Paul Graham: What You'll Wish You'd Known

Mám rád články Paula Grahama, protože ačkoli s ním na mnoha místech nesouhlasím, jsou vždy zajímavé a podnětné. Jeho nejnovější úvaha má název What You'll Wish You'd Known. Původně to měl být projev určený pro studenty jedné americké střední školy, ale protože Grahama nakonec na škole, kde ho měl přednést, nechtěli, tak text projevu skončil na webu.

Velmi stručné shrnutí poselství projevu by znělo asi takhle: "Nenechte se školou omezovat, snažte se sami najít co vás zajímá a zkuste v této oblasti něčeho dosáhnout. Nepromarněte svůj čas, budete toho později litovat." Ale to je opravdu hodně stručné, myšlenek je v textu podstatně víc.

A abych vás ještě malinko navnadil k přečtení, tak na závěr přidávám citace několika odstavců, které mě zaujaly:

The best protection is always to be working on hard problems. Writing novels is hard. Reading novels isn't. Hard means worry: if you're not worrying that something you're making will come out badly, or that you won't be able to understand something you're studying, then it isn't hard enough. There has to be suspense.

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If you'd asked me in high school what the difference was between high school kids and adults, I'd have said it was that adults had to earn a living. Wrong. It's that adults take responsibility for themselves. Making a living is only a small part of it. Far more important is to take intellectual responsibility for oneself.

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When I ask people what they regret most about high school, they nearly all say the same thing: that they wasted so much time. If you're wondering what you're doing now that you'll regret most later, that's probably it.

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One of the most dangerous illusions you get from school is the idea that doing great things requires a lot of discipline. Most subjects are taught in such a boring way that it's only by discipline that you can flog yourself through them. So I was surprised when, early in college, I read a quote by Wittgenstein saying that he had no self-discipline and had never been able to deny himself anything, not even a cup of coffee.

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A key ingredient in many projects, almost a project on its own, is to find good books. Most books are bad. Nearly all textbooks are bad. So don't assume a subject is to be learned from whatever book on it happens to be closest. You have to search actively for the tiny number of good books.

Jan 22, 2005 – 13:42

Comments

David Majda
Zvláštní, když jsem ten článek poprvé přečetl, říkal jsem si, že by to zrovna tebe mohlo zajímat :) Příště asi pošlu odkaz...

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