Geeky Goodness: Excellent Advice From The "Godmother of Silicon Alley"
Who she is: Red Burns is a renowned educator and technology advocate who pushed for more creative uses of modern communications. She also co-founded the celebrated Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU. She passed away on August 23rd at the age of 88. She left behind a legacy of passion, and some damn good advice. Here are just a handful of some imparted wisdoms she gave in her opening remarks to new NYU students. Like most inspired lines from accomplished experts, the advice transcends the audience she was speaking to:
What she wants you to know...
The biggest danger is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge.
Imagination, not calculation, is the “difference” that makes the difference.
Creativity is not the game preserve of artists, but an intrinsic feature of all human activity.
In any creative endeavor you will be discomfited and that is part of learning.
Organizations are really systems of cooperative activities and their coordination requires something intangible and personal that is largely a matter of relationships.
What she hopes for you...
That you combine that edgy mixture of self-confidence and doubt.
That you have enough self-confidence to try new things.
That you have enough self doubt to question.
That you think of technology as a verb, not a noun; it is subtle but important difference.
That you remember the issues are usually not technical.
That you create opportunities to improvise.
That you provoke it. That you expect it.
That you make visible what, without you, might never have been seen.
That you communicate emotion.
That you create images that might take a writer ten pages to write.
That you look for the question, not the solution.
That you are not seduced by speed and power.
That you don’t see the world as a market, but rather a place that people live in — you are designing for people, not machines.
That your curiosity knows no bounds.
That you understand what looks easy is hard.
That you can laugh at yourself. That you are kind.
That you engage and have a wonderful time.