October
2013
19

Isaac Asimov and Education

Isaac Asimov

I think one of the greatest minds of the last century was Isaac Asimov. He wrote more than 500 books in various genres and is considered one of the biggest science fiction writers in history. I am a big fan of his most famous work, the Foundation Series. Enough presentations for a man that needs no introductions. If you want to learn more about him, you can always start by reading his entry in Wikipedia.

 

This time I am sharing an interview of Isaac Asimov on Bill Moyers World of Ideas. One of the most interesting parts of the interview is when he speaks about education, or to be precise about his vision of the future of education. You should keep in mind that it was 1988, so no internet, no Wikipedia, no Khan Academy and no Coursera.

Here is a fragment of the interview (In English with Spanish subtitles for those who are more comfortable in that language).

 

 

If you want to see the whole interview, you can access it clicking by here on the link to Isaac Asimov on Bill Moyers World of Ideas.

 

He explains that before in old days people who wanted an education and were privileged enough needed to hire a personal tutor. We had a one-to-one relationship for the few people who were able to pay for a tutor. Then we reached a point where there was one teacher for a great number of students, organized through a curricula or syllabus to teach from.… Read the rest of “Isaac Asimov and Education”

October
2013
10

Secret history of Silicon Valley

Silicon Valey

When people think about Silicon Valley, they immediately think about innovation, startups and technology. I am sure that if you ask them what the origins of Silicon Valley are, 95% of them will answer with some hi-tech company, semiconductors or computer history, maybe someone will even say Apple computers are behind Silicon Valley.

 

However, the truth is a little bit different. Stanford professor Steve Blank explains it has more of a military background that what we may believe. He says before Silicon Valley it was Microwave Valley, specializing in electronic intelligence and radar detection systems for the World War II and Cold War. The seed capital for creating this Microwave Valley came from no other than the U.S. Government.

 

It was basically a research lab for the Department of Defense. Some traces of this military oriented Valley remains. For example, one of the biggest employers in the valley is Lockheed Martin, an American aerospace, defense, security and advanced technology company.

Nowadays it is much more than a military research lab, but this part of history is known by almost everybody. It is the most active technological area in the world and the place to be for technology companies.

 

 

If you want to hear an expert about this story you can watch the previous video  where professor Steve Blank explains the history of Silicon Valley and its ties to the military. I found it to be very interesting and not only for technology addicts.