Russia Today did a cool interview with Steve Wozniak that you might want to check out. One part that I found interesting was where he talked about learning around 6:25 in:
When I worked for Hewlett Packard designing all the Apple stuff they had a policy in the company that was written, and it said that an engineer could have parts out of his storeroom — chips and things like that — for devices of his own design with supervisor approval. Well you know what, to borrow a few dollars worth of chips and build something up even for yourself for your home is increasing your mind in a way that you couldn’t get the same sort of learning from a university course and it would cost a lot more.
As I’ve found myself, the best way to learn is through your own experience; learning by doing. That’s why I’ve always loved Einstein’s quote where he said that “the only source of knowledge is experience.” Not to mention that there are so many problems with education right now that do us all more harm than good in the long run, as Wozniak also mentions around 21:20 in:
Intelligence, actually you said has two definitions. I thought you were gonna say it has one that the schools tell us that is always being able to answer questions on test correctly, meaning you have the same answers like everyone else and it’s not your own answer — it came out of a book. That’s called intelligence; you’re taught your whole life that is intelligence. Now people who go wandering off making products that never existed — computers and electronics and things that control the home — these people are not. I mean, a lot of stuff that I did for Apple Computer would get me an F in a school course and wouldn’t be allowed in a company. Thinking for yourself is the real intelligence but it’s not what schools call intelligence with their numbers, the measurements and the tests.
I recently also touched upon this subject in a footnote in my post about our basic needs as human beings. Our education system right now is not set up to make independent and logical/critical thinking people out of us. On the contrary it makes us passive thinkers and encourages and even forces us to conform to society. It prevents us from being creative, innovative and reaching our full potential. That’s also why Steve Jobs hated it and dropped out of college, because he knew it would limit him. “The system can only create another system,” is one of his quotes from the movie “Jobs.” Jobs called dropping out of college “one of the best decisions he ever made” during his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University.
There’s also this problem right now with science where it has become almost as big of a problem as religion, with various dogmas that are holding back important research and progress. Dr. Rupert Sheldrake has a very good book out on this titled “The Science Delusion” that I highly recommend checking out.
And it’s no coincidence that the people at the top of the tech industry right now having the most influence are college dropouts. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and John Carmack just to name a few. John Carmack actually went from being one of the most innovative and best 3D game engine engineers to building rocket engines now, proving that the only thing you really need is curiosity, passion and dedication if you really want to learn something. Business Insider recently also did an article on “19 Insanely Successful College Dropouts that Prove You Don’t Need A Degree.” And this article on “Saying No to College” by the New York Times is also an interesting read. All the information is out there and available, now more than ever thanks to the Global Brain; you just have to take it and apply it and maybe even improve it using your own experience and research efforts.
Around 13:28 in Wozniak continues:
The thing is there’s something about truth being very important when you spend your whole life working in systems like engineering in software and your programs have to work. You come up with this very strong logical… there’s a logical connection and you should follow the logic. The logic would lead you to the right answer, it leads you to the objective answer and you don’t follow a bias. A bias would say oh I’m for my side, I’m for my country, I’m for my employer. To me the apex of all good in my life, I decided when I was 20 years old, is truth. And if people are hiding the truth what they’re doing is they think it’s bad. And that applies to even the government.
From my own experience I can say that Wozniak is right when he mentions software engineering having an influence on logical thinking. That’s why I think every child should learn how to program, because apart from the fact that it will have many other benefits for them in the increasingly technological world we’re living in right now, it will train them to become logical, critical and analytical thinkers. It’ll help them develop the “critical thinking module of their brain” as Ray Kurzweil referred to it in his book “How to create a mind.” And the people at Code.org certainly agree.
The above video by Code.org starts with a quote from Steve Jobs, where he said “everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.”
And another important thing Wozniak mentions is the fact that the apex of all good in his life is truth. The times we’re heading into right now are all about intelligence and technology, openness and truth. The truth will become increasingly more important to everyone, and nothing will be able to remain hidden anymore. I discuss this in more detail at the end of my post on the Global Brain, which is now enabling us to fix a lot of the above mentioned issues and will allow for exponential improvements in all areas of our lives.