Bill Gates solicits an answer on Linkedin

Out of a mouth-mind in Bablion…

Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Chairman of Microsoft, put a featured question to Linkedin professionals:

“How can we do more to encourage young people to pursue careers in science and technology?”

After two days, there were 2500+ and counting answers from leaders, managers and professionals from across the planet. Below is my published answer to Bill Gates and my many unknown colleagues at Linkedin:

Education

Reading C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man, I came to the consideration that the moral relativism that accompanies modern math and science education in the West may have taken the life and spirit out of math and sciences.

Is it possible that we have alienated several generations from these disciplines because the young have an instinctive, unconscious rejection of a delusion with no value and affect?

The implicit philosophy of math and science is that all statements of value are merely subjective statements and tell us nothing truly about the object. On the contrary, we can know things as they are to some objective extent and our actions can be understood as objectively good or evil. Math and science have been misused as a deconstructive tool used to undermine human values and affections, confuse right from wrong and plunge those who self-examine… into nihilistic despair and the untrustworthy comfort of hedonism.

As Plato and Aristotle believed, Lewis reminds us that we must train the young to like and dislike what they ought, to love the good and hate the bad. Emotion and intuition must be integrated with intellect and perception (as Carl Jung suggests) or they will grow up into something strange, pursuing intellectual conclusions and technological solutions that are heartless OR pursuing what feels good without the capacity to discern which goods are truly good and which are temporarily pleasing.

Opportunity

Presently, the U.S. imports scientific intellectuals and math-wizards “without chests” to do our science and technology while young Americans (regardless of race) tend to stick with what feels good, liberal arts educations, and fuzzy careers tracks which cannot somehow compete with the bright, much-demanded imports for careers in science and technology,

Of course, there is room in the modern science and technology tanks for the critical, affective and independent thinking produced by liberal arts education such as the great books programs- but it seems the recruitment strategy focuses more on technical skills more than wisdom, empathy and creative problem solving. How does today’s young philosopher, psychologist or poet feel as they look over the job offers and see for themselves that there is no room at the inn for them?

Good money is compelling, but not as compelling as meaningful work, pride in what one does, fellowship, and growing (professionally and personally). Provide opportunities for cultural exchange between US and foreign offices, give them responsibility and empower them to live up to such responsibility, and provide the kind of mentoring that provides them with the needed wisdom and encouragement to do amazing things.

Change

Gather together great leaders who can inspire and energize the institutions, organizations and managers that will oversee the execution of change. Empower agents of change so that they can effectively communicate, interact, and recruit evangelists who will share their urgent and persistent message regarding the value, need and process of change.

Lead the chant, “Yes, We Can… to freedom and prosperity, equality and justice, hope and unity.”

Move mountains and tear down the divisions of prejudice that now constrain the wide and free exchange of friendship, ideas and aspirations. Move mountains and raise up the young to the great responsibilities they yearn for in their hearts. Move mountains and bring bright, enthusiastic young people together from from all corners, high, and low places on the planet.

You are only limited by your imagination and compassion. The vision can always get wider and deeper and reveal greater promise. The opportunity you can unlock for young people is as great as your greatest and highest hope. You hold a power to change the entire world; let it loose and lift us higher and higher. You have asked a question and the key to a great door is in all of our hands.

Best regards,

Stan Faryna
March 2nd, 2008
Bucharest, Romania

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FEED UPON other popular posts by Stan Faryna:

>> Outsourcing
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About Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.

Mr. Faryna is editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Copyright

Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

Here’s my fair use policy for my content:

If you want to share my content with your own audience, you may quote a brief excerpt, if and only if, you provide proper attribution (Source: The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna) with a direct link to the source. You may not republish or translate the entire article without my written permission. Send your request for permission by inmail through the linkedin professional network at www.linkedin.com.

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