“Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before.”
Neil Gaiman’s fantastic commencement address, adapted by design legend Chip Kidd
A wonderful manifesto for fueling the internal engine of lifelong learning
“Write! Writing, to knowledge, is a certified check.”
14 ways to acquire knowledge – a timeless guide from 1936:
How an 18th-century bachelor enlisted Rousseau’s teachings in Frankensteining his better-ever half.
The story of a pioneering and controversial female mathematician who helped shed light on the molecular structure of proteins, was the first woman to receive a Doctor of Science degree from Oxford University, and embodied the cross-pollination of disciplines two decades before C. P. Snow’s famous lament about the “two cultures”:
“It is the artist’s task, through offering his best and most carefully prepared achievements, to educate the public, to ennoble it.”
This remarkable and beautifully illustrated 1902 guide to singing by German opera superstar Lilli Lehmann doubles as a thoughtful meditation on the art of learning in general.
“And I submit that this is what the real, no-bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out.“
David Foster Wallace’s only public views on life, in his exquisite and legendary Kenyon College graduation address.
“Our whole theory of education is based on the absurd notion that we must learn to swim on land before tackling the water. It applies to the pursuit of the arts as well as to the pursuit of knowledge.”
Henry Miller on books, creative influence, and what’s wrong with education.
On August 7th, 1974, shortly after the World Trade Center was erected, French high-wire artist Philippe Petit stood in front of the impossible and took it full stride as he walked 200 feet between the Twin Towers, 1,368 feet above ground, on a 55-pound balancing rope. Dubbed “the artistic crime of the century,” the feat took six years of planning. Petit — who never finished formal education — had to acquaint himself with the most esoteric details of engineering, architecture, and the physics of wind, among other preemptive intricacies. At long last, Petit tells his story of autodidactic learning and creative ingenuity in a broader context of how to live life with “patience and tenacity” in an age of silver bullets and shortcuts.
“We create the new not generally through some mad moment of inspiration in fictionalized accounts of ancient Greeks in baths… but by putting things together that do not normally go together; from taking disciplines… and seeing what happens when they are forced into unanticipated collision.”
Both a strong, pointed conceptual vision for the nature and origin of creativity, and a kind of activity book for grown-ups that invites you to learn how to implement the skill set of creativity through a series of hands-on exercises applicable wherever your creative journey may take you, from the studio to the classroom to the boardroom.
“Most people aren’t trained to want to face the process of re-understanding a subject they already know. One must obtain not just literacy, but deep involvement and re-understanding.”
“An expert is a man who has stopped thinking because ‘he knows.’”
Celebrating the greatest architect of all time with 10 of his most timeless quotes on education and learning, from this lovely pocket tome of 200+ notable FLW quotations culled from his published writings and his famous Sunday morning “sermons.”
From Russell’s A Liberal Decalogue — his list of the Ten Commandments that outline the essential responsibilities of a teacher.