Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Is it not somewhat arrogant of you to call yourself an autodidact?

 Is it not somewhat arrogant of you to call yourself an autodidact?

Being an autodidact does not seem to be verifiable. Or is it? It seems like anyone can call themselves an autodidact.

I’m not sure why it would be arrogant to say that I’m mostly self-taught. Except for here, I don’t normally use the word “autodidact”. It is merely descriptive.

I really want to know why you think it is arrogant. I’ll bet you have taught yourself something. Or do you only learn when a professional teacher or instructor is telling you things? Everyone is self-taught to some degree.

I find science and technology incredibly interesting. When I was 9, I realized I could not learn it all, so I chose technology (specifically electronics) as a career. I didn’t go to college, I continued to go to the library. Every library I could go into. It was a tremendous day when I found out that I was allowed in the library at the University of Montana.

I built just about every variation of crystal radio. I made a working set of telephones, using crushed up carbon rods from carbon-zinc flashlight cells to make the carbon granule microphones.

By my teen years, I was building things from my own designs. A shortwave receiver, audio amplifiers, capacitance meter good down to 0.1pF (a really big deal in the late ‘70s), gate dip oscillator, a direct conversion ham band receiver, combo QRP (low power) antenna tuner, SWR, and power meter, VLF/SLF receiver to listen to lightning, a voice changer, sound effect machine, guitar amps and FX pedals, and many other electronic items. I didn’t like building from someone else’s plans without modification, and I rarely put a kit together without modification. Mostly, I built my own designs.

I taught myself the resistor color code, I think I was 10 or 11 at the time. I came up with my own math tricks to perform calculations quickly in my head, and have gotten quite good at estimating. I taught myself to read schematics and to decipher circuits without a schematic.

All the while, middle school and high school treated me like I was a bit stupid. In 7th grade, I think it was, the school talked to my parents about moving me to the special ed classroom. My grades weren’t that bad, but I was getting bullied a lot, and the school just didn’t want to deal with it. My parents dug in and stopped them, because what would the neighbors think?

My high school guidance counselor, when he realized he =had= to talk to me, suggested I go into something like gas station attendant, as a career. I have no problem with it as a job, but a career?

Ask anyone who knows me well, I am not arrogant. I tell you all this not to brag, merely to describe myself. So when I say I am self-taught, aka an autodidact, I am merely being descriptive.

Would you see it as arrogant for someone to say that they have a degree in some field? Why not, if “autodidact” is seen as arrogant?

No comments:

Post a Comment