43. What skills will our children need to thrive?

I watched in total awe yesterday as Sly (András Sly Szalai) soldered wires to a circuit board of sorts. Our relationship has often forced me to consider the value of my education: did I learn the right skills growing up to equip me for the life I will live? Yesterday was no exception. (I had to look up how to spell “solder” to even write this!)

I have strong conviction in what I believe to have been the primary focus of my studies. I trust that learning to understand a multi-dimensional situation and communicate the findings of my analysis are skills with which I can continue to grow.

Watching programmers and designers of various disciplines will certainly make you think though. The people I’m exposed to every day make me wonder about all the ways that intelligent thinking may be expressed, challenged and debated in 2040. Of course, essays and presentations and books will still be created. But smart people may reasonably choose to express themselves through the computer programs they develop or the gadgets they create. And while many are trained to read essays and listen to presentations, fewer are taught to read code and engineering diagrams.

My concern is not that my children learn to write code necessarily. It is that they learn to read code. Too much of the 21st century’s great thought will be written between </> and {} for our children not to be able to appreciate its nuances.

Note to reader: This is day 43 of 92 in my commitment to write for 30 minutes each day from October 1 through the end of 2015.

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