Out of Our Minds…….

"Rejection. That’s what makes a college great. The exclusivity of any university is judged primarily by the amount of students it rejects." -Dean Van Horne in the movie Accepted

out of our minds

Why do many of the brightest university students suffer from an "extreme intellectual precocity combined with a profound emotional immaturity?"  This was the question Oxford University psychologist James Hemmings asked after treating many of the most gifted students at Oxford.

Mr. Hemmings coined the term Oxford Psychosis to describe this phenomenon: hard working, academic achievers who paradoxically had failed to develop the most basic levels of emotional maturity.

Ken Robinson’s book, Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative, traces the convergence of the many social and cultural forces which allow this type of unbalanced development to flourish.

But, Mr. Robinson is after much larger game. 

In 1990, Alvin Toffler predicted the emergence of the highly skilled, autonomous knowledge worker.  These employees would posses an ever expanding knowledge  base and take responsibility for making key decisions which could effect the financial health of their employer. 

Toffler described this new work as, " a continual cycle of learning, unlearning, and relearning, workers need to master new techniques, adapt to new organizational forms, and come up with new ideas."

The rise of the autonomous knowledge worker is made possible by two powerful forces: the innovation imperative and the accelerating pressure of an advanced economy.  If a company expects to thrive or even survive, it must be the first to create new products and bring them to market before the competition.

Out of Our Minds makes the case for a new approach to education which develops the thinking skills needed by the autonomous knowledge workers of the future.  He believes everyone has the capacity to do creative work and it is shameful to waste so much human potential with an educational system designed to produce workers who are no longer valued in the work place. 

This is how Mr. Robinson sums up his important book:

In the interests of industrial economy and of academic achievement, we have subjected ourselves to a partial form of education.  We have wasted or destroyed a great deals of what people had to offer because we couldn’t see the value of it.  Along the way we have jeopardized the balance of human nature by not recognizing how different elements of our abilities sustain and enrich each other.  The dangers persist, and they are not yet widely understood..  Education and training are the key to the future, but a key can be turned in two directions.  Turn it one way and you lock resources away, even from those they belong to.  Turn it the other way and you release resources and give people back to themselves.  The companies, communities and nations that succeed in future will balance their books only by solving the complex equation of human resources.  Our own times are being swept along on an avalanche of innovations in science, technology, and social thought.  To keep pace with these changes, or to get ahead of them, we will need all our wits about us -literally.  We must learn to be creative.

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After successfully crash landing in the Pacific Northwest, Bibo decided to take advantage of the low interest rates and gamble on the Seattle housing market. The god monster with some intelligence now resides somewhere in North Seattle.

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