Friday, 5 November 2010

Experience is the best teacher

Benjamin Franklin once said, a really long time ago, that Experience is a dear teacher, but fools will learn at no other. This, presumably, after he was struck by lightning, while trying to invent a lightning conductor. That didn’t turn out very well for him, but at least we now have lightning conductors. Which, does prove, if nothing else, that learning from the experience of others is no foolish deed. It is something, that some of the most intelligent people on the planet, have leveraged to their advantage. And what is important to note here, is that experience is the best teacher, only if it doesn’t manage to teach you directly.

Which, as most students would agree is not a problem.

So, what about those who have learnt from the experiences of others. Well, an example would be Bill Gates. Yes, the richest man in the world, was once just another college dropout. And then he discovered why it would be so profitable to write software for machines that were manufactured by IBM.

How does experience come into this, you ask. Well, that has something to do with another man, by the name of Steve Jobs. A glorified salesman, really, he never had much idea of the sort of machines that his buddy Steve Wozniak was capable of producing. Howver, one thing that their company had experienced, was a new user interface. It had a really new system of arranging data in to little spaces on the screen, that Steve Jobs, liked to call.. “windows”.

And well, when you look at all of Microsoft’s products...the Rune MP3 player, the IE9 browser,the Windows 7 interface, chances are you’ve seen it somewhere before too. Maybe an Ipod, or a Chrome window. But thats where the eXPerience comes in.
And when you watch a movie, say, a real quality movie, acclaimed by critics, like Black, chances are, you would be looking at the experience of one Sanjay Leela Bhansali. A rather small, rather unnoticed movie, called the Miracle Worker, was a critical success, but lukewarm commercially.

Add a few songs, and what came out of the other end, was the eponymous Black. However, clouded the vision might have been, the execution was spot on.
And Bollywood should not be targeted here. So what if we have a Pritam and an Anu Malik here. Any industry that makes over 800 films a year should not be thought of as anything even close to original. And, well experience doesn’t really have a big part to play in most of the movies that we see, if they did, Ram Gopal Verma wouldn’t really make movies anymore.

Anyway, in conclusion, experience, and I haven’t really had much in that regard, is not just the best teacher, but also the easiest to pay attention to. After all, you don’t really want to be the one answering this question, “So, how was the experience of getting that sex change done?”
Experience is the best teacher, but only if it teaches someone else...