A toddler (mis)handles one of Father's many recordable compact discs, almost certainly rendering it useless. In years past, the thought of this treatment of the pits and lands comprising (photos? music?) once precious data would have horrified him.
Today, Father is unconcerned. Come to think of it, if there's a device in the house even capable of reading that disc, he'd be surprised.
Today, the future is Father's sole concern. Not the past.
Today, he's hearing about almost free college degrees, and in computer science no less. It took Father (five? six?) years to earn that degree, at an enormous expense to his family, with years of debt to repay afterwards. To think, someday this toddler could get the same (better?) education from the comfort of an as-yet unconceived dingus in the palm of his hand...
Today, Father is considering placing a bet. A wager, with this young man's future at stake.
The proposition seems simple: University degrees may retain some value a decade hence, but they surely won't look the same as the one on his wall, which he worked (and spent) so dearly to earn.
The prerequisite is daunting: Ignore the conventional wisdom he grew up with, and embrace the notion that traditional university degrees like his won't be worth what they were in the past.
Father doesn't completely subscribe to the thesis of Peter Thiel, the notion that talented youth should forego a formal, expensive education in favor of a practical, entrepreneurial one. However... there's something there. A nugget of truth, a kernel of wisdom.
There isn't an immediate decision to be made today, but soon - and continuously - as the child grows. Father's plan is forming, and it's still unfocused... but the seed has been planted. He'll steer the child's development towards mastering the prerequisites for embarking on the online degrees, and whenever the time comes, let the child decide. Brick-and-mortar-and-debt, or handheld-and-cheap?
Today, in 2014, it's too early to say, but Father is known to be a gambler (albeit not a wildly successful one).
For now, research and planning; someday soon the notion will be put into action.
Today: Father is just planting seeds.