This World of Information

We grew up in a household where learning was encouraged, but at that young age I have to admit it was not the top of my priority list. Contending for first place were things like playing outside, watching TV, listening to the transistor radio (for a cricket test match that wasn’t being televised in India), and just about anything else (maybe even doing homework had higher priority, because that had significance, rather than “just learning about something”). However, as maybe happens with people as they get older in life and realize that the things they “missed out on” were really worth learning, the same happened to me. Rather than take an oft-heard approach of “who cares now, at this stage,” what I decided to do was to put together an interesting (at least to an audience of one and hopefully more) and at times rather arduous set of informative investigations into topics I just wished I knew more about — or wanted to describe in ways that I wish they had been described.

Having been laser-focused upon a single profession or interest as many of us are guilty of, and all that went into “getting there,” I had originally been consequently disinterested in nearly all things business, art, or even math. Sciences were initially interesting to the extent one needed to know them (which I suppose I can now admit to my mother, who was scientist specializing in botany)… however, I would bring myself (following my father’s taught way of learning) to read extensively the assigned background chapters, even when most of my colleagues read “what we had to know for the test” (and probably did better on the test, as a result). This approach would help when I expanded interest to electrical engineering (with some related topics covered in a fundamental manner under www.RavishOnElectronics.com or www.RavishOnTechnology.com), where building upon the prior engineering chapters in coursework subject matter were essential to both understanding what was going on and passing the course. Being involved with such topics became my way of trying to be less naïve about all surrounding me that I took for granted – like not knowing how a TV worked.  Later, I became interested in how the process of innovation itself worked, as exemplified by certain people and projects (considered under www.InnovateOurWorld.com).

While growing up in India for some time, the main sports were cricket (and some football or “soccer” as it was otherwise called in our destination country) — in the United States, our family adopted the Los Angeles Lakers as “our team” since they met both the criteria of being in the same city and had a winning record.  The classic 1985-89 years where our own dream team of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabaar, and James Worthy (with Byron Scott in for good measure), in their triumphant victory under Coach Pat Riley and owner Jerry Buss over the storied Boston Celtics was memorable. Hence, interest in sports at a feverish pace (though not as feverish as some of the British and Latin American fans for soccer or football) was developing – I cover some of the athletic aspects of sports, and some of the not-so-obvious athetic-related but also non-athletic related aspects, in www.RavishOnAthletics.com.  This is separately considered and should not be confused with another topic — www.RavishOnEntertainment.com, which focuses upon non-sports entertainment (for which I confess to developing a slow but meaningful interest, sporadically, over time… e.g. musicals and shows, to start).

Delving further into culture, life events led to our family to explore new lands.  Traveling via ship where my father was a merchant marine ship captain, my family was exposed to different cuisines from age one (which caused difficulty being a finicky child).  This “exposure” included a range from the fishy smells of Hong Kong’s outdoor markets to India’s bazaars to Japan’s Om Rice, to Scandinavian cuisine, among others. It may all have been too little to understand “culture” as a child, and likely served mainly to momentarily displace boredom.  However, in recovering by trying to learn about culture, pertinent topics today are covered under www.RavishOnCulture.com with a specific side serving of www.RavishOnFood.com. Overall journeys of travel, some local in the United States and some international, are described in www.RavishOnTravel.com.

Speaking of entertainment (or maybe less than entertaining to listener(s), when I was playing an instrument), my half-hearted encounter with the violin and quarter-hearted playing of the trombone in 5th and 8th grades, respectively, do not do justice to the magnificent music that others play, music that I hope to understand better in the future – in www.RavishOnMusic.com, I hope to explore the basic structure of the orchestra, and as is the format for many of these articles, try to do so in a “past, present, and future” manner. Similarly, I will admit to the desire to learn about what so many people had been talking about all along – in www.RavishOnArts.com, I consider and do enjoy some (though cannot by any means claim to understand all) of what art offers that is of personal interest, considered again in various aspects than simply art appreciation.

Coming from a family where my maternal grandfather was a school principal and with several other teachers (and myself having taught students in post-graduate education as well as occasionally undergraduates and elementary students on guest lectures), the idea that one could be educated about educating became fascinating. In www.RavishOnEducation, for example, I have taken up newer ideas to discuss such as Khan Academy, an absolutely brilliant and timely idea which should work for those motivated students, both children and adults. Broader aspects of importance to a community apart from very important education are covered in www.RavishOnCommunity.com. Actual examples of groups doing meaningful work in underprivileged and/or underserved communities are considered under www.RavishCommunity.com.

There is a saying someone (obviously wiser) told me about in poker: “If you are playing poker, and looking around the table and wondering who’s the schmuck because it’s not obvious and there is always at least one, that means you’re the schmuck.” While not many times so extreme, suffering a disadvantage in playing the odds (with the hopeful plan of later success) is inherent in many financial transactions.  Such industries require calculated risks, and educating oneself may be the greatest way of empowering oneself against the odds (partly by realizing the odds).  Ideally, development of part of the financial industry benefits many by lending money while sustaining itself strongly (in many instances). Different aspects of this industry are considered under www.RavishOnFinance.com. A related industry, foreign for most of us who have ever been on the other side of a mortgage while signing away, is law – with varied and specific aspects as they relate to intellectual property, contracts, etc., this topic is covered at a layperson’s level of exploration in www.RavishOnLaw.com. Collectively, if there were a field that combined both law and poker, it’d be politics, and various topics relevant to politics ranging from democracy to individual rights are considered under www.RavishOnPolitics.com. Primarily non-political strategy is given its own separate consideration, under www.RavishOnStrategy.com.

Remembering quite vividly (from about 30 years ago) when saving a file over 10 kilobytes was a task that often required leaving the room for a quick snack while it took a minute or more to save, the technology of smartphones, apps, and all the analytics/information created as a result simply begs addressing these topics of today. Through www.RavishOnApps.com, overviews and recent apps of interest are considered, whereas the broader www.RavishOnDataAnalytics.com deals with the information as result of this and the not-too-far-off related www.RavishOnSocialMedia.com. As the years go by, the gap of differences among these seemingly related topics appears to widen – so a decision has been made now that each merit individual consideration.

More traditional (non-social) media still is used extensively today, with car radios, televisions at sports bars and homes, and other examples which exist in same or descendant versions from their original predecessors – these are discussed under www.RavishOnMedia.com; in a similar vein but considering a topic both of a medium and of performance is music (covered separately under www.RavishOnMusic.com).

Moving from the digital micro-world to the macro great outdoors touches on topics related to our natural surroundings in www.RavishOnEnvironment.com; from the environment of our planet we get a glimpse of outer space in its imaginable vastness – considered separately under www.RavishOnSpace.com.

Finally, some of the most interesting and simple things may happen every day in a given city. If someone had to choose a single city with its inherent history and way of life, New York City may have offer numerous enough topics of interest to discuss, to avoid running out of subject matter quickly. A collection of these can be found under www.RavishPatwardhanNYC.com.

There are probably more categories in the world that one could consider, or about which one could relate to others. While I realize these works from links noted above may not be authoritative pieces, the intention was to share something that was hoped to be interesting and educational — I have admittedly learned a great deal from writing as well, for there was much unknown and remains more to be known. Done nowhere near the scale or polished production status of some of my favorite documentaries, nonetheless these above works accessed by the noted links may help inform or interest a reader — and if so, they have accomplished an important goal.