Monday, October 29, 2012

News Flash

One problem I see with so many discussions about politics, culture, the economy and other areas is the refusal of people on all sides of the issues to accept the reality of change. Whether it's liberals or conservatives, materialists or followers of religions, they tend to blame the "other side" for the situation and seem intent on returning to a time when things were supposedly better.
The terms "old paradigm" and "new paradigm" get thrown around quite a bit, and they can mean many things. A paradigm, however, generally refers to something significant and fundamental rather than just a minor or secondary aspect of something. So let's look at some areas where the old paradigm is simply not going to return no matter what anybody does, no matter who gets elected and no matter how much we try to deny it:
*** The Economy -jobs that were created for the industrial age are fading fast.
*** The Environment - regardless of the cause, the climate appears to be changing.
*** Culture -the "nuclear family," a world of distinct and separate nations and races; these are already anachronistic concepts.
*** Dogma -politics, economics, nationalism & religion are increasingly irrelevant.
None of the above are exactly revelations. Everyone sees this occurring right before our eyes, but the problem is that hardly anyone accepts that it's really happening and that it's irreversible. I propose that, rather than see such things as problems, we take them as axioms for the times we're living in and look for ways to make the best of them. If we explore these phenomena in more detail, we can see that this isn't so hard to do. In fact, when we really look at it, we should be glad all of this is happening!
As I write this, there are spreading protests in the U.S., called Occupy Wall Street.
As thousands protest economic inequality and hardship, conservatives condemn the protestors as socialists, anarchists or just lazy hippies (this is from reading actual message boards!). At the same time, we're approaching an extremely divisive presidential election where Democrats and Republicans hurl accusations and insults back and forth.
Both sides talk about the economy as though it was either possible or desirable to go back in time -specifically to the post-World War ll era where the industrial economy was expanding and the United States was the dominant power. The fact is, these days are gone forever, and, more importantly, why should we even mourn them?
Both corporate capitalism and socialism are based on an industrial age model that is less and less relevant. Rather than asking whether we should trust Big Business or Big Government to solve our problems, is it not time to come up with viable, grassroots alternatives? In fact, the very idea of economics in the traditional sense, or a monolithic abstraction known as "The Economy" should perhaps be abandoned.
Granted, when people are facing difficult economic times, unemployment is a frightening prospect -or reality. Yet, let's be honest. How many people really want to work in a factory or in an office cubicle? Yet these are the archetypal jobs that were created in the industrial age. Regardless of the reigning political ideology, the structure of employment is based on hierarchy, mass production,centralization and conformity.
The same, of course, is true for modern education, whether public or private. Education is simply preparation for a job in the industrial age economy. The prevailing, widespread cynicism regarding modern institutions may be largely due to an underlying, mostly unconscious realization that none of these institutions really belongs here anymore.
The apparent mindlessness and narcissism of contemporary popular culture is easy to dismiss as either a symptom of a culture in decline, or perhaps as a conspiracy on the part of the power elite to divert people from what's really happening. Yet, another way to look at it is as a reaction and escape from the even more mindless prison of bureaucracy, irrational laws and norms, corporate "culture" and a world where few actually believe in the outmoded habits they are compelled to repeat day after day.
When it comes to energy and the environment, it's largely a matter of making use of emerging technologies that replace the oil based paradigm. This may or may not leave room for the personal automobile as the dominant form of transportation. At the very least, it would seem that this mode of getting around will have to be sharply curtailed -not by the big government so dreaded by conservatives and libertarians (with some justification), but by the reality of diminishing supplies of oil and rapidly expanding populations.
Global warming or, more accurately, climate change, appears to be a reality, whether or not it's primarily caused by humans (this is still highly debatable, even though it's heresy to say this in many circles). Here's another area where a paradigm shift in perception is necessary. Rather than denying the reality of climate change (i.e. conservatives) or pretending it's still possible to reverse it (i.e. liberals, many environmentalists), why not start accepting it and looking for ways to minimize the harm and, in some cases, actually benefit from it?
I am no scientist, but common sense dictates that an overall increase in the average temperature can't be all bad. And those aspects of climate change that clearly do have harmful effects -e.g. unstable weather patterns, increased hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.- must be dealt with, and resources must be allocated to prepare for such events.
The realms of culture and dogma are closely related, and it's clear that the ideologies, categories and belief systems of previous centuries are not going to be able to guide us much further into this millennium. Defining oneself based on race, religion or country of origin is becoming increasingly untenable in a world where conversations -as well as business transactions- can be conducted instantly via smart phone, Skype or Twitter messages.
The emerging global culture is hard to define, but it will have to be some kind of smorgasbord -an even bigger melting pot than the one America was supposed to embody. As people travel and emigrate more and more (whether legally or illegally), intermarry with people of other races and religions, and people with wildly different and often opposing beliefs are forced to live in close proximity to one another, the idea of a single, dominant ideology or dogma becomes impossible.
It's now time to stop trying to prop up aspects of the old paradigm that cannot be revived -and that no longer serve us anyway. It's time to question many of the sacred cows of modern society, including the corporation, education as an institution, the modern medical model, the nation state, and even that most sacred of modern cows, money. Not that these institutions will be abolished in some kind of Marxist-style revolution. They are, rather, in the process of either dying a natural death or morphing into new and more appropriate (for this time) forms.
There was a time in the not so distant past when none of these things existed in anything resembling their present form. Most likely, whether we like it or not, none of them will exist in their present forms in the not very distant future. Rather than seeing this as something to dread, portending the end of the world, why not see it as the end of an outdated paradigm?

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Best Education Place for a Child

Mukand Lal Public School is situated at Sarojini Colony in Yamuna Nagar, Haryana. It was founded by the Seth family in January 1998 in memory of Mr. Seth Mukand Lal, to perpetuate and kindle the Mukandian philosophy of love and service in its students. Seth Mukand Lal, a strict follower of Mahatma Gandhi, practised the Gandhian philosophy all through his life. At Mukand Lal Public School the objective is to build students who will be life long learners, who observe their surroundings, investigate through exploration, question what they observe, reason and finally come to a conclusion rationally.
These faculties are built through story telling, visual impact, the creative use of CDs, flash cards, Video films, IT and field visits. Project based work and group discussions make classrooms the hub of activities. A hands on approach to math, science and social studies is coupled with an equal emphasis on languages for a balanced approach to learning. A day in school begins with a prayer where the National Anthem is an integral part of the morning assembly followed by the thought for the day, news headlines, interesting facts, and the recitation of poems after which the normal classes begin.
The School enrolls students from Pre-Nursery to the 10 + 2 stage. The curriculum is designed to develop the rational and analytical faculties of these young children. The school offers Art, Music, Dance, Sports and various co - curricular activities, of which Physical Education and Games are an integral part. The school believes that learning should be stress- free and full of pleasure. Various clubs have been formed with a view to facilitate the students. There are a host of weekly inter-house activities which has led to an increase in student participation.
The activities in Classes I, II and III, are designed to sharpen creativity, curiosity, competence, analytical and problem solving skills, communication skills and self-expression in the child. The students choose between Sanskrit Punjabi as their third Indian language from Classes IV, to VIII. The other subjects taught include English, Math, Hindi, and General Science, Social Sciences, Computers and Environmental education. The students of classes IX and X have to study the following subjects: English, Hindi, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Science and Information Technology for the All India Secondary School Exam conducted by the CBSE. The library is well rich with a number of reference books and the reading in Library also forms an integral part of the curriculum of all the students.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Financial Education and the Share Market

When the stock market falls, it scares people away, causes them concern, and worries them if they thinking about buying stocks and shares. That makes sense, as essentially your money is going to go the way of a rat on a sinking ship, straight into the deep blue ocean, never to be seen again. When the stock market is rising and the profits are easy to make, people become less wary, perhaps hear stories of other people making a profit, and thinking they can to make some easy money on the stock market. People's perceptions are constantly changing depending on certain factors, and that is why many people make mistakes in the share market.
As the share market rises, the media will often start speaking about the growth and profits made by people, as well as companies speaking out about their profits, projected profits and how much their shareholders. This speaks to a lot of people who are either struggling for cash, have debts to repay, have a family they want to more time to spend with them, or just want to make large amounts of money in a quick amount of time. The problem is that when the market is rising, it is going to fall at some time, and many average or first time investors won't see this coming. Their first few losses will come as a shock, and if they aren't careful all their invested money could be lost before they realize anything is amiss.
Read Books and Educate Yourself
Before anyone begins investing, buying, selling and trading on the stock market, it is highly recommended, no matter your situations or what you've heard other people have experienced with shares, that you do your research from various books, online sources, and possibly also starting a course in the stock market and shares. Many people think that trading in the stock market is more luck than skill, however, like all professions and careers, it requires a lot of previous knowledge to be able to 'read' the stock market, and be able to have some idea of how to predict what 'trends' are happening at the time. Like an accountant, marine biologist, session musician, essentially any specialist job, being involved in the stock market takes education and learning from various sources for many years.
Know and Understand the Language
The stock market has its own language and terminology that can cause confusion to untrained people. Do you know what it means to 'read the stock market', have you heard about the 'trends' and have no idea what it means? Do you know what a 'raging bull market is', or a 'bear market'? Likely you've heard these terms before in the news, whether in print or on television. Hearing the words used are one thing, but actually knowing what they mean to you and the share market is quite important. It's like going to a foreign country and just knowing enough to ask for a train ticket and order a meal, you'll be able to get yourself from A to B, but you won't be able to have any meaningful conversations with the locals.