The Power of Literacy (and unguided reading)
Rich Hua stashed this in Interesting Facts
I never realized.
Two hundred years ago, the government of Sweden changed everything: They required all their citizens to be literate. It transformed every element of the culture and economy of Sweden, an effect that's felt to this day.
I know. Amazing, isn't it? Perhaps not surprisingly Sweden is the #1 or #2 best country to live in (depending on who you ask).
Yes, it's amazing. And Godin makes a good point here:
Teach someone to read and you guarantee that they will be able to learn forever.
Teach an entire culture to read and connections and innovations go through the roof.