Saturday, September 21, 2013

What is the future of education? By Andres Agostini at



Emerson indicates that educators do not educate but offer the means of education. I am not trying to educate anyone but myself through these lines. However, most of my wisest colleagues and thoughtful friends are seeking relevant contents. Relevant contents that prove interesting in entertaining their legitimately hungriest minds as they mean well in every purpose. All citations here are accurate to the best of my knowledge. Not even for educational purposes have them been simplified or modified in any way since it is neither my duty nor nature as of now. Subsequently, quotations have been kept intact as they have become available to me.

1.- First off, we must establish universal acceptance of the greatest axiom of all times pertaining to the subject matter to be dealt with now. Said axiom establishes:  “An ounce of prevention is worth millions of dollars of cure.” In the West we are over-working at the “cure” while under-working at the “prevention.”

2.- Having spoken of prevention, let’s now chat about preventive medicine by using the greatest wisdom of Sir Francis Bacon: “He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils, for time is the greatest innovator.”

3.- Okay, Bacon has spoken loud and clear. People who listens to him benefits greatly. Those who don’t are in shock, bewilderment, and even in times of struggle. We have the choice to ignore his extreme wisdom or we can accept and practice it thoroughly in every facet of our lives. The undersigned firmly suggests either one or the other, since “gray scales” type of choices will not work for us at all. The term “extreme” sometimes can be optimal. See, for instance, NASA’s effort in sending an unmanned Rover to Mars. Wasn’t that over-perfection after traveling – by means of highly sophisticated telemetry – some 120 million miles into outer space?

4.- If we take Bacon’s wisdom literally, we are exploiting the UPSIDE of our life’s risks. If we don’t take Bacon’s wisdom literally, we are exploiting the DOWNSIDE of our life’s risks.

5.- Supporting the Bacon motion there is that of Dr. Bertrand Russell. This finest Britton, supporting further Bacon’s motion (under 2, 3, and 4), indicated: “I know more people who prefer to die than to think.” Intellectual laziness is a topic heavily studied and addressed by advanced scientists. The idea is simply getting people in deep, systematic thinking forever.

6.- As I really wish to offer you every possibility of hope and optimism, rigor calls upon me to exhaust the downsides so that said downsides eventually become UPSIDES. Albert Einstein and Buckminster Fuller will be making their great ensuing contributions. Einstein: “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity … We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”

7.- Supporting Einstein motion, Buckminster Fuller reminds us of the following: “...Either war is obsolete, or men are...” Very respectful opinions that of Russell, Einstein, and Buckminster Fuller. But the German philosopher, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, reiterates that if we change the present we can change the future, and if we change the future – as well as the way we proactively and qualitatively envision and practice it through futuristic scenario methods – we will be changing the present in fact and taking increasing control over the negative circumstances that impact us. Nietzsche stated exactly: "It’s our future that lays down the law of our today." Can a prominent USA president make a difference and yet further support the Nietzsche motion? I think so. Ensuing:

8.- Theodore Roosevelt, a lifelong and topflight statesman concerned about making the best out of his mind and that of his constituents, established: "All the resources we need are in the mind." Dr. Carl Sagan, notwithstanding acknowledging the wisdom by Nietzsche and Roosevelt, really wishes making a point of his own next.

9.- So Sagan made his motion public, which basically indicates that if we embrace serious knowledge progressively, we will build great hope for the world. Without euphemisms, in this case “world” is an analogous term to “the people” and “by/for the people” worldwide.  He said:  “The greatest danger for the survival of the present civilization is neither atomic war, nor environmental pollution, nor the exploitation of natural resources, and nor present crises. The underlying cause to all of the above is the acceleration of man’s obsolescence … The only hope seems to be an electroshock program to re-instill to the current adults the competencies required to function adequately under a mode of perpetual change. This is a profound need – the immeasurable challenge – that is presented by the modern society to adult educator.” Emerson understands Sagan but he really wishes to make a more hopeful and viable point.

10.- Ralph Waldo Emerson writes: “Man hopes; Genius creates.” As you make your knowledge more driven by you and as per the goal, objectives, and results expected from you and by yourself, the smarter you will become without a fail. The more intelligent you become, the much better at solving problems – regardless of how simple or complex they are – you’ll become. Becoming truly intelligent is a bit of a struggle but it also fully winnable, educational, and enjoyable.  And in my opinion no one can contradict Emerson on such an important theme. In some strange form, though with a positive outcome, Dr. Knowles wishes to confirm the exactness of the Emerson motion by using his words in a different way now. In matters of education, I habitually suggest researching the life of Dr. Burrhus Frederic Skinner, ˝Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” If we ignore education, we end up ignoring our own survival. Dr. Henry Kissinger addresses it here: "An ignored issue is an invitation to a problem."

11.- Dr. Malcolm S. Knowles, Ph.D. stated: “The greatest danger for the survival of the present civilization is neither atomic war, nor environmental pollution, nor the exploitation of natural resources, and nor present crises. The underlying cause to all of the above is the acceleration of man’s obsolescence … The only hope seems to be an electroshock program to re-instill to the current adults the competencies required to function adequately under a mode of perpetual change. This is a profound need – the immeasurable challenge – that is presented by the modern society to adult educator.” A compatriot of Dr. Knowles, and former president of the United States, wishes to offer his insight thus underpinning the motions by Emerson and Knowles. Practical, actionable, mobilizing, and theoretical education are important because of the means to overcome and supersede any increasing obstacle as Einstein proved by claiming: "A problem can never be resolved at the same level of knowledge that was created." But if you use the highest order level of knowledge systemically, you can win.

12.- Thomas Jefferson let us know:  ̋I prefer the stories of the future than history.˝  You see, an indeed conscientious futurist always thinks through doing all his risks FIRST to then accede to doing all his futures and the benefits stemming from said futures SECOND. I believe Jefferson was America’s first, foremost, and most responsible futurologist. In high spirits and under great responsibility, he added: “Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.”

13.- Then a great Briton and American came along to support Thomas Jefferson motion to the fullest. His name is Winston Spencer Churchill. Yes, he was Prime Minister of the U.K. and became American through an enacted law by the U.S. Congress. And, in his time, Sir Winston Churchill lucidly asserted the following: "The empires of the future are the empires of the mind." Then, Machado (from Spain) made his motion in supporting further and yet in a subtle way the Churchill motion.

14.- Antonio Machado established: “An eye is not an eye because you see it; an eye is an eye because it sees you.” Going even further than Machado regarding what grants a person the maximum possible own visibility of the world (cosmosvision. i.e., weltanschauung), the Panchatantra (body of Eastern philosophical knowledge) offers us a maxim: “Knowledge is the true organ of sight, not the eyes.” Then Bernard d'Espagnat finds a middle-ground for the motions by Machado and the Panchatantra by saying: "Even if the Universe is a little myopic is true that, more than others, MEN OF SCIENCE ARE ITS EYES."

15.- The father of American management – and that of management spread out over the world – wishes to make an optimistic point and a word of caution that is “fine tuned-up” with all of the current work. I am referring to Peter Drucker, “Things that have already happened but whose consequences have not been realized [because they were not imagined, considered, or envisioned by disciplined foresight and far-sight] … Don’t confuse movement with progress.” Furthering the Drucker position, a great American Nobel laureate is bound to amalgamating this motion. I mean James D. Watson, Ph.D.

16.- Watson tells in Charlie Rose show, originally aired in 2009, a very relevant and constructive thought for our greater enlightenment with hope: "Science gives society a great sense of decisive freedom."  Watson motion gets amplified by the luminescent assertion by Arthur C. Clarke: “We have to abandon the idea that schooling is something restricted to youth. How can it be, in a world where half the things a man knows at 20 are no longer true at 40 – and half of the things he knows at 40 hadn’t been discovered when he was 20?” In supporting all motions – without being contradictory – Otto Herman Khan, German-American whose contributions are beyond the sine qua non quality these days, takes to a final pondering by indicating: “Clearly, the first task is to gain acceptance of a more reasonable view of the future, one that opens possibilities rather than forecloses them.”


British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli staged in the world of knowledge a wonderful reflection. To this end his contributions are world-class and numerous. Once known that he was elected for public office, a journalist asked him: “What will you first government action be?” Disraeli readily responded: “I will send my best friend to Australia.” “To the antipodes? What for?,” the journalist asked. “So my friends tell me how my administration here is seen from there,” Disraeli most accurately responded.

Disraeli’s intellect was immense. And he also was a “future-ready” type of a prominent large-scale CEO. In his mentioning of Australia, one could – playing through serious critic-creative thinking – that Disraeli was actually thinking about sending his best friend into the future. So that said friend could gain – in ample foresight – the most reliable feedback (kind-of public opinion ratings) way in advance from the locus where the broadest perspective can be gained at the maximum and the easiest and the earliest.

General Francisco de Miranda  – an outsider with a Londoner’s heart, mind, and a British wife in the nineteenth century fighting against the Spanish army in the Americas –  stated a phrase that greatly bolsters the brief and yet lucid dialogue held by Disraeli above. Miranda said: “Time is the context by means of which action is delivered.”

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