Educated (4): shows and telling

This is the missing thought from Handwriting: There are plenty of things that appear to signify education (handwriting, certificates, vocabulary, waffley assertions, accent (sadly), name-dropping, [add yours here]) which might be correlated to education in one way or another but aren’t the same thing at all. These things can be used to put on a show of being educated, either…

Educated (3): things to do

Just a list of the sorts of things that I find to be / create stimulating or “high learning” environments (is there a better term for this?). Interact with an AI – even if not the latest – in a text based adventure game Subscribe to a newsletter (this one? this one? this one?) Start a newsletter Specialise in cooking…

Educated (2): How to learn to learn

As the pace of technological change accelerates, we will spend most of our lives as – in Kevin Kelly’s words – perpetual newbies. Even so-called “digital natives” will find themselves out of their comfort zones in a few short years, jealous of how the next generation seems to find the newest technology so easy. In this context, the ability to…

Recommendation: Kevin Kelly on the future of…

Kevin Kelly is reliably insightful and thought-provoking and often fascinating. I don’t think I’ve ever read or listened to something of his that hasn’t made me see the world (particularly technology) in a new way, and with my curiosity piqued to find out more. Today’s recommendation is for a new series of 36 short lectures he’s sharing on YouTube about…

Not long ago, or Little by little (4): Dolly Parton on the scar on her toes

[For those who came in late… Start with Not long ago, or Little by little (1)] Not long ago, in a place not far away and directly connected to you, something like this was happening… Somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains c1950… Jad Abumrad: She told me one story about how one day, when she was about seven or eight, she…

Podcast recommendation: Dolly Parton’s America

I came across Dolly Parton’s America in a list of the best podcasts of 2019, and it’s been sitting in my podcast player unopened for the last few months. I started listening on a whim at the weekend, and now find myself six episodes in. It’s a fantastic show. If you… Are vaguely interested in country music or Dolly Parton…

Variable speed

Rushing is usually a bad idea. We get flustered or anxious, we forget or ignore important things, and we often feel guilty about it afterwards. Rushing is usually a way to make up for a deficiency in your processes, and it’s generally best avoided whenever possible – by planning ahead, by setting off in good time and allowing slack, by…

Educated (1): handwriting

What does it mean to be educated? Seven years ago I was working by a railway line in Jakarta, writing down some notes from a conversation with someone who lived there. As I wrote, someone else leaned over my shoulder and had a look at my notes for a minute before nodding approvingly and saying: “He’s a high school graduate.”*…

More on old books: Mortimer Adler on permanent literature

The faster things change, the more important our reference points if we want to avoid motion sickness. The great books are always contemporary. In contrast, the books we call “contemporary,” because they are currently popular, last only for a year or two, or ten at the most. They soon become antiquated. You probably cannot recall the names of the bestsellers…