After You Graduate
So you graduated from college or university with your Bachelors. Congratulations!
I have assembled this life syllabus for those
who, like me, have developed an insatiable appetite for learning.
Sadly, it does not go without saying
that you should be regularly reading scriptures.
Make this part of your daily practice.
In addition, there are many books that you really need to read
if you want your life to be complete.
I've read and highly recommend
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M. Pirsig
- Life on the Vine: Cultivating the fruit of the spirit in christian community, by Philip D. Kenneson
- The Mind's I: Fantasies and reflections on self and soul, by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett
- Fire in the Mind: Science, faith, and the search for order, by George Johnson
- Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if people mattered, by E. F. Schumacher.
- A Canticle for Lebowitz, by Walter M. Miller Jr.
- Mind of the Maker, by Dorothy L. Sayers.
- The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand
- Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind,
by Orson Scott Card
- Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney
- Program or Be Programmed: Ten commands for a digital age, by Douglas Rushkoff
Don't be just a consumer. Reading is imperative but you need to give back also.
Maintain a practice of writing.
- Journal. Maintain a journal chronicling some of your thoughts, questions, and experiences.
This is good for you in terms of the process needed to organize and articulate your thoughts;
it will help keep your mind sharp.
But is also good for your family and loved ones late in your life or after you're gone.
- Persuasive article. Write an essay that argues a particular position
on a topic that has personal significance to you.
Again, this is a good exercise that benefits yourself,
but you should submit it to the local paper or some other forum
so as to benefit your community.
Your education represents a community investment and resource -- don't be stingy with it.
- Informative article. Write an informational essay
that educates others about something for which you have become an expert.
(You have become an expert at something, right?)
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion,
butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance
accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders,
give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new
problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight
efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
-- Robert A. Heinlein
It is not all about reading and writing;
you need to get out and do something too.
You should get involved in a significant way
with a local faith community.
This benefits both you and the community.
Here are some other important activities that you should work through.
- Garden. The time may be coming soon where the skills necessary for growing food
are more important than any others (especially computer programming).
- Bicycle. Perhaps one the most amazing technological accomplishments of humanity.
The bicycle is arguably the most fuel-efficient mode of transporting people. (Even better than walking!)
Ride one and learn to maintain it.
- Play an instrument or sing
- Build a fence or wall
- Computer programming. Write a software system that provides a beneficial service to someone
- Get a job
Put Up or Shut Up
So what am I up to at this stage of my life?
I'm currently working on about a dozen essays,
half of which are approaching a ‘beta’ level of readiness.
I'll post links when they're there.
- On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods, by Bruno Latour
- Foucault's Pendulum, by Umberto Eco
- Naming and Necessity, by Saul Kripke
- The Mind and the Market, by Jerry Muller
- Steps to an Ecology of Mind, by Gregory Bateson
- Computer Power and Human Reason: From judgement to calculation, by Joseph Weizenbaum
- Knowledge and the Flow of Information, by Fred Dretske
- Technology and the Contested Meanings of Sustainability, by Aidan Davison
- Philosophy of technology.
For a number of years, I've been reading in this area.
I have not yet found an author who articulates an entirely satisfactory perspective on technology.
I'm hoping to get around to writing my own views one of these days.
- MA130 Probability and Statistics.
During Spring 2013, I audited an upper-division probability and statistics coures
taught by Professor Russell Howell.
- Spanish. I'm trying to learn Spanish. I've made several attempts to audit introductory Spanish courses.
Currently, this effort is on hold but I have not given up.
- Communication Theory.
During the Spring of 2012,
I sat in on most of Professor Greg Spencer's Messages, Meaning and Culture (COM006).
I recommend this class to most of my advisees.
- Bicycle frame work. I've built two tandem bicycle frames in the past.
One of my road frames has a broken dropout that I need to fix. But it has been more than a dozen years
since I was brazing bicycle frame tubes.
So although this is a minor project, at this stage of my life it will require some practice, etc.