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Episode Info:

Scott Young: Ultralearning

Scott’s work is intended to consistently answer this question: what’s the best way to learn? This has led him to take on two year-long experiments in learning: The MIT Challenge, where he attempted to learn MIT’s 4-year computer science curriculum without taking classes, and The Year Without English, where he worked with a friend to learn four languages in one year.

Scott is the author of the new book, Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career*. In this conversation, Scott and I discuss what ultralearners do differently, the importance of transfer in learning, and four key tactics to enhance directness.

Key Points
  • Transfer is critical for learning, but most formal education programs don’t address it.
  • “Many ultralearners who have specialized in a smaller subset of fields are masters at transfer; no doubt this is largely due to their depth of knowledge, which makes transfer easier to accomplish.”
  • The key to ultra learning is to enhance directness.

Four tactics for enhancing directness:

  1. Project-based learning (producing something)
  2. Immersive learning (such as language immersion)
  3. Flight simulator method (like how pilots learn to fly)
  4. Overkill approach (intentional making it harder than a real use scenario)
Book Notes

Download my highlights from Ultralearning in PDF format (free membership required).

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