On the Essential Usefulness of Gurus

I think that it’s great to inspire new generations of thinkers; it’s terrible to create new authority. 

I think it’s important to have people who inspire people to think.  But it’s really, really bad to have gurus who you look for the answer from because I think the key is, you want people to question authority for yourself. 

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The Promise of Affective Computing

Affective computing is really about instruments helping us understand what a person is feeling or what’s going on inside of a person and in a very un-invasive way.  

Affective computing is one group at the MIT Media Lab that is doing a lot of work around sensing things like your heart rate through cameras or your expression through facial expression recognition or through your skin conductivity.

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The World Needs More "Anti-Disciplinaries"

The world has a lot of is deep areas of expertise; what the world lacks today is agility and context. 

A lot of the different departments are encouraged to work together at MIT, but each department is relatively focused on going very deep in particular areas, like computer science or radio, whereas the Media Lab is very multi-disciplinary in a different way in that we have only one of every kind of faculty.  

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Is Interest-Driven Learning Right for Me?

I would argue that probably there are more people like me who learn through interest-driven learning or through building things than young people who can kind of plan their future and execute against it. 

I dropped out of Tufts, I dropped out of the University of Chicago and I wasn’t even that good at high school. I didn’t have a good time.  I didn’t learn that much.  But I think it has a lot to do with your personality as well as the area of your interests. 

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