How to Get Smarter Without Knowing Anything

Ryland G on June 17, 2019

I often find that when people discuss "intelligence", they are actually talking about "knowledge". Confusion of these terms is responsible for awfu... [Read Full]
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I really like this article. I've had similar ideas for a while. In Europe in the middle ages, books were rare and very valuable. If you wanted to read a book, say about medicine, you'd have to travel to the monastery that held that book, possibly for weeks or months. Then, if you were deemed worthy enough, you'd get access to the book. If you wanted to take that knowledge back with you, well, there was nothing for it but to memorize the whole thing!

I imagine that this put a great premium on people who could memorize long pieces of text by rote. Such a person could travel through the world and dispense the best-known wisdom of the day, such as medical advice, by referencing all of the knowledge they'd accumulated. I think this perspective has influenced education, and society in general, for centuries, and still lives on in the systems and attitudes that we've got today, even though the world is very different in this sense.

 

Thanks for the kind words about the article.

In Europe in the middle ages, books were rare and very valuable. If you wanted to read a book, say about medicine, you'd have to travel to the monastery that held that book, possibly for weeks or months. Then, if you were deemed worthy enough, you'd get access to the book. If you wanted to take that knowledge back with you, well, there was nothing for it but to memorize the whole thing!

At the library of Alexandria, every ship that came into port was forced to forfeit their books. The books would be taken and copied very quickly, and then the copies would be returned to the ships.

In Europe in the middle ages, books were rare and very valuable. If you wanted to read a book, say about medicine, you'd have to travel to the monastery that held that book, possibly for weeks or months. Then, if you were deemed worthy enough, you'd get access to the book. If you wanted to take that knowledge back with you, well, there was nothing for it but to memorize the whole thing!

I completely agree. At that time religious representatives (priests, clergy, rabbis etc) were often the only ones who knew how to read (aside from the very wealthy). I think this represents a level of classism that still exists today!

 

I thought you must have made a typo in saying that the copies were returned to the ships. But no! It seems that indeed, they kept the original versions for themselves and those hastily made copies were actually returned! At least I guess they didn't have illuminated manuscripts yet back then! That would have hurt I think!

 

Thanks for the great post!
I want to add that it's really important to find the information with good balance of complexity/accuracy which is suitable for you right now.
For example, when I know nothing about a subject, I add "eli5".

I'd like Google to have such buttons
google search

P.S. Every time I read your post, I check my internet connection speed because of .gif avatar ๐Ÿ˜‚

 

First off, thanks for taking the time to read my post. I'm really glad you got value out of it.
dev.to/karataev/comment/c598
I completely agree with your comment, and with your permission, would like to update the post with a quote referencing it. We were just talking in the office today about how Twilio does something like this in their onboarding.

P.S. Every time I read your post, I check my internet connection speed because of .gif avatar ๐Ÿ˜‚

There's a reason I named it "dialup.gif"

 

Sure, I'd be happy if you update your post with my comment!

 

"I'm a student" might bring in more than one gender, and also - pet childhood peeve - recognise the act not the actor i.e. that they are studying.

 

Wonderful article.

I don't have a lot of insight to add other than to tell you that I took some avid notes. I appreciate you articulating your learning process in such a bite-sized manner. What you covered here is extremely valuable and will certainly take discipline to fully implement. The way you wrote it makes me feel as though it is approachable. Congrats on a very well written article.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and will read it again, multiple times.

 

Thanks for such a kind comment. I appreciate the way you articulated the aspects you liked about my post, because you thought of an aspect I hadnโ€™t (haha)! Iโ€™m glad you enjoyed it, thanks for taking the time to read.

 

Great article! ๐Ÿ‘ I thoroughly enjoyed it! Although in terms of keeping up to date with the hippest memes and what not is hard to do depending on the type of person you are. For example I am not a meme person unless someone shows it to me I will not actively look for them since I have no interest to.

 

So glad to hear you liked it. I agree that things change fast and sometimes itโ€™s very hard to keep up with trends. I recommend creating some methods to quickly go through the most important trends (through a twitter list or custom reddit).

I also donโ€™t care for memes but sometimes keeping up with that stuff is critical.

 

Back around 2015 I applied for a journalism grant to study the impact of memes on public debate, and potential positive impact on news flows.

My application was rejected on the basis that it lacked sufficient academic "vigour".

Weird flex for a journalism app, but okay - four years later memes have had a huge impact globally, and continue to do so, as an example of what the author - hi Ryland ! - rightfully suggests.

As for trend monitoring, suggest twitter and reddit, maybe fed through email so it just becomes part of the yeah-yeah daily flow?

Interesting story, there would have been some serious material had you been approved for the grant.

I think memes are unfortunately just a reflection of how global culture has shifted in recent times. Memes epitomize the low invest, high reward model that drives modern news and information distribution.

I use both twitter and reddit, although ironically, twitter is horrible out of the box. Reddit just makes it so easy to minimize the time it takes to find the information you want.

Iโ€™d love to hear more about your efforts. Also thanks for reading and leaving a great comment.

 

This is a really good article about becoming wiser when it comes to looking for solutions. Instead of memorizing everything, it is indeed better to have the ability to look for answers, comprehend them and apply them to the problem. I like how you've not only given tips for acquiring information but also on how to learn it quickly.

 

Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad it resonated well with you.

 

The healthier part is very true. To be honest I have gained weight over the last couple of years, not as active as I used to be and I don't sleep more than 5 hours. I have noticed the impact on learning and attention span. So I need to turn it around.

 

The hardest and most important step to getting healthy is identifying that there's a problem. It seems like you're already past that which means you can progress quickly.

Don't change anything about your current routine, just slowly add positive habits. For example, start exercising each day, but change nothing else. Eventually, the exercise will improve your mood/health enough that taking on another habit is literally easier than it would have been before. Repeat.

Do this enough, and you can take back control from the inside. It's just key not to overwhelm yourself, the brain rejects changes that are too drastic. Instead, trick your brain by slowly changing over time.

 

Ah. An article on the importance of being wise.

 

I'm glad it came across that way! Hope you enjoyed it.

 

Totally agree with you. Intelligence is not about having knowledge but about being able to find answers.

BTW: I also use reddit, there are many interesting communities there.

 

Reddit is a coin toss. Sometimes really good, sometimes not so much. Glad you liked the article, thanks for the kind response.

 

It's Not 1429; it's 1492.

Ahem..., wouldn't seem too smart with that typo.

 

It was honestly just a random year. Wasn't talking about Columbus

 

This article is well written, and quite honestly spot on with what it says.

 
 

Really amazing article. Thank for your effort. Learned a lot.

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