Foundations you should build - Deepstash

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

Foundations you should build

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 higher, go deeper. You may be hitting the ceiling with your improvement in a specific area. The only way to get better is to do more foundational work.

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Speed and transfer

Consider at what speed you should try to do things in order to improve performance.
We can often learn something quickly, but without attaining a master level (like getting good at esti...

Failing to Reach an Ideal

There are two problems you can encounter when you're trying to learn something.

  1. You have a clear understanding of what you'd like to do and how you're going to do it, but you're unable to implement the approach you've chosen. Slow things down so you can pay more attention to every aspect of the problem.
  2. Speed learning is effective when you're not sure what the ideal should be and need more information to work it out. A good example of speed leading to move closer to quality is in entrepreneurial fields. Many fail because they picked the wrong problem to solve and wasted too much time trying to solve it.
Going faster vs doing it right

The balance between going faster and doing it right depends on what you're trying to achieve.

  • Faster feedback means more information to find out your key challenges and possible solutions.
  • Slower helps you focus on a strategy you've chosen, allowing you to execute it correctly.
There are 2 broad approaches to self-education 📖
  • Learn-as-needed approach. You have a problem that needs solving, so you go and learn the things that will solve your problem. 
  • Learn-everything-you-can approach. Pi...

Skills and knowledge transfer far less than we would expect them to. So “broad-based” education is mostly a myth. What we learn is usually specific and often stuck to the contexts where it w...

Skills and knowledge transfer far less than we would expect them to. So “broad-based” education is mostly a myth. What we learn is usually specific and often stuck to the contexts where it was learned.

Many times it’s not obvious that knowledge can solve a problem until after you’ve acquired it. Unlike physical tools, mental ones are effectively invisible until after you’ve already learned them
Many times it’s not obvious that knowledge can solve a problem until after you’ve acquired it. Unlike physical tools, mental ones are effectively invisible until after you’ve already learned them
Mark Twain

“It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Mark Twain
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.

Types of Unlearning
  • 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 similar to adding new knowledge, although because the older, simpler view of the issue has been overwritten with more detail, there is some unlearning going on.