Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The autodidact's role

Moral: Wherein we ask: who is to know? Well, let's take that theme a little further.


We can say, within the framework of the US as our rights are defined by the Constitution and its Amendments, we all are. Who is this 'we' referred to here? Well, citizens and residents. Even some elsewhere. Perhaps, everyone, if the real dreams of America were to be entertained.

What does the Title mean? Ah, that is one issue to discuss. The autodidact, essentially, is someone who is self-taught. Examples abound in history, but Eric Hoffer, the longshoreman philosophical writer, is one example.

You know what? Those who serve us in Washington, DC ought to be such. That is, knowledge and truth ought to outweigh money and lobbyists. To be fair, some do try. And, some who lobby actually know what the hell they are talking about.

So, why stress the autodidact's role? Well, everyone, no matter how schooled or learned, can be expert only in their field, or a small set of fields; know any know it alls? Knowing, in this sense, is like a laser light shining in the darkness. It's very focused.

In fact, some would argue that one of the problems of the modern world, especially the dismal science of economics, is that we've succeeded into reducing things to where a whole lot of anything is really nothing. That's a t-issue, by the way. Also, business handling of their employees relates directly to this theme.

The computer has exacerbated the problem since we've learned to accept an expert's opinion; does not the computer have the greatest aura of infallibility in some minds? One might say that mathematics has enjoyed its little aura, to boot.

One of the most learned minds would be he or she who holds a joint MD and PhD degree. You see, the MD is the epitome of a schooling grind that results in maximal decision making in one area, essentially the medical specialty. Then, the PhD, by definition, is indicative of attainment of knowledge in one area or field. Trouble is that these disciplines, and fields, are becoming more and more specialized.

Any PhD, who has to weigh in on something outside his or her expertise, needs to do so as an autodidact. Now, would their self-learned role be superior to some others? Meaning, does knowledgeable-ness leverage to other areas?

Yes, indeed. Better than does the financial leveraging that we saw so rabidly expanding prior to the latest problem.

We're not done yet, as there are other items to touch in regard to this subject. However, here is one comment. It may very well be better for those who face financial decisions to do so as an autodidact, as the financial community has shown its true colors. They are after their own gain, folks, believe it.


02/26/2014 -- Acknowledgements for Lucio Arteaga.

05/14/2013 -- This is the fourth most-read post. Interesting. Eric can serve as a poster boy, of types. Could Jamie learn from this?

01/17/2013 -- One characteristic of the autodidact could be being mentor-less. Rather, we all learn from others. For normal families, one's parents would be the early mentors. Then, take it from there. However, the true autodidact will not see some superior on this planet, and, in that sense, they are iconoclastic as hell, for the most part. Think of it this way. The emperor may have clothes; but, he craps like the rest. Which brings up another point of the autodidact: they are not, typically, unaware that their shite stinks as we see with many who are in power roles (head trips - anyone know what that is?).

01/17/2013 -- Motivated by Rick Bookstaber's post. It's not the PhD or MD that is the epitome, especially not if they use their knowledge to get bulging pockets. I'm now convinced of that (and will say why, over time). Yet, how do we measure knowledge and effectiveness? For one, we need a better understanding of human potential (again, that will be covered). Too, in various collectives, one important one is the firm (Coase is 102 this year). For many, such are enslaving devices. Even, the likes of Jamie is not free from the chains of his (nod to Dylan). Then, we have roles that need certification. Yet, we need free thinkers, too, whatever that is. Engineers, and their roles, are a special breed. Finance? Not so much.

03/08/2012 -- This theme will be looked at further. For one, the MD/PHD is not, by necessity, the best basis. There are others that need to be considered. The issue? People who can see what is what and can think within their own cognitive setup (in other words, they know their 'holes'). I like Chaitin's approach, somewhat.

11/25/2011 -- Due to this characteristic's importance to our future, we'll need to redo this a little. For now, rank and file.

10/17/2011 -- If we're to challenge Harvard on its duty, then we'll need to beef this up. For one, is education only operationally important, measured in bucks? Ah, so much to discuss.

05/24/2011 -- Lemons problem, dark pools, ... Oh, so much to look at! Autodidacts have (and will continue to have) a very large role in taming those dynamics that spawn lemons (yes, we need some bankers to step up to the task -- where are the good bankers?).

04/03/2011 -- Need to look at some background. Too, tranche and trash

09/28/2010 -- Capitalism is for the good of us, let's bring that forward.

12/10/2009 -- More roles include the consumer and the economy.

11/30/2009 -- No one climbs above our neuropeptidergic limitations. From 'Our basis' can grow a whole bunch.

11/10/2009 -- The mountain, and the mole hill, belong to the same range.

11/09/2009 -- One trait of the autodidact is measurable intelligence (discussions will follow). However, working alone also impairs peer review, a fact that needs discussion about resolution.

11/08/2009 -- The gigantic chimera needs proper attention.

10/16/2009 -- 201K -- lt;-- 401K -- gt -- 25601K, this denotes the current financial gaming.

Modified: 02/26/2014

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