Be like children or the “Hole in the Wall” experiment

Be like children or the “Hole in the Wall” experiment

More than 20 years ago, Sugata Mitra, a professor at India's National Institute of Information Technology, conducted an experiment called “Hole in the Wall”. In 1999, in a slum in New Delhi, the experimenters built a computer into the wall so that it could be freely used but not stolen. Additionally, they installed video surveillance.

So what happened? Imagine an Indian slum... 

The device was found by children between the ages of six and twelve who had never seen a computer before. Instead of smashing or breaking the gimmick, they figured out how to turn it on and...

In just a couple of days, the children, who had no help or prompting, with no knowledge of English, learned to create files and folders, access the Internet and perform other, as we now think, elementary operations. But this is 1999 and slum kids!

In 3 months, the kids were fluent in basic computer skills: drawing, watching cartoons and matches on the Internet, and playing online games.

They achieved this independently due to a child's interest in everything new and teamwork. Collectively they found a solution and coped with the task. An idea that occurred to one person pushed the entire team to the next level. Thus, step by step, together, without any help from others, the children mastered basic computer literacy.

The author of the experiment was interested in the possibility of obtaining new knowledge without the participation of the teacher. Previously, for centuries it was thought that in order to invent something new or make a discovery, it was necessary first to read all the achievements of predecessors. The experiment proved the opposite: our brain is capable of generating ideas even if it has not been previously given a certain informational knowledge base, even if it does not possess the necessary key or code for cognition. In the experiment, such a key was the English language, which the children did not know.

The experimenter was exploring such a concept as a self-organizing learning environment, and I was drawn to the experiment for other reasons. It was children who could achieve such results in self-learning! Adults can do this too, but they are usually held back by two factors: fear of judgment and fear of causing material damage.

I think back to the first time I sat down at a computer in 1997 in my 1st year of university. At school we had a computer class, but we were not allowed to use computers – they were dusted off. They were probably saving them... either for ministerial audits or for future generations. This sounds ridiculous now! At computer lessons we lectured on bytes and bits, while no one around us had home computers yet – they appeared a bit later. At university I had to work on the computer. The first few days I was terribly afraid of damaging or breaking something. This fixation on material values prevents us from learning new things. Kids aren't afraid of ruining a new phone, computer, or tablet - they don't know how much it costs and therefore don't value it very much. They value it more as a tool. A tool should be used, not shuddered at.

Also, children are not afraid of being judged: of appearing funny or awkward, of not knowing something. They are driven by interest, not by someone else's opinion. Indeed, who cares what people think of me? But this is exactly the opposite of what we are taught all our lives. As we grow up, we become guided by public opinion, suppressing our own impulses and aspirations.

Here are two reasons why adults, unlike children, are wary of anything new and unexplored.

Incredibly, but now we have just such a “hole in the wall”, not only literally, but figuratively. It is a “hole” in the “Great Wall” of consumer society, in which a “hole” has formed – a “window” into the CREATIVE SOCIETY. If we were children, we would have learned what it is and lived in a normal, good and just world long ago. After all, the Creative Society is focused on the good and freedoms of a person.

Think back to your own childhood experiences and hopes for the future. I wanted, when I grew up, to change the whole world: to live without wars, problems, hunger and diseases, in friendship and mutual understanding, to see happy and smiling faces around, so that my mother could work less and be home more often...

A Creative society. ALLATRA Vesti

I suggest you conduct an experiment of your own. Ask your friends and acquaintances what kind of world they dreamed of when they were children, write down their answer, and compare it to the basics of the CREATIVE SOCIETY outlined at Please write down afterwards what came out of it. 

Alas, we are not children – we are adults, taught throughout our lives to submit to social conventions and live by habit, by the rut, as they say. In our hearts, everyone longs for that very childlike perception of the world, but nevertheless somehow adapts to the reality around us.

Or you can just walk up to the “hole in the wall", admire the CREATIVE SOCIETY and, just like in childhood, without long thinking, boldly step forward. 

After all, that's the secret and the simplicity! The most impenetrable “wall’ is only in our minds. It is this wall that separates us from any dream, paralyzing us with fear and forcing us to do nothing. 

When I first read about the CREATIVE SOCIETY in the book AllatRa, I was impressed by the possibility of living in the kind of world I had dreamed of in my childhood. Immediately, such a wall of doubt and disbelief appeared in my mind that I forgot what I had read for several years. Subsequently, I was incredibly surprised by such forgetfulness. While rereading the book, I gradually remembered, not its content, but my feelings and experiences that arose when I first learned about CREATIVE SOCIETY.

Only now I do understand what my mistake was. I separated myself from the good and just world in which I could live. As soon as I detached myself from it, looking at everything from the outside, a «wall» of doubts lined up in the resulting “space” ,closing the world to me and depriving me of the possibility to live in it. It took me so long to realize that this «wall» existed only in my head! As soon as I mentally allowed myself to live in this world, allowing for the possibility of the CREATIVE SOCIETY on the entire planet, feeling myself an integral part of it, the “wall" disappeared instantly.

When each person can mentally feel part of the one world, the “wall” of disbelief and doubt will disappear by itself. And together everything is easy and simple! It is enough to stop separating ourselves with this impenetrable “wall” from other people, together with whom we ourselves can create the society of our dreams.

8 Foundations for an ideal life

What would children do if they were us? They would tell everyone in the neighborhood and get down to business as a group, laughing and frolicking.

What can we do? Actively share information about the CREATIVE SOCIETY, uniting like-minded people all over the planet.

Pull out the "brick" sticking out of the "wall" at the edge of the breach. Then tell a friend about what you have seen. At the international online conference "THE CREATIVE SOCIETY. What the Prophets dreamed of", thousands of people declared out loud what kind of world they wanted to live in.

If a person becomes interested and wants to live in that other, better world, he can also pull out the «brick» sticking out at the edge of the "hole", and, in turn, tell someone else, thanks to the Internet many already know how to use it.

This is the whole secret and simplicity! There is no need to break or destroy anything, no need to build something new somewhere outside the "wall" and again divide people into insiders and outsiders. It is only necessary to break off a "brick" from the "wall" to gradually and imperceptibly erase all the fences and borders, and from these "bricks" to build again... But no longer a "wall", but the "foundation" of a new CREATIVE SOCIETY right where you live, together with all those who have already managed to break off their "bricks" from the "wall".

Then, very soon, people all over the world will live in the CREATIVE SOCIETY – the one our children want to live in!

It is necessary to take to pieces the wall that our own consciousness has built for each of us, to see all the prospects of the CREATIVE SOCIETY. And, most importantly, to understand that it is very easy and more than real to build it. It is only necessary not to keep silent and actively share information about the Creative Society.

Natalia, participant of ALLATRA IPM

It's interesting

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