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The Importance of Computer Education

The Importance of Computer Education

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Published by pratheekpk
Authored by PRATHEEK PRAVEEN KUMAR. Comments welcome at prytheek@yahoo.com.
Authored by PRATHEEK PRAVEEN KUMAR. Comments welcome at prytheek@yahoo.com.

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Published by: pratheekpk on Mar 11, 2011
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03/11/2011

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THE VALUE OF COMPUTER EDUCATIONTODAY
“Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire” said William Butler Yeats, Irish poet, dramatist, and prose writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in1923, and who is regarded by some as the greatest English-language poet of the 20thcentury. Poets and writers usually have unique ways of putting words to emotions.Emotions and truths that hoi polloi know about, but which they cannot put in words.Education must be seen in a practical sort of way and must be carefully built up.Imparting it is an art; and receiving it is also an art. However, we often do notacknowledge this and go about haphazardly, without building up the basics, a mortalfolly any way we look at it.In today’s world, computers play an indispensable role. However some havediffering views. “But they are useless. They can only give you answers” said PabloPicasso, about computers. Pablo Picasso was a Spanish-born French painter, sculptor,printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer considered as one of the greatest painters of the twentieth century. This viewpoint of Picasso may have something to do with the factthat Picasso was born way back in 1881 and died in 1973. Well, begging to differ fromPicasso, I feel that the Age of Computers is on us and we must accept it and adapt.Computer education is the way ahead."What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge inpursuit of the child" said George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and critic who receivedthe Nobel Prize in 1925 and whose writings and speeches made him a controversialpublic figure for much of his life. A shrewd and humorous personality, he is rememberedas a purveyor of verbal gems such as the aforesaid statement. Unfortunately, in our world, we see students burdened heavily by their teachers and thus regretting their plight.And it is a plight, mark my words, that which the students are going through. Studentsslowly begin to hate a subject or maybe the very concept of studying, and this certainlywont do right? Sometimes the very way of passing down knowledge is flawed to a great
 
extent. "In large states public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason thatin large kitchens the cooking is usually bad" said Friedrich Nietzsche, German-Swissphilosopher and writer, one of the most influential of modern thinkers. His analyses of the root motives and values that underlie traditional Western religion, morality, andphilosophy affected generations of theologians, philosophers, psychologists, poets,novelists, and playwrights. Well, he certainly had a way of banging a nail on its head, Imust say.Till now, a basic knowledge of the working of computers was good enough tosurvive and maybe go a few places up in the ladder of life. However, it is foreseen thatthings will change drastically in a few decades or a few years time. The steepadvancements in science and technology undertaken by grave scientists are steep indeed,but may be seen in hindsight as gentle slopes compared to what may happen in thecoming years. For there looks to be no end to the advancements that can be made.However deep scientists and engineers go, there always seem to be deeper layers; layerswithin layers and subtle changes, which however mean a great deal of technologicaladvancement. In the same way that scientists first postulated that the atom was indivisibleand now think that it is divisible, they are postulating now that there are ways to digdeeper and deeper and come up with newer, better solutions to their problems; problemshowever that are never-ending. However the watchwords here seem to be cost andavailability. Around a hundred and thirty years back, there was no such thing aselectricity. I must be a little more specific, I think. I meant there was no such thing ascommercial electricity. Well now, things are a bit different right? The oldest man whoever lived, if I remember correctly, lived for around the same amount of time as it took for electricity to become so common i.e. one hundred and thirty years. I often wonder how different the world will be in around the same amount of time in the future."The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn"said Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, and writer who isremembered as the greatest Roman orator and the innovator of what became known asCiceronian rhetoric, which remained the foremost rhetorical model for many centuries.
 
He was also one of the conspirators who murdered Julius Caesar, but let us not hold thatagainst him. A great thinker and commentator he certainly was by any measurement. It isamazing how his thoughts, thought out long ago can still be applied in this age. Well, it isoften said that great minds transcend time. The best orator of one of the greatest empiresever seen would certainly qualify as one right? And so his words ring true, coming back to remind us from the misty past about how bad teachers haunt all generations. Nogeneration-gap here I guess.“Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all” said John F. Kennedy, 35thpresident of the U.S. Kennedy's youth, energy, and charming family brought him worldadulation and sparked the idealism of a generation, for whom the Kennedy White Housebecame known as “Camelot.” A charismatic personality, his life was tragically cut shortbefore his time by Lee Harvey Oswald. Supposedly, anyway. Murky rumours stillabound as to his murderer or murderers, but well, that is beside my point. He was alsoknown as a brilliant orator and had a way with words. In this age, with computersbecoming more and more complex and man improving the capacity and power of computers by leaps and bounds, we still have a chasm to cross. A deep chasm any wayyou look at it. A chasm of Artificial Intelligence.Once this barrier of AI, as it is known is breached, huge developments will bepossible. Already movies have been made about robots with AI. Many of them are notvery pleasant, with them being portrayed as heartless, cruel beings, but well, very oftenfears are unfounded. This barrier still stands, but almost certainly will soon be breachedand developments then may dwarf anything seen before. Things have changed a lot in thelast few years, but things will certainly change even more in the coming years. We canright now exist without technology and computers, but that may prove to be impossible injust a few years. Now, that is a big difference. This just highlights the important,understated part that an education in computers will play in a few years.An education in computers does not just mean an education in just computers. Itmeans an education in all forms of technology. “The inside of a computer is as dumb as

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