This Week I Learned #11

Here are some of the things I learned this week, when I wasn’t biking or basking in the sun.

  • Why books—and other traditional methods of knowledge transmission—don’t always work (link)1. It is no coincidence that this essay resonated with me a great deal—learning is a topic that’s very near and dear to my heart. Most of the skills I use today to do my job are self-taught, and learning languages was and is still a big passion of mine. Andy expands on the idea that without additional metacognitive skills, reading books is insufficient to acquire knowledge and understanding due to the flawed transmissionist model that they are implicitly based on.2
  • Speaking of reading, I picked up the latest work of Shūzō Oshimi, わだち (chi-no-wadachi, Trail of Blood, 2017–ongoing), and I wasn’t disappointed. What starts out as a run-of-the-mill slice of life quickly spirals into an unsettling psychological thriller with some of the most nail-biting moments I’ve experienced in the format. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, give it a shot (日本語, English).

  1. I’ve had the pleasure to interact with Andy Matuschak, the author of this essay, when he used to work on UIKit at Apple. He was kind, helpful, and profusely generous with insider knowledge that helped me improve some of the articles I wrote on thoughtbot’s blog. I stumbled across his website this week and I am really looking forward to more of his work in the field of learning and cognition.
  2. As a matter of fact, “This Week I Learned” is a metacognitive tool I concocted to help me remember the new concepts, ideas, and techniques that I learn during a given week.
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