After my parents' divorce in the early seventies, I grew up with my mother, who wasn't super educated herself. But there were a lot of kids from the subcontinent in the neighbourhood, many of whom were academic achievers. So my sister and I grew up around them, and both of us did well in school.
The math you need for most of finance is ninth-grade algebra, and most people feel reasonably comfortable with that. But I think the financial world there has been - I don't know if it's by design, or this is how it's evolved - there are bad actors who have wanted to obfuscate because you can benefit from the lack of transparency.
A lot of times, when kids have problems with algebra or trigonometry, it has nothing to do with the subject matter, has nothing to do with their innate intelligence. It's just they that they had some gaps in elementary school that they never got to fill in.
I grew up with plenty of smart people. They would beat me at chess; they could solve brain teasers before I could, but then they would struggle in algebra. These were incredibly smart people who simply did not have the foundation in math that I had.
Education is not an end to itself. You need to know algebra but also how to navigate the world.
Formal education must change. It needs to be brought into closer alignment with the world as it actually is, into closer harmony with the way human beings actually learn and thrive.
It's an old idea. It's arguably the first way that people learn, that, hey, if you need to learn something, if you're having trouble with it, keep working on it until you master it and then you go to a more advanced concept. But in the education systems that all of us grew up in, we all learned at a fixed pace.
The whole reason why we have this kind of assembly line model of education that we inherited from the Prussians, is they were the first people - it's a very egalitarian motive - to say how do we educate everyone.
Some of the beauty of a university is that every professor is given a lot of autonomy over what he or she does. That's also what makes it very hard for even a very forward-thinking president to change courses.
I've already got a beautiful wife, a great son, and a house. What else do you need?
Being a billionaire is sort of passe.
The single most important personal finance decision you make is your career.
What you have in most education software is that they're catering to the decision-maker who makes the budget allocations, and that decision-maker has a lot of check boxes. Does it do this? Check. Does it do that? Check. They could care less about the end user experience.
I'm big fan of soulful music - classic rock with a folk-ish twist.
Louisiana was as close to South Asia as the United States could get: it had spicy food, humidity, giant cockroaches, and a corrupt government.
The ancient universities was not as based on how many credit hours you're taking and whether you've completed your credit hours. The ancient universities were much more interested in customized, personalized learning... Where you have a mentor and where you're learning at your own pace.
Just as computer science is missing from our school system, so is science fiction.
Sometimes I think people confuse rote learning with traditional conceptual instruction.
A good traditional conceptual instruction is what I got from my better professors at MIT. They would be at a chalkboard, and they would literally be explaining something and working through a problem, but it wasn't rote. They were explaining the underlying theory and processes and intuition behind it.
People in the media and press often say they've never been good at math. It might be that people that consider themselves creative didn't consider themselves good at math or didn't find math interesting at those early stages. And those creative people are disproportionately represented in those influential roles.