Tag Archives: classics

The Benefits of a Classical Education

Asked by Forbes about his Classical education, Tim O’Reilly discusses at length lessons learnt from the classics that have influenced both his personal and business life. A great post looking at how the classics not only influence culture, but the adoption and adaptation of technology.

The unconscious often knows more than the conscious mind. I believe this is behind what Socrates referred to as his inner “daimon” or guiding spirit. He had developed the skill of listening to that inner spirit. I have tried to develop that same skill. It often means not getting stuck in your fixed ideas, but recognizing when you need more information, and putting yourself into a receptive mode so that you can see the world afresh.

This skill has helped me to reframe big ideas in the computer industry, including creating the first advertising on the world wide web, bringing the group together that gave open source software its name, and framing the idea that “Web 2.0” or the “internet as platform” is really about building systems that harness collective intelligence, and get better the more people use them.

The comments on this post are also definitely worth your perusal, especially Tim’s response to someone asking him if he’s influenced by Marcus Aurelius.