Suggestions For Lifelong Learning
Most suggestions for lifelong learning are based in the content of learning rather than content. The content-based suggestions include these kind of things:
- Read exciting non-fiction books.
- Read to be on the cutting edge of your profession.
- Use audio books.
- Use the web to look up things you're curious about.
- Whenever something piques your curiousity or interest, look it up immediately or make a note to look it up later in a safe portable place.
- Make tiny notes in a journal divided by lines across the page then use it to guide web browsing later.
- Write down (ie - do an inventory of) what you are expert at, then fill the gaps between different expertises.
- Seek gaps, holes, omissions, etc, in a system you are part of.
- Ask people you admire for book suggestions.
- Ask "What does that mean?" and "Why?"
- Give yourself permission to surf for knowledge online. Try the website: http://ocw.mit.edu/index.html for a brilliant opener.
- Set your browser to open new windows onto the Random Article generator at Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
- Focus on the part of your job where learning is involved most, and seek out knowledge jobs to drive learning into new areas.
- Listen to podcasts, speeches, and educational talks.
- Access the "New Lifetime Reading Plan" at http://www.bopsecrets.org/gateway/book-lists/fadiman.htm . This is where Clifton Fadiman and John S. Major discuss world classics that are actually worth reading, why they qualify, and which translations and supplmentary materials you might want to look into.
- Conversely, access www.stumbleupon.com to go to new places in the web and the mind.
- You can also access Mortimer Alder's epochal "Great Books of the Western World". All the texts for this are to be found online. List of readings here: http://www.bopsecrets.org/gateway/book-lists/greatbooks.htm
- Mortimer Adler, wonderful popularizer of wisdom as he is, has a short essay "How To Read A Difficult Book", online here at http://radicalacademy.com/adlerreaddifbk.htm
- Alternatively, his long and wonderful book on the same topic "How To Read A Book" is available here in the 1968 version: http://cyberspacei.com/greatbooks/h2/how2read/h2r.htm
- Learn about The 103 Great Ideas, from the same Adlerian mainspring, at http://cyberspacei.com/greatbooks/h2/103gi.htm
- http://www.thegreatideas.org/ - a syntopical approach to the great ideas.
- Another great liberal popularizer who has influenced my life greatly is Harold Bloom http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Bloom
- Here is Harold Bloom's "lifetime reading list" http://www.interleaves.org/~rteeter/grtbloom.html
These are what I would call content-based suggestions for lifelong learning. However, there exists a different order of response to the question, at the level I would call context-based lifelong learning:
- Learn how great folk learn.
- Learn the attitudes of great learners.
- Learn study skills - a nice summary is found here: http://www.espindle.org/study_tips.html and a more comprehensive guide is here" http://www.studygs.net/
- Robert Dilt's books "Strategies of Genius" provided an important starting point for me to understand the cognitive and top-down models of the genius of Aristotle and other such people. His books are probably out of print now, but if you can track them down they are important additions to the field. Much of his work can be found here: http://www.nlpu.com/archive.htm
- How To Learn: http://www.aeriagloris.com/HowToLearn/index.html
- Thinking Like A Genius: http://www.studygs.net/genius.htm
- Can You Get Smarter In A Week? Who knows? Apparently the BBC does: http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/getsmarter/introduction.shtml
I have packed a lot of information and links into this piece. I hope you enjoy life long learning.