Wisdom of Education in the Global World

Here are some of the pearls of wisdom, that I have learned from
Professor Dr. Erich Neuhold, or that we have analysed during our long
discussions on the topic of multidimensional education of young
professionals. I have extracted esspecially the issues that apply to the
possible success strategies and tactics in the era of globalization 
(but only those that have their roots in traditional wisdom):

1. When you grow up your own children, set up the priorities as follows:

   a. Ethical Stength: If a word is given, it should be kept at any
      cost, even if conditions in the environment change, and keeping 
      the word becomes difficult, or costly, or against our own 

   b. Multidimensional Personality Strenght: First, psychological 
      strength, by having them grow in what appears to them as a 
      harmonic family. Second, physical strenght, by running them through 
      an exhaustive athletic program. Third, socio strenght, by having 
      them constantly interract with the surrounding in real-problem 
   c. Multidimensional Academic Strenght: First, school (formal 
      education). Second, languages (English is the key to buisenesses, 
      and other languages are keys to hearts). Third, hobby (preparation 
      for old age; something to keep them busy after retirement - the 
      earlier it is developed - the better it is).

   Many would react fiercely to the advocating that academic strength   
   should be the third, rather than the first priority. However, it is 
   strongly believed that, after the critical age is over (teans), 
   things turn upside down, and ethics form the fundamentals, while formal 
   education becomes the mechanism to reach the skies of pro success.

2. After the formal education is over (for some, this is Ph.D., for
   others, this is B.Sc.), it is a must that the young person goes away
   from its native environment, because the talents can be fully
   developed only outside the nest of the native culture. However, after
   the "talent development phase" is over, the young person should
   return back to the native environment (if conditions permit), since
   that is where the life is compatible with personality needs (global
   success can still be achieved, via the Internet, the travel, and the  
   communication infrastructure, which is becoming more sophisticated 
   than ever). Moving the roots (from one culture to the other) is 
   painful, and could be tragic in the last part of the life (it is 
   tough to be an old person anywhere, but it is the toughest to be 
   an old person among the people different from you).

3. The "going away" helps develop three dimensions of human

   a. Vertical Dimension: Deep professional knowledge.

   b. Horizontal Dimension: Knowledge about other scientific fields, 
      other cultures, other languages, etc. This dimension is important 
      for creativity. Fach-idiots are never creative.

   c. Perpendicular Dimension: Look-ahead, or ability to anticipate
      (problems that may create loss or opportunities that may create
      benefit), get prepared for what is to come, and minimize the loss 
      (if problems) or maximize the benefit (if opportunities). This 
      dimension is esspecially important for financial success (if one 
      anticipates now what will be a good offer/demand scenario after a 
      certain time interval, and uses that time interval to become an 
      expert for what is to be in demand a lot, and doable by few, the 
      market value of the expert knowledge may become so high that it 
      brings a financial fortune). This dimension is also important for 
      the world glory, in profession, or in general! Finally, this 
      dimension is important for building true friendships (friends 
      never forget wise advice).

   The third dimension is the most difficult one to build; takes talent,
   travel, and time (TTT), and very few achieve it before their 
   mental strength is over.

4. Do not take standard routes! That approach brings incremental
   benefits. Nonstandard routes, if properly selected, and if the
   strength is not lacking, may bring extraordinary benefits. Do not
   teach your child to become a good fisherman (who brings fish for
   dinner each evening); teach it to become a good sailor (who brings
   nothing for dinner each evening, but becomes rich in some
   uncomprehensible way).

5. Pay attention to learning, but more to forgetting. Human knowledge is
   "decayable goods/tissue" and the garbage has to be disposed 
   periodically; otherwise, it piles up in one's brain, and disables one 
   from creating optimal decisions. This applies both to the life wisdom 
   and the professional wisdom. Stay away from "success models" that your 
   parents impose on you by copying from the times of their "full gears." 
   Also, remember, when the technology changes, optimal solutions change 
   as well (e.g., in a Silicon model, carry-lookahead adder is faster 
   than the ripple-carry adder for all except the lowest word lengths; for 
   a GaAs model, ripple-carry adder may be faster for word lengths as 
   large as 16 or 32 bits; consequently, if you port a Silicom 
   solution to your GaAs project - your solution will probably be not 
   nearly as good, as the solution of your competition).

6. When you are to form a team, pass the interested candidates first
   through the filter of ethics, second through the filter of personal
   socio strength (the major three dimensions elaborated earlier in 
   this text), and apply the filter of academical criteria only at the 
   very end, i.e., only on those who have passed successfully through 
   the first two filters (ethics and personality). The worst damage to 
   the business is made by intelligent but unethical and of a deviated 
   personality (e.g., socially unadjusted). Only stupid but 
   well-intended and hard-working can do a worse damage.

7. You should view yourself as a three-processor "engine:" Input 
   Processor, Central Processor, and Output processor. 

   When the time comes to "buy" the information, pay more attention to 
   reading in between the lines (of what you hear or read), than to the 
   information itself.

   When the time comes to "process" the information, keep in mind that 
   an incomplete set of inputs may create a view which is wrong (and 
   sometimes tragically wrong, if you blame someone wrongly for 
   something that does not hold).

   When the time comes to "sell" the results of your work, present the
   results (by using an appropriate output processor) in the way that
   helps pass the essence as efficiently as possible (by doing it
   compatibly with the input processor of those to absorb). Compatibility 
   has three major forms: 

   a. Structural Compatibility: Each presentation must have the
following 10 points: (1) Introduction, to tune the audience for faster
comprehension of what follows; (2) Problem statement, which also tells
why is the problem important; (3) About the existing solutions, and what
are their drawbacks; (4) About the proposed solution, and why is it not
supposed to have the same drawbacks; (5) Conditions and assumptions of
the analysis to follow; (6) Details of the solutions to be compared -
proposed versus existing; (7) Analytical modeling, to show the essence;  
(8) Simulation analysis, to show performance or speed, (9)  
Implementation analysis, to show complexity or price; (10) Conclusion
from the performance/complexity point of view.

   b. Semantic Compatibility: Each presentation should use the symbols 
compatible with the semantics of the subject matter. One picture is 
worth 1000 words, and one MPEG "picture" is worth 1000 JPEG "pictures;"
finally, one creative example is worth 1000 MPEG "pictures".

   c. Syntactical Compatibility: Each presentation must have the form
that matches the essence; for example, if a bullet of a PowerPoint
presentation spreads over two or more lines, each line must be a
different thought, with line boundaries and thought boundaries at the
same places.

                    * * * * * * * 

At all times, keep in mind that one possible system of human knowledge
systematization implies the following seven layers:

   a. Religion (that is where we put what we do not understand)
   b. Phylosophy
   c. Logic
   d. Mathematics
   e. Sciences
   f. Engineering
   g. Commonsense

The higher you reach in these knowledge levels, the lower you will reach 
in wealth levels! Also, keep in mind the following (related to the 
above 7 levels, from bottom to top):

1. Make sure that you develop yourself in such a way that you are 
   the strongest when the difficulties are the strongest. When the 
   difficulties are the strongest, keep in mind the following saying: 
   "Tough times do not last; tough people do."

2. Make sure that you understand that it is much less important what is
   written about you (what people read in your CV), and much more
   important what is being told about you (what people talk about you,
   and how people view you as a complete person, with many of the 
   components not found in typical CVs).

3. Make sure that you know how to learn from those who are younger than 
   you (if you are a professor, it means that you have to learn how to 
   learn from your students).

4. Make sure, when things go wrong, that your attitude is "who knows why
   is this good for me," and when things go superb, that your attitude
   is "I know that this will not last for ever!" 

5. Make sure that you have a good balance of work, sports, and hedonism;  
   otherwise, your success does not make much sense. Too much work can
   ruin both the physical and the mental health.

6. Make sure that you recognize the moment when you have to be patient!

7. Make sure that you have a good source of inspiration at all times!

Prof. Dr. Veljko Milutinovic, Fellow of the IEEE