Documenting my learning experiments. First post of a series. Let me know what you think!

SteemSteem
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steemit.com5y ago

Hello Steemit,

This is my first post here. The first of many, I hope. I've primarily created a Steemit account to act as an ongoing documentation of my upcoming experiments as well as an accountability measure. But allow me to provide some history first.

I come from a political science and government background, but have also worked in startups which eventually led me to working in banking and finance. However, before I had even started college - where I first got into political science - I had an unsubstantiated theory of what makes the world go round:

Government Business Money

My thought process (kindly note that I was 16/17...) was as follows: we have made a branch of academics of everything we could. If I look at all the academic fields out there, that should give me a decent view of everything there is in the world (so far). If I then take this list and pass it through multiple elimination rounds, I should eventually reach the fields of human activity that the modern world simply would not work without.

To eliminate fields, I only asked myself "Could I envision a society where all activity and knowledge of this field did not exist in any shape or form?". If the answer was yes, I eliminated the field, and was eventually left with the fields that can be grouped under the umbrella of each of the three I've mentioned above.

To the best of my recollection, doing this was very exhausting and time-consuming. But, it did provide me with a new found appreciation for things I found pointless before (I'm sorry, abstract art...) and I ended up learning a lot (thank you, Wikipedia).

In hindsight, this thought process and mental experiment was far too simplistic. I simply did not know what I know now. Today, I can actually think of solid counter-arguments for my earlier conclusion. But, I still think there's something to be said for that trio.

I started college and finished with a political science degree. I then left and worked in government for a bit. After that, I worked with a couple of pre-seed and seed stage startups. Finally, I transitioned to finance where I currently work.

Six months into finance I began to sense a tingling thought that was just below the surface of consciousness. It would be best described as a sensation of unease, similar to that which one would get before starting a new job or a new trip, faint anxiousness in anticipation of the unknown.

I was a news junkie, and by then I had several plug-ins and methods of obtaining refined information and data about what was happening in the world in general (at least a very brief overview) as well as a slightly more detailed in-depth info on the state of global politics, startups, and financial markets.

After some time, I began to better understand that sense of unease and what was causing it: things in my fields of interest and work - the trio - have been changing at a much higher speed than usual. Blink and you'll never know what you missed (more about that in a later post).

With this new understanding I took a step back and took time to think of how everything fit together for me now or would fit together for me in the future in terms of academics, career, interests, future plans and goals. I then decided that the best course of action for me would be to start a new time-constrained educational curriculum for myself that would better prepare me for the future and for reaching my goals.

This is what this "blog" boils down to. A documentation of my time spent going through multiple experiments to learn several skills and obtain new knowledge in a systematic way.

I've had success with self-directed education before, but I have never documented any instance of it. My hope is that, by committing to documentation on a public platform, I will achieve the following:

Ensure the continuation of this project given the newly established public pseudo-accountability. Enable others to cut their learning curve by providing an easy to follow account of learning particular topics from scratch. Source help and pointers from readers more knowledgeable than I am. Learn better by teaching (or telling in this case...)

At this point in time, I have an 18-month plan of learning ahead of me. I have little doubt that the plan will change from time to time to accommodate unforeseen circumstances, newly discovered things to learn, and better understanding of the subjects themselves. I will be providing a reasoning for choice and progression of topics as I go along as much as I can, as well as attempt to make everything I learn as relevant* as possible.

In strength, A.

*Just as an example of the relevance bit, one of the big things I'll be diving into will be programming. It took me quite some time to actually get a good understanding of both how and why programming would (or not!) be relevant to me. For something so popularly propagated in recent years, it shouldn't be this difficult for non-programmers to learn what it actually is and why it's important and get enough simple-format information about it without wasting hours on it.

P.S: as a general rule, if someone has any question about anything I write about, please don't hesitate to ask or even just tell me your thoughts about it!