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> rick said:
>> i think a better example than the airplane one discussed here, is the
>> vibrating bridge that destoyed itself in high winds, or any of the
>> amazing engineering feats in the recently shown tv series (brooklyn
>> bridge, panama canal, etc).
>> the reason i say this is that they all have the elements that are
>> important - money, politics, disaster, engineering (somewhere). but
>> most importantly the results of the successes and failures all fed
>> into the engineering education systems and are passed on by the
>> institutions to each new generation of engineers. learning by
>> magazine or experience (or even a few good books) will never replace
>> the disciplined study of a formal education at the university of
>> technical level. mainly because those who design the courses
>> (hopefully) make sure that your education is broad and covers areas
>> that you wouldn't normally follow if you just pursued your interests.
> Academia can usually teach you how to teach, it can even give you a
> basic introduction into any given discipline of their choice, but it
> generally sucks at any resemblance of innovation. The clique "Those
> who can, do -- those who can't, teach!" is a clique for a reason.
i've never liked that saying. it's denegrating to the many teachers -
gifted or otherwise - who contributed to our education. we couldn't even
have this discussion without them.
> I can go on and on with examples of those who were not qualified, but
> turned their respective industries upside down -- the Woz and Jobs for
> one (or rather two). They took the lofty computer industry, which up
> till that time, was for the chosen few and gave it to the unclean
> masses, which churned out useless things like the spreadsheet.
in fact the modern computer industry in reality derives very much from
the work and generosity of ucb and stanford who corporately saw
themselves as a melting pot and source for ideas and innovation.
> If you want to sing the praises of Academia, that's fine. Others sign
> along with Corporate America, and that's OK too. But for me, give me a
> couple of gifted people and I'll change the world.
> ps: I believe that the vibrating bridge was designed by a college
it was and a lot was learned by the next generation from the mistakes
that were made (that was my point). woz and jobs turned the industry
upside down, but it was turing, wirth, codd, djikstra, and a host of
other gifted professionals who made the industry that could be turned
upside down. and in the wider world, the real innovation has come from
products of universities and the like. check the bio's of your heroes.
you may be very surprised.
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