It’s been a pretty amazing hour.

“How you deal with stupidity is the most important part of how you learn.” – Charles Nesson, following a sad story about a dog giving up.

His point was that people “learn stupidity”, or rather learn that they are stupid, and when things don’t work for reasons that aren’t their fault, they believe that it is due to their own incompetence. And overcoming all of this is essential to learning.

I think this is the most important thing I’ve heard in a long time.

And right before class, I was at a Berkman Luncheon where Doc Searls, the new Berkman Fellow and the guy who wrote “The Cluetrain Manifesto”. He gave a talk about the language and the metaphors we use when talking about the web and how they affect policy. It was a really, really amazing talk on the power of metaphors in how we think, one of my favorite topics. Very enlightening.

And in that room during the luncheon, there sat Dan Bricklin, inventor of the spreadsheet. Yes, the SPREADSHEET. There sat the executive director of the Tor project. There sat all the other Berkman fellows, all extremely interesting and accomplished people, not to mention some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. And yesterday, I discovered that John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the EFF and former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, is a Berkman Fellow.

Wow. What an awesome place.