So here is the thing: we often argue to support universities and higher education saying that maybe un-schoolers can be effective in fields like marketing or business, but you cannot study rocket surgery at home. Maybe not. But for sure you can build a fusion reactor at the age of 14 with some help from the internet:

 


He was a curious kid who found a community “building stars” in the basement. In websites like Fusor.net, the process of building is discusses throughout with excellent introductory materials. With their help, it this curious kid could succeed and now solves homeland security problems and has a nuclear program for that the US would carpet-bomb his country if he wasn’t American.

My point is not that kids can change the world (though they can I guess), but that with right zeal and right community background one can learn and make things zillion times faster than with any institutional treadmill. Frankly: I am a radiochemist by trade. I never though about experimenting with fusion, but if I were and following the traditional education model, I would be about 10-15 years behind this kid. I would finish university, go to PhD, do some post-doc and when I am preparing for tenure track or similar position that allows individual research then I start looking for the recipes building a reactor . Most probably not on he internet, so I may have delay also trying to invent the wheel based on scientific literature. So don’t try a bypass surgery on your dog based on YouTube videos, but try almost anything else!

Educational experience is all around me! Or is it Christmas? .. 🙂

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