“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be... - Deepstash
Alvin Toffler
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” 

ALVIN TOFFLER

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MORE IDEAS FROM THEARTICLE

Bad learning = brain damage

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. 

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Assimilate or Accommodate

When we are exposed to new information, we adapt to it in one of two ways:  

  1. Assimilation — We use our existing base of knowledge to understand a new object or situation.  
  2. Accommodation — We realize that our existing base of knowledge does not work & we change it to deal with a new situation.

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. 

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Dunning - Kruger Effect

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.”

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The Halo Effect

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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When it comes to knowledge, think like an investor

Most information out there will be outdated in months, and it will be a bad strategy to base your knowledge on easily perishable blocks.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. 

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Junk learning is like a disease

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. 

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Over-specialization can limit us

Being too specialized can hurt future learning if done alone. Supplement by spending more of your time learning fundamental knowledge that doesn’t change. 

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Confirmation Bias is not Learning

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. 

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How Learning Works
Learning is a circular process: 
  1. Taking in information, 
  2. Reasoning with that information
  3. Experimenting in the real world, 
  4. Getting feedback ...

... and then taking what learn to go through the cycle again. 

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Our 🧠 physically changes when we learn

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. 🤯

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Assuming that all learning is inherently good
Just like eating McDonald’s doesn’t make us healthier, “junk” or “fake” learning doesn’t make us smarter. In fact, this kind of learning actually makes us dumber.

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RELATED IDEAS

Healthy skepticism
Healthy skepticism does not mean you’re dismissing everything as false — it simply means remembering the things you hear or read in the media could be false, but they could also be true. Or they could be something in between.

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Brain activation goes down as you learn

The better you get at a skill, the less of your brain is being used actively.

As you learn something, your brain wires more specialized circuitry for solving the problem with less effort. Using less of your brain is an advantage, since that is more efficient.

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Decision-making works like a muscle: as you use it over the course of the day, it gets too exhausted to function effectively.

One way to avoid this is to eliminate smaller decisions by turning them into routines.

For example: Steve Jobs famously wore a black turtleneck to work every day. Mark Zuckerberg still dons a hoodie. Doing so frees up mental resources for more complex decisions.

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