What to learn

My current dilemma is an existential one.

Action sows seeds of opportunity that may blossom into rewarding fruit.

Being busy is not the same as making progress.

Making progress is not the same as achieving a worthwhile result.

What is a worthwhile result?

How do you choose where to focus your energies?

What is the opportunity cost?

Biographies provide incredible perspective.

I feel like I could learn anything. As in, anything and everything is interesting enough for me to learn and want to learn. This poses problems.

It creates a mania. It creates a lack of consistent focus.

There is a broad, overarching, all encompassing worldview that beautifully emerges from this manic pursuit, but it lacks resolution, it lacks pointed detail. It may contain complexity, but it has no hard lines, no edges, no boundaries.

Learning is one of life’s greatest joy— if not the greatest joy.

Deep stimulation of the mind, in a way that connects you to the world, in way that leaves you feeling grounded, with certitude about the chaotic unpredictability of life.

Learning is an aesthetic experience— ideas become rooted and flower into beautiful landscapes.

But what to learn?

Typically, my learning has been guided by problems. I have a dilemma, and I adapt, I acquire knowledge to devise a solution, material or conceptual.

Struggle is usually a good barometer of where learning should take place.

If you struggle to understand something, if there is dissonance that creates cloudy confusion, start there. Don’t stop until there is clarity.

I think reality is a projection of our mind. Really, it’s a projection of the collective human consciousness, passed down through enculturation and socialization.

We all see the world as humanity sees it, fragmented by our tribal interests, by our local struggles and histories.

Humanity corroborates it’s experience via art and language— we communicate, we make common.

We use mental models to abstract the essential relationship and features of our experience. We collect mental models, store them, and synthesize them.

Patterns emerge.

The same patterns. We apply these patterns to different domains and contexts.

The relationships appear to stay the same. We just rearrange the individual components, rename the features. But the relationships remain timeless.

The more we familiarize ourselves with these relationships, that are metaphorical and mathematical, the easier it seems it is to learn.

The world is in constant flux.

Everything changes, nothing perishes.

It’s just hard to devote yourself to one domain, context, subject, when you’re searching for higher truth, and the truth is embedded in the relationships which are agnostic to the time and place.

Wisdom is this transcendental universal.

Why devote yourself to one cause? There utilitarian reasons to be a specialist.

But you’re missing out on the bigger universal picture.

Everything is one.

Something like that.

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