Our culture celebrates originality and creativity. We want our students to think for themselves, not blindly follow tradition, authority and received opinion. After all, doesn’t science, art and politics depend on us all coming to our own answers?

I definitely support the idea of coming to your own beliefs about things. But the way we do it isn’t how it is often portrayed. Thinking for oneself means, first, grappling with a lot of thoughts of other people. Creativity depends on copied insights. Originality is built from mastery.