What is the point of learning anyway?
- Of all the knowledge in the world, where should you start?
- What is foundational?
- What is necessary?
- What motivates you to keep going?
- What will change your life, or get you a job?
C.S. Lewis spoke about his at length…
But can you imagine having the foresight and understanding to examine questions like this as a child?
In a couple of ways, I was still scared of my shadow at 18.
I made good grades through high school, struggled in my first two years of college, and got nearly straight A’s in my last two years.
I even did well in graduate school (until it came time to kiss the rings of the right people).
Mostly, I think that education –
done right – teaches one how to think rigorisly – an enditement of modern education and American culture, no doubt.
Understand: Of the many eventual directions possible, education requires a foundation of substance.
As Musk saw it, “I just look at it as ‘What grades do I need to get where I want to go?’ There were compulsory subjects like Afrikaans, and I just didn’t see the point of learning that. It seemed ridiculous. I’d get a passing grade and that was fine. Things like physics and computers—I got the highest grade you can get in those. There needs to be a reason for a grade. I’d rather play video games, write software, and read books than try and get an A if there’s no point in getting an A. I can remember failing subjects in like fourth and fifth grade. Then, my mother’s boyfriend told me I’d be held back if I didn’t pass. I didn’t actually know you had to pass the subjects to move to the next grade. I got the best grades in class after that.”
-Ashley Vance, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (Amazon)
It reminds me of this: