The traditional markers people use for hiring can be wrong - profoundly wrong.
In 1958, my father graduated from secondary school as the highest-achieving student in the state of Kansas, earning a five-year scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He turned it down. For someone raised in a remote farming town, this would have been his opportunity to transform his life, a ticket to a bigger world.
There are neural networks that can build whole apps from scratch - so why are we teaching high school kids to code?
The tax on being different is largely implicit. People need not act maliciously for it to be levied. In fact, at its heart is a laudable sentiment: 'prove it to me.' The problem is that we are requiring different levels of proof without realising it.
If my son came to me years from now and told me, 'I'm gay,' I'd say, 'That's wonderful. I'm so glad you know who you are.' But if he said, 'I want to be a woman,' I would say, 'Ahhh. This is gonna be hard. Let's get started.' Because it doesn't matter that that's where happiness lies - it's on the other side of a lot of struggle.
Why did I go back to school? After working with giant snails as the manager of an abalone farm, who wouldn't be fascinated with the inner workings of the mind? They are a very contemplative species.