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Wise words from Stephen Downes

An excerpt from "My Scholarly Contributions," Half an Hour blog by Stephen Downes:

Advice? Only this: find what you consider to be right and true, and pursue that. Not that this is not the path to material well-being or a successful career, though some things good things happen anyways. Do what you need to do to stay employed, but as the old sea-faring slogan goes for riggers working on the mast, use one hand for the ship, but keep one hand for yourself. But in all that, focus your work on serving others, not enriching yourself, because your work will have no value to you otherwise. Write from the heart; don't be a slave to academic form, but don't ignore it. Back up your reasoning with evidence, and reason soundly from what you know and what you have experienced, not what you have been told. Understand that argument rarely convinces anyone of anything, that an understanding of principles of reasoning is to protect yourself from error, not to correct other people in theirs, that time spent explaining what you are doing and why will often pay off, but not everyone will support you, and often nobody will, but if you are true to these principles, that won't matter. And, at the end of life, the only thing that will matter to you will be what you gave to the world, not what you took from it. Share.

In my personal intellectual laziness, Stephen's writing often goes right over my head, but I always understand the passion and good heart behind hi thoughts. The world would be a better place with more like Mr. Downes in it.

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Reader Comments (2)

Thanks for the post. I missed this even though I try to read OLDaily everyday.

February 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSheri O

Hi Sheri,

This one was on his Half an Hour blog rather than OLDaily.


February 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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