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Don’t Blow Up For Greed. November 15, 2013

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, environment, environmental pollution, ethics, faith, Innovation, life challenges, Quick thoughts.
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20131116-014214.jpg

A fine and very creative example to use renewable resources. After Fukushima, I think the Japanese are adamant to stray away from nuclear and out in their research efforts in other renewable sources for energy. Not only does this solar plant is aesthetically pleasing but it is as beautiful on the inside as far as the intentions are. I hope more innovations and implementations of this kind will eventually replace nuclear energy. I suppose it takes a good blast to learn the lessons up. But I do hope we don’t need to do another one to master the real lessons of self destruction. There are many ways to power. Don’t blow it up because of stupidity and greed. – Karen Fu

Reference :
1. CNet – Kyocera launches 70 Megawatt solar plant.

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Change by Design – Invisible Helmet November 13, 2013

Posted by @Karen_Fu in creativity, design, industrial design, Innovation, talent.
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Invisible Helmet

Quick paste of this video above  to share via Facebook from ‘Irene Emerita’. We can never underestimate the technical and design innovation done by women, which is usually expected in men. Watch it to see its ingenuity. – Karen Fu

 

Are PhDs a threat to design education? Are PhDs a threat to all kinds of education? October 14, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in education, Innovation, research.
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I am following up, albeit in a very fast eye dotting manner on the thread which Don Norman had started from ‘Brilliance without substance‘. I have plenty to say. As so much time is allowed for me, I think I will just candidly write from my personal perspective. I think Gunar Swanson had hit a lot of points that design research need not come from only PhDs ( see his post on PhD design) . That is a crux of the matter. Research should not be done by only people who hold PhDs. Its a fallacy to assume that all PhDs could do fine  intelligent research. It’s an insult to those who are able but choose not to do a postgraduate education because of the opportunity costs concerned. Research is the process of using keen observation to do innovative investigation, whereby different skills and knowledge are put into use to find the solutions to problems. It has to be done by intelligent people. No doubt about it. But it may not always be done by PhD holders. It can be seen as rude to think so.

I don’t hold a postgraduate degree though I had gotten in to a good number in various fields. I had the wish to a postgrad and onwards to a PhD. But circumstances at home did not allow me to do it. It still is actually. Despite so, I still applied in the slim hope that someone out there would offer me the full cash to cover the costs I would have to forgo. I wanted to be a college professor. I love academic environment because of ONE damned reason : its a learning haven where dreams  could be realized without the politics. Top colleges could do that with their kind of financial base with companies and their network to research materials.  I was dreaming away and to be not able to attend one postgraduate course was a nightmare, especially to someone who really loves to learn and teach.

Now this motivation to do a postgrad has dwindled down rapidly as I read off minds who are not opened. To me, receptiveness is very important as much as intellectual integrity. One cannot be too intelligent and wise to ignore what others out of our clique could offer. Everyone has their experience, and their cleverness for us to learn. It adds up to a wholesome mind that knows no boundaries. PhDs can be a threat if it blocks this freedom to investigate and problem solve in different ways. If words and tons of words are the sole way of doing research, then we are in dire trouble.

From my clique from Senior High, whom many are holding top posts in the country, I know PhDs are not a must. However, intelligence is a must. The mind must able to see beyond context and be able to interpret different information at a sound level. A good number of my ex-college mates only hold a bachelors, some at Masters level but they hold billion dollar assets excellently. I have only come across 1 PhD graduate from my Senior High clique who is holding a vice director post. I was surprised that not a lot of people had done their PhDs given the fact that most of my senior high friends were high flyers in academia. The reason? They don’t see the point of doing a PhD. Apart from those who did a medical degree, where many of them are researchers in different areas of medicine, I hardly see like even a third of them holding PhDs.  Oh yes, another one did hers for journalism. But I don’t think it really helped her much in the end because she was already at her pinnacle of her career. Many had done important work in serving the people. The essence of this success is their openness to learn and to solve problems actively in great precision and efficiency in the best possible method for their pending problems. 

Writing to this point, I must clarify that I am not against PhDs. But I do punch out to those who have restrictive dogmatic minds of whom, what and how to do research. It spells discrimination and a poor sense of foresight and even hindsight.

Research is not about prescribed formulas. Its about looking at the problem in a very holistic and sensitive way with respect to people and the environment. It is about the process of creative innovation where methods itself could be even invented. Sure you need a rule to keep things in order and an efficient system for all to relate to. But not to the point of confinement.

Certain cliches for being a PhD graduate appears to be evident. Perhaps it stems out from the idea that to reach the top of the academic pinnacle is an accomplishment. It is, provided that the PhD education has taught one to be truly democratic and open to different people, creed and culture in a respectful way. This is indeed a highly sensitive topic. But I suppose if anyone is genuinely interested in research and to see how it goes, I bet you people will speak up. — Karen Fu

My other relevant blog post reference:

1. Postgrad or not- the value of education to answer real problems. 

2. Substance Over Brilliance

3. Scholarship, Research and Design – its relevancy to both human society & nature