How much farther would our understanding of math and science be if we had been able to record all that was ever written in history? A lot of traditional medicinal practices fade with globalization, and many libraries burned throughout history. How much knowledge was lost? Could we have cured Alzheimer’s or cancer by now?
Is the trend of successful innovators retiring from entrepreneurship to focus on investing actually robbing the world of their talent and potential contributions?
Imagine if Elon Musk hadn’t founded SpaceX and instead began investing in his own space-tech firm. Wouldn’t the private aerospace industry (really, the entire aerospace industry) be much worse off or stagnant for longer? (h/t Geffen for this question)
Is it harder to become a polymath today than it was in the past? How can we encourage more of it? I wrote about this topic here.
Why do learning disabilities or neurological and cognitive conditions such as ADHD or autism produce some of the most brilliant minds on the planet?
Picasso, Van Gogh, Sir Richard Branson, Dean Kamen, Jim Carrey, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Henry Cavendish, and more have some condition that made them stand out as the brilliant people they are.
Why do some industries collateralize debt and sell it for a fraction of the cost?
The numbers don’t add up. If the chances of the person requesting the loan paying back the loan are so low, why are banks and companies giving it to them anyway? It doesn’t make sense for them to hand over that money if they’re going to collateralize the loans and sell the debts for a fraction of the amount they loaned out later on.
How can cities be more accommodating to families?
Apartments and condos can maybe suffice a family of four or five, but usually nothing larger than that (unless you’re cramming 10 people in an apartment meant for 4). Streets take up more space than sidewalks, which causes parents to anxiously worry about whether their kid got hit by a car walking to school or playing outside. Pollution is a problem, too, as is crime.
Why are some people more willing to learn than others?
Children are naturally curious, but why do some children grow up to be adults that like to learn more than their peers?