All posts by Sachin Thakur

I am a life coach, and a blogger. I grew up in India, and then moved to Australia where spent about fifteen years. I am very much at home in Australia, but currently it is India that I call home. I am married with one son. I spent a lot of years reading, learning, and making a difference to other people's lives. With technology the geographical boundaries have disappeared. So I am using the blogging tool to reach as many people as I possibly can. I have an Engineering (Electronics) degree and a post graduate degree in Information Systems. If I had not become an engineer, I would have become an astrophysicist. In a nutshell, I have a very analytical mind. Sometimes people say that I am philosophical. That's probably right, because I always ask questions like, 'Why is it this way?' or, 'What if it was some other way?'. So I put up this blog to see the world from a perspective different from my own. This way, I get to see the world from the views of the writer's as well as the readers'. My punctuation is the way it is. Software companies have conditioned me in believing that their way of punctuation is the right way. However, I think at school I had learnt different punctuation and grammar. And, I believe that was the right way. Along the way, I will read books about grammar and punctuation and improve. Right now, how it appears here, is how I want to express myself.

Humanity as a Social Organism

Various sociologists have made their contribution in the field of Sociology. Amongst them, the most relevant I have found so far is Auguste Comte.

The question that arises out of the discussions of various views of these sociologists, social scientists or social thinkers is whether human society is like an organism. If so, then, is this social organism like

  1. Family, or
  2. A plant or an animal?

In case of a family, every individual has their own, independent existence. In case of an animal or a plant, each part of the organism or organs neither has their independent existence, nor is conscious as in case of a family member.

According to Comte, humanity differs from other organisms like polyps, in that every member is has the will to contribute to the social structure and to withhold it. Further, Comte states that a human being is a human being because of the humanity, or the human society that they belong to. Without the human society, a human being wouldn’t have their human existence.

A drop of ocean would cease to be a drop of ocean if there were no ocean. Likewise, the ocean would cease to be ocean without its drops. The ocean and drop are one and the same – the ocean is the drop; and the drop is the ocean! The ‘drop in the ocean’ behaves thus, because of the rest of the ocean. The dynamic behaviour of the ocean exists because the collective existence of the drops when they become the ocean. Humanity behaves in a similar way except that in case of humanity, every member of the collective society is conscious at the individual level. Whether it’s the ocean, or the drop, both lack consciousness.

The nature and existence of an individual human being is there because of the collective existence of the human society. The individual human being would have no existence without the collective existence of Humanity, or the Human Society.

Human beings are nothing but a reflection of the society that they live in.

Education

Education is one of the most important aspects of the development of the Human Society. In fact, it is the earliest influencer on a human being outside their family. Education is what prepares us for the society. Education lays the foundation for our survival skills. Literacy Skills and Numeracy Skills lay the foundation for our ongoing education in social skills. Language skills teach us to read, write and speak. Numeracy skills help us survive in the world of numbers and the world of money. Money is a means of survival, as it is the medium of transaction.

In the early human beings, education was not a structured phenomenon. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it Education, since learning wasn’t structured in the early human beings. It was just Learning. We just acquired the skills of various trades from the experts, or the parents as early humans. Education is about Learning, but Learning by itself isn’t Education. At best, the unstructured Learning of the early humans, to some extent, happened because of Training. But it wasn’t education.

What is Education then? The basic paradigm of Education, as the educationists define it, is fulfilling the Instructional Gap. Let us say, the subject (the learner) is at a level X of certain competency; and they are expected to be at another competency level called Y. So there is a gap called (Y-X) that exists for that person. This gap called the Instructional Gap, is fulfilled by designing a Courseware, or a Curriculum. Developing the learner’s competency by implementing the curriculum, is what is called Education.

Generally speaking school education is the basic social education, whereby the individual steps into the real world created by humans. It is the world which works on Money. It works on exchange of goods which we need for survival, luxury and various other purposes. In the early days of humanity, we only needed skills required for food, clothing and shelter during our hunter / gatherer days. However when we discovered organized farming, we discovered the ways to live in a community or a society. And my assumption is that, that is the time we started to think as a species. We started to think creatively. We started to think of things other than just survival, i.e. food, clothing and shelter. The animal-like life, which is perhaps instinctive and inherent to us, wasn’t the way to go in the organized social structure. Organised farming involved use of animals. It involved inventing newer tools for farming. We discovered ways of using metals for designing the tools. We discovered ways of cutting wood, designing stone tools (not necessarily in that order). When we had excess produce, we learned to barter with others. We found more time to ourselves and we found creative ways of entertaining ourselves. We invented arts. We learned languages. We learned to communicate. And we found ways of standard practices for the society to work in a homogeneous manner. This needed for us to know the social skills, tool making skills, productivity skills; and thus arose the need for Education.

Education isn’t just about learning at an individual level, but it is about learning at a mass level. When a curriculum is implemented, though every individual is expected to achieve its outcomes, it is implemented at a mass level – so that a group of individuals achieves the same outcome(s). Thus we get a bunch of people (society) thinking alike. And thus, we have achieved Education, rather than just skill training.

Education isn’t about teaching, it is about Learning. The outcomes of a course are the Learning Outcomes. It is not about whether the teacher has taught. It is about whether the learner has learnt. And thus, we have a society that’s educated – i.e. people who think like a modern man. So Education is an integral aspect of the modern society, or the civilized world.

Culture

This is the cover of the book I downloaded from kindle. I want to take the middle path for writing this blog. I want to provide material backed by academic research, though I don’t want it to be too academic. I don’t want to provide stuff that is there on public domain, the authenticity of which I cannot guarantee.

Science of Sociology

I finished reading this book on Sociology recently. It is titled Introduction to the Science of Sociology. Somehow, I didn’t find any significant material on the topic Culture in this book. I found this book below (Culture: From Primitive Society to the Space Age) on Amazon Kindle. I found some good material in this book. So I have mentioned it.

CULTURE COVER

A few years back I had this feeling (kind of realisation) that culture is only one generation deep. In other words, my culture is only what I inherit from my parents. What if one or both of my parents were from a different background? I would have definitely ended up different. So culture in my view is a different topic in Self-Realisation. In the page Human Development I have listed Culture as one of the subjects instrumental in the development of a human being. This post is a brief attempt to cover what Culture means in the field of Social Sciences.

Culture according to Wikipedia is defined in the words of E.B. Tylor, as

That complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.

I realised over the years that, what I inherited from my parents, their values, their beliefs etc, if that is what Culture is, then Culture alone isn’t enough to shape me up, because in addition to that, I inherit a lot of other things from my environment which are not bestowed unto me by my parents. My education for instance, is distinct from the culture I inherit from my parents. My education isn’t necessarily a part of their upbringing. In shaping up who I am today, my environment (which is not identical to my parents’ environment) is responsible; and there are many aspects to my environment. That is where the field of Sociology plays a big role.

At this juncture, I will end this post here. In subsequent posts, I will write on various topics of Sociology and Culture.

The rationale behind this blog

  1. To create a better world
  2. To address the inefficiencies
  3. To determine the factors influencing the inefficiencies
  4. To learn about the socio-economic influences
  5. To learn about government
  6. To learn about culture

These are just some of the things that got me started on this blog. These are the things that I started reading about. Reading gave me a different perspective about life. However, how these things stack up in real life, I am not sure. So I decided to blog about these things.

I am hoping that a lot of readers read my blog and contribute to it. Since the Internet defies the physical boundaries there would be multiple perspectives available to a lot of these points in discussion which normally fall within Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Education, Politics and Culture.

Why is it that things work a certain way in Australia, another way in the US and Europe, another in Asia and yet another in Africa?

On this blog, I want to take a realistic approach to life. I don’t want to overlook the faults and call myself an optimist. At the same time, I don’t want to focus purely on the faults and be a pessimist. A food stain on a nice white shirt cannot hide. The shirt becomes nice and white only after the stain is washed away. Any science goes into the finest detail to solve problems. A lot of times, the problems that Science solves, or attempts to solve, are created problems. Those problems exist only in the educated mind. The educated mind ponders over an issue for a long time and comes up with an out of the ordinary perspective which no one had thought about. However in my case, I am not a genius. I believe in Collective Mind.

Together, we can think much better than just one person.