[Israel.pm] RE: [OT] University education (Was BSc. for Jobs )

Shlomi Fish shlomif at iglu.org.il
Wed Feb 4 05:17:23 PST 2004

On Tuesday 03 February 2004 17:11, Omer Zak wrote:
> On Tue, 3 Feb 2004, Shlomi Fish wrote:
> > I wish I needed university to have this skill. But I don't. I was able to
> > self-learn on my own before I joined the university. I did, however,
> > acquired the knowledge and understanding of the foundations of Electrical
> > Engineering, and a larger part of Computer Science and Mathematics than I
> > had known previously, and so benefited for it.
> >
> > Now, if the tests were fair, easy in comparison to the Homework, and not
> > something I have to worry about if I already knew the material, I would
> > have been completely happy. The problem is that with the current scheme,
> > there is a lot of frustration and aggravation involved, and it's
> > especially not good for me, because I tend to get into anxieties or
> > euphoria when stressed.
> That's part of life.  If you are lucky, you might be able to lead
> sheltered life, in which other people keep you from the big life
> frustrations (in exchange of a much bigger slice of the profits from
> whatever you are working on together with them).  Or you might develop the
> strength to deal with life without living in the shadow of other people,
> and gain the lion's share of what life has to offer (this is what real
> entrepreneurs routinely do).

That seems to be an awfully cynical view on life, which I don't really share. 
Don't get me wrong, I don't think all people are good, or that they are all 
intelligent, or that they all would help me. But as a general rule, in many 
workplaces I've been too it was a simple joy to work there: the people were 
friendly and supportive, there were good work conditions, high quality 
equipment, etc. While I do have a fantasy of becoming an entrepreneur, it's 
much more important for me to simply become "big" enough to be able to work 
on things that I like to work on, at such an environment or in the comfort of 
my own home. If instead of starting a software company, I will create a very 
useful open source software which will see a large deployment, I will be 
equally happy despite the fact that I did not make money from it. (assuming I 
indeed didn't. Some open source developers do make a living out of their 

Despite the fact that I'm an Objectivist and a pro-Libertarian and very much 
supports Capitalism, money is not that important to me. I can't imagine why 
I'll ever need 5 million dollars, much less a billion. While many 
entrepreneurs have earned money and in the process made the world a better 
place, my prime cause is simply making the world a better place regardless if 
I make money in the process. (if I do, so be it, but if not - why not).

Greed is Eternal. But everyone has a different definition of greed.

> > ... The
> > Technion cost me a lot of blood, and I don't see myself returning to
> > school in the forseeable future. (and if I do, I seriously consider
> > studying abroad).
> Chances are that you'll find that schools abroad are as tough as the
> Technion, if not more.  And you'll be far from family and familiar
> surroundings, to boot.

Perhaps. I did hear of a university in the U.S. (UNC of Chapel Hill) where 
there was a lot of challenging homework throughout the semester, but 
afterwards the tests were easy in comparison. Now, I can handle a lot of 
load, and actually like challenging homework (it puts my brain in gear), but 
I hate the fact that tests can surprise you. So, it sounds like just the 
place for me.

In the U.S. many students can afford to go to any university in the 
continental states that they chose, and even switch universities in the 
middle of school. As such, there's much more competition between them, and 
thus, there are some genuinely good schools. In Israel, OTOH, there are only 
6 universities, which are each relatively locked in their own mis-features. 
Maybe one uncompromising person who will aim to make one university vastly 
superior to the rest can change the situation. Maybe I would have been better 
off studying in BGU. [1] I don't know. But the Technion way of doing things 
leaves a lot to be desired.


	Shlomi Fish

[1] - My former apartment-mate transferred from BGU (= Ben Gurion University) 
to the Technion. He said that in BGU he was a hard-working student among 
slackers, and wanted to switch to the Technion to become a hard-working 
student among hard-working students. He ended up graduating with a cum laude 
degree from the Technion, but his BGU average was somewhat higher than that 
(5% or 10%). He wants to do a M.Sc.

OTOH, he seemed to know very little about anything outside the corriculum. But 
so are many other students, for whom studies is so demanding that they cannot 
dedicate time for anything else.


	Shlomi Fish


Shlomi Fish      shlomif at iglu.org.il
Homepage:        http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/

I don't believe in fairies. Oops! A fairy died.
I don't believe in fairies. Oops! Another fairy died.

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