This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

How do we learn the things we value most

Sebastian Fiedler turns up some interesting thoughts about knowledge and learning in How do we learn the things we value most?

We often present and treat codified "knowledge" as if it is the product of some mystic process, well beyond normal life... that has nothing to do how we generally operate. Then students around the world try to memorize, for example, the 6 or 9 or 12 steps of the developmental model of some psychologist, without any intentional attempt to connect this abstraction to their own experiences, and without an evaluation of what this abstraction was meant for in the first place. Especially in human and social sciences this is a terrible failure. Disconnecting the abstractions and generalizations from the historic, social and biographical context of their origin creates indeed an delusion.

We have this idea that knowledge can be wrapped up in a neat little package, captured and handed out at will.  But it becomes clear as we think about it, that this is not possible.  Or, as Seb clarifies, certainly we can write stuff down, Gutenberg did wonderful things for society in giving us the ability to record and disseminate.  But the act of writing it down and all the work behind figuring out what to write down are just as critical as the resulting text or other record.  To fully appreciate what has been written, people need to absorb it and make it their own.  Try out new theories, play with the ideas, test them, talk about them, think about how the ideas fit with what you already know.  This is the heart of lifelong education.

Seb's thoughts were spurred by a lengthy post from Brian Alger which was motivated by a post from Dave Pollard

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