The Joy of Knowing

From our early times, we have been very curious about the world around us. We tried to make sense of stuff, know and understand it and pass on the knowledge to the next generation. Probably that is how we were able to survive and evolve. Even today, children ask so many questions and are filled with curiosity about everything. But as we grow up, this curiosity is slowly extinguished by the society’s obsession with success measured in units of marks scored. By the time we are adults, we hardly bother to learn or wonder anymore and will laugh at the face of someone talking about such insignifant stuff – who will attend their meetings and do their ‘important’ stuff.

Personally, I have found joy in going back to being curious, that I think it is worth the risk trying to share it with others and being mocked at :-). What I have realized is that each new learning unravels some hidden curtain and I tend to see the world in a newer light or from a different viewpoint. What were earlier two different, unrelated aspects of life now seem closely bound by a new connecting thread. It is an exhilarating experience and I sincerely hope everyone gets to enjoy it. (Added later on 27/02/2023: One example of this was when I was reading ‘Atomic Habits’ book at home and listenting to ‘River out of Eden’ audiobook in car and both quoted supernormal stimulus and Tinbergen’s experiments – picture this – a self help book and a pure scientific book quoting something common and applying to their own area – just brilliant)

In old times learning was both costly and time consuming. People used to travel to different countries in their quest for knowledge. Now, for the first time in human civilization we can tap into this huge store of knowledge right from the comfort of our home and can even carry it with us wherever we go. There was no better time to learn stuff. I have listed some options (that I have personally used) but these are hardly the tip of the iceberg

Books: If you are the reading type, you get a far bigger and better choice. Some of my favorites are : Sapiens (Yuval Noah Harari), Factfulness (Rosling), The Gene (Siddhartha), The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank), Early Indians (Tony Joseph), Freakonomics, The Blind Watchmaker (Dawkins), Cosmos (Carl Sagan) to name a few. If you are the ebook type, Kindle Unlimited is 169 per month and for the listening type, audible is 199 per month with free trials floating most of the times.

YouTube: There is an alternate world in YouTube away from cat videos that you can use to learn stuff. Some that cover my areas of interest are TED-Ed, Veritaserum, Fall of Civilizations, Engineering Facts (brilliant but in tamil), Cognito, Branch Edu (amazing use of graphics to teach computer stuff) and some more: School of Life, ReYouniverse, Crash Course, Be Smart.

Others: There are actual free courses that you can take in edx, coursera and many more. Wikipedia is my go to for a lot of stuff. If nothing else, you can click on this link once a day and learn some new stuff. Even TV like Netflix, Discovery+ have some amazing series (Planet Earth, Cosmos by Neil DeGrasse Tyson and many more).

If you are aware of newer, better ways to learn stuff please do share them

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