Michael A. Nielsen has done a transcript on his presentation on talking about effective learning. In many times, when it comes to a difficult topics, learning may not be as easy as read a book and understand them. He took an example on natural science, it is a tough learning and he developed some principles to assist him to learn and maximize his learning successful rate: Learning requires a purpose and meaning; Learning requires a long-term vision; and create a social environment to promote the behavior:

… Interestingly, the principles I identify don’t involve the abstract side of science at all. They are general principles about how to learn effectively. It’s as though all the abstraction in science is merely an obstacle that makes doing it a little more difficult, but which one can cope with by learning appropriate skills. Once those skills are learned, the core problems of learning are much the same as in other areas of life, and it is those core problems that I’m focusing on for the remainder of the talk.

Everything I will say is common sense, all the fundamental ideas are ideas you will have heard before. The principles and ideas I describe certainly aren’t new. But that doesn’t mean these ideas are common practice. Hopefully this seminar will illuminate both the importance of the principles, and some of the difficulties involved in following them.

Obviously, in limited time there is much that must be omitted on a subject as large as tough learning. There is one important omission I’d like to at least mention. The three principles I describe are focused largely on individual actions, and ignore the larger social context – the norms and institutions of the societies in which we live, and how those affect the applicability of the principles. This social context obviously has an enormous impact on tough learning, and deserves separate treatment…

Extreme thinking – [Michael A. Nielsen]

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