Elon Musk - How To Learn to fix a car (and Anything)


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Nov 28, 2014
Steilacoom, WA

Elon Musk - How To Learn Anything​

Interesting video as Elon uses a car as a key part of this eight minute video. He states colleges teach us about car service by teaching us about tools, instead of focusing on the actual car.

My lovely Wife sent this to me, in hopes I would use the video as a way to teach our Grandsons about how to learn.

"Learning new things can be daunting sometimes for some people, and some students struggle throughout their academic careers. Elon Musk might not have been the best student back in the day, but his breath of knowledge and his quest to learn new things, amazes almost everyone. In this video, Elon Musk explains what is the fundamental problem in our education system, and how should students be taught at school. He also shares different approaches that could be applied to learn almost anything!"

This video is worth watching. It somewhat confirmed something I said to my parent way back when and that was that I felt that I had learned everything I needed by the 9th grade or so. The rest of high school was just pass and review. Of course I learned new things all throughout my years afterwards but mainly on an apprentice style of learning versus book.
Yeah, Elon thinks walks a different path than we have been taught to walk. That's why his cars are different. That's why he has reusable space rockets. That's why he dares to consider a tiny chip connects to the brain through the threads, which are thinner than a human hair and are barely perceptible with the human eye.
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I think I’ve just found my hidden context and eliminated my negative programming. I’m a gracenote success story!
i was homeschooled, and working hands on (like actually keeping a budget or actually fixing something) is how i learned a lot of stuff
Some things cannot be taught, especially a way of thinking. I would wager most schooling actually inhibits an open minded thought process.

When you spend years being forced to memorize all sorts of things, most of which are useless and will never be used outside of the school walls, I think it does have an effect on your mind.

That is probably why the ultra rich have their own private schooling systems or they are the ones that skipped schooling altogether.
My experience is different, so I disagree a little.

In my day we had auto shop in high school. After some book work, etc you had a old car engine on a stand that ran. On the first day you ran the engine for a few seconds to prove it would - then the goal was to take it completely apart, mic everything, and then put it completely back together and get it to run again.

Friend of mine and I - both our dads were gearheads, fired ours up then tore it completely down the first day. The shop teacher came over, looked, and said "tomorrow I will have a real job for you". From then on, every class the teacher would have some old junk car that belonged to a friend or other teacher and we would fix it - under his guidance if needed. On the last couple days we were told to put our engine back together and get it running, so we did.

A significant number of the kids in that class spent the entire year looking at their engine, doing almost nothing, and not getting it running again.

I am pretty sure that teacher was maybe the smartest mechanic I ever met. I say maybe because my dad can fix anything also. But most of the kids didn't bother taking advantage of the opportunity to learn.

You can only lead the horse to water.
There should be a balance between learning the fundamentals or "tools" and real-world applications like good internships. I'm having the opposite issue that Elon is explaining in the video where I started a pretty decent IT admin job but catch myself lacking in some areas that should be basic computer networking fundamentals so I'm ending up learning backwards.

In the end though, it really depends on what the person wants to do in their life. Some jobs/careers may not require college and can be mainly learned on-the-job, some greatly require college courses and degrees, and some are fine with a 50/50 blend. The best thing out of any choice though is having a competent leadership that can explain the process of how things are done.
Elon gets bored with group think. I agree college requires you (teaches you) to complete a task, which is critical.
Schooling can also give you a sound foundation to build upon; that, along with a few inspiring teachers, is what it did for me.
With the Internet, you can learn anything you want. We live in an amazing time.
People who wants freedom and open mindedness must have disciple, or else they would just slack off and fail. I think the US education compare to Asia are more open and has more freedom, and as a result you will get more extreme on both the successes and failures in the population.
I don't think he is right or wrong in his viewpoint. Every education system is different in every state. I doubt he has been to every school district and observed how classes are taught, students are "guided"; much less each district or school's corporate culture, along with school board guidance/directives.

I think he is viewing a narrow, generalized segment of education and making a sweeping generalization. Not all schools or educators work the way he discusses.

His viewpoint is his. It's only relevant because he is a billionaire, who came from money. I doubt his thoughts would matter one bit if he wasn't wealthy.