Posts Tagged ‘Personal Development’

Too Much EducationPhoto license

Are we getting too much education today or is it the same education as in the past drawn out over a longer period of time so that everyone passes?

My grandfather had a grade five education, started out with his own business, later went into government where he set up medicare for an entire province among other things, and eventually became a mayor.

My father had a high school diploma, went in for manual labor and factory work, and retired with a pension.

I have a university degree and will need to work until I die.

Untangling Education versus Pay

Part of the change over the generations described above is due to recessions or depressions appearing about every ten years. Those have kept wages down while raising the cost of living.

The result has been that more and more education is needed to get a job that just pays the bills. Thanks to student loans, it can be a long time before those better paying jobs make a difference in your bank account. Many choose to stop at high school and get by on minimum wage or enter the welfare system.

But that’s a separate problem. Let’s stick with the value of education.

We Were Taught More in the Past

In 1917, my then 12 year old grandmother moved to Canada from Scotland with her family. She had been in grade 9 studying calculus and algebra, among other subjects appropriate for the grade level.

When she enrolled in school in Canada she was told, “Grade 9 is too far ahead for a 12 year old. We’re putting you in grade 6.” She was disappointed to say the least. For the rest of her public education, she was at the top of her class and went on to take a one year teacher’s degree. When she went to work as a teacher, she could have been a principal but was passed over for a less qualified male teacher because, “It wouldn’t be right for a woman to be a man’s supervisor.” Yeah. It was a different world in a lot of ways.

That’s Just Scotland

Is it just Scotland? Did they start kids in school three years earlier than Canada? I think it was Europe versus North America. Maybe it still is.

Any readers from Europe who would like to comment on what grade, age, and year they found themselves studying calculus and algebra? Scottish comments could be especially revealing.

Location is not the point either. It’s how much education and how soon.

Triumph of the Unintelligent?

When I went to school in the 1960s and 70s, a 60% was required or you repeated the grade. I passed every grade with little effort. A pass was all the school and my parents demanded. Why this matters will make sense shortly.

Heidegger's Search for the Meaning of Being

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This is a paper I wrote for myself at the end of university. It gives an overview of Martin Heidegger’s positive existential philosophy. This version has been very lightly edited. No attempt has been made to add to the explanations of the concepts. If you find yourself lost on a point, feel free to ask in the comments.

Heidegger’s Search for the Meaning of Being

Heidegger says the central question for the human being is the question of Being. Our inquiry into Being has been absent for such a long time that we now suffer from a loss of meaning, as evidenced by the growth of nihilism. All meaning derives from the Meaning of Being and it is a return to the question of Being that is the only way to get this back.


Staying On Top When You Slip Into Old Habits

Quitting a bad habit can be tough if you don’t have a good game plan. Because it’s a habit, you will have situations and times in the day when you feel it’s time to indulge.


Don't Be A Victim

You As Victim

You make yourself a victim when you see yourself as acted upon by other people. When you believe your life is out of your control, you become passive and things happen to you. You feel sorry for yourself because you can’t do anything about the events that decide your fate. You find yourself looking for pity from others because of the bad situation you have no control over.


Social Anxiety Can Be Overcome

Social anxiety is a fear of social situations where you may be evaluated by others. You don’t know what other people are thinking or how they may react to you. That element of mystery should make socializing interesting. If you have social anxiety, you experience fear instead of excitement.


Your Goals Need a Path

I’m going against my usual article style and talking about my own goals in this one. I think some concrete examples are called for.

Ten years ago, I received an old 386 PC as compensation for some bookkeeping I had done for a small business. At the time, I was using an Atari 2200 computer, so this was an interesting change. The Atari had a GUI but the 386 did not. It came with all of it’s original manuals. I read them all and tried everything. It amazed me how much more I could do with this black and white text-only machine. I saw a lot of potential there and had an idea.


Focus Your Intelligence

Intellectuals often search for universal knowledge and change subjects so often they can’t get a career going. They start their studies in each new field as a total amateur. They read everything they can find, run experiments, ask lots of questions and practice, practice, practice. One day they find they’ve become an expert. After that, the knowledge returns on their study investment is small compared to when they first started learning. The more experienced they are at learning new things, the faster they get up to speed and are ready to move on.

Is this you? Have you had jobs in many different fields, even major differences in job types, like labor, services, and office work? What is going on? Don’t you have any focus? The problem is that you are an intellectual, trying to understand everything. The result is you will get bored of what you are doing no matter what job you choose. I know. I’ve been there and still am to some extent.

I’ve cycled through many jobs with a significant difference in each one. It makes life interesting but not profitable. You become an “expert” faster than your peers and are seen as “someone with a future here”. Then you get bored and change jobs again to start the process all over.

If this isn’t you, you’ve probably found the career you want and need not read any further. If it is you, read on. I will give you a solution.