In the fifth installment in a series of episodes, The Knowledge Project curates essential segments from five guests revolving around one theme: learning and thinking. This episode will help you create an environment that’s more conducive to clear thinking, improve your intuition, learn the difference between the two main modes of thinking, examine the learning process, use “online experimentation” to develop good judgment, and eliminate blind spots in your thought processes.
The guests on this episode are psychologist and economist Daniel Kahneman (Episode 68), engineering professor Barbara Oakley (Episode 31), author and global macro advisor Adam Robinson (Episodes 47 and 48), economist and professor Tyler Cowen (Episode 39), and author and organizational psychology professor Adam Grant (Episode 112).
Here are a few highlights from our conversation:
Yeah, you should have low expectations about improving decisions. There is—one basic rule is slow down, especially if you have that immediate conviction, slow down. There are procedures.
I think a lot of times it’s just easy to say, “Great learning takes place when you use deliberate practice.” And so forth. But people forget about the fact that well, you gotta get to the table. You gotta not procrastinate before you even start using deliberate practice.
The best trick to overcome procrastination, as literally thousands and thousands of people from Learning How to Learn have told us, is the Pomodoro technique.
When someone says, “It makes no sense that…” really what they’re saying is this: “I have a dozen logical reasons why gold should be going higher, but it keeps going lower, therefore, that makes no sense.” But really, what makes no sense is their model of the world, right?
Until you’ve actually done something, learned it and mastered it and gone through the process of learning, you probably don’t really understand how to learn.
So, like, if I read a book now, you know, I’m 56 years old…It doesn’t matter what the book is. You’re bringing to bear your last 53 years of reading on the book, and most of your reading, you’re understanding results from your prior investment. So that’s the way to read well, is—you know, stick around on this earth and keep on reading. That’s by far the best advice I think. Keep at it, stay alive.