Literacy vs Education

Literacy is basically the ability to read and write, at least in one language. Literacy empowers you to be on the same pedestal as the society in which you live. In a world where information comes mostly through the written medium this is a rather crucial ability for anyone. Being literate is necessary. Being literate is indispensable. Being literate is literally just that.

Being literate is not the same as being educated. Education is more of a process than an ability. It's a loop: observe -> learn -> understand -> apply -> observe. Literacy is a tool in this process, at least it is if your choice of education is academic: science, literature, history etc

That last sentence is important! Literacy is not the only way to be 'educated'. Suppose you want to be a great fisherman? You can't just read about the different types of fish, you have to go and catch some. You have to know when and where to fish. Suppose you want to be an amazing cook? You have to burn your fingers, burn the food, burn a few utensils, know the difference between ginger and garlic and so on.

A politician, no matter how illiterate, is educated in the art of being a politician (manipulator, diplomat, shrewd). A painter, even if he doesn't know the names of colors, can be a great painter if he knows how to use them such that it appeals to observers.

They are not the same, literacy and education. The difference between them is much like the difference between a tool and a process. Literacy will give you the ability to read a book. Education is when you, at least, understand what the author is trying to convey. As an ending note I'll give an example of self-help books, something like 'Learn how to lose weight in 30 days'. What's wrong with the title? Nothing. You can learn how to lose weight in 30 days. You can 'learn' it. When you actually lose weight ... then you'll know it ...

Writer's block ... ?

What the hell has happened to me? How the hell can I be unable to blog random nonsense anymore?

Does that make me a writer? Hooray ... sheesh ... bah!

Easing traffic on Ring Road

The Outer Ring Road, for the uninitiated, is literally a ring shaped road that goes right around Bangalore. With the city ever expanding there are now plans to build an outer-outer ring road in addition to the current Outer Ring Road but that is where I'll leave that.

The Ring Road is definitely the most plied on road in Bangalore, especially by buses and trucks and their heavier cousins. Many large IT parks are also alongside the ring road. The amount of traffic is truly unbearable at times (most of the time) with section of a couple of kilometers taking up to half-n-hour, especially near those signals which are close to these IT parks.

There have been a lot of talks of making the ring road 'signal free' (a mini Autobahn?) by converting all current signal crossings into underpasses and so on. Certain work has even begun in this respect for e.g.: a new underpass opened just today morning just ahead of Banaswadi in the direction of Hebbal.

There is one more thing I observed today morning, which I personally found to be a neat little piece of work. It is the making of a small cut in the side of the road to accommodate a bus-stop, in such a way that when a bus stops it doesn't hold up traffic behind it.

As you can see from the awesome image above (it's a 2 min job in ms paint, so thanks) the part in gray shown the bus stop. This means that when the bus halts for public to get in and out, there is no traffic held up. This means there is no lane-cutting or spillover of traffic into adjoining lanes. Once the bus has to start moving again it can seamlessly join the main traffic. The bus stops are especially a concern on ring road since most of them are just ahead of traffic signals. I'm optimistic about this little design helping out in making the traffic a lot smoother.