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  1. #81
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    Hardly anyone is Bill Gates. He and a few others (Zuckerberg) have led people to romanticize the notion that dropping out of school is the path to wealth.

    The most recent Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans I found (dated Sept. 2010) has only four people in the top 20 who do not have college degrees. Among those four, two are involved in Microsoft (Gates and another) and one (Christy Walton) inherited her wealth through marriage.

    Meanwhile, Warren Buffett (#2) has an extensive education including a MS in economics. A large number of the top 20, in fact, have multiple degrees. The Kochs (in the top 5) both have multiple degrees from MIT.

  2. #82

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    Very interesting thread. I have a BS in Nursing and a Master's of Science in Nurse Anesthesia. I have little ability in spatial determinations. When I'm with a patient and we have to turn them for say, back surgery, I have to physically turn my self so I can determine where to put the ECG leads. I would never be able to be a plastic surgeon b/c trying to figure out how to get someones face to look different would be impossible for me as would trying to engineer a bridge or a building. People are gifted with differing types of intelligence and seem to gravitate towards what they do best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    I was having this discussion with someone where I brought up the fake Larry Ellison commencement address about being too educated to make a fortune, all about college dropouts like Bill Gates. And now he could have added Mark Zuckerberg.
    Not to take anything away from the accomplishments of Gates or Zuckerberg because they are genius, but IIRC, both came from fairly well-off families to begin with. If you have parents/family/trust fund that can pick you up if you fail, even if you fail spectacularly, you can take bigger risks. Once you don't have to worry about making the rent, where your next meal is coming from, etc., and have complete freedom to pursue your passion, the sky's the limit.

    I think it's also important to keep in mind the school these two dropped out of was Harvard. Even if Microsoft and Facebook hadn't taken off, they'd still be ahead of the pack. To some, it's more impressive to have dropped out of Harvard than graduated from a state school.

    For every kid that drops out of college and becomes a huuuge success, there are hundreds that drop out of college and spend their days asking "do you want fries with that?"

    Education isn't the be all and end all of intelligence or a guarantor of success. But for most people in most situations, it's their best option. Higher education exposes you to situations, people, and ideas you would normally not be exposed to, and teaches you how to deal with large amounts of people who don't think/act like you do. Though I could have saved a lot of money just going to PI It's also a way to try-on various disciplines/fields of study that you normally would not have thought about. I started out LSU as a nursing major. I graduated in History/Russian with minors in Art History, English....and Chemistry.

    My background: I have a Master's Degree in History (utterly useless, btw) from LSU, spent a semester at the Sorbonne inflicting my bad accent on helpless Frenchies, and the equivalent of a Master's Certification in Economics from the Youth Institute of Moscow. I can count change correctly, tell my left from right most of the time, and can alphebetize without singing.

    Anyone who is a college professor who claims they can't do these things and does not have some sort of learning disability (as Einstein did) is eligible for some major and from me. WTF kind of 19th century Victorian England snobbery is that--counting is for the little people? You seriously expect me to believe you can solve complex, theoretical scientific equations and can't add two plus two? Please.
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by pat c View Post
    I think it just depends on the person. The ability to think in 3D is not something you can ever be taught, you just have it. And it applies to many things. For instance, one of the smartest people I've ever met was a self taught master carpenter. He could design things I'd never even thought about. He had the ability to *see* what he wanted to build from start to finish.

    Just ramblin..........ignore.
    No, no, this is interesting!
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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    Quote Originally Posted by OrioleBeagle View Post
    While reading these boards I have noticed that a lot of you are VERY intelligent. (Only being a high school graduate I sometimes feel stupid when I am visiting this website.) I'm curious how many of you are college students, have graduated college, have advanced degrees or are simply a high school graduate (like me).
    I know many people who have a master's or PhD degree who have zero common sense.
    And in the US education system, it is believed that everyone should have courses leading to a college education. Diservice to those whose skills are better used in technical trades. I don't care if you have a college degree or not, if you are able to fix my car.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonita View Post
    Level of education is more about drive, focus, interest and ability to achieve same.
    Agree

    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    There are a lot of stupid college graduates running around in the world. The thing that stands out to me about posters on this board is the level of curiousity; a lot of posters here have a drive to understand things.

    That's what makes a person smart to me--wanting to learn and making it a point to try. You don't need to go to school for that.
    I learn something new everyday from FSU.

    Quote Originally Posted by FiveRinger View Post
    Someone may negative rep me everyday for the rest of my life for this one, but George W Bush has a college degree from Yale. Take that for whatever it's worth.


    I graduated from a diploma program in nursing. At that time, BSN's were looked down upon because of the lack of clinical experience. But that quickly changed in the early to mid 80s. So I went back to school and have a BSN and an MSN. But that doesn't make me marketable unless I have the clinical skills.

    I just talked to my mom, who is 78 years old. She just finished reading a book my brother sent her for Christmas. She said it was difficult to read because she needed to look up words almost every other paragraphs. She could have put it down in disgust, but chose to learn more about the subject.

    Having degrees doesn't equate to smarter. Hunger for information does.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    Not to take anything away from the accomplishments of Gates or Zuckerberg because they are genius, but IIRC, both came from fairly well-off families to begin with. If you have parents/family/trust fund that can pick you up if you fail, even if you fail spectacularly, you can take bigger risks. Once you don't have to worry about making the rent, where your next meal is coming from, etc., and have complete freedom to pursue your passion, the sky's the limit.

    I think it's also important to keep in mind the school these two dropped out of was Harvard. Even if Microsoft and Facebook hadn't taken off, they'd still be ahead of the pack. To some, it's more impressive to have dropped out of Harvard than graduated from a state school.

    For every kid that drops out of college and becomes a huuuge success, there are hundreds that drop out of college and spend their days asking "do you want fries with that?"
    Well, that is not exactly what I was asking. I was talking more about the kind of thinking such as analyzing and over-analyzing that may be a hindrance in certain pursuits. This is a very specific situation, not an Rx for everyone. And as for the parents secure financial situation, sure it helps but I do know quite a few people who didn't have that luxury, were not formally educated and achieved a lot in their business pursuits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    Anyone who is a college professor who claims they can't do these things and does not have some sort of learning disability (as Einstein did) is eligible for some major and from me. WTF kind of 19th century Victorian England snobbery is that--counting is for the little people? You seriously expect me to believe you can solve complex, theoretical scientific equations and can't add two plus two? Please.
    I actually do think I have a learning disability when it comes to math. I find I can tackle calculus no problem and get down to the arithmetics part just fine. But that's where the problems start. I transpose numbers a lot more than I see most people do it, leave out the sign, etc. I do it a lot and find it bothersome and certainly not something to parade around as proof of my non-existent brilliance. I mean, if you have to resort to that to prove you are smart, really how smart are you?
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    How interesting to ready about everyone's education background and thoughts on intelligence. I've always felt a bit bad that I didn't get a degree, but I did eventually get a college certificate in human resources and I've taken courses in this that and the other things all my life. I now work at a job that doesn't give the adrenalin rush my former jobs had, so I try to supplement the job with online courses and volunteering for just about any committee that needs someone. I actually got a compliment on a job performance thing for my constant quest for learning!

    I can't multi quote here, and I've forgotten how to make a link with my own words. The scary thing is that members of my family come to me for help with computers.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    I was wondering about that: does being over-educated prevent you from just going for it if you have a creative idea? In higher education we are trained to doubt, so would that, in some cases be an impediment to pursuing a very specific creative goal?
    this made me think, and education prevent you to have a creative idea because you are trained to doubt (as you said) or because you fear you're exposed to too much criticism? I mean, from the little I've seen, sometimes it could be a sort of career-suicide coming out with too creative ideas in an over-educated environment, and it's more difficult to make them accepted (unless you're a new Einstein, of course).

  9. #89
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    Sure. There could be lots of factors at play, ego not the least of them.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    I always thought my parents were the smartest people I knew & they both had a HS diploma, & my mother had 1 yr of college. My dad could work any kind of math problem in his head & he understood physics very well even though he never had a class. He would have made an outstanding engineer. He could look at the workings of anything & then figure out how to fix it. He often built things without plans, just the plan in his head.

    My parents worked hard to make college available to their 6 kids. (I think if any of us had dropped out of HS it would have broken their hearts.) Three of us have bachelor's degrees. The 3 without college degrees are more wealthy than the 3 with degrees, so earning capacity doesn't always follow those with the most education either.

  11. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Well, that is not exactly what I was asking. I was talking more about the kind of thinking such as analyzing and over-analyzing that may be a hindrance in certain pursuits. This is a very specific situation, not an Rx for everyone. And as for the parents secure financial situation, sure it helps but I do know quite a few people who didn't have that luxury, were not formally educated and achieved a lot in their business pursuits.
    I don't know how many people over-analyze to that degree. Some do, I know, but I think for most people, it's a matter of time. To do something great, you have to have a single-mindedness that most people don't have. I've been trying to write a book for two years (just for me, not really for publishing or anything like that) but more than anything, life gets in the way. Even if I knew I had a bestseller on my hands, if it was a choice between staying in or going out, I'll always choose going out. Or watching Top Chef. Even if I have an idea and my dim little light bulb is starting to spark, if someone says, let's go shopping...I'm so going shopping. Then there's worrrying about work, money, family, previous obligations, etc. I think to do something really great, what you need more than anything is time to devote solely to whatever your endeavor is.

    I actually do think I have a learning disability when it comes to math. I find I can tackle calculus no problem and get down to the arithmetics part just fine. But that's where the problems start. I transpose numbers a lot more than I see most people do it, leave out the sign, etc.
    Have you ever been tested for dysgraphia? I'm dysgraphic. Some signs to look for: transposing letter/numbers, holding your pencil like it's a fist, using both print and script letters, writing the same letter in different sizes, slanting both to the left and right while writing. I wasn't diagnosed for a long time because I'm left-handed and my little idiosynchrasies were just dismissed as being "backwards."
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

  12. #92
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    This reminds of the book "All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarden" by Robert Fulguhm.

    "All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.

    These are the things I learned:

    •Share everything.
    •Play fair.
    •Don't hit people.
    •Put things back where you found them.
    •Clean up your own mess.
    •Don't take things that aren't yours.
    •Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
    •Wash your hands before you eat.
    •Flush.
    •Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
    •Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
    •Take a nap every afternoon.
    •When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
    •Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
    •Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
    •And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.
    Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living."

    By the way, I am an accountant with a college diploma and have gone back to school to get my official certification and university degree online, while still working full time. Can't wait until I am done.

  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by made_in_canada View Post
    (except Prancer... She seems to know all)
    Prancer most certainly does not know all. I have, however, spent the last 20 years or so reading research papers, which has in the past meant that I have a broad but shallow knowledge on a lot of different subjects. Now that I'm getting old, it means that I think that I might have some piece of knowledge stored away in my head, but whether I can access it when I want to is another matter.

    I just try not to comment on things I don't know about . Sometimes I have an epic fail there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    I think it's also important to keep in mind the school these two dropped out of was Harvard. Even if Microsoft and Facebook hadn't taken off, they'd still be ahead of the pack. To some, it's more impressive to have dropped out of Harvard than graduated from a state school.
    I just read a study that found that being accepted into an Ivy League school was a better predictor of financial success than actually attending an Ivy League school. If you have the drive, self-discipline and focus it takes to get in, you are very likely to succeed financially even if you attend lowly State U. It will just take you a little longer to get there because you won't have the connections.

    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    I actually do think I have a learning disability when it comes to math. I find I can tackle calculus no problem and get down to the arithmetics part just fine. But that's where the problems start. I transpose numbers a lot more than I see most people do it, leave out the sign, etc.
    I have always had this problem--well, not the calculus part, but I have always had a problem with numbers. I can look at a 77 and write down 27. I was tested for learning disabilites once and was pretty shocked when I failed all of the visual perception tests, including the verbal ones. Apparently I don't see things correctly, but my brain somehow compensates with words and not with numbers--or rather, my brain instantly processes the words and corrects them for me, but numbers take a little longer.

    Since I figured I would never take another math class as long as I lived (and I so hope this turns out to be true) I never pursued it. But my visual perception of numbers is terrible and I have to go over things like checkbook entries and grades two or three times to make sure I get them right
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Last edited by msbeachskate; 01-09-2011 at 12:30 AM. Reason: lost post

  15. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    I actually do think I have a learning disability when it comes to math. I find I can tackle calculus no problem and get down to the arithmetics part just fine. But that's where the problems start. I transpose numbers a lot more than I see most people do it, leave out the sign, etc. I do it a lot and find it bothersome and certainly not something to parade around as proof of my non-existent brilliance. I mean, if you have to resort to that to prove you are smart, really how smart are you?
    I do this too. When I was younger, I got to 3rd year Calculus, then concluded that I did not get it because my answers were coming out wrong. So I told myself I would never take math again, and with those classes on your transcript, usually nobody cares if you ever take another math class again either.

    However, years later, I had to take an advanced data analysis class, and finally had the maturity to realize that I was making these types of mistakes. I concluded that it had not been that I was not understanding the material in the past, but I was getting the wrong answers because I was making transposition mistakes when moving from one step to the next.

  16. #96

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    I have no degree but I've been taking at least two college classes almost every year for the last two decades. I don't feel dumber than people with Bachelor's or Master's degrees, although I sometimes regret that I don't have one of those pieces of paper myself. But then I remind myself that I speak five languages, know a hell of a lot about English and American literature, am pretty well-versed in the performing arts, and so on. One of these years, when I have the time and money, I'll hire someone to tutor me through the required math and science classes I've avoided all this time and finally graduate. Until then, I'll keep feeding my brain with the stuff that really interests me.
    My job requires me to be a juggler, but that does not mean that I enjoy working with clowns.

  17. #97
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    It doesn't matter how much education or whether a college degree is involved. It's the common sense required to use what you learn and will learn in the future. My mother was a straight A student in school. She had to quit high school when she was 16 years old. She lived during the depression and had to quit to get a job in order to survive. My mother was very smart in mathematics, science and English grammar.

    I went to vocational/technical school after I graduated from High School. I finished classes in advanced business math and accounting but had to quit before I got my degree. My grades were good enough to get me an accounting position in a corporation where I worked for 14 years. I took classes while I worked for the corporation in order to be certified in multi-family housing and Industry Interface.

    I took online classes during the summer of 2009 for certification with another job I had for 5 years.

    One of my English teachers in high school discovered I had the gift for writing poetry when I wrote a poem for the school newspaper on Valentines Day. That was during my senior year in high school. I was awarded Who's Who in Poetry in 1990. My first book was published in 2007.

    Regarding numbers. I had the problem of transposing numbers and letters when I was younger. I don't know if it was the fact of being a southpaw but I believe that was part of it.

    It also doesn't matter how old I get. I learn something new everyday and I've learned a lot of interesting things here at FSU (especially about figure skating).

    I don't know about being as smart or intelligent as some of the individuals here at FSU that do have college and graduate college degrees. I am a lot like my mother, though, whereas I love to read books which include my interest in Astronomy. I've always been fascinated with the stars and got my first telescope when I was 13 years old. I'll never forget the night I accidentally spotted Saturn in the southwestern sky. It was a warm summer night in August and I had to run into the house to get my mom & dad to come outside to view the magnificient planet with the rings around it. It's funny how that slipped my mind after all these years. I'm so glad I remembered that special moment, though.
    Angie
    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

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    I think there is a correlation between intelligence and education in that the latter nurtures the former. Education can help one learn to think critically and foster a love of learning and intellectual growth. So the values associated with education can impact the development of intelligence. This is not to say that educated people are more intelligent. Rather, they have more of an opportunity to develop intelligence. If you don't grow up in an environment where learning, thinking and reading are valued, intelligence could be stifled. Reading is particularly important IMO, as motivates learning and thinking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Prancer most certainly does not know all. I have, however, spent the last 20 years or so reading research papers, which has in the past meant that I have a broad but shallow knowledge on a lot of different subjects.
    Broad but shallow is a good route especially for the curious. I think it allows people to see more in life. There is so much we don't get to see that I have trouble limiting myself to what I've already seen before because I'll miss the next neat thing.
    "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." – T.S. Eliot

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupid View Post
    Like a friend's grandma used to say, "you can take a jackass all around the world, but when it gets back, it's still a jackass."
    Love it! My aunt and uncle travel a lot, but only through tour packages and cruises, and they tend to rush through locales. I think they like going to exotic places but I don't believe it enriches them mentally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Veronika View Post
    I just have a BA in English/Sociology, and I admit that I have status anxiety about this. Most of my friends have their masters (one has a PhD), and my husband has a master's and a JD (he's a lawyer.)
    I think status anxiety can plague even well-accomplished people. A friend is going to Stanford for an MBA in the fall, and when I reported that to a mutual friend of ours (who has a JD), she was like, "Hmm, I thought I'd feel jealous, but I'm actually happy for him. Maybe I'm satisfied with my life after all!"

    To which my response was, "You don't even WANT an MBA!"

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    I think the longer you are in a "system", the more likely you are to start conforming to the system. For example, in our area, Boston College is known for churning out lawyer/politicians. There's a better than 50% chance that a triple Eagle (HS, undergrad, grad school) is a politician. That's not to say that many BC grads are in other fields, including creative ones, it's just that BC's system puts many people on the same path.
    I definitely agree with this. The longer you've devoted yourself to a very specific (and expensive) vocation like law or medicine, it gets increasingly difficult to get out of the system.

    For me, the more specific and advanced your degree, the more you pigeonhole yourself. Not to say that people with PhD's are forever doomed to working in their field, but it's time that you can't get back to learn or experience other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by pat c View Post
    I think it just depends on the person. The ability to think in 3D is not something you can ever be taught, you just have it. And it applies to many things. For instance, one of the smartest people I've ever met was a self taught master carpenter. He could design things I'd never even thought about. He had the ability to *see* what he wanted to build from start to finish.

    Just ramblin..........ignore.
    My mom has discovered the awesomeness that is the Maker mentality, although she associates that kind of resourcefulness with farmers. There's someone she volunteers with who grows her own food, raises her own chickens, and can build a greenhouse with no plans. She pictures it in her head and builds it. My mom is convinced that if the apocalypse ever came, you'd want to get thee hence to a farmer, because those are the kinds of people who would know how to be resourceful.

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