You can do better

“I think I understand you now”, she said. “You actually do think in metaphors.”

It was summer in Brighton. A time of white washed walls and high-ceilinged apartments. A lofty cavernous-ness awash with light. Outside the wind tugged ferociously at our coats and walking against it felt like a perpetual struggle uphill. We sat in a café with a name that might have been “The Black Cat”, on bare wooden benches that felt both warm and stark – a Scandinavian aesthetic that would be everywhere soon – and I listened as your words poured out in a babbling golden stream – a torrent of enthusiasm that went over my head as often as in my ears – words I can’t recall but so dearly wish I could, because I can’t help but believe they would somehow make me better. Ideas, dreams, lines of thought I’d never explored, and so rarely did without prompting from you.

These are the precious people. The ones who make you feel horrifically under-read, under-stimulated, under-achieving. For every self-help/ life-coach/ self-proclaimed saviour out there who tells you to surround yourself with people who make you feel good enough as you are, I would rather have a hundred Myas, a hundred Jameses, a hundred Janes. An intelligentsia army to remind me that we are each capable of waging a tireless war of self-improvement, that humanity can do better. That you can do more.

So fuck you, Michael Gove. Fuck you for making it sound reasonable to “have had enough of experts”. Fuck you for making it seem acceptable to set your bar at ignorance. Fuck you David Cameron for ever having put such a man anywhere near the education system.

And for everyone else, check out Free online courses from the world’s best universities. Learn something new. Outdo yourself.

Start now.


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