Abhinav Marwaha

Ramblings on the world.

29 December 2021


Lately one question is bugging me. Why do we even have to learn for our entire lives? I mean sure the world is dynamic and there will always be something at the edge of knowledge that will keep us up at nights.

But new data isn't exactly new information, new information isn't science, science isn't engineering, engineering isn't business and business is not always intrinsically value-driven.

And I have sort of realized that we are better doers than we are thinkers and explainers. We can essentially learn by doing and create awesome things but sometimes we can't exactly explain everything ( sort of a compiled program that we have lost the source code of )

Learning is good not just in its consequences but in itself i.e. it brings us pleasure. (Though the data can be useless)

"The world is dynamic" argument somewhat fails when the knowledge that we need often is very condensed and action-driven that is often laid down by authors centuries ago so old knowledge is good in this dynamic world and how is that possible ??

We don't need to explain everything we can just use stuff and make stuff. There is a quote that goes like this:

Civilisations develop as the number of operations people can do without thinking increases.

It seems so true that it is terrifying.

The war between learning theoretically or by doing seems to be dependent on the nature of the thing we are trying to learn.

The extremes seem to be "skills" and "decisions". To learn a skill we have to put in hours of practice but to make decisions that have long-term or irreversible consequences have to be based on some past data and concrete reasoning that can only be achieved by hours of researching and theorizing.

But of course, everything has some component that can be termed as a "skill" or a "decision".

The best way I think is to brute force your way in if the cost of failure is low and once you have absorbed instinctive knowledge you can move to thinking deeply about stuff and researching it.

Ofcource Pareto principle all the way in.

I think we aren't very special hardware wise but the ability of our brains to update its software and patch things is pretty amazing. Our ability to absorb centuries of scientific / non-scientific knowledge and push the boundaries of the knowledge graph is the real thing we should be focusing on.

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