2 minute read

I was having a chat with someone the other day about how we, as individuals, learn. Some people - smarter people than I, as weak a qualifier as that is - can probably just absorb material by reading it. However, I really do think those people are few and far between. I think most people are just like me and only really by doing.


Well, to be clear - I can absorb a few facts from reading a news article. It helps if it’s interesting, directly, but indirectly too because I won’t be fucking around with super auto-pets or some other game, every few minutes. That’s great, but if the material to be learned is complex - like learning a programming language, a new math idea, etc - I think the vast majority of people need to read, digest, write, re-read, discuss, do practise programs/problems/whatever, in order for the lessons to really hit the brain in a way that won’t wash away the next day.

And even when they do - a bit of it will fade away. So you have to practise a bit every day, the way that a body-builder lifts weights. I’ve heard great things about Anki and spaced-repetition systems for doing just this.


So, here we are. You might be like me, sometimes deluding yourself, thinking that you’re reading something for a reason besides idle entertainment, when really you aren’t getting uncomfortable and working - and therefore not really learning in any substantial way. Honestly, you might as well just be playing super auto-pets.

I guess that’s why I write this blog.