Your fortnightly nudge away from the status quo, Consider This #51.
Allow me make three guesses about you:
- You consume other sources of non-fiction than Consider This—books, articles, podcasts, videos, classes, etc.
- You consume this non-fiction to learn.
- You wouldn’t mind learning more in less time.
Not the wildest guesses, I know.
But presuming these three things are true about you, it’s worth asking yourself this:
Wouldn’t it make sense to reconsider the relative proportions of each source of information in your learning diet?
Doing so may help you learn better.
Reformulate Your Information Diet
In my case, I recently reformulated my media diet with regard to book summaries.
I’ve always looked down on book summaries as a way to learn.
To be honest, I also looked down on people who paid for them.
But then someone I don’t look down to, Dana (He’s a good source for learning how to learn languages, by the way), told me he’d mixed book summaries into his information diet.
This made me second-guess my book summary snobbiness.
So I set out to research the pros and cons of book summaries.
Unfortunately, there were no good books on the topic. So I settled for articles, comments, Reddit threads, and even using my own brain.
And because my brain works best with simple things, I came up with three analogies:
- Travel: Reading a book is like renting a long-term Airbnb in a foreign location. Reading book summaries is traveling to tick boxes.
- Nutrition: Books are like home-cooked meals. Book summaries are like nutritional supplements or Soylent.
- Exercise: Book summaries are bicep-curl-esque isolation exercises. Books are compound exercises like squats.
In all analogies, I favor the former. But in no cases do I snobbishly ignore, look down upon, and avoid the latter.
Because quick trips, isolation exercises, and supplements can be useful. And so too, I realized, can book summaries. Not to replace books, but to complement them.
So I’ve started mixing in book summaries for:
- Discovery. Skimming the surface of new topics in search of books to dive into it.
- Reinforcement. Comparing my book notes to the summarizers’.
In summary, I’m pretty sure my slight information diet reformulation will help me learn a little bit faster.
↳ Read More: Book Summaries Aren’t As Bad As I Thought
Consider This Challenge
- What’s your typical information diet formulation?
- How does that differ from other people you know?
- And is there any way you could potentially adjust it to learn better?
Then try it. See if it helps.
- 🌍 Smarter to be news-less? Imagine the world was twice its size. Would you consume twice as much news? Why or why not? (See more thought experiments that helped me reduce my news consumption.)
- 🙅 Not so stupid. When was the last time you changed your mind and found value in something you used to think was “stupid”? If you don’t have a recent answer, maybe it’s time to find one.
- 🏋️♂️ The best-est way to learn? Like many people, I learn best through analogy. And I’ve gained a deep understanding of these analogy sources through experience. So maybe it’s better to spend less time consuming info and more time doing things.
- 📺 More YouTube? A surprising thought on reading from renowned bookworm Tyler Cowen: “YouTube is in many ways becoming more potent than books.” He thinks he’s underutilizing YouTube for learning. Me too, I realized. You? (PS, Please subscribe to my channel)
Keep it unconventional,
Next Consider This: You can’t do anything you put your mind to.
Keep Challenging Your Status Quo
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