WASHINGTON POST | Polymaths, bumblebees and the 'expert' myth

Some of the smartest people in the world economy are twenty-somethings who dropped out of school. But if you ask politicians and policy wonks on both sides of the aisle, dropouts are synonymous with “lost opportunity” and “failure.”

The conventional wisdom, after all, is that the only person who should tackle an important problem is someone who has made it successfully up the educational fish ladder. This includes 12 years of an excellent grade school, 4 years in, preferably, an Ivy League undergraduate college, two to six years of post-graduate work for some extra initials after their name, and then, hopefully, a little pragmatic experience.