We are occupied here mainly with discovering the XO learning machine and the Sugar education software, and with the occasional hints and explanations required for their less discoverable functions and features. When we come to the uses of XOs and Sugar in real life, and the uses of what one can learn, we enter the domain of much more difficult discoveries such as the questions, "What should I do?" "What is most important, most worthwhile?" These questions are as hard as possible, and inherently have no right answers, although there are numerous religions and ideologies that pretend to have all of the answers for everybody. They also depend on the questions, "What is real?" "What is true?"
In fact, everyone has different abilities and is in different circumstances, and thus should do something different. What is essential to prosperous US citizens is often worse than irrelevant to poor people in developing countries with corrupt governments.
Many people have given useful hints for approaching these and other such questions. Here is a small sample.
Existing curricula contain a useful set of topics for many of the activities of life, including employment, engaging in civil society, and even answering questions that don't have answers, but by no means a complete set. Topics are omitted for many reasons, including convenience of adults, religion, ideology, and culture, whether today or when the curriculum was originally written. Children are deliberately kept ignorant of much that is most important. Unfortunately various ideologies, religions, and curricula pretend to have all the answers, or all the answers that matter.
"What does who want, Alexandra?" Miss Maudie asked. "I mean this town. They’re perfectly willing to let [Atticus Finch] do what they’re too afraid to do themselves—it might lose ‘em a nickel. They’re perfectly willing to let him wreck his health doing what they’re afraid to do, they’re—" "Be quiet, they’ll hear you," said Miss Maudie. "Have you ever thought of it this way, Alexandra? Whether Maycomb knows it or not, we’re paying the highest tribute we can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple." "Who?" Aunt Alexandra never knew she was echoing her twelve-year-old nephew. "The handful of people in this town who say that fair play is not marked White Only; the handful of people who say a fair trial is for everybody, not just us; the handful of people with enough humility to think, when they look at a Negro, there but for the Lord’s kindness am I." Miss Maudie’s old crispness was returning: "The handful of people in this town with background, that’s who they are." Had I been attentive, I would have had another scrap to add to Jem’s definition of background, but I found myself shaking and couldn’t stop. [Jem's definition:] "Background doesn’t mean Old Family," said Jem. "I think it’s how long your family’s been readin‘ and writin’. Scout, I’ve studied this real hard and that’s the only reason I can think of. Somewhere along when the Finches were in Egypt one of ‘em must have learned a hieroglyphic or two and he taught his boy." Jem laughed. "Imagine Aunty being proud her great-grandaddy could read an’ write—ladies pick funny things to be proud of." Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
That means that we need to discover what else we should explore, a process that has occupied many of our ancestors since prehistory (while others, alas, sought to prevent such discovery). This is much too large a topic for this little guide, but again, I can provide some hints.
Children, and adults, too, need furtheir hints about what is worth learning. How people use what they have studied, for example. Accounts of how people discoverheied what it is that they needed to know, and how they learned it. Suggestions from other students, from teachers, from family and friends about how to improve some of their work. (As opposed to a teacher marking answers Right and Wrong, and teaching nothing in the process.)