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Warren Shea

Archive for March, 2013

Do we need school anymore? Will we need school?

Monday, March 11th, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Had this thought today: We’ve had school for hundreds (thousands?) of years. Everyone had to learn with a teacher/professor/mentor.
But in recent years, something’s changed. We’ve been introduced to the internet. And with the internet, it IS possible to learn anything and everything without proper schooling and physical attendance.

I had this idea – what if, instead of sending your children to school, paying for increasing tuition costs, and paying the government taxes for education, what if there was some way for a student to learn “everything” online? Obviously, there are things school teaches you – like social skills – but everything that the classes and curriculum teach you can be learned outside of school.

The only thing a post-secondary education gives you is a degree. That’s a lot of money for that qualification. But is it worth that cost? In theory, I could learn everything I needed from school, with the internet. I wouldn’t have to go to any classes. I could write the exams, and still get my degree without going to a single class. The degree is the thing you need to enter to workforce and possibly, needed for those executive level roles.

Now, what if there was an online equivalent to school. Not in the sense of learning material, but what if there were equivalently reputable online degrees you could obtain. I mean, the only thing stopping this sort of thing is that “Certification X from school Y” might not be/sound as impressive as “Degree from UWaterloo or Harvard” or something. But what if it were? What if there was a considerably cheaper alternative to post-secondary school. Where coming out of this program provides you with all the on-paper credentials you need – the equivalent of a degree from a school.

Just my random thoughts. Online learning is still in its infancy. There have been dramatic leaps in online learning and the online resources available in the last decade. Even comparing the resources for when I went to school to the present is vastly different. Who knows how online education will evolve in even as little as 10 years.

But when my kids are ready for university, in 15-20 years, things will be unimaginably different than now.

I honestly think there’s potential in the “market” (by that, I mean the “education market” – if such a thing exists) for a well established, high credential online alternative.

You shouldn’t need money to attend a fancy school and get a reputable degree. We’re learning more and more (with the internet, no less) that genius can exist anywhere and everywhere. You can be successful without that degree (Bill Gates made this kinda thing cool – and believable/obtainable) if you’re exceptional. But even for the above average, there should be a way to get a degree without having to pay $50,000 (and who knows how much it’ll be when my kids go to school). Like Will Hunting said in Good Will Hunting: “…you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fuckin education you coulda got for a dollah fifty in late chahges at the public library”.

My point to this whole long drawn out post is that I don’t see a need for education to cost as much as it does. And I see/wish/hope for a reputable online alternative in my lifetime. From this post, I believe that the market for “education” is dying and at some point, won’t be profitable due to the rise of the internet, a FREE tool with INFINITE RESOURCES. Just my predictions…..

Work hard. Have fun. Do both? Be happy.

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 at 12:45 am

5phl showed me this post recently. I thought I’d share:

I discovered these common, self imposed restrictions are rather insidious, though they start out simple enough. We begin by worrying we aren’t good enough, smart enough or talented enough to get what we want, then we voluntarily live in this paralyzing mental framework, rather than confront our own role in this paralysis. Just the possibility of failing turns into a dutiful self-fulfilling prophecy. We begin to believe that these personal restrictions are, in fact, the fixed limitations of the world. We go on to live our lives, all the while wondering what we can change and how we can change it, and we calculate and re-calculate when we will be ready to do the thing’s we want to do. And we dream. If only. If only. One day. Some day.

Every once in a while — often when we least expect it — we encounter someone more courageous, someone who choose to strive for that which (to us) seemed unrealistically unattainable, even elusive. And we marvel. We swoon. We gape. Often , we are in awe. I think we look at these people as lucky, when in fact, luck has nothing to do with it. It is really about the strength of their imagination; it is about how they constructed the possibilities for their Life. In short, unlike me, they didn’t determine what was impossible before it was even possible.


If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities, don’t compromise, and don’t waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now. Now.


I understand and have understood this paralysis. I still suffer from it. But I’m definitely not the person I used to be. I’m not the dreamer I once was, I believe I’m taking actual steps towards achieving goals. The last few years have been all about improving myself professionally (and professional-personally – that is, improving my dev skills for personal uses). I’m no longer just sitting around as time passes. I’ve been able to feel accomplishment(s). I’ve been blessed with encounters that have inspired and motivated me. And in turn, I feel like I’m doing my part to motivate others. It feels amazing to be a person that inspires others. And it drives me to do more. I want to continue that…

While this post inspired me, someone else I know read that and got depressed by it. I hadn’t even realized that it could be a post that would depress a person. But I suppose a person who’s watched their life pass them by wouldn’t be inspired. It would be a harsh look in the mirror. And I pray that in 10 years, a post such as this does not depress me. I hope that in 10 years, I’ll be able to smile and agree that my life hasn’t been wasted.

I’m burnt out socially. The last 1.5 years, I was incredibly social. Going out a lot. And I’m tired of it. I’m building up my anti-social shell again and to be honest, I’m not only comfortable with that, this is what I desire. Because I know I can be social again – if I want to be. But right now, I’m keepin on the down low. Because to be honest, I really wanna work on my projects. I really wanna work and accomplish something. And not have to “waste” time dealing with social events. Not that it’s a “waste of time”….but I feel I could better use my time. My priorities are different now: I just want to be alone and work. And accomplish things.

There’s one feeling I love more than anything else – being in a working groove and getting a lot done. (and I hate being bothered during this time). I get this feeling with development. And most recently, I’ve gotten this feeling with photography. Working on something for hours, having the time fly by. Taking little steps towards a medium goal. And then taking a bunch of medium goals and turning it into a large goal. That’s why, even when I come home from work exhausted, I can’t wait to do my own project. I think it’s a very special feeling that many people do not understand.

I keep having to decline invites to do social things. Because I want to work. I know people look at me and think it’s lame. Or anti-social. But to me, they just don’t understand. I feel it would time better spent working on my projects than being social. It’s what I’ve decided. As much fun as going out to a bar, drinking and talking is – it’s not really productive. Life is short and it sounds lame to want to work during it, rather than have fun. But this is how I feel. I don’t care if my life is fun. I want my life to be fulfilling.