A Whole New Mind

I have just finished reading A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. It is basically about how we are moving from the information age to the conceptual age, and how our previous and current focus on only left-brained skills is no longer useful to us.

The reviews of the book on Amazon are pretty dead-on, I think: "upbeat, but overly simplistic view of globalization." My thoughts were a little briefer and perhaps less eloquent: "Well, duh." It used to be that being a doctor, engineer, or having an MBA was the way to get ahead in life. Now that information-age jobs are being outsourced to Asia, and the knowledge stored in doctors' heads can be found almost everywhere, this isn't the case anymore. But isn't that all obvious?

What amazes me though, is how even though this seems so obvious, we're either unwilling or unable to look at our educational system and realize it's a dinosaur. We still compliment our kids on mostly left-brain things: how much can you memorize, do you know your times tables in third grade just like I did, how much do you know? Yes, it's important to have basic skills. But it's harder to quantify and "prove" (and therefore praise and encourage) right-brained skills. We weren't taught to value them, and we're lucky if we still have any left. If we adults are generally ignorant about the nature and capabilities of the mind, how on earth can we presume to prepare them for the future?(getting out of the way is one good option).

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