Assimilation – the Grinding Power of Knowledge

There are many factors like goal-setting, determination, passion, hard work, perseverance, discipline, attitude of positivity, receptiveness, etc. that form the ingredients of success. Nonetheless, even when one has all these ingredients, there are chances that one does not succeed in proportion to the success ingredients one puts into work. To put it in a different perspective, imagine that there are two persons who have all these success ingredients at the same levels but that one is more successful than the other. I agree that it is not right to evaluate success in relative terms. But I did it deliberately to address one fundamental question: is there a factor that gives additional mileage to success ingredients , thereby giving a person an edge to have a better harvest of success? Yes, there is one, and it is assimilation. 

Knowledge has informative value as well as inferential value. It is a cosmic fact that a piece of knowledge does not have a marooned-existence but is a link in the continuum of an all-encompassing knowledge-spectrum. We study, for example, Biology and Mathematics as two streams of science with no apparent interconnection. But Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, etc. prove that these two streams are connected and are the tributaries of a bigger stream of knowledge called science that connects with other streams of the knowledge-spectrum. The raison d’etre of assimilation is this cosmic fact. Assimilation is the internal process of mixing and grinding of knowledge acquired from multiple sources to find the interconnecting links among them as well as their linkage to the wider knowledge-spectrum, generating multiple inferences that contribute to a single decision-making inference. Let me explain this with an example.

Imagine that there are two Indians, A and B, who are currently involved in retailing of shoes. Let them have the following information about the ongoing pandemic over a period of, say, two months: vaccines for COVID-19 will be available by December 2020; most of the vaccines under trial are two-shot vaccines; 7.80 billion population — the infected and recovered also needs to be vaccinated as nobody knows how long their immunity toward the virus lasts — of the world needs 15.60 billion vaccines; the vaccines under development need -20 to -80 degree centigrade freezer facilities for storage and transportation; almost all the vaccines in the last stage of the trials are pre-purchased by the governments of the U.S.A, the U.K., the European Union, and China; 70% of the world’s installed capacity for production of vaccines is in India; the Indian government had already alluded that at least 50% of vaccines — foreign or domestic origin — for COVID-19 produced in India would be for the Indians; and a statement by the Indian Union Minster of Health that by July 2021, 0.250 billion vaccines would be made available for the Indians. 

Now, let’s have a look at how A and B respond to the above information with a rider that A does not do assimilation while B has an internalized assimilation process. In the absence of assimilation and based on the knowledge that came in, A will be optimistic that a vaccine by December 2020 and its distribution by July 2021 will restore the status quo ante of pre-pandemic way of living by soon, say, the third quarter of 2021. So A will plan his business, accordingly. 

With the assimilation of the knowledge about the pandemic, B’s thinking will go this way: The Union Minister’s message of making 0.25 billion shots of vaccine available to the Indians by July 2021 is based on the estimation that India can produce 0.50 billion shots of vaccines by using the current production capacity by July 2021, with 50% being allowed to be exported and the remaining for domestic consumption. Since it is a 2-shot vaccine, 0.25 billion shots can vaccinate only 0.125 billion people. India has a population of 1.35 billion, meaning that by July 2021, India will still have 1.225 billion people to be vaccinated. And at that rate, it will take 4.90 years to vaccinate all the Indians against COVID-19. That is 2025. But this period can get advanced to, say, 2022 or 2023 if we consider that Europe and the U.S.A will stop importing vaccines from India once all their peoples are vaccinated. Again, this can be further extended to 2023 or 2024 if we consider the population growth of 22,000 additional people — number of births minus number of deaths — per day in India, as well as India’s commitment to help its neighbors like Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, etc. with the supply of vaccines. The logistical nightmare of ensuring availability of the vaccine @ -20 to -80 degree centigrade can compound the timelines. Based on this assimilative thinking, B makes an inference that status quo ante of people having pre-pandemic lifestyle is not going to happen in 2021 or 2022 but in 2023 or 2024 in India unless the virus disappears on its own and/or installation of additional production capacity for vaccines happens. Based on this assimilative thinking, B will plan his long-term business strategy, accordingly. 

The process of assimilation opened up an entirely different window for B as compared to A. Their knowledge levels were the same, but the assimilation made the difference, with the possibility of B facilitating herself/himself with a harvest of success that will be better than that of A. Assimilation of knowledge is the mother of inference. Knowledge come in now and then, which may get stored in you as something that I call as “know-ledger. You need to let yourself open all the pages of your know-ledger inside the grinding and mixing cauldron of your thought process in order to reap the combined-inferential value that those pages offer. Inside the cauldron of your thought process, the entries in the know-ledger will get connected among themselves as they unwind themselves. The output of this churning process called assimilation is a ‘single powerful inference’ carrying the combined inferential might of all that there is in your know-ledger. And this powerful inference arising out of assimilation of knowledge gives you wings to branch out into a different world of better success than you, otherwise, would have accomplished.

What makes a person to assimilate the knowledge? What made B to assimilate while A did not? Have you seen how a concrete-mixer or cauldron works? A concrete-mixer needs electricity to rotate it while it is heat energy that creates conventional currents in a cauldron. Both concrete-mixer and cauldron give new outputs that carry  the combined might of all those went into the churning process inside them. What is that  that prompts assimilation process in us? The answer is partially there in the initial part of this write — the cosmic fact. The prompt for assimilation is the realization that every bit of knowledge that comes in our way is a link in one of the chains of the bigger knowledge-spectrum and that effectively connecting these links will give a better picture of the matter of fact. It is electricity for concrete-mixer, heat for cauldron and realization of knowledge-linkages that brings about assimilation in you. Do  you assimilate your thoughts?

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