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education

The future of education is about speed-learning how to use the internet to extract, connect, and build on bits of information coming from Big Data.

Learning how to pull out trustworthy resources and knowledge repositories and ultimately connecting the dots faster than anyone else.

And an individual who will be able to navigate through its intricate webs will be the valedictorian of the future.

“You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.”

Matt Damon,

Indefinite attitudes to the future explain what’s most dysfunctional in our world today. Process trumps substance: when people lack concrete plans to carry out, they use formal rules to assemble a portfolio of various options. This describes Americans today. In middle school, we’re encouraged to start hoarding “extracurricular activities.” In high school, ambitious students compete even harder to appear omnicompetent. By the time a student gets to college, he’s spent a decade curating a bewilderingly diverse résumé to prepare for a completely unknowable future. Come what may, he’s ready—for nothing in particular. A definite view, by contrast, favors firm convictions. Instead of pursuing many-sided mediocrity and calling it “well-roundedness,” a definite person determines the one best thing to do and then does it. Instead of working tirelessly to make herself indistinguishable, she strives to be great at something substantive—to be a monopoly of one. This is not what young people do today, because everyone around them has long since lost faith in a definite world. No one gets into Stanford by excelling at just one thing, unless that thing happens to involve throwing or catching a leather ball.