Faith and Science

[ from A Man of Faith by scott pickard ]

I am a man of faith, and a man of science.  For me, scientific and spiritual views are compatible.  Otherwise, how else can you answer these questions:

  • Why is there something instead of nothing?
  • Why are we here?

It’s truly amazing if not a miracle that the universe follows mathematical algorithms so precise that we can use these algorithms to land a man on the moon.  Both science and spiritual are at work here, because something must be behind all this. It could not be a random accident.

I don’t know the answer, but I have “faith” that there is a profound truth behind it all that is outside scientific explanation.

- sp -

When it comes to college for your kid(s), what’s a parent supposed to do?

by scott pickard

Instead of saving $100K-$200K per kid to go to college, start teaching them how to master the skills of the lifetime online learner:

  • How to master independent study and research
  • How to master using the computer, software, and mobile devices
  • How to create and exploit one’s personal and professional networks
  • How to supplement online learning with daily engagement in the real world
  • How to achieve a healthy balance between the virtual and real worlds
  • How to survive and thrive in a rapidly disrupting world with new rules
  • How to define success for yourself, not by others


University Disruption of BIG UNIVERSITY is starting in slow motion, but will soon accelerate very rapidly. sp Is a college education (average $100K) the largest risk in a young person’s lifetime? Is a college education (still) worth it? Will competency-based education be the BIG DISRUPTOR of universities? How has politicization of university governance (by state governments) critically damaged the university? Is the notion of the large, massive public university dead? Why? Can the university continue to be all things (education) to all people? Is a new approach to tenure needed to ensure the university stays relevant to students and the outside world? What is it? Is the footprint of the university just too large to sustain? (a) land; (b) buildings; (c) utility infrastructure; (d) academic programs; (e) athletic programs; (f) employees Can corporations mitigate this problem by buying and/or long-term leasing underutilized assets? What are the advantages and disadvantages to this notion? Is the university’s educational model increasingly falling behind the Internet-inspired leveling of the social playing field? If so, why? (a) old traditions; (b) old principles; (c) old programs & departments; (d) waning elitism; (e) obsolescence of tenure & “academic freedom”; (f) civil service-style bureaucracy; (g) union overhead What academic programs and operational functions should and/or could be outsourced more efficiently and with equivalent if not better quality of service? How much and how fast should the university migrate academic programs and operational functions to the cloud? What can we learn from California today to take action on tomorrow? Is online education a threat to tenured professors? If so, how would that affect their objectivity towards radical change to survive? What kind of changes would alumni want to see first before they step in to help out? Are universities vulnerable to the lure of short-term, job-hopping academic administration superstars?  Do they damage the university? Are too many kids going to college? (a) unemployment; (b) indebtedness; (c) happiness in general: competency-based education: flex | conferences: Schools for Tomorrow, Summit On Online Education 2012 big idea | democratizing education | faculty performance tools: digitalmeasures | fraternities & sororities: Theta Xi, 1971 sp | Massively Open Online Courses MOOC | online platforms: kaplan, straighterline, 2U | student loans: pay it forward NPR | students speak out: unitingillini | watchdog: Campus Reform books and articles: Academically Adrift Arum | Change.edu: Rebooting for the New Talent Economy Rosen | College (Un)Bound Selingo | Going Broke by Degree: Why College Costs Too Much Vedder | Mismatch | MOOCs lead professors to rethink online ‘classroom’ strategy Helenthal | Precipice or Crossroads? Fogel | return on investment (ROI): College Doesn't Pay for Everyone | Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate Boyer | The Great American University Cole | The Higher Education Bubble Reynolds | Will Your College Go Out of Business Before You Graduate? Cuban

Kickstarter’s $1B milestone

Knowledge Creation Ideas The day before something is a breakthrough, It is a crazy idea. Diamandis in general: big thinkers, forums, conferences: www.bigthink.com, chicagoideas, dld-conference, DO Lectures, www.edge.org, www.flowidealism.org, gelconference, 99u, www.youtube.com/user/eurozeitgeist08, www.ted.com, theUPexperience, whatmattersnow | dream big: HBR’s Audacious List | interdisciplinary: einsteinforum | matching problems/solutions: www.ideacrossing.org, www.innocentive.com | publications: www.oneworld-publications.com | re-inventing instant film: www.the-impossible-project.com | self-healing concrete | skysails | social innovation: www.poptech.org | storyboards: andyleestoryboards | swarm power: LichtBlick | teachers deliver healthcare: www.youtube.com/watch?v=19yIGjH3joE | thought-to-action: http://news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2009/06/braingate2 | technology petting zoo: www.davidleeking.com/tag/technology-petting-zoo | what to do? schemer | Zayed Future Energy Prize: www.zayedfutureenergyprize.com centers: College of Creative Studies | Creative Education Foundation | Creative Problem Solving Institute | International Center for Studies in Creativity | International Forum of Creativity Organizations | veer lightning talks: Participants get a 5-minute opportunity to present bold, new ideas for research activities, products, or outreach efforts. Each 5-minute slot features 7 slides that auto-advance every 20 seconds. At the end of the talk, the screen goes black and the floor is opened for questions for the remainder of the 5-minute slot. sp notebooks: chronotebook | electronic: evernote, livescribe, omnigroup, OneNote 2013 | field notetaking: adapx, mollyjogger | lifelogging: daytum, gordon bell, looxcie videocam, one second per day, personalarchiving, quantifiedself | paper: Action Runner, A-log, behance, blurb personalized, calepino, cork, Japanese grid notebook | moleskine, resketch, rhodiapads, start here, white lines books: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell | Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius by Michael Michalko | Doodles by Taro Gomi | Imagination First by Eric Liu and Scott Noppe-Brandon | Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer | Leonardo's Notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci | Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip & Dan Heath | Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky Creativity | Big Ideas | Cloud | Collaboration | Crime | Design | Drawing

No TV for 40 days and 40 nights

by scott pickard

Take a look around at a family restaurant: see that mom on a smartphone, dad on an iPad, and every child plugged-in and tuned-out?  What can a parent do to take back family time?

My suggestion is to not “replace a gadget with gadget,” but to replace a gadget with your own innate creativity and sense of humor.

In the growing-up years of our kids, as a family we gave up TV for Lent (40 days, 40 nights) and we had dinner at the table every night during that period. The conversation during dinner was amazing and then instead of running to the TV after dinner, our kids would put on a skit each night. My wife and I would sit on the stairs and the kids would perform in the entranceway….. it was their “stage”. We laughed till we cried! It was the most amazing time and a beautiful unintended consequence was that we all dreamed like never before and woke up each morning to share our wild dreams with each other at breakfast.

We carried on this tradition for over 10 years until our kids hit high school, but during that time the togetherness, creativity, joy, and laughter we shared was truly special and are now fond memories we love to reminisce and laugh about today.

The only gadget we needed was our brain, the ultimate gadget!

- sp -