One of the things that has been a major bone of contention between my father and I has been the fact that I have never completed my education. He’s a fan of the classical education and I’ve always been something of a “screw that, I’ve better things to do” kind of person. Which, has been both good and bad. It’s bad in that I’ve never gotten my degree. It’s good in that by sheer force of will I’ve succeeded in a lot of what I’ve wanted to do.

 Now, I have a family, job, etc. And frankly, wasting my time, and a whole crap load of money, for a bloody piece of paper seems way out of what I want to do. And, yet, at some point I want to put Dr. in front of my name. Just for the fun of it. Odds are it will actually decrease my pay, not increase it.

To make matters worse. I love the MIT opencoarseware program. I’ve been watching lectures on physics, computers, philosophy, and literature. Given by some of the best and brightest in the world. All over my computer. Let alone the lectures from KITP on theoretical physics.

Why should I pay to have some person give me a lecture, locally, on a subject I’m only partially interested in, and can probably teach myself, when I can watch someone who can kick the wholly mental ass out of me, give a lecture on something I’m interested in? Yes, I don’t get a piece of paper, but I find it very interesting and fun.

So, is it better to pay a thousands of dollars a quarter and get a piece of paper locally learning fun things like Java (don’t get me started on what a piece of crap language that is) or get a free, undocumented, education learning algorithms and programming techniques online from eggheads at Carnegie Mellon and MIT?

FYI. I’ve worked on multiple top 50 Supercomputers in the world and No, I don’t even have an Associates degree. It says something for unorthodox education and a driving will to succeed. And yet, I still have this stupid, screwed up need to get the societal acceptance of a piece of paper. Go figure.

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