WWOTS 004: Learning How To Learn


After a summer break Mike and Jon return to discuss their travels in Peru, California, and Ireland, new jobs, settling into a new city and country, the American educational system, how we learn, the distinctions between skills and knowledge, how society deals with failure, life long learning, and a some recommended reading.


What we did instead of recording:

Shrugging at a waterfall

Making faces at a river

Taking in the Sierra Nevadas


Skills versus Knowledge


Rote memorization


Improving Memory:Mnemonics; Narratives; Spaced Repetition Systems


Questions if you want to learn marine biology:


How do you learn that?

What do you do?

What techniques do you use?

What materials do you use?

How do you determine how good those materials are?


Not just teaching information but teaching people how to learn information


We know how to learn skills:

1) Look at skill

2) Break it into its component parts

3) Practice those parts

4) Reintegrate them

5) Practice them together


Thinking: look at information, understand it, and break it down

Learning: retain new information, develop a new skill, understand concepts


People are ashamed of failure, is it just part of the process of learning


How do interest and curiosity affect memory?




Book - Getting things done - David Allen - Introduction to thinking about Organization and task management


Article - Some Of My Best Friends Are Germs - Michael Pollan - NY Times - Microbiome and immunology