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Stupid People Aren't a Problem. Oblivious People Are a Problem.

When I was a bit younger, I used to think stupid people were a problem.

I don't know how I'd define stupid exactly, but you know roughly what I mean. I thought, "Stupid people cause problems."

Now I'm starting to change my mind.

However you define "stupid," I don't think it's stupid people causing problems. There's lots of things I'm unskilled, uneducated, or unsophisticated about, but I tend to know I'm unskilled, uneducated, and unsophisticated about it. If I got into a metalworking shop, I'd quickly ask someone there what I'm supposed to do to stay safe, and then I'd stay the hell out of the way.

You see, I'm stupid about metalworking and metalworking safety, but that's okay. I'm rarely in a metalworking shop, I'd ask for guidance/instructions if I was, and I'd be careful and stay out of the way.

Own Your Life

On Tynan

One of the great sacrifices of subjecting kids to school is that it trains them to ask for permission for everything, from turning in work late, to changing to a different class, to more mundane things like going to the bathroom. It's a tradeoff, of course: condition kids to seek permission for everything, and by doing so enable a system to exist where they receive an education.

Maybe that's a worthwhile tradeoff, and maybe it's not. But the real harm in it, in my opinion anyway, is that when we leave school, we're still in the habit of asking permission for everything. That's dangerous.

A manifestation of this that I come across with frequently is the questions that people send me by email. Here's a paraphrased template, which covers a good 60%+ of the emails I get from strangers:

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