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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Learning, what does it look like for you?

    Learning, what does it look like for you?

    I'm wondering because I'm not currently studying for any qualification but I'm interested in knowledge per se and learning things, if there were general studies course available at any of the local night techs or colleges I think I'd take one maybe but there arent.

    The thing is learning, here at least, is treated like a passport to work or means to another end, such as employment or profit/revenue, and I'm interested in it in a more broad life long thing.

    I've been thinking recently about created more tightly time managed schedules for reading and other learning related pursuits, what do any of you think? I'm interested in anything which anyone has tried successfully to learn anything new.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Something that helps me learn long term is sort of submerging my self in the thing I'm learning. Mind you I'm much more of a humanities person so usually this means just studying multiple people from a time period plus music and politics or the time, books ect. Trying to situate what I'm interested in into the big historical story. If I break it down into "this was caused by this and so this happened and then and the. And the. And then" it works for me.

    I had to learn how a tattoing worked on my own and I'm not particular mechanical. But I read through a couple of my anatomy books, couple of online articles, watched videos, watched documentaries on famous tattoo artists, looked up hisyologu al pictures, looked through online records of a few museums. Basically just casting a wide net to get where I'm going. Eventually I found a description of how the modern machine works but then I had to go back and find more writing and videos of certain physics ideas. Then I started drawing pictures in sequence till I got it. Again making a narrative.

    I think if I broke it into regimented peices I would have a hard time. I like to get all the info and then look at the peices. Partly because with don't do we'll with regimen and partly because it junk the info would be too disconnected in my mind

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Open a book: read. Open a website: read. Open a magazine: read.

  4. #4
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    Open a book: read. Open a website: read. Open a magazine: read.
    you forgot the other important component... always ask questions... you never know what you'll learn where!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  5. #5
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    I acquired a very systematic and modular approach to learning from taking martial arts most of my life. In my favorite system we have basics, techniques, sets, and forms (each is distinct but the names mostly arbitrary). Basics are specific stances, punches, kicks, foot maneuvers, etc. Obviously they're what the rest are built on, as well as building on each other, i.e. the proper stance & footwork are necessary to make a strike efficient. To really get the basics down you have to practice them in numerous ways, i.e. learning to do a kick off both legs, from both the front side and the back, combining with different maneuvers and other strikes etc.
    The sets are just specific ways of practicing a particular thing. For example the first set you learn is Blocking set 1, which consists of doing 6 of the 7 blocks you will have learned by that point in a specific order.
    Techniques are preset sequences of basics that usually done with a partner, and are mainly meant to illustrate various ways to tie basics together, so that you can better improvise in sparring or a real fight using those concepts. As you progress you are expected to modify existing techniques and make your own, to improve your understanding of the concepts. Example: Your partner throws a punch, you have to step away and block, then kick them in the groin, which will bend them forward into your chop to the throat. The main concepts being action/reaction and collisional energy.
    Forms (what a lot of other styles/systems call "Kata") are mainly about demonstrating your knowledge and typically have 1 or more underlying themes. Example: Retreating, blocking, and countering.
    The best part is when you get to put all this into practice in sparring and freestyle drills. This is where the modular thing comes in. Obviously you're not going to be performing a pre-coreographed routine, that would be a technique or 2 person form. You have to use all those modules on the fly, stringing together basics that work against what your training partner is doing, hopefully with the proficiency acquired from forms and sets, and using the principles learned in techniques.

    My experience has been that the same strategy can be applied to most things in life, academic, occupational, artistic, etc. The smallest building blocks of the subject at hand are the basics, any rote memorization you have to do to is similar to the sets, broader things that you learn by putting the basics together are like the techniques and forms, and getting to actually do it "on the job" and improvise is like sparring (or getting into a real fight, if you're unlucky).

    Edit: Of course this requires having a good source to learn from, but I was focusing more on the cognitive process, which I assume was the main aim of the question.

  6. #6
    Glycerine
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    you forgot the other important component... always ask questions... you never know what you'll learn where!
    Along that grain, I also try to think of the information in other context to see how it can be applied.

  7. #7
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Learning, what does it look like for you?
    Rather than learning new things, learning is learning to change one's mind.

    It is an acquired taste and leads through disorientation, cognitive dissonance, emotional pain and leads to who knows where?

    It is not for the faint hearted, rather it is an adventure from which we may not return, and if we do, we will not come back the same.

    Bilbo Baggins is just about to set off on an adventure in the new movie, "The Hobbit", and we all wait with baited breath to see what happens.
    Last edited by Mole; 12-11-2012 at 11:39 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    you forgot the other important component... always ask questions... you never know what you'll learn where!

    What I usually learn when I ask questions is how other people think. That's about it. One of my fav docs once said, "Jag, you can ask 5 doctors the same question. Your job is to figure out which one knows what the hell they're talking about." Lol. I love his honesty.

  9. #9
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    I feel that organized, result oriented learning by a schedule is not the most optimal way of learning. That's the workforce style of 'learning factory' learning.

    Why is this important?

    Well, because everything begins with the small steps and is not done until it is finished. If you go by tight schedule or curriculum, this can often put you ahead or behind where you actually need to be for optimal understanding.

    It's all in due time. You'll learn things as you learn them and not a moment sooner. This is why there's the proverb that the impatient do not learn quickly - because they actually don't, if they're trying to go faster than their ability.

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