If you watch little kids, they are intensely curious, always exploring and trying to figure out how things work. The problem is that school drives all that curiosity out. Instead of letting you explore things for yourself, it tells you that you have to read these particular books and answer these particular questions. And if you try to do something else instead, you’ll get in trouble. Very few people’s curiosity can survive that.
My ongoing diatribe against our current system of public education happens to coincide nicely with this quote. While Mr. Swartz has suffered a rather ignominious fate at the hands of the justice system (and ultimately by his own hands), I am discovering more and more about the intelligence of the man, and I am a little more than saddened by his loss.