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Model Based Learning

Reality in the strictest sense is described as reality “as it is” or in the most absolute sense is “how something exists”. Human kind has been making models of things or a reflection of reality from the day it began to reason. In each era the assumptions on which the whole of civilization choose to see things changed. For example at the time of Galileo it was believed by people that the Sun revolved around the Earth. In fact there were giants of human kind like Socrates and Aristotle whose contributions date a long time before the period of Galileo who must have believed on the same assumption.

Now as each era evolved human kind was able to control nature to a better degree and it did this by revisiting the models that it had made of nature. I say models here because they were not reality in the strictest sense. But by revisiting these models and bringing them closer to reality "as is" their ability to predict and thus control improved.

Even today we have millions of models through whose lens we view the world and many of these models might become obsolete in the next era of human kind.

When a student goes to Harvard or MIT they study many models and know them better then most other institutions could have taught them and so they can predict and control things that are in the purview of their expertise better than most other people. They do this by working hard to learn the right models and in the process “empty their mind” of wrong models that they had carried. That said they can still only go as far as has been discovered by any man who has ever lived to date. As I said in the next era even these models would change and enable experts in those eras to have “greater control” than experts in the present one.

Note that one has to sometimes remove wrong models to be able to get to the right models i.e. you have to “undo” before you can “rebuild”. It is said that the way the intellect of man works is that it mixes some element of fallacy with truth i.e. a person may have an understanding of truth to some degree, and this is what allows him to have any influence in the matter, but the set of fallacies that is mixed with it limits that person from reaching an even more powerful model. These set of fallacies or untruth have been described by somebody as “a donkey carrying a burden of books on its back” which goes to show that this untruth becomes more of a “liability” then an “asset”.

I understand that in order to avoid untruth it is best to have as few assumptions as possible.

I would go as far as to say to that maybe one should not even trust one’s own empirical perception at all times. Let’s say for example that one is feeling depressed or scared about something. Why should we not question ourselves: “Why am I feeling depressed? Is the reason that I understand enough for me to feel depressed? Should I continue to feel depressed? Why should I accept that I am depressed just because I am feeling depressed!”


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Explanation of the movie 'Revolver'

I saw the movie for the umpteenth time last night and I finally got it.

This is what the movie says:

1) In every game and con there is always a victim and there is always an opponent. It's good to know when you are the former so you can become the latter.

2) But the question is how do you prepare yourself for this game?

3) You only get smater by playing a smarter opponent.

4) The smarter the game the smarter the opponent

5) Checkers is an example of such a game. Chess is a better game. Debate is an even better opportunity to learn and so on.

6) But the question is where does the game stop? or one can ask what is the smartest game one can play?

7) The answer according to the movie is: "The game of con you play with yourself".

The text below has been added on 3 Dec 2008 and is based on a comment posted on October 30, 2008, at time 4:12 PM. I have only recently understood what this person meant and it is …

The beauty of self-negation

Self-negation is the act of exercising your will power to do what you don’t want to do such that you benefit from this act [of self negation]. The more one practices self-negation the better you get at controlling your will and making it do what you want it to, when you want it to.

For obvious reasons this can have tremendous benefits. Just imagine a situation where your superior wants you to sit late or gives you a task that is very difficult and you have enough control over yourself to not get flustered! In fact imagine turning your world into the world you always imagined as a child… by taking the difficult steps, through self-negation…one can only marvel at the beauty of creating the world you want!

We get the chance to practice self-negation many times in the day, each chance another ‘opportunity’ to get better at controlling ourselves.

Every time we sit down to eat for example we can eat good food in the quantity that the body requires and after that leave some space in our stoma…

Why feedback is important

We learn about the world as we get feedback from things within it such as from family, friends, mentors and even books.

Feedback can tell you where you went wrong and affirm what you do right. It can thus help you predict the future.

Interestingly there are people I have met who question the importance of feedback. They say: “I can figure out everything I need to on my own. I don’t need feedback like others do.” This is not true. In fact there is a big danger lurking in this notion.

If the world you are creating is your own you might get stuck in it or some part of it and not know what to do next.

If however, this world of yours and all parts of it are based on some feedback you will always know who to ask if you get stuck.

Somebody once said that "fundamentally we are here not to be seen, but to see" i.e. to see things outside of ourself. You will notice that all growth you have had has owed itself to some consistent feedback.

Suppose you wrote an essay. You wouldn't rea…