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If It's Important, Learn It Repeatedly



If It's Important, Learn It Repeatedly
A little more than a year ago, a friend took me for lunch in downtown Toronto, and we talked mostly about what we'd been reading. Immediately afterward she marched me to a nearby bookstore and insisted I buy Cal Newport's Deep Work.


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Learning and repetition

When we only learn something once, we don’t really learn it ( or we don't learn well enough for it to change us much).

It may inspire momentarily, but then becomes quickly overrun by the decades of habits and conditioning that preceded it.



Religion and repetition

Religion and repetition

When it comes to teaching important ideas, religion makes extremely effective use of repetition.

If an idea is important, they teach it again and again. If it’s important, it warrants learning repeatedly. Our secular education systems have consistently failed at this.


Repetition and context

Bringing a truth to mind repeatedly gives it an enduring existence in your head, by reaching you in every mood and every context, both at times when you’re enthusiastic about it, and when you’re tired of hearing it.

Gaps are being filled in. Different details strike you as important.



Setting work goals

  • Set goals at regular intervals and give yourself enough time.
  • When you think you might not meet a goal, take a step back to asses the situation.
  • Be transparen...

Goals should be aspirational

If you fail to meet them, you probably set difficult ones for yourself.
Goals should inspire you to stretch yourself. If you hit all of your goals every time, they might not be ambitious enough.

Secularism's Rise is Halted

A Social Sciences prediction that all cultures would converge and become something resembling the secular, western liberal democracy has proven to be false.

There is a shift in many countries...

A decline in Religious Belief

  • Religious belief has seen a steady decline across the world.
  • Close to 30% of people in Australia claim to have no religion, and countries like western Europe report low levels of religious commitment.
  • Even in the U.S., the number of atheists has risen to 3%.

David Martin

David Martin

"There is no consistent relation between the degree of scientific advance and a reduced profile of religious influence, belief and practice.:

Writing and thinking

...Writing and thinking have always been a sort of ‘chicken and egg’ issue: which comes first – do I read and think and then start writing, or will the thinking only really come wh...

Writing: turning ideas into practical things

‘Writing’ is the formal processes that turns nebulous ideas into a concrete proposal that can be assessed without the author's intervention.

The writing process

  • Step 1: Messy, Informal, Scribbly ... Write down anything that jumps from your research or any crazy thought.
  • Step 2: Creating a Skeleton for the paper. Come up with sections, subheadings.
  • Step 3: Crystallise core arguments. Use stickies to make it more visual.
  • Step 4: Add the words. This is where most people start with, but it succeeds only because of the previous steps.