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The most useful learning

The most useful learning

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.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

Most of our false or doubtful assumptions about the areas that impact our lives are never examined. 

  • Straightforward refutation of the old idea. This complete refutation is atypical. More likely the new knowledge doesn’t contradict the old one, but it may modify it in some way.
  • The new knowledge revises a simpler picture by filling it with more complex details. This is...

  • Seek additive knowledge in familiar areas and then use that new knowledge to start pulling up and modifying old knowledge.
  • Seek other people’s experiences of the world. Travel, in this way, can be a potent form of unlearning.
  • Be more varied and bold in your...

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. 

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