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Greg Jones

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Is a classical education, a prerequisite for innovation?

Is a classical education, a prerequisite for successful, meaningful, or useful innovation? Or does it only apply to certain narrow forms of innovation, or not at all? Can literally anyone have a piece of the so called American dream, or does it require years of classical education?

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  • Dec 17 2013: Absolutely it is, you see people without it, are basically dilettantes, who think and presume they know, when in fact they confuse those concepts with understanding. Unfortunately you'll find those people, mainly in countries with very little history, you know the kind that think something from the 1920's is an historical item.

    As for the American dream, it reality that's a fallacy, it always was, always has been, always will be. I don't expect many Americans will agree with that, but, who cares, it's not like the majority of people will ever achieve it. And that's the rub - flypaper.

    What's probably the an important point that's typically overlooked is that Americans tend to blow their own trumpet, re-write history through Hollywood and the media, and then start believing their own press releases. Where as the UK for example creates the first cloned animal, with very little money nor fanfare. Nor for Tim Berners-Lee and the creation of the internet (they'll try to sell you Al Gore did that :)). Same is true for the majority of Europe, quiet understated understanding and creation, underpinned by a real foundation of quality classical education.

    You could say well America created the Atom bomb, but what created the foundation for that and virtually every other invention, was the importation of talent from Europe. In the case of the Atom bomb, NASA that all came from Germany.

    Think of America as the adolescent child, who when they create something, have to scream "look at me, look at me", hopefully one day they'll grow up.
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      Dec 17 2013: Good point, the origin of innovation can be global, as you point out, the space program wouldn't be where it is if it weren't for Wernher von Braun, who also no doubt had a hand in producing many weapens of terror.

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