on Why Reading can be Bad

Why to beware while reading books

I am not trying to convince you stop reading books. This entry isn’t a reverse psychology’s way of trying to persuade you to read books either. Just have a beer with me while to bear with me.

I once read a manual on driving a manual gear car. Needless to say that I did not learn to drive that day. Reading involves only your eyes. Hence, nothing gets stuck in the head. I mean how am I supposed to taste the country air, feel the heart beat a little faster or know how much force I need to apply/brace for without having it done previously? Yeah, some sort of instructional reading is helpful and sometimes damned necessary, but it is the action which needs to be remembered in the end.

I personally think that people today read a lot. Almost 100x more than they need to. But has it ever helped anyone? I once ‘read’ a textbook on integral calculus (it was the part of curriculum). I looked at all the formulas, the tips, the secret techniques and the various methods to calculate the solution to a differential equation. What was the result? Well, I passed (it should not come as such big of a surprise), but I didn’t learn a single thing. When I had to do the same thing again in fourier series, I actually worked out the worked out examples and finally got what was meant by ‘separation of variables’. (If you didn’t get anything from the previous two lines, it’s not your fault, reading is very unreliable way of gathering information.)

Which brings me to my second point – the unreliable nature of reading. Reading is quite a passive activity. That is why it takes a very serious effort to read at a pace where you can comprehend the text as well as not let that monkey-brain wander away. Also don’t forget those authors who tend to say a thousand things in a few sentences. Worse are those who use the cryptic double nature of words. Like a blue curtain being the expression of his/her heartbreak. We have trouble enough trying to decipher the words at face value. Please don’t add more trouble by trying to write too much between the lines.

I can imagine the so called ‘bibliophiles’ and ‘avid readers’ who will disagree with me by saying that reading stimulates the imaginative, cognitive and the memory related part of the brain. They’ll even say reading is far more healthier than watching mindless TV. But this was never the subject of discussion. I completely agree with Mr. Ralph Waldo Anderson when he said one must be very careful about what books one reads. I can not remember the source but he said something along the lines of – all the good books were that which were already found on people’s shelves: the classics. He wasn’t opposed to reading, but he wanted to read all good books; not all the books. He even made a point not to read a book which was less than a year old. I have modified it to at least a good ten years.

One more point I was hoping to address was reading the wrong books. A book has the power to change your perspective, to seduce you, to question your beliefs or even shock you if you read them with a bit too open mind. One must read a book with utmost carefulness, for they have information that might damage your sanity. Read If librarians were honest and feel the loss of words to explain the truth in the poem. Maybe you should still think twice before opening that book.

 

Blogging Mistakes – 101

It has been a long time since this blog has taken birth. What came as a pleasant surprise that some people actually read what I have written. Although I do like tiny yellow dots on that notification bell, I care about people too much to see them wasting their time. Time, which could be used on increasing their physical strength, looking for newer ways to challenge their creativity, learn to do quick calculation in their head, master an art, learn a foreign language, honing mental abilities, solving puzzles, oss  (or some shit).

I can not teach you to develop inquisitiveness, interest, ambitions or passion. Those things are developed naturally. For example, one can read hundred books on becoming an author. But not one of them will help him (for ambiguity) to create a good story. Things like that come from something inside of our minds.

Now where was I, yes. Blogging mistakes. I got sidetracked. Which is our mistake  number 1. Do not drift off-topic. Readers have limited time. They are busy looking at cat pictures. Hence, if you fail to stick to the subject at hand, you’ve made a wrong move.

Mistake number 2 is when you fail to attach media to your post. Always use a picture. It gives the reader something to look at while they pretend to read. Better if that picture is of a celebrity, or a cat. Maybe attach a video of a cat doing funny things.

The third thing you might be doing wrong is that you are using too less tags. Always tag your blog entries with funny, serious,cat, cate, dog, doggo, pupper, your name, bored, a famous celebrity, sherlock, wordpress, fresh. This way your blog will pop up on more search queries.

Mistake number 4: Not socialising. A blog rarely goes viral. People can look at a 30 minute video but will not read a 2 min long post. So, it is your responsibility to visit the “uncategorised ” section looking for new bloggers to follow. They’ll appreciate the gesture and follow you back as a thank-you. Also make sure to leave comments on featured blogs. That does not make you look like an attention seeker. People look at those comments and think “Hmm..he must a down to earth guy. Let’s check his blog”

Mistake number 5: Not using money. Your posts maybe of gold value, but they wont reach a wide audience. This is because some losers have already paid for their mediocre blogs to be featured on must-reads. Do yourself a favour and pay those advertising agents to reach a lot more people.

Mistake number 6: Pray, do not think yourself as an already successful author. You may think that people will hate your blog, challenge your beliefs, or refute your opinions. But sadly, some of your posts will not even be read. Avoid the mistake of giving up too early (like 5 years).

See. Am I not a great teacher? Never mind, do not answer that.

A Table for two : Not a date story

Basics gone wrong in mathematics

I am not a teacher. But, I like to impress little kids with my “in-depth” knowledge. I had already blown away three minds with Beyond Infinity?. This time I went for something simpler: mathematical tables.

I asked my younger cousin to write out the table of two (He is in 9th grade). He was naturally annoyed, but he wrote down something along the lines of-

2×1=2, 2×2=4, 2×3=6……….2×10=20

I prodded him further by writing it out as they taught him the first time. He went:

Two ones are two, two twos are four……..two tens are twenty.

I wasn’t done torturing him, so I asked him to kindly explain the process of multiplication as repeated addition. He gave me a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I explained I wanted to know that if he knew three times two equals 2+2+2 or 3×2 ? He said that it was elementary (maybe he was a Holmes fan). So I urged him (now how do you urge someone?) to kindly expand the table for two. He, for the final time gave me a look and wrote out:

2×1= 2, 2×2=2+2, 2×3=2+2+2…..2×10=2+2+2+2+2+2+2+2+2+2

I laughed my evil laugh as I knew that my cousin was successfully trapped. I proclaimed him wrong and made a cut mark across the page. The cousin wanted to know how and where he was wrong. I then made a pompous speech about how kids today focus less on learning and more on getting marks (kinda made me feel bad for putting him down so harshly).

I made him read out loud what he wrote earlier. Two ONEs are two, two TWOs are four… I knew he hit the Eureka moment then because his face lit up (and not because he ran around naked).

The correct answer was 2×1= 1+1, 2×2= 2+2, 2×3= 3+3, 2×4= 4+4……2X10=10+10. I explained that it was called the table of two not because the two was multiplicand , but rather because two was the multiplier in its table. The same went for all the other numbers as well.

Then I bowed down for the applause, having successfully made one more person’s day surreal.