Self-Learning

I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can optimally learn. Scroll down to see some of my thoughts on learning.

Concepts

I’ve realized recently that it’s impossible to learn everything. I know this is sad, but you need to accept this. Invest time into the things that are worth learning. If you don’t know, refer to 20 Years Old. Prioritize learning things that are important and urgent to you right now.

How do you know if you truly understand something? “If you cannot create it yourself, you do not truly understand” https://karpathy.github.io/2021/06/21/blockchain/ - Andrej Karpathy

If you’re not willing to be a fool, you won’t ever become a master.

Learn from everyone and everything. It is not enough to be a student at the beginning. It is a position that one has to assume for life.

Another thing is that I try to maintain the Day 1 Mindset. Never assume that you know more than you know. For a long time (and maybe still to this day?), I’ve suffered from the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Stay Humble. George Hotz talked about this recently.

Thoughts on Courses

I have found that YouTube university courses (MIT Opencourseware, Stanford, Berkeley Courses) are a lot more helpful than Udemy / Coursera courses.

I don’t know where I put my thoughts on learning through courses, but here is something:

  • If you don’t know something and jump straight into a project, it is extremely easy to get stuck. And when you Get Stuck, it is very difficult to get unstuck because you don’t even know how you get there in the first place. If you build a foundation first, you can better analyze the roots of the problem. And be able to debug. Else you are just a catastrophic failure.

The more I learn, the more I realize it’s less about the content and more about the teacher. You can get very similar content everywhere. Find a good teacher that gets you excited about learning these concepts, and make sure they really understand what they are talking about, and they are clear in their explanations.

“Move fast and break things”.

“The best / fastest way to learn is to break things”.

Learning Fast

How to learn VERY fast

Source: https://youtube.com/shorts/c0-dFnGlh2c?feature=share I heard this idea somewhere, and it’s revolutionary. Once you become very rich, you can reach out to specialists of an industry. These people aren’t paid very well sometimes.

You ask them how much they charge per client, and then offer to pay them an amount they can’t resist for 3 days of their time, where they share with you every single insight they have.

Ask them to share with you everything they’ve learned in the past 30 years of working in this industry. And because you’re paying them, they’re really going to value your time.

You can become the most knowledgable person ever, learning in 3 days what they learned in those 30 years.

Others

The physicist John Wheeler, who helped develop the Hydrogen bomb, once observed that “as our land of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our Ignorance“.

It takes a special kind of Humility to grasp that you know less, even as you know and grasp more and more.

Quote

The more you know, the more you don’t. Dunning-Kruger Effect.

The only thing you really know is that you know next to nothing.

Great Risks with Learning

With accomplishment comes a growing pressure to pretend that we know more than we do. To pretend we already know everything. Thinking that we’re set and secure, when in reality understanding and mastery is a fluid, continual process.

Science of Learning

The science of learning tells us that we retain better over long time. Ex:

  • Studying 5 languages at the same time for 5 years is better than studying one at a time, because we will forget

This is the idea of “Spacing”, for long-term retention. This is why it is so important to develop good Habits.

  • Life is not about learning as much as possible, It’s doing as much as possible -Peepnbrick. More doing with less studying.
  • Maybe you will be the next Da Vinci, and people will be learning from you.

Practice Active Recall

From Asap Science Youtube video, there are three concepts:

There are no disciplines. There is just the universe. The world is not structured by disciplines, it is just an amalgamation of different things together. So realizing how everything is linked together is how you are going to master understanding everything.

Elon Musk: Humans retain information that are important to them. We are incredibly good at forgetting things, since memory is very costly. So the best way to remember things is telling yourself that it is important to you.

  • Personal reflection: So you should maybe focus on doing Projects then?

Learning from university

In university, we learn more and more about less and less. -The Knowledge Project

Learning from School vs. Internship vs. Personal Projects

To copy paste what I told Serena.

Also spoke with this NVIDIA engineer, who interned at SpaceX vs. interning at a smaller startup.

  • His perspective: The more scope you get on a project, the more learning you gain

It’s not about how technically difficult a project is, as much as it is about gaining the confidence to tackle problems. That is what you gain through internship.

  • I am not convinced about this

Advice for Learning Physics

“Before finishing this chapter, we want to leave you with some suggestions for doing well in your study of physics. You only really learn physics by mentally interacting with the ideas. Do not skip suggested interactive activities— they are key to your learning. While the chapter summaries are valuable, you should read the entire chapter at least once. Pay particular attention to the learning objectives that specify what you need to learn in each section. Also, make sure that you can answer each checkpoint correctly before going on to the next section.

Remember that your goal in physics is NOT to remember a large number of relationships or algorithms for solving problems of a certain type. Rather, it is to get a sound grasp of a surprisingly small number of key concepts. These, along with expertise in the appropriate mathematical techniques, will allow you to tackle novel problems. Learning anything new, including physics, can, for all of us, feel frustrating at times, but the more problems you try on your own, the more your expertise will grow. It is important that you try the whole range of questions and problems, including conceptual questions, problems by section, the broader comprehensive problems, problems that involve data analysis, and the open problems that will require you to make reasonable assumptions and decide what is relevant to the situation. Interacting with others in a study group will help you master the material, as multiple viewpoints help us to see things in a more complete way.”

  • Physics textbook

Other tips

  • Read stuff that are annotated in code. Those are going to be easier to understand for you, for example CFR annotated by LabML

Personal Reflections

You can categorize measuring learning success in 3 different ways.

  • Understand conceptually
    • Obsidian
    • Flashcards
    • Study in groups and teaching others
  • Problem-solving
    • textbook problems, learn by failing
  • Generating new insight and apply to real world
    • Apply what you learn

2022-12-22: Was having this conversation with Joy who is studying in Medicine, and she was talking about working on storing the information on her brain, so it can be accessible super quickly, vs. me just writing all of this in a computer which can suck because sometimes in conversation, I know I have this information that I want to share but it’s hard to access it.

  • And medicine is a discipline that you want to have information on the go, like you don’t want a doctor who is pulling up his computer every 2 seconds to look up information, but yet maybe that is the better doctor? It’s a Psychological thing?