Last Thursday, a buddy and I went to watch Fred Wilson on a panel to talk about the 2012 election and the Internet. I know very little when it comes to each candidate’s policies on open Internet. I mainly just went to watch Fred Wilson.
It was obvious from the beginning of the event that most of the crowd had an opinion on the topic. It felt almost more like a town-hall gathering for technologists with strong concerns about the future of the Internet. I learned quite a bit from listening to the panel and watching them field questions from the audience. My two favorite moments had little to do with tech policy, though.
One audience member offered this to the panel: “I’m 60. When I was in China, someone told me the best way to raise a successful generation is to make sure they are brought up to think exactly the opposite of the way we do. What would you teach your children to make sure they grow up to think differently from us?”
Fred’s answer was my favorite. He talked about how he believes that by the time our generation takes over, China and India will both be wealthier than the US. He teaches his kids to understand that “America is not the shit.” Instead, he raised his kids to appreciate other cultures and be very worldly.
The other part of the meet-up that I enjoyed was when Fred talked about technology and education. He’s worked to put together a software academy for high schoolers. I don’t really know how students are selected for the school, but he made it seem that it will be done differently than the current NY feeder schools. He talked passionately about how he doesn’t think that you have to go to Harvard or MIT to be a good coder. Instead, it’s about passion to drive to make things. It was a very inspiring thing to listen to, and I hope the school proves Fred’s hypothesis.