Everyday, I learn new things. This is not bragging. In fact, learning without discipline and a tangible goal in mind has been quite detrimental to my productivity all my life. But abandoning a book on D3 to suddenly look up blue whale mate calling - as undisciplined as it may be - still qualifies as learning something interesting about the world.
Is learning new ideas or concepts everyday really that useful if I am not able to remember most of it? In one sense, it definitely is. It makes me better at doing good research (digging out signal from noise) and adds acceleration to the act of learning itself. It increases the synaptic connections which increases the number of random (occassionally insightful) ideas in my mind. But something feels missing. I get a feeling that these intellectual travels should be recorded somewhere. For instance, I would love to know the topics my brain thought and explored back in December 2013. How often am I coming back to similar genre of topics and learning the exact same things without realizing so? This may give me some deep insights about my
true calling genuine interests? Evernote or other bookmarking apps could potentially help in achieving that goal but actively engaging in a topic with writing definitely will make it stick better in my memory and give a sense of accomplishment. A passive activity will convert into an active one which may increase contentment.
It goes without saying that recording your online (or print) intellectual journeys, will naturally help in improving the quality of writing. Moreover, it will force me to reflect on my understaning of the thing that was learned. Did I really understand how quick sort works or did I just feel I have learnt it by simply reading about it? Did I really understand d3 scales or just remembered enough syntax (by copy pasting it into my code) to quickly get its effects?
I have made a few promises on this website over it’s 2 year lifespan and have embarassingly failed to keep most of them. TUD states are the primary culprits for that. Tired, Unmotivated and Distracted. They are constantly looming around and no doubt will try their best to prevent me from writing TIL (today I learned) posts. Good news is that they never have been able to stop me from the act of learning itself. No matter how trivial the learning, I cannot not learn a new thing everyday. So it is simply a matter of putting it on
paper Typora. TIL has always defeated TUD. Here’s hoping that it can share some of it’s winning powers with Writing TIL.
Note: Above idea is definitely not new and has been executed before.