The Internet and Education: Forces at War?
This note discusses the impact of electronic communication on education. I argue that we humans have very little real comprehension of the changes that modem computers have wrought to our system of life in general, and to the delivery of education in particular. I believe that automated learning (in all of its many and various forms) is on balance rather bad than good, that it stifles the imagination, that it does not inculcate creativity, and that many students, untrained by computers in the art of thinking, are already finding their niches in an “AynRandian” world . What does this have to do with Soft Computing? Nothing, and Everything. Nothing, because none of you will, after reading this paper, crush your computers and look for the closet abacus. And everything, because I believe that the next generation of scientists, including those being cultivated right now in your elementary school back home, will be largely unable to formulate and solve new problems. When this happens, science will stagnate, and technology will no longer be the panacea that humans count on when problems they create for themselves become irresolvable by methods based on current knowledge.
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