Read: Hacking your Education by Dale J. Stephens

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I can’t explain why I wanted to read this book. I picked up a college degree many years ago. Had to do the silly walk across the stage thing, so I was literally carrying the degree in many different ways. But if you go further back in my education, let’s say back to elementary school, I was a misfit. It might not have looked like it on the surface, but below deck there was trouble brewing. I never liked school.

By the time I reached high school I knew that the public school education system worked much like a prison system. Yes, we had guards, and guns from time to time, not to mention massive drug operations, cartel connections and general mayhem. This didn’t bode well for actual learning. I KNEW that school was just a holding pen. A place to keep old Danno out of trouble during the day.

The day I knew my education was over was the first day of being assigned “busy work.” Does this sound familiar? “Open your books to page 69 and copy everything you see.” Yep, just copy it. For no reason. The teacher would be in the front of the room doing their taxes or drawing stick figures or sleeping. Just a wasted day of keeping the animals in line. I was going to say something about medicating the masses, but I actually found one of my elementary school grade cards and on it was the most amazing feedback. “Daniel is such a great kid, even WITHOUT medication.” Wow, who knew?

I’m nearly 47 now, and I’ve learned something very, very important. Most modern adults seem to stop learning the day that school ends. I was guilty of that. Sure I got better as a photographer but that really means nothing in the grand scheme. I’m still primarily a one-language guy, play no intrument(until this time last year) and hadn’t really picked up many new skills or knowledge areas. Until two years ago.

You know where I’m going with this. Two years ago, when I DELETED MY SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS, and dove back into REAL life. Remember, it was a two pronged attack. Delete social, stop going online unless I HAD to. It’s amazing how little you actually HAVE to go online. The final part, or perhaps third part of this little plan, was to read anytime I felt the urge to go online. 78 books so far this year. And you know what, I’m learning NEW skills and NEW knowledge like you can’t believe.

I’m smarter than I was a year ago. I play guitar now, albeit not very well, and I do Spanish everyday, at least to some degree. I’ve boned up on neuroscience, space, New Mexico history and what’s going down in the world of data and how I am a commodity being bought and sold on a daily basis. The world is fascinating. I’ve also cut out my “continual, partial attention” that seems to be the prevalent wind of modern culture, and frankly don’t even like being around people who are on social media because, regard of talent, they all seem to be, more than anything, just chasing likes.

So after reading this little baby, a book I suggest you check out, I realized “Hey, I did hack my education.” Perhaps not in the way that Dale did, but hacked nonetheless.

Comments 6

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  1. The function of education is to equip us to make a credit card application. Any excess beyond that knowledge is subversive and endangers the fabric of society. A close watch should be kept on anyone who has a public library ticket. A sure sign.

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  2. A library used to be where you could get knowledge without having to trade your soul for it. A loophole which is being closed. I hear that some still have books, though for interior decoration purposes only of course.

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      They are still good, but to your point, they are changing. They have to entertain people now. Knowledge for itself is boring.

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