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Most People Think This Is A Smart Habit, But It's Actually Brain-Damaging

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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Most People Think This Is A Smart Habit, But It's Actually Brain-Damaging

Most People Think This Is A Smart Habit, But It's Actually Brain-Damaging

https://seminal.lpages.co/most-people-think-this-is-a-smart-habit-but-its-actually-brain-damaging-mm24d/

seminal.lpages.co

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Key Ideas

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. 

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. 🤯

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.

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. 

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. 

Alvin Toffler

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.” 

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Most information out there will be outdated in months, and it will be a bad strategy to base your knowledge on easily perishable blocks.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

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.”

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. 

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. 

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.

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. 

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Mental Models: Out of Box Thinking

Mental models are the various thinking frameworks that are used to understand life, make decisions, and solve problems.

Just raw intelligence is not enough to solve problems. A different or a...

Mental Models: Examples

A mental model is an explanation of how something works. They are beliefs, worldviews or frameworks of thinking. You carry a certain kind of thinking in you to arrive at a solution to a problem.

Some examples:

  • Demand and Supply: to understand the economy
  • Game Theory: to understand trust and relationships
  • Entropy: to understand disorder and decay

Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari

“Scientists generally agree that no theory is 100 percent correct. Thus, the real test of knowledge is not truth, but utility.”

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This Day Is Your Entire Life

This Day Is Your Entire Life

What we are doing today, how we master the present day and how good we are in living each day, is the key to master your weeks, months, years and your entire life.

We start our days acc...

Today Is The Future

Most people keep planning, visualizing and imagining their future life as if they are watching some other person live it. That person is you. If you intentionally live each day, perfecting and maximising your vision of the future, instead of killing time or just living a bread and butter, day-to-day existence, you steer your life towards the direction you want.

We need to act like the person we wish to become, as we are what we do all day.

What Your Brain Needs To Thrive

  • Nutrition: We are what we eat, and having a good nutritious diet, full of green vegetables, nuts and seeds goes a long way. Avoid processed foods at any cost.
  • Oxygen: or fresh air is a primary need of the brain. Any daily exercise routine is best for brain health.
  • Information: The brain needs information to process, preferably high quality and diverse. Active learning, along with continuous mental challenges that get the cylinders firing is the way to nourish the brain and form connections. True learning reframes our entire mental model and helps the brain evolve.
  • Love: What keeps us happy and healthy is good, loving relationships, and the care and touch of loved ones.

6 more ideas

Healthy skepticism

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. O...

Find out who is making the claim

When you encounter a new claim, look for conflicts of interest. Ask: Do they stand to profit from what they say? Are they affiliated with an organization that could be swaying them? Other questions to consider: What makes the writer or speaker qualified to comment on the topic? What statements have they made in the past?

The halo effect

Is a cognitive bias that makes our feeling towards someone affect how we judge their claims. If we dislike someone, we are a lot more likely to disagree with them; if we like them, we are biased to agree.

2 more ideas