Originally Posted by Brad Adrian
Me not understand how Shakespeare not have many words. Me use lots and lots every day.
Actually, the point that struck me as odd was the Moore's Law-ish one stating that half of what a techie learns in school is obsolete by year three. New knowledge does not always REPLACE what we formerly knew, it BUILDS upon it. That's kinda like saying that once the eight-piston engine was invented, all the six-piston engines ceased to exist.
1- Shakespeare invented a measurable fraction of the words in the english language. He had concepts and ideas and the words did not exist.
2- You are right that new knowledge doesn't always replace previous knowledge. But the term obsolescence is not about replacing/invalidating but about superceding/expanding. Incomplete knowledge can be superceded without being invalidated. For example, Newton's Laws of motion were superceded by Relativity because relativity better explains the universe we know, but that doesn't mean they stopped being useful in the proper context/framework. All it means is that relativity can "go" places Newton's Laws can't "go".
For a professional, having obsolete training means having incomplete knowledge or knowledge that is no longer as effective/competitive as before.
And yes, that three year rule is about right.
The rule of thumb for engineers has long been that (without regular updating) a fresh-out can count on being competent for about 5 years.
That is why most professions have Journals, seminars, workshops,etc.
Entropy rules and people can become as obsolescent as devices/technologies.
Simple fact of life.