[Haifux] Reddit /r/xkcd Comment Reflecting on my Technion Studies

Shlomi Fish shlomif at shlomifish.org
Thu Apr 25 11:49:03 MSD 2013

Hi all,

I've written this /r/xkcd comment reflecting on my Technion studies:


I'll quote it below.


	Shlomi Fish

Nice comics, I enjoyed it, though I found it more inspiring than funny. The
rollover text is nice too, and makes it funnier.

Regarding going to college to get more knowledge - the situation with me was
more complicated: my main motivation to study in [the
(in Haifa, Israel) was in order to be qualified enough for many jobs that
required a Bachelor's degree. I recall there were several semesters where the
only reason why I continued to study, was in order to get the diploma in the
end, and was otherwise completely unhappy with my studies. Thing is even though
I studied hard and did all the homework, then we got hard, long and/or
otherwise unfair tests at the end, which caused my grade to be low or sometimes
even a failing one. The Technion's system is keen on making sure that the
grades distribution in the tests is an approximate Gauassian, which ends up as
really demotivating for the students.

Another problem with the Technion is that it's a 90% work / 10% play institute
and most people don't do a lot of extra-curricular activity. 

I reported my sentiments about that here and here:



In any case, while I gained a lot of knowledge and understanding from
Electrical Engineering in the Technion, a lot of it was not directly from my
studies, but from interacting with my peers, and even from teaching in the
Haifa Linux Club ( http://www.haifux.org/ ) / etc.. To quote the Jewish Oral
Torah: “I learned a lot from my teachers, and from my peers more than from my
teachers, and from my students the most.” (see
http://shlomifish.livejournal.com/1109.html ).

After the Technion, I worked as a software developer - not in something more
hardware-oriented - and due to the fact that from various reasons, I never
persisted in the same job for more year, many employers hesitate to hire me
(and employers have become *extremely* picky). Moreover, I lately decided to
that while software dev is still going to pay the bills, I have made a
transition of becoming more of a writer, Internet entertainer, humorist,
essayist/amateur-philosopher, etc. etc. who sees software development as one of
the absolutely necessary means for all that. See [this essay I wrote about

Furthremore, recently workplaces started even demanding a high grades average,
and I realised that the workplaces who want stuff like that, and a CS/etc.
degree are usually the kind of workplaces I won't enjoy working for. So while I
don't regret specialising in Electrical Engineering (which ended up as more
like an Elec. Eng/Comp. Eng./Computer Science mixed degree) I still have
seconds thoughts about going to university in the first place and especially to
the Technion. I feel it's wasted a lot of my time, and costed in many
frustrations, and even in loss of health ( e.g:
[Hypomanias](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypomania) and even some
[Manias](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mania) ).

As a result, I am not sure I can recommend young people nowadays to go to
university for studying CS like I did, but it may be better in an institute
that is less demotivating than the Technion (or M.I.T. for that matter).


What I'm trying to say is that there's an entire chasm between the ideal of a
university/college ’s purpose of giving knowledge to the students and the
reality of how it does that and at what costs. 

Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
My Aphorisms - http://www.shlomifish.org/humour.html

Larry Wall has been changing the world. By modifying its very source code.

Please reply to list if it's a mailing list post - http://shlom.in/reply .

More information about the Haifux mailing list