There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.
What makes the computer’s representation special is that it can be manipulated so rapidly without direct human intervention. Once the program is determined and the machine set to work, the electrons fly until an answer is produced. An abacus can produce an answer mechanically by means of a person who unthinkingly slides the counters according to the rules. And yet the very fact that a human being is needed to push the counters suggests a close link between man and machine. The abacus is a tool rather than a machine, for it extends human technical capabilities while remaining intimately under human control. A machine runs more or less under its own control, with its own sense of purpose and its own inanimate source of power.
It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.
An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn’t take his education too seriously. You see, from the time a person is six years old until he graduates form college he has to take three or four examinations a year. If he flunks once, he is out. But an inventor is almost always failing. He tries and fails maybe a thousand times. It he succeeds once then he’s in. These two things are diametrically opposite. We often say that the biggest job we have is to teach a newly hired employee how to fail intelligently. We have to train him to experiment over and over and to keep on trying and failing until he learns what will work.