Is Design Too Dangerous to Teach?

I found this on Linkedin . (you will probably need linkedin sign in) .

The text within the brackets, the emphasis through inverted commas, the capitalization are all mine. 

The article talks about an ‘experiment’ done some time in future. So, it is a thought experiment. The ‘experiment’ is on ‘extremists, terrorists, and other such dangerous people’ and is for teaching them design thinking in a world getting ‘increasingly’ complex and dangerous due to massively interconnected people and machines.

Of course as is their wont, the researchers have a control group of  ‘extremists, terrorists, and other such dangerous people’ who are NOT taught Design Thinking.

It goes like this: The untaught people continue to be dangerous. The taught people find reasons to live through ‘learning craft of producing real things for others and not themselves’ rather than reasons for dying (for a cause).  And the taught people also learn means (skills) of providing for themselves, their families, and their communities. And then there is (subtle at first) shift in their tendencies which gets disguised (for a while) as noise until an alert researcher (who is sensitive as feather swaying in breeze) alerts the writer.

(How painfully realistic, the experiment)

OK, I have just given the thrust of the article.  You can read it in full and come to your own conclusions.

My take:

If extremists, terrorists, and such people are to change through ideas, story boarding, prototyping, and failures they might also change through good old education which incidentally includes all these and more.

Some of them might also change through good literature and movies and music given the right ‘environment’. Even here there will have to be a deterrence of law and order enforcement.

This is what I heard from a linguist a long long time back  -lack of linguistic skills (communication skills and vocabulary is my crude interpretation) is behind ‘this’ inability to think well.

I agree with this also. 

The only problem I have with all the above ideas is the implicit assumption that ‘extremists, terrorists, and other such dangerous people’ lack ‘Design Thinking’ !




If you can’t see beyond 2002, try to see before it

There are many ‘people like us’ (well meaning, heart in right place…) who get blinded by 2002 when it comes to Narendra Modi (#namo). Surjit Bhalla has come to their help.

Read in today’s Indian Express. Surjeet Bhalla, like Tavleen Singh is no RSS or BJP sympathizer. I don’t agree with all that they write, but that is not the point.

The point is that this thing called as ‘secularism’ is a sham. Just as “Garibi Hatao’, ‘Inclusive development’ etc of Congress have been shams of Himalayan proportions. These shams of the Congress get exploited routinely by the likes of Lalu and now Nitish has joined the bandwagon.

To 2002, 1993, and 1984 I will add the diabolical creation of Bhindranwale by Indira Gandhi and fishing in troubled waters of Sri Lankan politics by Rajeev Gandhi. Both of these led a massive number of killings for years and decades of which no one has any count.

To my mind, the only thing that perhaps eclipses all the above put together  were the massacres of partition in 1947 killing millions of Hindus and Muslims and which happened under the watch of Nehru led Congress Government.

Manohar Parrikar has rightly termed 2002 as ‘governance failure’. It is getting investigated by SC directed teams and courts but just one man is being vilified by activists and media and ‘people like us’ without any evidence after ten years of witch hunt. Let the investigation continue. But let us also open our eyes to what the Congress has been up to. Let us also give a fair chance to Modi. For our sake.

The Congress people are rubbing their hands in glee!

The congress people are gloating, offering sympathies to LKA, and generally displaying superior airs. Let them, after all they badly needed a break or two from a scandal a day performance and the stuttering economy. They have had this from IPL spot fixing and now from the BJP. Their glee might just give way to grim expressions.

LKA brought BJP from near extinction to being the largest party in the parliament on the back of a carefully crafted Ayodhya campaign. Whatever his and the BJP’s critiques might say there was no alternative for the BJP or LKA,  since the congress had been setting political agenda in terms of minority fear mongering, caste based reservation, discrimination of every sort and so on. The ‘religious’ agenda of the BJP was born out this compulsion. 

But that was then in  the 1990’s. Today’s situation has created an entirely different kind of leadership vacuum. The government does not work. And when it works it works to favor the chosen few. The economy has been on a dangerous slide under the watch of  ‘renowned’ economist. The government money (public money) is being squandered under the guise of ‘inclusive’ development and used for lining the pockets of middlemen loyal to the party in power. And now you have a huge class of the young who can read and write and who can ‘aspire’ for better things -quite unlike their parents in the 1990.

Modi has found a solid connection with this space and the current vacuum and comes with a tremendous track record of a government that works.  This is what the first and second time voters want. They don’t care about communalism rhetoric as long as they can get on with improving their lives. They know their lives can only be improved through education, job skills, and working hard. They know this will not come through doles, sops, reservations, and dividing a stagnant pool of wealth and through ‘connections’. That route is only for few. 

Modi offers precisely what the young want. Put down your glasses tinted with the color of 2002 and look at his work and read his views to understand Modi’s connection and what he can offer. Even the otherwise hopelessly insulated RSS saw this. Other BJP leaders were forced to see this. It is tragic that the great LKA is looking in past. I am not talking about his age. I am saying he is a man with old and useless ideas. Instead of gracefully stepping aside, he has chosen to sulk and then vent his feelings. 

As far as the public infighting in the BJP is concerned, it is still better than congress’ dynastic ‘ unity. One of the BJP member put it succinctly -Modi has won the primaries in the BJP.  I agree.  

A Modi unencumbered with old ideas and people holding such ideas is a big bad news for the congress. I am fairly convinced that it will a good news for the public.