On assimilating knowledge

by look i have opinions

“How could what was so simple for me be incomprehensible to other people? My proud father suggested ‘being clever’ as an explanation. But I was painfully aware that some people who could not understand the differential could easily do things I found much more difficult.

“Slowly I began to formulate what I still consider the fundamental fact about learning: Anything is easy if you can assimilate it to your collection of models. If you can’t, anything can be painfully difficult.”

—Seymour Papert in his foreword (PDF) to Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas