Education 2.0

What this essay does is that it introduces a brand new education system. This education system is way more effective than the current education system we have in place. And unlike the current education system, which has been the same for a long time. This one is constantly getting better with time and data, thanks to AI.

The best thing about it is that it's totally free of cost. So anyone in the world with access to a basic smartphone+Internet can access Education 2.0. Meaning, now everyone has the same educational opportunities as a Harvard/Stanford student.

You see, education is the most fundamental thing to human progress. And once you deploy something like Education 2.0 on a global scale, it will have huge positive implications on economic growth, life quality, and human progress. And to emphasise what I just said, the collective intelligence of humanity is the best predictor of future progress. Here is some empirical data to prove this statement. Nevertheless, you don't need empirical evidence; look around, education is what drives societal growth.

Looking at the current education system we have in place. It would be unfair to say that it hasn't done an excellent job in aiding human progress. Resolving the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Apollo Program, the iPhone, Tesla, SpaceX, the Internet, All of Science etc. are a prime example.

But it certainly hasn't been able to keep up with the growing human population, and the challenges raised by it. Looking at all the pressing issues, we face today like global poverty, climate change, and war. The incapability of civilisation to solve these problems stems from the fact that it's not educated enough as a whole. There is conclusive evidence to prove this — Education correlates with prosocial behaviour. Prosocial behaviour is behaviour, which affects society as a whole.

So the best way to ensure that we progress into a brighter future is by rewiring the current education system. So it can keep up with the ever-growing population and the challenges we face, which will then eventually increase the collective wisdom and prosocial behaviour of humans at a much faster rate.

There are 3 main issues with the current education system, which dramatically lowers its potential.

  1. Its inability to reach a large population of the world.
  2. The unequal distribution of resources.
  3. The low efficacy of the current learning environments (i.e. lectures/books).

And Education 2.0 fixes all of these issues.

No access to education

The biggest problem with the current education system is that it's unable to reach an unfairly enormous number of the global population. People say that education is a human right, but looking at the current situation — that doesn't seem so.

According to Humanium.org, 72 million children of primary education age are not in school, and 759 million adults are illiterate. And we haven't even considered the inconsistency in educational outcomes yet.

Now I would like to explain the enormous implications this has on the economy. But first, I would like to establish a conclusive link between Education and GDP per capita.

Now doing the math:

  • $18,381 is the global average GDP per capita (a measure of economic output per person), and we have 831 million people with no access to education at all.
  • 831 million people * $18,381 ~ $15 Trillion worth of economic output wasted. And it has a growth rate of ~ 1.8% per year (Taking into account the growth rates of global GDP & global population).
  • To put this number in perspective, this is more than the GDP of ChinaIndia, and the UK separately, and $5 Trillion less than the USA.
There is no doubt that the current model of the education system is responsible for this issue. An education system is basically a collection of what we call "learning environment.". And a learning environment is an environment where learning takes place (i.e. classroom).

You see, the major problem with the current system is the high relative cost of setting up that learning environment (i.e. a classroom with qualified teachers, furniture, and students, etc.). So when you scale the education system, the setup + maintenance costs increase with it. And some countries just don't have the resources to scale. This can be due to many factors like large population, not enough teachers, etc. All of these issues then boil down to one primary issue — lack of economic resources, aka no money.

Scaling requires huge costs, which then dramatically lowers the potential for impact. Due to which, a significant amount of people in the world don't have access to basic education.

To beat this issue, what we need to do is switch to a new model of the education system. One which can scale cheaply and effectively. The best way to do this is by moving to a more digitalised education system.

One way to go about doing this is by leveraging Software, AI, and low-cost smartphones. Software and AI can be leveraged to create digital learning environments, which are more effective than the current learning environments we have, and its efficacy improves with time & data. These AI-taught lessons will be way better than attending a Stanford/Harvard lecture.

Once this works, the next thing to do is to ensure it supports low-cost smartphones, which will then allow for distribution at an enormous scale, while keeping the costs minimal. This will go a really long way in closing the educational gap. The best thing is that now anyone in the world will be able to have the same educational opportunities as an Ivy-League student.

In the long-term, you will see substantial positive implications on collective prosocial behaviour, economy, and quality of life. And redundancy in the current education system.

Unequal distribution of educational resources

First, we looked at inequality in terms of access to education. Now, we're going to look at inequality inside the people with access to education (in terms of the quality of educational resources). Turns out that this has huge negative implications on the overall learning outcome of the education system.

It is implausible to sustain the quality of educational resources (e.g. teachers, books, etc.) as you scale (make it available for a larger population) the education system. Due to which, a major side-effect of scaling is that it induces a widely unequal distribution of educational resources, which varies by economic demographic. Which then leads to variation in educational outcomes.

This is why the number of high-school graduates who attend prestigious colleges tends to be higher in private high-schools, relative to a public high-schools. The quality & quantity of educational resources (quality of teachers, study material, support, etc.) available to students at the private school is more elevated. Which then leads to higher success. 

Inequality in educational resources leads to a variation in educational outcomes, which then lowers the average output of the education system.

Now, coming around to solve this issue. We need to create a system where the quality of educational resources is the best on earth. And it's available to everyone, no matter their economic situation. And finally, as it scales, its overall effectiveness doesn't reduce. 

Low efficacy of current learning environments

The final issue I would like to talk about is regarding the teaching methods used currently. Teaching methods are ways in which teachers teach the student.  

The problem is that the current teaching methods, which are used around the world, are scientifically flawed. This then makes the process of learning inefficient and ineffective. And on a large scale, it reduces the learning output (the product of learning) of the education system.

You might think that sitting in a classroom, while a teacher speaks out everything, and you note it down is an excellent way to learn. But in fact, this method is flawed. The reason it's flawed because it bears no consideration whatsoever to how our brain operates during learning. Due to which, the conversion rate from auditory + visual perception to long-term memory is low. This dramatically lowers the learning potential of the student.

The modern K-12 education system was established back in the 19th century to prepare the population to participate in the Industrial Revolution. At the time, not a lot of thought was given to the science of how we learn; they just wanted a cheap way to deliver information to a large number of students. And surprisingly, this factory model of the education system hasn't changed since then.

What we need to do now is to build a digital learning environment, which makes learning way more effective & efficient. Leading to a dramatic increase in learning output of the education system. And leverage AI, to make it so that it improves its efficacy with time & data.

The way to do this is by understanding thoroughly, how the human brain operates while learning. And then using those scientific principles to design the learning environment. 

Here is a fantastic essay by Andy Matuschak, which explains what I just said above better. You can read it here.

The starting point for this digital learning environment should be something, which is way more effective than any learning environment present today. Deploying this on a global scale will yield dramatically higher overall learning output than today. Making the current education systems redundant. 

This would be the first step in accelerating the advent of Education 2.0. A world where high-quality education is free of cost to anyone and the quality of education is increasing over time. In the long term, this will mitigate all forms of inequality, and help humanity get onto a path of something bigger and brighter, thanks to its more immense collective wisdom.

Education 2.0 

We have now talked about the major issues our education system faces and potential solutions to them. I would now like to introduce a brand new education system — Education 2.0.

Introducing Education 2.0! It provides high-quality education, which is free of cost, and it is accessible to everyone in the world with a basic smartphone & internet connection. It ensures that everyone in the world has access to high-quality educational resources, not just a small sample from the vast population we have.

Making education free of cost for everyone is one of the core principles of Education 2.0. To ensure it's sustainable, it would have an advertising-based business model. But we would ensure that the advertisements don't affect the learning outcome of the system.

Once something like this is available — the next goal is to make it the single education system on the planet. Achieving this goal is incredibly important to mitigate educational inequality, which would then diminish all forms of inequality in the long-term.

The best way to go about achieving this goal is by convincing the entire world that Education 2.0 is better than the current education system they're enrolled in. And the best way to prove them is by deploying Education 2.0 to people who don't have access to any education system at all, as shown above — unfortunately, there are a large number of them.

We could then enrol them in our education system and run necessary scientific studies on learning outcomes. If Education 2.0 is built correctly — its learning outcomes should be significantly better than the current education system (at least 10X). This would go a long way in proving the effectiveness of Education 2.0. And getting others on board.


Thanks a lot to Charlie Liu for reviewing drafts of this essay.

Coronavirus in a nutshell

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What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is basically a new disease which affects humans. Before, it affected mammals, but now it has crossed over to us humans. The pathogen for this disease affects the respiratory system of the human body. The part of the body which is in charge of taking in oxygen, and giving out carbon dioxide. The process which provides cells with the energy they need to function.

How did Coronavirus start?

It's believed that the virus started out from an illegal seafood market in Wuhan, China. The market sold wild animals like birds, bats, and snakes. So it's thought that the first group of people to catch Coronavirus are workers at that market.

How is Coronavirus spread?

The thing is that we don't know much about how the Coronavirus is actually spread.  But we do know that they spread from one person to another via respiratory droplets, the liquid from your respiratory system which come out when you sneeze or cough. It is similar to how influenza spreads. The respiratory droplets of an infected person have the Coronavirus pathogen. Once they enter the lungs of a person, the person is now infected.

What happens if a person gets the Coronavirus?

Once an uninfected person gets the Coronavirus, he/she can start to show the effects in 2-14 days. The illness ranges from people who show little or no effect, to people who become extremely ill and end up dying.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

So that's Coronavirus in a nutshell!

You can read a more detailed version here.



Solving the dark energy riddle

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I love everything about Physics, so I tend to keep up with the latest research happening inside this field of study. Due to which, I recently came across this article which talked about a new theory by Dr Claudia De Rham from Imperial College London. This theory attempts to explain why the universe is expanding via altering Einstein's theory of general relativity and making dark energy redundant (which was thought to be the reason). I think it's radical, and something worth writing about.

Right, so let me walk you guys through this. The Big Bang Theory states that the universe is continually expanding, and the rate at which it's expanding (expansion in a given time interval) is also increasing. But it's always baffled scientists why that's the case because according to the fundamental laws of Physics, the inward force of gravity should slow down the expansion, not make it faster. Gravity should hold together the universe, not let it race apart.

This is why dark energy was hypothesised back in 1998, and it's believed that this is the mysterious agent which allows the cosmos to expand rapidly, despite the inward tug of gravity. Moreover, it's thought that dark energy is 68% of the universe. But even though a lot of scientists believe it's true, there is no evidence which suggests so.

Now enter the theory of massive gravity written about inside the article mentioned above. It eliminates the need for dark energy, via making modifications to Einstein's theory of general relativity. 

General relativity assumes that hypothetical particles called gravitons, which are in charge of transmitting the force of gravity from one place to another are massless. But instead, massive gravity suggests that those gravitons have mass. The implication being that gravity would have a much lower influence on large scales, because the gravitons aren't able to travel at the speed of light. And as the size of the universe increases, the force of gravity weakens more and the rate of expansion of the universe increases.

This clearly explains why the universe is expanding, without any reference to dark energy. If proved, this would make dark energy redundant, just like Aether.

Right, so that's it!

If you enjoyed this essay, please leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter.

Why are some things darker when wet?

Have you ever wondered why some things become dark when you spill water on them? What’s exactly happening? 

Well, let’s find out!

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Before I explain this phenomenon to you, let’s go through some prerequisite knowledge.

  1. How we see things
  2. Types of reflection

How we see things

We see an object when light reflects off it and then enters our eye. The eye then produces a nerve impulse and sends it off to the brain to be interpreted. Light acts as a medium of information transfer here.


This is why you can’t see things in dark; no light means that there is no way that you can channel the information about the surroundings into the person’s eye.

Types of reflection

Now let’s understand the natural phenomenon of reflection; it’s when a wave hits a surface and gets thrown back. Not absorbed (transfer it’s energy to the surface), or transmitted (go through the surface).

There are two types of reflection (two ways the wave can be thrown back).

  1. Specular
  2. Diffuse

Specular Reflection

This is when all the incident light (light which hits the surface) is reflected into a single outgoing direction.


In this type of reflection, the angle at which light hits the surface is the same angle at which the light leaves the surface (reflected). This type of reflection tends to happen on smooth surfaces like a mirror or glass.

Diffuse Reflection

This is when the incident light (light which hits the surface) is scattered into all angles when reflected. This is due to the irregular nature of the surface it’s reflected off.


The reflected light rays leave at a variety of angles. This is because the angle of incidence (the angle at which the light hits the surface) is different for each part of the surface.

So what’s happening?

Right, let’s say you accidentally spill water on your shirt. And now it’s dark. What’s precisely happening under the hood?

Once you spill water on the shirt, that part of the shirt is now covered with a thin film of water. So, any light which has to reflect off that part of the shirt has to go through water. 

Before water is spilt, 100% of the light travelling towards that part of the shirt will hit the surface. But now only a fraction of the light moving towards it will hit its surface. This is because the light now has a layer of water to go through. And due to the reflectance of water, not all light at the air-liquid-interface (border between air and water) goes through the water. Some of it is reflected.

The probability of light getting transmitted into the water is (1 — Rl).

Rl — reflectance at the air-liquid interface

Reflectance is a measure of the proportion of incident light, which is reflected. Every surface tends to have a reflectance: how much it reflects light. So now, we’ve already lost a proportion of the total light, which was supposed to reflect on the shirt and go into the person’s eye.

Now, the incident light ray is inside the water. And it then hits the surface of the shirt. Some of the light is absorbed there, and the rest is reflected diffusely. How diffuse reflection occurs is explained above.

Due to the diffuse reflection, the light ray is scattered in many directions. All the light rays are now heading to the liquid-air interface, which is the border between the liquid and the air. Also, some of the light is sent out in a way, that it can be internally reflected at the liquid-air interface. 

Let's understand the phenomenon of total internal reflection.

Total internal reflection is a natural phenomenon, where the incident light is reflected at media interface.

It only takes place if:

  • The current medium is denser than the medium it is going into.
  • The angle of incidence is greater than the so-called critical angle.

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Since water is denser than air, and the reflection is diffuse. A lot of light is internally reflected, thereof, increasing the probability of absorption at surface.

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All of the phenomenons stated above come together. Due to which, the intensity of light which the observer receives is way less, relative to if the shirt was dry. This is why the shirt looks darker when wet.

So this is it!

Everything in this essay comes from this source

If you enjoyed this essay, please leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter.