Individual and social human behavior is extremely complicated especially due to the development of sociocultural aspects. It is achieved by genetically determined neuroendocrine mechanisms, but especially epigenetically modified (thanks to the plasticity of the nervous system) through learning.
Empirical (spontaneous) learning, but especially family education or educational institutions are essential processes for the formation and development of individuals and human societies. They are more active in adolescence and early youth when the brain matures morphologically and functionally and when its plasticity is more sensitive and efficient.
Therefore, the education of the new generations is an extremely important task for the elites of a society, for the educational institutions (especially the pre-university ones) and for the family. Education is a task full of responsibilities but also extremely difficult, among other things, because it cannot be universally standardized due to the diversity of people and different human cultures.
Since the Neolithic, the life of Homo sapiens sapiens has evolved socially, culturally and technologically. Accumulated databases have grown and are growing exponentially. Pico della Mirandola's ideal of the fifteenth century of "omni re scible" ridiculed in the Enlightenment by Voltaire became a utopia.
In the world there are different professions, fields of culture and scientific specializations, there are different careers. In this context, the Renaissance ideal has metamorphosed into the modern superspecialist, caricatured by Bernard Shaw in the form of one who knows and manipulates more and more aspects of an increasingly limited field until he "knows everything about nothing."
It is clear that training different specialists, professionals or activists in a career requires specific training or education programs. Therefore, the developing man and his family or those who take care of him at some point must choose the path he will take. It is a difficult choice !!! This choice should take into account the candidate's personality, his skills, some cultural and economic values, some traditions and interests of the family but also (increasingly) the motivations of the person involved but still immature. This choice is the center of power of this book by Mihai Copaceanu, a distinguished and deserving psychologist with a wide range of knowledge.
As the author remarks, the problem is difficult because we do not rigorously master the possibilities of detecting the skills of the man who is in full training. Of course we are far from the fantasies (not without some interest) of nineteenth-century phrenologists, but the reliability of our predictions is still quite approximate. Surprises and failures are common. The landmarks used are often contradictory. Also, decision makers (young people, family, teachers, etc.) do not always have the necessary training and are often in bad faith (especially those occasional mentors who contaminate the media with their thoughts).
Things have become more complicated in recent decades by the fact that the share of those who decide to choose a career has shifted (in the century of IT culture) from adults to young people full of fantasies, gullible and proud. It seems like a success, but it's just a romantic one.
Young people are optimistic (I see only the full side of the glass) and naive (I easily think that everything that flies is eaten) and have not yet discovered the RAUL that infects interpersonal relationships. That is why they fall easily into the traps that lie to them.
There is something else! Today's young people live with a growing addiction in a virtual world whose parameters and benchmarks differ greatly from those of the real world. I live with a worrying bliss in the jungle of social networks in which (often under the guise of anonymity) circulates uncontrolled information and misinformation that distort the realities of the real world and generate representations of aberrant and often evil decisions and behaviors.
This book, based on the complexity and importance of choosing the profession or career with their lights and shadows, offers support (based on scientific research of realities) for the main factors involved: family and school.
Prof. Univ. Dr. Constantin Balaceanu Stolnici
Honorary member of the Romanian Academy