What good is college??

What does “higher education” mean when almost the entire world’s information is accessible online in Wikipedia, et. al.? Actually, it’s been some time since the real value of a college education was to gather and memorize a set of facts about one’s field.

The value of a real college education is learning how to:

  • Think critically
  • Locate information
  • Evaluate the quality of information
  • Act effectively on information
  • Develop productive social skills
  • Develop a social network
  • Validate these skills with the sheepskin

If schools focused on even the first, users would move away from simply cribbing content from Wikipedia and its relatives. For example, try this for an exam:

Review the Wikipedia [Fox News, New York Times, Drudgereport] article on _______________. Critically evaluate its content for factual errors, bias, or assumptions. Produce a revised version incorporating corrections as needed.

Yes, You Can!

Welcome to It’s Never Boring with Dave Doering!

I’ll start by saying “Yes, you can!”

Science fiction fans like to ask who will create a faster-than-light drive. The someone who says “there can’t be anything faster than light” or the one who says “I wonder how it would be possible?”

I love being a science fiction fan and being with other fans. Why? Because when you get two of us together we are ready to say “Yes, we can!” and do something–like start a con.

So when I face the challenge every day about our future–my personal future and our shared future on this planet–I look for the possibilities. Read today’s headline that the end of our civilization is upon us. I say “Yes, there’s challenges and we will overcome these challenges.”

Why? Because despite the appearance of statistics or data to support their positions, naysayers are blinded by three flawed beliefs:

  1. Yesterday defines tomorrow.
  2. Man is the mistake.
  3. We don’t have the resources.

Yesterday defines tomorrow

Not a chance. It may suggest patterns, but it does not define it. Whole new paradigms may appear overnight to completely change tomorrow.

Ask Drs. Barry Marshall and Robin Moore. Together they overturned a century of mainstream medical belief that insisted ulcers came from stress. By revealing that ulcers were in fact caused by bacteria, they exposed the then current treatment of ulcers as the equivalent of leaches and bleeding for overcoming disease.

Ask Bill Gates, Netscape, and the four universities on the original Internet. They’ve overturned a century of sales, publishing, and social interaction paradigms in less than ten years.

Man is the mistake.

The greatest power on earth is the human mind. No force can resist it. And what a power for good!

How wonderful it is to live in an age as we see the triumph of the Rule of Law over the Law of the Jungle. How wonderful to see that our weakest citizens–infants, the handicapped, the chronically-ill and AIDs suffers–are now protected, supported and enabled as never before ever in the history of the world.

There are those who fear this power in themselves. They rush to constrain, control, and suppress this power using armies and police or in the name of God.

But Our Creator is not jealous of our improving our world and our condition, he wants us to shine. Rather than a error to be removed, we are here as the solution.

We don’t have the resources.

We do not suffer from a lack of resources–we lack creative thinking. That we have safer cars today yet get twice the gas mileage of 20 or 30 years ago. That we have the Internet. That we have instant communication to any part of the planet. That future careers offer far greater fulfillment than the mere paper processing of fifty years ago (remember steno pools?)

By changing the nature of work, the traditional “Third World” doesn’t require a ravenous appetite for resources to move ahead. Instead, the lessons learned elsewhere have propelled places like Vietnam forward without those intervening steps to both feed and fulfill their people’s potential.


Yes, there is a thrill to greet each day with “yes, I can” and ask “So now, how am I going to do it?”

So let’s go find out!