The Value of Learning "Useless" Things | Scott H Young - Deepstash

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The Value of Learning "Useless" Things | Scott H Young

scotthyoung.com

Directness in learning

If you have a concrete objective (speaking a language, passing an exam), how you practice should match the intended use.

An extension of this idea is that learning broadly is a bad idea - that you won't remember "useless" knowledge. But this is false. Having an ext...

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We tend to think of skills reasonably broadly, but our skills are very specific.

Direct learning minimizes the chance that we will focus on learning information unrelated to our actual goal.

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The magical "intuition" for hard subjects we notice in people like Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman is owed to their extensive knowledge base they could draw from.

The broader and more varied the situations you need to perform in, the broader your knowledge base should ...

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Direct practice is not the opposite of deep understanding.

A naive approach to mastering, for example, physics problems, is to continue practising exam questions. But practising limited exam questions is not the same as the range of problems you will find in the real world...

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In improving your knowledge base, you're not optimising for a specific goal, but all future learning goals.

  • Read more textbooks and less popular books.
  • Take more online classes on fundamental topics.
  • When you can't build hig...

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