084 On "learning how to learn"
School conflates passing of exams with learning. Emphasis is made on the procedure of teaching (to pass exams), rather than the result of learning.
But the product of actual learning is due to interest, and an active recreation of knowledge inside of one’s own mind through the process of conjecture and criticism.
It is not a result of absorption or of downloading information into one’s head. It is also not a result of force.
Force can impel people to mug up and so be able to answer any question in an exam (among various other things, of course). But broadly, force only hampers the growth of new knowledge.
Learning is curiosity-driven and interest led. People naturally want to learn. We do not have to “learn how to learn”. Perhaps the reason why some seek to do so is that they went to an institution called school where they were taught how not to learn.
Following your interests is a much more pleasant and natural and creativity inducing way to go about learning and creating new knowledge.
The Amazing Things & Ideas List
1. What I’m reading
A bonus section from The Almanack of Naval Ravikant on education.
“Free education is abundant, all over the Internet. It's the desire to learn that's scarce.”
— Naval Ravikant
2. Clip I’m rewatching
“It is said that science will dehumanise people and turn them into numbers. That is false, tragically false…”
3. How can it?
4. On the nature of a bureaucracy
“In the summer of 1959, as in the summer of 1957, I worked as a clerk-typist in the headquarters of the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington. The people I worked for were very nice and I grew to like them. One day, a man had a heart attack at around 5 PM, on the sidewalk outside the Public Health Service. He was taken inside to the nurse's room, where he was asked if he was a government employee. If he were, he would have been eligible to be taken to a medical facility there.
Unfortunately, he was not, so a phone call was made to a local hospital to send an ambulance. By the time this ambulance made its way through miles of Washington rush-hour traffic, the man was dead. He died waiting for a doctor, in a building full of doctors. Nothing so dramatized for me the nature of a bureaucracy and its emphasis on procedures, rather than results.”
New Podcast Episode
#14 – Don Watkins: Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand, Epistemology and Wealth
Don Watkins is a fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute. He is the coauthor, along with Yaron Brook, of Free Market Revolution and Equal is Unfair.
We discuss the virtue of selfishness, why sacrifice is bad for the world, epistemology, wealth, progress, happiness, and much more.
Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
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