To create good workers, education systems put a premium on compliancy and rote memorization of basic knowledge—excellent qualities in an industrial worker.
'Computers are useless -- they only give you answers.'
Einstein reckoned that if he had an hour to solve a problem and his life depended on it, he’d spend the first fifty-five minutes making sure he was answering the right question.
Somehow, we've defined the goal of schooling as enabling you to have more 'right answers than the person next to you. And we penalize incorrect answers. And we do this at a pace-especially now, in this highly focused test-prep universe-where we don't have time for extraneous questions.
Part of the value in asking naïve questions,is that it forces people to explain things simply, which can help bring clarity to an otherwise complex issue. “If I just keep saying, ‘I don’t get it, can you tell me why once more?,’ it forces people to synthesize and simplify—to strip away the irrelevances and get to the core idea.”
You can't "step back" If you're always rushing to get things done. Here, policies like Google's much celebrated "20 percent time," which stipulates that employees can devote one fifth of their time to Independent projects-in effect, to work on their own questions-can really pay off.
Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air, and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.
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