4 min readMar 17, 2024

Raising Smart Kids by Dummies

A proud child approached me out of the blue, exclaiming that the planet Jupiter has four moons namely Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. I did not ask him this, I did not ask for this. The proud child simply wanted to show off his ability to remember facts.

To which I replied, making sure that my response was loud enough to be heard by this child’s father, “Those are merely the four Galilean moons of Jupiter discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610. Jupiter has, in fact, more than 50 moons.” (There are 79 as of 2024.)

As the child was not familiar with being corrected by one smarter than he, the child, still proudly standing there, waiting for the usual shower of compliments and praises usually following this ability to regurgitate information, stood silent.

Before sending him back to his Windows PC and his Google search results, I tried to impart an adage usually shared among higher education aspirants, “Wear your knowledge like a handkerchief, only take it out when absolutely necessary.”

Unfortunately, one intelligent lesson could not undo what behavior has been nurtured by well-meaning parents. And future encounters would indicate that this was indeed the case.

Trying to impress a previous member of the Philippine Astronomical Society with 15th century astronomy facts is a pathetic and futile attempt to seek applause. That was the last time this child would attempt to impress me. But the world is his oyster, surely there would be more non-academic folks to dazzle — his family alone is almost a bottomless source of praise, whether deserved or otherwise is up for debate.

I, too, had medals from school. I, too, had ribbons. I, too, had certificates. I, too, had plaques. But I never thought that these trinkets deserved to be immortalized on an altar wall conspicuously taking center stage and precious space from what an educated person might consider to be important. Hence, these, my accolades and trophies, are nowhere to be found. Who cares? Nobody.

One ribbon, or one framed certificate, would occasionally pop out from under a stack of something and then just as quickly get ignored and forgotten. “Life has much more to offer than this, an academic collection of momentary trophies.” -donvy

Social media has done wonders in destroying what unknowns the future has in store for us, especially these Gen Zen, or whatever their generation prefers to call themselves these days.

Students are posting about “toxic work environments” while they are still in school! With absolutely no work experience! In preparation for their inevitable failure, perhaps?

We are all aware of the reputations that these recent generations have fostered. Of course, not ALL of them, but when an entire generation owns a reputation, it is merely acknowledging a generational “truth.”

I have always steered clear of this redefinition of “truth” from an absolute, which was the case for the entirety of human civilization and changed only when social media and fake news decided that we should acknowledge all our individual, personal truths. Now truth is just something as personal as a favorite shade of purple. Lilac. The correct response is lilac.

I reached out once, looking into the establishment of a local, homegrown facility that can 3D print houses. These gigantic 3D printers can most certainly be developed by our engineers, programmers, architects, and designers. And unlike their precision desktop siblings, precision isn’t as crucial when printing a 30 square meter house when compared to a 30 millimeter jet engine turbine blade.

So I asked if he had any familiarity with current concrete 3D printing technology, perhaps these were mentioned even in passing when technological developments were discussed. To which I received a response that simply didn’t care. Of course this tech could not possibly be part of any current curriculum just yet, that was not the question that was asked.

Anyway, that was a dead end. And then in late 2022, A.I. happened. Instead of arming oneself with knowledge so that one can make an informed and educated decision, this U.P. graduate simply ignored all the facts and decided to simply be against A.I., a very popular position to take, especially when one’s skills are what A.I. could so very, very easily replace.

And now we find ourselves in the present day, early 2024. Where one’s sketches take center stage and are paraded across social media, begging for likes and hearts and compliments and praises. This when typing a single sentence into a generative A.I.’s prompt can generate four different sketches in a matter of seconds. And by year’s end, OpenAI’s Sora could be available to the public, a video generator from text instructions.

“We’re teaching Al to understand and simulate the physical world in motion, with the goal of training models that help people solve problems that require real-world interaction.”

“Introducing Sora, our text-to-video model. Sora can generate videos up to a minute long while maintaining visual quality and adherence to the user’s prompt.”


Prompt: niagara falls with colorful paint instead of water

Copyright Donato R. Vytiaco © 2024

(Based on a fallible memory of a true event.)

#donvy #medium #booksmart #envy #pride #7deadlysins