What next indeed!


No cultural shift has been more consequential than when some societies decided that the ideal way to prepare an individual for social life is to keep her in school for 15 years of her life or more.

Modern society prizes cognitive development more than any other type of human development. We are not deemed ready to live with others until we’ve spent a big chunk of our lives rearing our brains. And for most of us in the West, it means spending many years of our lives surrounded by books and people who point us to more books.

The book experiment is extremely recent at the scale of human evolution. Yet the acceleration of visual learning in our culture is remarkable. Five hundred years ago, having access to a book was expensive at best and exceptional at worst. Today, most of us could afford putting together a small private library…

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