Tutorials

There are 2 kinds of tutorials. The first kind is the one that gives you the fish, and the second kind is the one that teaches you how to fish. During development, I have caught myself facing the same errors even after looking up a solution to a problem on stackoverflow. Understanding the framework and the problem in question is key. Tutorials failing to do that fall into the first category. One of the most efficient ways to learn something is by doing it and seeing it for yourself. The second kind of tutorials are really good at hiding the “actual” doing part within it’s tutorial. Making it more of a learning session rather than just following a set of commands on the terminal, just to forget it the next time.

Learning by Example

This is one of the most common ways we learn and grasp new ideas and concepts. Right from an early age we are taught by examples. Our brains are good at making an analogy and generalizing among the examples we see. However, in the real world this can backfire. Looking at history gives only an inkling in that respect as to what the outcome of a future situation might be. Learning by example is inherently flawed for random systems as we are only exposed to a limited number of samples. It is common to reach to conclusions immediately based on what we know. But depending on the system or entity that you thinking about, it might be good to revisit the conclusion. When it comes to mathematical equations or the laws of physics, analogy usually works. The underlying systems are stochastic and predictable. But if you are dealing with the stock market or a relationship. Especially, in the topic of humans. Humans are messy. It is rare to see situations and circumstances repeat itself. It is even rarer to see people reacting to it the same way as last time. Think again, might help.

Don’t finish that book

It is a skill to understand when to stop reading a book and switch to another one. Not finishing a book is not a sign of failure, rather it is a sign that you value your time even more. Reading non-fiction books in a serial way, i.e. one book after another is also quite inefficient. Reading a few books and jumping between them helps keep the interest level high. However, there might be advantages of sticking with a book in the case of fiction, especially when the story draws you into a whole another world and you develop a connection with the plot and the characters.

Consistency vs. Intensity

There exists 2 schools of thoughts when trying to pursue something new. The first suggests that trying to learn something and improve even by a small bit but being consistent is the way to go. The latter suggests that you should be trying to progress when inspiration strikes and sit quiet otherwise.

Consistency is like training for a marathon, you run consistently starting with short distances and slowly building your way to a marathon. Intensity is when you get thought or an idea that gets you excited and you open up a blank sheet to pen it down.

Consistency is good for breeding a habit, while intensity is probably better to take advantage of those phases of clarity. Consistency is boring, but small wins motivate you. Silent periods are demotivating and it can be quite easy to fall out of what you were trying to do in the first place.

Evolving Content

There are lots of content out there, in many different formats. Tweets, Snaps, Blogs, Articles. What if they could evolve over time. And present itself in it’s new form to you every once in a while. And the time period between each generation is in line with the forgetting curve. A content delivery format which has spaced repetition built into it. Spaced repetition is one of the scientifically proven ways to remember something.

This gives rise to a new type of social media that is fundamentally built to make you remember more of it. Something like Anki, but combined with a infinite feed of social media apps. This could make a very good medium for educational material. Material that does not require the immutable property of twitter. And each update for educational material can add more facts so that it links better in your own tree of knowledge.