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Genius Stifled, 5/12
No more miracle years?
I still don’t think I fully understand why these miracle years keep showing up in the lives of great scientists, except that it has something to do with them being young, concentrating intensely on the right problems, and remaining open to fresh perspectives.
Given how many of the great scientific discoveries have come about during miracle years, we should do everything we can to help smart Twentysomethings have an annus mirabilis. We should free them from rote menial work, prevent them from being overexposed to the current paradigm, and give them the freedom to explore far-fetched ideas without arbitrary deadlines or time-draining obligations.
It’s depressing that I have just described the opposite of a modern PhD program
It is possible that freedom and mentorship promote genius, and that formal education stifles it. That does not mean that formal education is bad for everyone. But it may be sub-optimal for the most talented.