3.15.2022

“You can’t learn when you think you already know.”

For a cloudy sunset it was still very pretty

If you do not know how to play the guitar it seems very hard to learn. If you see someone who can play the guitar it may seem like they know a great deal about it. But if you ask a good guitarist they will often tell you they know very little. If you ask a great guitarist they will tell you they know even less.

Learning is the great paradox because nothing can be learned without the realization of there being much more to learn. The act of learning itself creates more to learn. Pretty clever design.

I have had a passion for learning my entire life. It was largely extinguished through the systematic trauma of the public school system. My spark was defended by a few remarkable teachers for whom I will be forever grateful. I learned that learning, as with any skill, can be developed through the exact same principles which allowed me to accumulate muscle mass and athletic ability.

Start simple, repeat efforts by the thousands and thousands, and adapt.

Learning is sustained through humility. I find 2 things to almost always be true. Things are much more complicated and nuanced than can ever be assumed at first observation. There is always an overlooked simplicity to be discovered.

Take rocks for example. I know that they come in varying textures and what not. I know there is a science of geology dedicated exclusively to rocks. But when I spend even a moment thinking I could possibly comprehend the scope of what is known about rocks I laugh. Go give Amazon a search on geology books. Look up rocks on Wikipedia and see how many links you can get through. They can tell you everything about rocks. They can look so deeply at rocks they can tell the past. When it was formed, what it is composed of, how it ended up where it was found. They show us what animals from eons ago looked like. I could write for years and never scratch the surface of even a single Geologists PhD thesis. We are studying rocks we collected from other planets. My only flex is being able to pick out good skipping rocks.

Lifelong learning is where good and great part ways. The good apply gained knowledge, the great relentlessly pursue more.

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