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A knock on the head isn’t the only way to “impair” our brains. Brain damage can be caused by anything that physically changes our brains in a way that makes us less intelligent or functional. Like a lot of self-learning: news or superficial articles that confirm our biases.
Researchers found that certain parts of the brain of London taxi drivers who completed the training process were significantly larger than aspiring drivers who dropped out of the training program.
This shows that the training program was the cause of the growth. 🤯
Each new thing we learn is like adding a new brick to a building and then cementing it to other bricks to create a knowledge structure.
When we’re collecting bad ideas, we are adding shoddy bricks on a poor foundation. Our reasoning is going to be bad and we will suffer.
Most information out there will be outdated in months, and it will be a bad strategy to base your knowledge on easily perishable blocks.
The strategy here is to consume information that has passed the test of time. A classic book will be more valuable than the latest New York Times №1 bestseller. Don't consume, invest.
In learning any new domain, our confidence is actually highest when we start. Dunning and Kruger found that when we don’t know what we don’t know, we overestimate our abilities.
As philosopher Bertrand Russell famously put it: “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”
When we only hear opinions that confirm our beliefs, our learning is incremental at best. Like our social media bubble: We read the same sites, listen to the same friends (who agree with us!), and watch the same news over and over, which only confirms what we already believe.
We learn the most by proving ourselves wrong, not by proving ourselves right.
When we are exposed to new information, we adapt to it in one of two ways:
Jean Piaget, one of the greatest psychologists, showed that we grow our knowledge when we transform our thinking to be able to accommodate external knowledge that doesn’t fit.
It's a cognitive bias that makes us trust a person’s advice in one area of life simply because they are an expert in another area.
It’s like buying a Lincoln car because Matthew McConaughey drives one in a Superbowl ad. Or listening to a famous painter giving her grand plan for re-engineering society.
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