When we bring children into the world we play awful games with them. Instead of saying ‘How do you do? Welcome to the human race. Now my dear we are playing some very complicated games and these are the rules of the game we are playing. I want you to understand them and to learn them and then when you get a little bit older you might be able to think up some better rules.’
Instead of being quite direct with our children, instead we say ‘you’re here on probation, you understand that? And maybe when you grow up a bit you’ll be acceptable but until then you should be seen and not heard. You’re a mess and you’ve got to be educated and schooled and whipped until you are human.’ So that these attitudes which are inculcated into us in infancy go on into old age.
The way you start out is liable to be the way you finish. So there are people going around fundamentally feeling like they don’t belong. Because their parents said to them in the first place, look you don’t really belong here, you’re here on sufferance, you’re on probation, you’re not a human being YET, and people feel this right on into old age."
If you’ve never experienced it, “free” just seems like a lower number on a slider that has “half-price” in the middle. But free is not a number.
If you paid for your education, you’re likely to understand education in transactional terms. In straightforward economic terms, it means that if you charge some money, you can have some stuff. With more money comes more stuff, higher quality stuff.
But “free” is something different than “less.” And free is not less than cheap. It’s something else entirely.
Instead of education, try thinking about love. There are people who pay for love. Some pay a lot, some pay a little. But let’s be honest: everyone knows that the moment you start paying anything, it’s not just love plus money. It’s something else entirely, and the problems in paying aren’t solved by paying less than others."
Unfortunately, the place where our first creative ideas go to die is the place that should be most open to them—school. Studies show that teachers overwhelmingly discriminate against creative students, favoring their satisfier classmates who more readily follow directions and do what they’re told.
Even if children are lucky enough to have a teacher receptive to their ideas, standardized testing and other programs like No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top (a program whose very designation is opposed to nonlinear creative thinking) make sure children’s minds are not on the “wrong” path, even though adults’ accomplishments are linked far more strongly to their creativity than their IQ. It’s ironic that even as children are taught the accomplishments of the world’s most innovative minds, their own creativity is being squelched."
We celebrate the famously imaginative, the greatest artists and innovators from Van Gogh to Steve Jobs. Viewing the world creatively is supposed to be an asset, even a virtue. Online job boards burst with ads recruiting “idea people” and “out of the box” thinkers. We are taught that our own creativity will be celebrated as well, and that if we have good ideas, we will succeed.
It’s all a lie. This is the thing about creativity that is rarely acknowledged: Most people don’t actually like it. Studies confirm what many creative people have suspected all along: People are biased against creative thinking, despite all of their insistence otherwise."