The Art of Unlearning | Scott H Young
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“It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
Most people think about learning as adding knowledge and skills. You now have a new fact in your mind that didn’t exist before.
The most useful learning isn’t usually a strict addition of new knowledge, but first unlearning something false or unhelpful.
When something contradicts your current understanding, you are likely to dismiss it. This may be adaptive in a world where a big part of the information you encounter is false or is constructed to manipulate you. Things that you don’t currently believe are more likely to be false.
However, this confirmation bias can make it harder to unlearn when that’s valuable to you.
Most of our false or doubtful assumptions about the areas that impact our lives are never examined.
We use these assumptions to operate, but because they aren’t actively reflected upon, studied or challenged, they maintain their full force, even if fairly simple arguments could overturn them.
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The biggest problem in life isn`t the problem itself, but how people act upon it.
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