Cybernesis: the greater fulfillment of Human Potential through Information Technology in a rapidly changing Global Society.
Acquiring the skills
I am one of the many people struggling to acquire 21st Century skills in what seems to be a society that largely seems to be happy to live in the past. If you are also struggling with these skills, I am here to tell you that you are not alone, and that as my skills continue to grow, I will continue to share my successes and failures with you here. I hope that this effort will save a great many people a great deal of suffering with the cold and unrelenting nature of dealing with technology.
The bad news here is that technology does not have much room for emotions, in terms of actually reaching into the guts of the machine and actually producing something: "Garbage in, garbage out." There are at least two pieces of good news however! The first is that the machine will never have any bias against you, never hold a grudge, and will always reward proper use of skills with proper results: "Gold in, gold out." The second piece of good news is that when you produce something with these skills and technology, whatever you produce can contain as much warmth, passion, and emotion as you care to put into the effort. What other people see after you've finished is the warm, inviting, electronic fireplace you wanted them to see! But don't expect anyone to share your enthusiasm for this !@#$ code in any big way, unless they come to need to produce content, as you and I seemingly must. P:D
Starting with the Fundamentals
I'm going to outline here what I hope is a fairly reliable list of the skills you'll be wanting to master, and then moving on to the ones I'm still working on myself. I assume that since you're reading this, you have the most basic skills on my list, and at most need to adapt them with a certain speed and precision. Others may not be so lucky, so just to be thorough, I want to list them for those who wish to teach these skills to prospective students.
First, we'll be looking for the ability to use a mouse and a keyboard to enter information into the computer. While this may seem pretty basic, you'd be surprised how many people don't really understand how useful even the mouse can be. I know a few people who do quite well with the keyboard using a variation on the "hunt-and-peck" method (and they can type fairly fast!), but I learned how to type on a real typewriter way back in my high-school days. I really didn't do all that well in my lame attempts at taking Computer Science classes, but what I learned in Typing class stuck fairly well, and probably did me more good in the long run!
"Where's the 'Any' key?!?"
As a next small step, knowing how to use a web browser will allow moving beyond books on the subjects, and actually begin to apply a minimum of computer knowledge in a real pursuit. Again, the basics of an address bar are beyond some peoples' current level of ability, as are all the basic navigation skills, so these are things that need to be learned and practiced. Encourage others to "Read The Faq!"; read all the instructions that they can lay their hands on, and take reasonable instruction gracefully when its offered. Once they have these basics down well enough to make headway just about anywhere else.
Now we're ready to discuss some real skills that you, I, and everyone else continually require work to learn, improve upon, and finally master. Word processing software, spreadsheets, imaging software, Wiki-coding, HTML, CSS, (.js), and anything else we set our minds to. These are the skills that pay the bills. P:D While you're at it, you might want to make some time doing the reading and research that make these skills uniquely yours to use as you want, rather than only being able to work for someone else -- if you want to become an entrepreneur rather than an employee, you'll want to learn from Wikipedia, various professional websites, online magazines, blogs, maybe even my site for a new take on Philosophy. P:D I'm still having trouble making the best use of this domain of mine, but my Wiki seems to be filling up nicely. I hope to pick up the pace here after I get some more preliminaries out of the way. Be patient! TheLastWordSword