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Candy Eash

And I forgot to mention the stories the movies are based on are true.

Candy Eash

Brent, I'm not certain that your perspective is completely true. I'm thinking of two movies that help to show what Gideon is talking about - Lorenzo's Oil and Something the Lord Made.

The first is about parents whose son has a genetic disease that the medical profession has basically given up on trying to cure. Both parents delve into research to see if they can find a cure. At the end the father not only finds a solution for future boys with the disease, but has become such an expert that he is given an honorary medical doctorate.

In Something the Lord Made, a surgeon is looking for an assistant to help him develop heart valve replacement proceedures and chooses a carpenter because of his skill with tools. Over time the assistant becomes such an expert that he too is given an honorary medical doctorate and teaches at St. John's Medical School for years.

I think what Gideon is pointing out, is the same idea that came from Dr. Louis Agassiz over a hundred years ago when he invited a scullery maid, who had stated she never had a chance to learn, to write a paper about the brick in the kitchen where she worked. The principle is that to be an expert one only needs knowledge - not necessarily the degree. And now that knowledge is so easily accessible and the world is changing so quickly, that academic institutions aren't the only way to gain that expertise.

Brent Leavitt

Generally speaking, the unordered chaos of this modern information highway still requires discipline of its pupils to make any substantial forward progress. Personally, I attribute my current technical skills in web design and development to diligent attention to this alternative school. Arguably though, beyond learning the skills of effective web development, I think it would be near impossible to have such confidence in say a self-professed physician who's primary source of learning was via participation on blogs and forums with other physicians.

To the pupil, the ordered structure of your academia is not necessarily a rite of passage, but more importantly a ladder of enlightenment out of the dreary pit of ignorance.

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