Lego blocks can serve as a rudimentary metaphor for all the higher creative processes, such as writing or musical composition, pretty much anything. The process is the same. You have your blocks: words, notes, a palette, whatever, and you assemble them into a cohesive unit, a work of art.

When I was a child my parents were very thrifty. My Dad especially. He loved yard sales and flea markets. In a way, I think my mental development benefited quite a bit by this.

When I got legos, I never got them in neat little boxes or sets, from Toys R Us, I got them in big plastic bags, a clinking, plastic miscellaney. Eventually, I had my own phat cardboard box, full of them. They came in many colors and sizes. I even had a few of the flat green lawn pieces, wot pass for lawns in the mysterious, atari-resolution land of lego.

I loved them. I made houses, spaceships, castles, bridges, and many structures that defied classification. I found a beauty in the simple, logical configuration of the blocks, and was amazed that so many different things could be built out of such a small assortment of pieces. And, of course, they were obviously superior to other blocks, since accidentally bumping my creations didn't spell the end for them.

Later, when I'd already been playing with them for years, I learned that they most commonly came packaged in boxes, with the pieces required to build one thing and step by step instructions for building it. It didn't make much sense to me; following instructions was for grown-ups.

When you consider that the mind is very malleable early in life, it's easy to understand how constant exposure to a certain way of doing things will influence you as an adult. If you play the piano all through childhood, you'll be better than if you never played it. If you have talent behind you, you might even become a musical genius.

The creative process works this way, too. If you give a child a bunch of different stuff and say, "build something". And the child does it repeatedly, then he should enjoy a greater ease with creativity later in life. He will be more inclined to be open-minded, and think on his own terms.

However, if you do the same thing, providing precise instructions, and tell the kid, "this is the right way, do it like this", you'll probably encourage poor waif to have others think for him.

Many public schools teach that there is one right way to do certain things which can be done a million different ways, simply because it's easier for the teacher to grade the child when there's only one correct response. This is done quite often in mathematics, for instance.

Such teaching may prove detrimental to the creative process, and ultimately, result in something of an automaton, who, although talented and skilled, simply obeys without question.

Now why would the government want that?

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