Rice University logo
Top blue bar image
Computer Scientist at the Department of BioSciences, Rice University

The genius in All of Us

Excerpt of Moira Gunn’s interviewing David Shank on his book The Genius in All of Us:

DAVID: This is all about how to fail. Growing up is all about failing and learning from the failure and developing a good attitude about that. If we tell kids that they are just really good at stuff because they’re born that way, that is a disaster emotionally because they are like “oh. I’m good. I don’t don’t wanna try stuff that feels bad or difficult because I’m just good this stuff and I just stick in that, you know, I’ll just stick in that area”.

MOIRA: You were talking about parenting earlier. One thing that you talk about that I think is really important is, don’t attach love or affection to achievement. [emphasis added]

DAVID: Yeah, this is a, uh, it actually turns out to be a quite a good recipe for creating prodigies, if that’s what you want. You know, if you want someone, what you do is, you get the short term pay off of kids earning that love and affection through this incredible hard work of becoming good at something. And ┬áthen they turn into adults, and they don’t know what love is, and they don’t know what human relationships are, because they’ve been taught about this transaction, which is very, it is very harmful.

Link to MP3 file of the interview.

Leave a Reply