Stephen Wolfram Q&A

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Some collected questions and answers by Stephen Wolfram

Questions may be edited for brevity; see links for full questions.

March 5, 2012

From: Reddit AMA

Was there anything you wish your parents had done differently to make your early education smoother as a child? What about social skills?

I think Wikipedia may overstate the difficulty of my education 🙂

I went to some very good schools in England, and typically did rather well. However, starting from probably age 8 or so, I ended up learning the things I was really interested in outside of school, from books, etc. (I wish the web had existed; it would have saved an awful lot of bicycle trips to a library).

I guess I never had much trouble with “self esteem” as such. I had a self image of being a “science type”. And that made it a little more difficult to realize that I could and should do things like starting companies.

I think it’s often challenging in the educational system for people to understand with clarity (a) what they’re really good at, and interested in, and (b) what kinds of niches there are in the world. Too often, people get tracked according to what they happen to do well at early on, and never think outside. In that model, I would have done much less interesting things…

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