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On Education

Rethinking school and our education system

Should everyone go to college/university? My answer is that probably most people should not go to college. But this is a very complex topic that goes to the heart of every persons desire to achieve a higher place in society. The mass media constantly shows people who have achieved monetary success and or fame, and at the same time presents non-college occupations as something of less value and less importance. In the past, college was something for one of two categories of people. Either the children of wealthy families or people who wanted to go into the professional fields. The wealthy people, who in most cases in the past, were trained at home by the best tutors, went to college to broaden their understanding of the world. Somewhat later, certain groups of people started sending their children to college for the purpose of entering into professional fields. Today, these professional fields, such as accounting, engineering, law, medical and similar, are protected and restricted through a licensing structure. The question that I have is why would a person from a non wealthy family attend college and study a field that has little chance in helping them start their own business or has little chance in helping them get a job working for someone else? Further, many people today continue after four years of under graduate college, to get a masters degree or even a doctorate, again in a field that will not assist them in the future. From what I have observed, much of the first four years of college is a repetition of what the student learned or should have learned, if they were studying, in high school, with little more advanced information. Here in New York City, I run into many people every day who have obtained master degrees in fields that have very limited job opportunities, working "temporarily" as waiters, waitresses, construction, sales persons and similar. These people often blame the economy or politics or other reasons, for their perceived lack of a job in the field that they studied in. The fact is that they probably should not have gone to college in the first place. They probably are working in the field that they are most qualified in. I wonder why undergraduate fields always require four years to complete. For example, art, photography, film making, physics, math, sociology, all fields are always four year programs. Why? Should not certain fields, such as math or physics, be perhaps six year programs, while perhaps fields such as art and film making should not be taught in college at all, but instead people wishing to enter into those fields should go into an apprenticeship program of a person known the that field. It would seem that college often times has the effect of holding a person back by a number of years, before they go out and try to make their mark on the world.

Can a college or a university really teach a person to be a businessman or an artist or good in any particular field? I say no. A college can not teach a person to be creative, though a college can teach a person the techniques and use of certain tools, in a particular field. A college can also expose the student to what has already been developed and thus, hopefully, an intelligent, far seeing student can go father in their chosen field. One might ask if, for example, a brilliant person from a very poor, underprivileged neighborhood, if he is somehow organized enough to work hard in grade school and high school, getting top grades, perhaps he might be accepted into one of the know top universities and perhaps graduate on the top of his class and get an MBA. Does this mean that this person can or will be a great businessman? No, it does not. I would argue that a child who has never gone to school, but who comes from a long line of business people, will do much better in business than the MBA just described since the child will have the benefit of day to day observation of his parents on how to do business, how to deal with customers, how to sell and how to do everything! I can think of many specific examples though it would not be appropriate to outline them in this forum.

Why are all college programs four year programs? Should some programs be one year while perhaps others six years? I have wondered why every university degree, requires the same number of credits and thus the same length of time to achieve the degree. It just does not make any sense. Perhaps some degrees should take only one year to achieve, while others might take six years to master. Perhaps physics, mathematics, chemistry and biology should be four to six years, while psychology (which really should fall under the category of philosophy, rather than science), or political science, should take one or two years to obtain a degree.

What courses should and should not be taught at college or university? This is a complex and controversial topic. For starters, I feel that a college or university can not teach a person how to be a good business person, nor can it teach a person how to be creative. Will an MBA make that person a better business person, or an entrepreneur? No, it will not. An MBA might explain to the person the workings of a business and provide information on how to record and account for transactions and perhaps teach various theories on management, but that falls far short of making that individual a business person or an entrepreneur I would argue that a person who never attends university, but comes from a family who has operated businesses for several generations, is in a far better position in creating and managing a successful business, than a top MBA graduate, from a top school, who does not have this background. Napoleon stated that the education of a child starts three generations before the child is born. True know-how only comes through experience, and extensive, day to day observation of successful businesses and business people.

  When it comes to "creative fields" such as art, photography, graphics, web design, film and video production and similar, I say that formal education can not make a person "creative" but can only teach the individual what has already been done and the technology behind doing what has already been done. For example, an art student can be taught about the work of previously esteemed artists and the techniques that they used to create their work. True creativity can not be taught. With this in mind, I feel that "creative fields" should not be taught in a college or university, but rather the basics should be taught in craft or trade schools for perhaps six months to a year and then, if the student should show promise in the field, the student should attempt to become an apprentice to a know person in the field that the student wishes to enter into. It is a waste of time for the student to spend anywhere from four years to ten years going through university and getting an advanced degree in an art field. This advanced degree will not assist the student in being more creative. Most college and university level creative programs today should be in the same category as any other trade or craft, such as welding, plumbing, auto mechanics, electrician or carpentry. All of these fields are vitally important but do not require a college or university degree and "creative fields" fall into this category You are either naturally creative or you are not and you only need to know the techniques to enhance what you are gifted in. The vast majority of graduate from creative fields will never work in the field that they studied for, either because there are only a handful of jobs in the field, or their ability falls short of their aspirations or a combination of these and other factors.

  Many students today study "computer science", which essentially is a class that covers learning current computer languages. Computer science courses should not be confused with the development of computers and computer electronics falls under the category of electrical engineering. The problem with spending years studying computer science and computer "languages" and "coding" is that the languages are constantly changing. When I went to school, I studied FORTRAN and COBOL, but who uses these antiquated languages any more? Computer Science falls under the realm of a trade and should not be taught in a university but rather should be taught in a trade school. The courses in such a trade school should be limited to the specific computer language that the student wishes to work in and such a program should not be longer than six months to a year . Theoretical computer science, that is to say, the development of new mathematical perspectives, algorithms and research, should be taught in university and is essentially a mathematics subject.

  I would argue that accounting is a trade, and should be taught in trade school program, rather than a university.

  What must be done, for the sake of the student and for the efficiency of society is to completely re-evaluate the entire university system. The current university learning system is cumbersome and inefficient and is structured to give false hope to many, if not most of the students who feel that after achieving the requirements for a particular degree, that magically their lives will change and that they will work in their desired fields. It is time to minimize fantasy and come back to reality.

From my perspective, the following institutions should teach the following disciplines:

  • College: Biology, physics, mathematics, chemistry, electronics, philosophy, law, medicine and similar

  • Trade schools: Accounting, welding, plumbing, carpentry, auto mechanics, computer programing, web design, house painting, marketing/advertising. After a relatively short stint in trade schools, many of the people in these disciplines should seek to become apprentices under the guide of a master in the field. Please note that in the case of web design, the actual design should should probably be developed by a marketing master, who may not necessarily know how to program a computer or create a website, thus the purpose of the "web designer" is not to create a marketing complain, but rather to create a website that follows the vision of the marketing master. Driving a car is different than designing the car.

  • Apprentiship programs: Fine art including painting, sculpture and other art forms, photography, film and video production, house painting.

 

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Frank X. Didik aboard
"The Futurist" in New York Harbor.

Thoughts by
Frank Didik
Random thoughts on science, business and society today.

What if and what can or might be.

Reason, Logic and intellect is not reliable. The late Christopher Hitchens often stated that we should rely on our logic, reason and intellect to determine the truth. Many people who pride themselves as educated, intelligent and progressive believe the same. As reasonable as this seems, Galileo proved over 400 years ago that our logic, reason and intellect is unreliable and that only direct experimental data, should be relied upon. Galileo had dropped two balls of the same material, but different masses, from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate that they would hit the ground at the same time, rather than the heavier ball hitting the ground first, as almost everyone, including Aristotle, 2000 years ago, had assumed. Our logic, reason and intellect is not reliable and should only be viewed as speculation. Only direct experimentation and obtaining the same results, over and over again should be relied upon.


The 1956 Firebird was to be self driving.
Self Driving Cars? If you have an accident with a self driving car, who is at fault? The car manufacturer, the owner of the car or the occupant "driver" of the car? I have enjoyed owning and driving some of the most interesting cars made and have always enjoyed the freedom of driving without impediments or restrictions. Nevertheless, if self driving ...read more ...


Bicycles? What ever happened to jet packs, flying cars and advanced technology that in the past, was predicted that we would be using by today? Why are bicycles being pushed by cities world wide?...read more ...

Old Computer Formats and the longevity of our digitally stored knowledge. Are we entering into a "pre-history" era? How can we preserve our computer written records, books, photographs, video and knowledge? If you wanted to, would you be able to read a:

    3 1/2" or 5 1/4" or 8" floppy?
    cd-rom or a dvd?
    12" optical disk?
    9 track tape?
    IBM punch card?
    Paper punch tape?

If you can not read these one or two generation old formats today, how will society be able to read these documents in 200 years from now? ...read more ...

What if the decay rate of elements varies rather than being a constant? Imagine, if this is the case, it would mean that all archeological dating is in question. How old are artifacts? When in fact did the dinosaurs really die out? Further, consider that ... read more ...

What is the speed of gravity? If it is instantaneous, then what if gravity can be modulated? Today most scientists, assume that the speed of gravity is the same as the speed of light, but what if the speed of gravity is instantaneous? Further, if gravity can be modulated, it might allow for instantaneous universal communication. Thus it might be possible to communicate with space craft instantly, rather than waiting for minutes for transmissions to reach the craft or earth. Perhaps computer chips can be made to operate vastly faster. And this is just the beginning since ...read more ...

The playgrounds are empty but the dog runs are full. No children, only dogs. I have noticed that in New York City, the playgrounds are empty but the dog runs are full. People are no longer getting married, and having families. Where will this all lead to? When I was a child growing up in NYC, there were children everywhere and the stores catered to families, rather than individual single people. The best boutiques along Madison Avenue on Manhattan's upper east side, always had play areas for the children, so that the children could play, while the mothers shopped. We children knew which stores had the best toys and demanded to go to those stores, which in most cases, were the most expensive stores!

Euthanasia to be encouraged? I was just reading that insurance companies encourage suicide, in states that permit assisted suicide. Greater profits by less medical bills and life insurance policies invalidated? I suspect that with a rapidly aging population, the elderly will be encouraged to end their lives. Perhaps it will be presented as the patriotic or honorable thing to do. We are truly entering into an age of barbarism and abandoning civilization.

This website displays designs, projects, proposals and innovations by Frank Didik, but this site has also served to inspire people to bring their ideas to fruition. All too often, people have great dreams in high school and college but within a few years after graduation, these ideas gradually become a distant memory. I encourage everyone to do what ever you are good at and try to make your dreams a reality. What people do today represents the future of our great planet. Go out and do whatever you can do, to the best of your ability.

Question: If people who are protesting are paid to protest, is it really a protest?

Question: If a charity receives most or all of its money from the government, is it really a charity considering that the tax payer is paying for their services? If a humanitarian organization is paid for their services, are they really a humanitarian organization?

On Business

Investing in Startups. Good idea or bad? Is investing in a Startup, that has never proven itself in the market place, a good idea or a waste of money (and talent)? Historically, investors invested in companies that were swamped with orders and making money, but needed additional money to ... read more ...

Most efficient brain-storming method and how to make morning office meetings more productive and interesting ... read more ...

Superior advertising results

Producing the very best and most effective TV commercials The single purpose of a television commercial is to sell the product or service. The fact that an advertisement might be interesting, funny, informative or well produced is secondary to the main purpose, which is to sell the product or service. One should never leave the creation of the television commercial to the television producer or the video editor. ... read more ...

Building the most effective business websites Never let a "web designer" develop the website for you. A web designer should be produce the website under the supervision of an on line marketing master, usually working with ... read more ...

 


There is an alternative to population control. Restricting and discouraging the formation of families in order to stabilize or reduce population infringes on the freedom and rights of every human. There is another much better approach...read more ...

Questioning the results of modern science. For the last 100 years, we have been experiencing the collapse of real science. Theories, speculation and fantasy is the norm today. By definition, the scientific method is the ability to test and re-test and always get the same results, over and over. If an idea or a theory can not be tested, the idea must be viewed as speculation and not considered true, till that idea is proven without a doubt. Scientific theory has moved to areas that are beyond our present capability of testing and gradually a number of unproven theories have become accepted as fact without any real proof. Further, new theories have been developed based on old theories. Thus we have a situation where science today is largely based on theory upon theory. If something can not be proven, it falls into the realm of philosophy rather than science. This has led to...read more ...


What if time varies along with all things, rather than being a constant? Consider that...read more ...

Can the speed of light vary, even if traveling under the same conditions, or in other words, is the speed of light really a constant? According to Einstein's theory of relativity, the speed of light is a constant but ...read more ...

Science and media hype: Any sudden "revolutionary" scientific discovery, even if such discovery is written about in every newspaper and scientific journal, should be greeted with skepticism. Such a discovery should only be accepted after the bulk of scientists have have had a chance to review the discovery and confirm that it is in fact correct. Such things that come to mind include cold fusion, the so called "God Particle" and even the recent stated discovery of a "gravitational wave". All too often such media hype has come and gone without any real discovery or fundamental change. ..read more ...

What percentage of information, contained in science books is accurate and true? Are we in a post science period? Many science books today present ...read more ...

It is time to retest scientific properties. Verify results. I suggest that the properties of all materials be re-tested using modern technology and certify the results. Melting and boiling points, conductivity, hardness, and all physical properties of materials should be re-tested ...read more ...

Honesty and integrity in scientific research is essential in order to advance our knowledge base. When a scientist has worked for years to prove a particular theory and finds out that their work has been in vain, it is difficult to admit that their original assumptions were wrong. Still it is vitally important ..read more ...

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Didik's opinion
On Education
Rethinking school and our education system

Should everyone attend college or university? ... read more ...

Wisdom: I believe that wisdom can not be taught, but rather wisdom is a unique gift of understanding that a person is born with.

Can a college or a university really teach a person to be a businessman or an artist or good in any particular field? ... read more ...

How come all college undergraduate degree's require four years? Should some degrees require only one year while others perhaps six years? ... read more ...

Weak Students: I have long believed that in a classroom environment, the weak student holds the better students back. The idea of putting a weak student with better students is a disservice to both the weak as well as the better students. It should also be recognized that not all people have the same ability and potential in every field. Two individuals completing the same university program and having the same grades and degree, does not make them equal in ability and potential. Students should not be told that they can succeed at anything that they try to do.

What courses should and should not be taught at college or university? Can college or a university teach a person how to be a good business person, or how to be creative? ... read more ...

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Teaching: I feel that it is not possible to teach a person to be creative or a good businessman and the same applies to many other fields. You can only expose that person to what has already been done and the current understanding of the tools and materials of the trade and perhaps with this understanding, the student can expand upon this knowledge.

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Learning: My view is that almost all learning is through observation and questioning. This underscores the importance of parents to teach their children and expose their children to the parents daily lives. In today's society, most parents are forced to work and thus the child has only limited exposure to the richness of the parents understanding of things. I would also argue that when a parent is walking with a child, that the parent should not be using their cell phone or texting and instead be devoting their full attention to the child. Schools, as they exist today, have a limited ability to truly train/educate a student and most of what is taught to the student is repeated over and over with little practical use for the student after graduation. So many students today study for years and yet after graduation, never use what they have learned or what they have learned is of little relevance to their lives.

BITCOIN: Bitcoins are backed by nothing more than the gullibility and wishful thinking of the Bitcoin holder.

I believe that the Bitcoin rise in value is akin to the Dutch Tulip craze in the early 1600's and that a massive decline in value is imminent.

Foreign manufactured products versus American manufactured products: American's will never buy an American made product if the same or similar foreign products is sold at a lower price. This means that manufacturing jobs will never return to the United States, unless there is an import tax, however import taxes will violate most of America's NAFTA and GAT treaties. Any talk of manufacturing jobs returning to America without import taxes is simply idle banter.

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Frank Didik's
Thoughts on how the world will change in the future

  No one really knows what the future will be like and rarely have predictions made in the past, become a reality in the same way that it was predicted. Nevertheless, certain generalities of what might happen, can be foreseen based on what is happening today
read more

1. In the future, self driving trucks will change society and millions will lose their jobs ...read more

2. In the future, robotic friends, including intimate friends will prevail ...read more

3. In the future, dating and marriage may greatly decline read more

4. In the future, populations may drastically decline ...read more

5. In the future, pet ownership will decline read more

6. In the future, natural child birth may decline read more

7. In the future, Licenses may be required to have children ...read more

8. In the future, virtual living will take precedence to real life read more

9. In the future, aroma, heat, wind, moisture and taste will all be recorded read more

10. In the future, wealth will be concentrated among a tiny group of people read more

11. In the future, technological advancement may slow down ...read more

12. In the future, planets will not be colonized read more

13. In the future, people will travel less in the future ...read more

14. In the future, transportation networks will gradually be reduced ..read more

15. In the future, there will be a Loss of optimism for their future ...read more

16. In the future, people will rarely interact, face to face ...read more

17. In the future, microscopic robotic "bacteria" will be injected into the body to cure diseases and repair or remove internal body issues ..read more

18. In the future, robots will perform medical procedures including surgery more

19. In the future, doctors will be able to operate from anywhere on the planet ...read more

20. Radically changed moral values and decline in human dignity awaits us in the future ...read more

21. In the future, society may gradually fall into a stagnant, non advancing epic ...read more

22. Future crises in Human Dignity ...read more

23. In the future, medicines will be specifically designed for the individual ...read more

24. In the future, robots will do most factory work and manual labor, including farming and cooking, as well as the jobs of professionals such as doctors and accounting, just to mention a few chores and will cause the loss of millions of jobs and make large populations unnecessary .. read more

 ---Predictions for the future by Frank X. Didik, December 2, 2016

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Op-Ed

Cell Phone Etiquette
Advice for the modern person - December 9, 2016 read more

 
Time to rethink bike lanes Advice for bicyle based cities
 - August 3, 2016 read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.didik.com/thoughts_science_decayrate.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_science_gravity.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_philosophy_logic.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_science_jetpacks.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_science_liabilityofselfdrivingcars.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_science_digitallongevity.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_college_everyone.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_college_creative.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_college_why4years.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_college_whatcourses.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_business_startups.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_business_brainstorming.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_business_tvcommercials.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_business_websites.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_population_control.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_science_accuracy.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_science_lightspeed.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_science_time.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_science_mediahype.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_science_percentage.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_science_retest.htm
http://www.didik.com/thoughts_science_integrity.htm