autonomous and (self) develop maturity including removing fear for responsibility, will mankind improve.
Its SCARY for a person to realize that one doesn't know 'how to DO' (something necessary for living). A person can react by seeking the company and direction of those that DO know, OR deciding that learning and developing an ability to DO by and for one's self is the long term better way to proceed. Learning - by and for one's self - tends to be a self feeding build for one's ego and esteem. Not being 'able' decreases and undermines ego and esteem. Responsibility is less feared and more practiced as ego and esteem builds on ability and achievements. Responsibility also becomes expected of others as one practices that for oneself. (I can, so anyone can.)

6- Technology needs to be seen as a TOOL, not an 'AI' replacement for one's own mind.
Tools are useful items that increase/extend human abilities and efforts - basically leverage for doing. Machines developed so that humans could leverage stored chemical energy (wood/coal/oil/electrical) to produce more than a person by and for themselves could ever do physically. Technology seems to have moved from physical effort into the realm of mental information communication. But like not using of a muscle results in atrophy of that tissue, not 'exercising' one's brain also results in less ability to think. Technology has gotten to where so much is 'provided' (stored for retrieval) that most efforts for use is passive rather than active participation.

AI should not be seen as a replacement for one’s own mind (the computer deciding for us for instance how to invest our money or how to develop our resources). The computer is a powerful assisting aid but should not be a mind replacing tool.



The Hero in The Mirror

Some years back, the cartoon novel and subsequent movie - V For Vendetta - was tauted as a great example of freedom. And it was, for the character of V, but in the end it only reflected how much people seem to be seeking a 'hero' to lead them.

My own understanding of freedom is more individual based. Freedom is a condition that I find to be internally grounded and generated. For me freedom reflects thinking and actions that result in as unburdened a life as I can live. Freedom is never 'free', as without cost or effort. Freedom reflects self reliance, integrity and requires self responsibility while honoring mutual respect from and to others. I feel my personal freedom is most honorable when my thoughts and actions are done for my own benefit and done at my own, not any other's, expense. Freedom is a gift I give to myself, not something granted to me by others. I must create it for my own life from my own thoughts and actions.

Suggesting that each person become their own 'hero' may sound absurd or a frighteningly challenging to people. Yet if a person can not, or will not, discover and embrace what they ARE, they fail to fully acknowledge and then claim their own unique human individualism. They become doomed to huddle within the human herd of others also seeking a 'leader' to protect and guide them in their lives. Free people find such a condition to be too akin to slavery. I recently heard it presented how slavery is created by 'taking the mind and leaving the body'. That is done by use of physical brutality to where a person is so fearful they will do anything to avoid the pain. Such a method can only TAKE and eventually spirals to empty because it only TAKES more than it can ever 'make'. (return on input)

A feeling of comfort and safety is usually felt by insecure people within a crowd, while free people tend to feel the opposite - captured and in danger by proximity to people who will react as an unthinking mob. Leaders of unfree people promise and assure care for others, which can only really be obtained by taking whatever is needed from those that have 'it'. Leaders promise a 'one-size-fits-all' package of what they call freedom, but its always something they reserve the right to grant and with a price that benefits the leaders first and foremost.

Another characteristic I have observed of unfree people, and which continues to astonish me, is how when asked "What is it that you want for your life?", they don't have a clue. Or they will respond with list of things, not inner desires. This disconnect from one's own core self is what some have called a truncated spirit. It’s a lobotomy of one's own soul and leaves a hollow shell that functions to barely keep the body alive, minimally serving one's own needs while giving more of themselves towards the needs of others. This may sound wonderfully altruistic, but giving that is in essence depleting of one's own resources results in resentment, not happiness by all involved.

I am glad that I have found my own hero in my mirror. She is the one that best assures that I am honored as, and act in my own best human ways - including taking care of me too. I delight in meeting others who have found and embrace their own (mirror) hero. I encourage that for anyone who desires as full and enriched a life as they can make and have for themselves.



Human Maturing

I find it a difficult to share thoughts and ideas with others when using words that are mutually assumed to be understood, but haven't been defined by those attempting to communicate. The words relating to human development - baby, child, adult - don't really provide actual insight into an individual's abilities and maturity.

The word baby does a good job of describing a very young, physically less capable person that requires care and resources supplied by a more developed person. A child is a more physically developed person who is in the process of building mental abilities that can serve them further as a person. An adult is a fully (physically) grown person who is assumed capable to meeting its own needs.

Douglas Adams, author of the wacky book A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, was right when he said humans are in the final stage of civilization . . . his example being: first stage - I'm hungry, second stage - What's to eat? third stage - Lets do lunch! The current human obsession and focus on sports and gaming reflects this observation: first stage (hunter gather/agriculture) - I need to be active in my environment, second stage (industrialization) I can manipulate my environment (via stored energy sources) to live easier and better, third stage (technology) I have toys that think and do for me since humans are superior to the environment. 

Unfortunately another current misconception about maturing is the acceptance of the concept that formal education is the best, and perhaps only way, that people can prepare themselves for 'adult' living. There are two glaring flaws in this assumption - first being that what is passed off as education has been institutionalized to where the provided information is directed by those in charge - for their own purposes. The information is what is KNOWN and presented for use and future referencing by those who take in what is presented and prove they have done so by regurgitating that via testing. The second flaw is - that what is not taught nor encouraged, how to think by/for one's self.

It seems to me that ability to think by and for one's self has been in a slow and steady decline since organized and mandatory, 'schooling' began. I can see where an industrial revolution type of model, could be efficient - gathering uneducated into a common place and sharing knowledge assembly line style. However doing that was really only valid when the means of information sharing - mainly books - were few and expensive. Plus it’s now rare to find a person who does not know how to read and have ready access to information. The increase in home schooling where literate parents in turn teach their children to read and then basically encourage the already curious child to pursue what ever interests them, has shown how unnecessary a schooling 'system' is. An example of Australia's remote outback families that made use of radios to communicate lessons, which the children were then encouraged to do by and for themselves. This demonstrates how herding children into a building isn't really needed. An argument about parents not having the time or ability to teach their own children the basics (reading/writing/arithmetic) begs the question - why have children that one doesn't interact with, and play a part in fostering their development, in the first place?

I have known several people who had very little formal education, but who continued to learn and make use of the knowledge they gained with admirable results. I have also known many a 'degreed dummy' who had obtained university educations but were not able to basically function outside of that specific knowledge. These people also don't tend to be self starters as well as uncomfortable operating outside of their specific knowledge areas.


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