We Think, Therefore We Can

Okay…that might not quite be Descartes philosophical saying….but I think in today’s age of globalization and the scientific process it might be just as applicable.  More to the point Descartes line was in Latin….but the translation is “I Think, Therefore I Am”.  To a fuller extent, he meant, “we cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt”.

I believe that in today’s global society, We Think Therefore We Can, is a succinct phrase meaning if you can think through the process, product or activity, chances are you can also use research & collaborate to use that process, product, or activity to innovate, make and create something great!

Yesterday I read an article that was talking about careers and why STEM Careers were so important.  The author suggested that when thinking about a STEM career to pursue you ask yourself three questions: 1) Can that task be performed overseas cheaper? 2) Is that task highly repetitive and can it be performed by a computer (or robot) faster (than I can)? and 3) Is that task something that will be in demand during economies of plenty? All three are great questions…and more to the point, I realized that what the author was really talking about was the brains amazing ability to think through the scientific process quickly…determining at lightening speed the nuances that effect every decision….and taking those nuances into account when making decisions.

Yesterday, when I spoke with the LEAD group, I mentioned the importance that we teach our kids that the “big” hairy, audacious questions in life have multiple “right” answers.  My point is that if there is only one answer, one process, one formula etc, let a computer or robot do it!  Our forte as human beings is in the ability to evaluate multiple answers to determine what the right one is in the specific circumstance, and to be cognizant of the reality that two people in the same circumstance might analyze the nuances differently and come up with different “right” answers….but as collaborators we have the ability to collectively analyze a situation to determine where “Win-Win” exists.

That ability to recognize the nuances effecting a situation is not something easily programmed into a computer or robot.  I have participated in more than one computer programming class that talked about how housekeeping would likely never be something we could program a robot to perform….why?….well because while we could program a robot to vacuum, or do dishes, or sweep, it becomes incredibly hard when you are programming a robot to do all of those tasks and to determine what needs done first or most immediately, and how to adapt the same task, such as dusting, quickly to different surfaces in your home.  ….This whole thought process had me mind mapping the nuances that effect positive youth development..and the interplay between nuances…the map got more than a little messy with all of those nuances.  A great thing for a long career in positive youth development!

All this leaves me thinking that we have a lot of brain power in Nebraska!  And, within Nebraska Extension.  The ability to recognize the issues that are at the top of the list with Nebraskans.  The ability to put together dynamic multidisciplinary teams to actually start thinking through the process of how to address these issues, and where the “Win-Win” exists.  And the multidisciplinary nature that allows us to network and collaborate with those individuals outside of Nebraska Extension that can help us really make a difference for Nebraskans. And, as sentient beings, we have the ability to make subtle course corrections thousands/millions of time a day.

Come on Nebraska Extension….be enablers and collaborators!  Help Nebraskans create something great!!!!

We Think, Therefore, We Can!

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One Response to We Think, Therefore We Can

  1. Anne Zander says:

    Thank you for sharing and posting this article……I found it very interesting and will be sharing with Extension Agents in our county office.

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