I remember writing long back about how the ability to understand a language lends meaning to meaningless sounds. Today, let me write about how language has become a part of our learning.
Let me tell you about three specific words I heard during today's Microprocessor lecture - polling, interrupt and handshake.
For those of you who do not know of the meaning of these words in computer science context, let me just give you some very rudimentary definitions:
- Polling implies that the processor works in sync with devices by checking continuously for changes in the device status. Can you draw a parallel with a small, shy child or even an adult who doesn't really like drawing attention to himself and so, has to be constantly monitored/taken care of?
- Interrupt involves the device interrupting the processor whenever it needs something to be done. Can you draw a parallel with chronic attention-seekers here?
- Handshake involves continuous status exchange signals being passed in between the processor and the device to ensure smooth transfer of data. Can you draw a parallel with good communication associated with a successful relationship?
My point here is very simple. Learning mirrors life, which in turn, is represented by language. So, learning mirrors language. You can even put it the other way around and say that language mirrors learning.
The fact that we have well-formed languages makes things much simpler. This Apogee, we had a Spanish speaker lecturing about supercomputing. The distance and language barriers didn't hinder the exchange, simply because of the common language we spoke - of science translated into English, albeit with a very Spanish flavour for an accent.
Sometimes, I have an astounding sense of wonderment when I read something I read in a local book being referred to as the same thing in material originating from some other part of the world. For me, the extent to which the common language of learning has permeated the fabric of our species is simply awe-inspiring. They say globalization has brought about this trend of global learning, but could it not be that global learning has brought about globalization?