Naval Ravikant Reacts to the Current Education System

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The Knowledge Project

Aside from being an Angel Investor and advisor to over 100 companies, Naval Ravikant is also a deep thinker. So much so, in fact, that he's been nicknamed "The Angel Philosopher." Included in those topics that he thinks deeply about is education. In this video, he explains the roots of the current education system and explains some major flaws with how schooling is done today. ---- ABOUT THE KNOWLEDGE PROJECT Like the mentor you’ve always dreamed of having, The Knowledge Project shares timely yet timeless lessons for work and life. Past guests include Naval Ravikant, Daniel Kahneman, Jim Collins, Angela Duckworth, Seth Godin, Melanie Mitchell, & Esther Perel. SUBSCRIBE for full episodes and clips highlighting actionable lessons and profound wisdom from guests ranging from Nobel Prize winners to CEOs of the largest companies in the world and everything in between. Get early access and episode transcripts: Subscribe to the podcast: Apple Podcasts:​ | Spotify:​ | Google Podcasts: ---- FOLLOW Instagram:​ Twitter:​ Shane Parrish: Newsletter: Facebook:

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Video Transcript:

What's your opinion on the current education system when i asked people on twitter what they wanted to ask you this question came up a couple times which was um you know how would you fix it what's your opinion on the education system what are your thoughts around that i think there's no question it's completely obsolete the education system is a path-dependent Outcome from the need for daycare from the need for prisons for college age males who would otherwise overrun society and cause a lot of havoc the original medieval universities had guard towers that face inwards for example um yeah because you you have to put a curfew and then you need to lock up the young uh 18 year old males before they go out with swords and daggers and you know create trouble so college and schools and what the way we think about them they come from a time period when books were rare knowledge was rare babysitting was rare crime was common violence was prevalent there was no such self-guided learning so i think schools are just Byproducts of these kinds of institutions and now we have the internet which is the greatest web of knowledge ever created completely interconnected so it's very very easy to learn if you actually have the desire to learn everything that's on the internet you can go on khan academy you can get mit and yale lectures online you can get all the coursework and get interactivity you can read blogs by Brilliant people we can read all these great books so it's so the ability to learn the the means of learning the tools of learning are abundant and infinite it's a desire to learn that's incredibly scarce so i don't i just don't think that schools matter for self-motivated students what the schools matter for is one is to keep the kids out of the parents hair while the parents go to Work it creates socialization because kids want to be around their peers and they want to learn how to operate society of their peers but i think if it's purely learning you're after that learning can be done much more either on your own or through the internet or by uniting through the internet with like-minded groups so i think that's one problem with the Current educational system the second problem is what do you choose to learn and the current educational system has to have a one-size-fits-all model has to say well you have to learn x now and then you have to learn why um and you know to give you examples of where this is obsolete memorization right in the day and age of google and smartphones memorization is obsolete Why should you be memorizing the battle trafalgar why you should be memorizing what the capital of this or that state is but we still put undue weight on that just because that's the way it's always been done and we've lived in a pre-google world another example is how when we're moving along at a certain pace i'm sure every not everyone but i'm sure 90 of your Listeners have had this happen to them which is they were learning mathematics and at some point they were they were keeping up they were doing arithmetic and they were doing geometry then they did trigonometry then they precalculated the calc and somewhere in there they got lost somewhere in there while building the massive edifice the logical structure that mathematics is they missed one lesson they missed one Concept they missed five classes or they just didn't they just their brain couldn't think a certain way that something was being explained to them it should have been explained visually but it was being explained numerically or it should have been expressed symbolically and it was being explained in cartography but what have you but they were not able to keep up and The moment you lose that wrong in mathematics the moment you miss that wrong of the ladder you can't go to the next one because now the next one the teacher's like okay we're done with pre-calculus now we're moving on to calculus you're saying wait i didn't understand pre-calculus and i understand how pre-calculus leads from trigonometry to calculus i missed that whole part so now you get the Calculus you don't understand the fundamentals and now you reduce their memorization so now you're like okay dxdy when i see that symbol i do this but now you've lost the actual learning you've lost the connection to the underlying principles so i think learning should be about learning the basics in all the fields and learning them really well over and over because life is mostly About applying the basics and only doing the advanced stuff in the things that you truly love and where you understand the basics inside out but that's not how our system is built we teach all these kids calculus and they walk out not understanding calculus at all when really they would have been better off served just doing arithmetic and basic computer programming the entire time So i i think there's a pace of learning issue and then there's finally a what to learn and there's a whole set of things we don't even bother trying to teach we don't teach nutrition we don't teach cooking we don't teach how to be in happy positive relationships we don't teach how to keep your body healthy and fit you know we just say sports We don't teach happiness we don't teach meditation maybe we shouldn't teach some of these things different kids will have different aptitudes but maybe we should maybe we should teach practical uh construction of technology and and uh you know maybe everyone in their science project instead of building a little chemistry volcano uh Maybe you should be building a smartphone right uh so we just haven't kept up and i have to believe that we can change the system but we're not but you never you never change a system by taking the existing thing and reworking it i don't believe i've been in silicon valley in tech business long enough to know that you're better off changing it just by creating something brand new You

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