. . . Students, he wrote, should not play life, or study it merely, while the community supports them at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from beginning to end. . . Which would have advanced the most at the end of a month,-the boy who had made his own jackknife from the ore which he had dug and smelted, reading as much as would be necessary for this — or the boy who had attended the lecture on metallurgy at the Institute in the mean while, and had received a . . . penknife from his father? Which would be more likely to cut his fingers?
. . . Well, now the world is changing too fast, and the need is growing too much, for institutions to keep up. Scientists say we have less than ten years to reinvent how we use energy, how we get around, and how we make things if we don’t want our civilization to collapse from the effects of global warming. And to do that, we as a species also have to find better ways of communicating, making decisions, and understanding and weighing each others’ needs. No one person knows how to do this; it requires a new synthesis of the wisdom of the ancients and cutting-edge discoveries. Our best hope is to get better at empowering individuals to find answers for themselves. In other words, forget about giving the guy a fish, or teaching him how to fish, either. Teach him how to teach himself, and he’ll always be able to acquire the skills he needs to find food, skills you haven’t even thought of yet for things you didn’t know you could eat.