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19 October 2008 @ 11:27 am
Eleanor Roosevelt on Learning  
Learning and living. But they are really the same thing, aren't they? There is no experience from which you can't learn something. When you stop learning you stop living in any vital and meaningful sense. And the purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.

You can do that only if you have curiousity, an unquenchable spirit of adventure. The experience can have meaning only if you understand it. You can understand it only if you have arrived at some knowledge of yourself, a knowledge cased on a deliberately and usually painfully acquired self-discipline, which teaches you to cast out fears and frees you for the fullest experience of the adventure of life.


- Eleanor Roosevelt, Hyde Park, 1960
You Learn by Living, Eleanor Roosevelt



One of my favourite questions to ask my friends is, "What did you learn this week?"

I have noticed over the years that most of the answers are the lessons of daily life and personal interaction. I was thinking this morning, as I reread this quote, that while our daily experiences certainly offer excellent learning opportunities, I don't think it's kind of learning that keeps us vital and inspired and curious in old age. That kind of experience and learning comes free and fairly passively to anyone who's paying even the remotest attention. You don't have to seek it for it to arrive.

So I started thinking ... what question best frames a more specific kind of learning? The kind we go out and seek... the kind that keeps our brains humming and vital in old age ...

I think I have it but suggestions are welcome ;>



What did you attempt to learn or understand this week?
 
 
 
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nplusmnplusm on October 19th, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
"America is about speed, hot nasty speed!"

-Eleanor Roosevelt-
Kburgunder on October 19th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)
And NYC is an excellent example of this.

Are you going to answer the question? O:>
Kburgunder on October 19th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)
I tried to understand:

Why an isolated photon would show wave interference patterns in its behaviour. Inspired by an essay in Science Friction by Michael Shermer.

At what time periods Egyptian symbols were introduced, or at least what our first recorded sample of them is. This is going to be ongoing ... I've got DI (to give) back to 2060 BCE ish so far. I want to see the timeline of their introduction verses the timeline of Linear A, Indus and Byblos symbols.

Current theories on how stars are formed. "In the Cradle of the Stars" by Adam Frank in the Fall 2008 Discover Presents the Whole Universe magazine.

Why the hell some people treat their partners like shit, and their partners seem to like it. Probably also ongoing :-P
nplusmnplusm on October 19th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
Last week, I attempted to puzzle out a way of communicating with my parents that would not result in escalation, but would still allow me to present my feelings and opinions, especially regarding my life choices, so they could have a more vested interest in my life.

To this end I used

Hypothetical examples that parallel my specific experiences or choices

Questions about their friends and experiences targeted to hit the areas of concern I wanted to relate

Blunt appraisal or explanation, with instant efforts to defuse escalating conversational methods

None of these seemed to work.
(Deleted comment)
blackflymetadragon on October 21st, 2008 01:35 am (UTC)
I succeeded in learning how to adequately paint gore (see latest post).

I mostly succeeding in preparing at least academically for Tax Year 2008, and 2009 with regard to property ownership and sole-proprietorship expenses.

I tried to understand the mathematical idea of manifolds, but contented myself to reading about combustion engines instead. Thank you, hypertext.

I learned that I hate McCain/Palin even more than I thought and will be ridiculously jaded if such a gimmick campaign resonates with the electorate enough to bring them to power, thus ensuring a golden age of late night television monologue hilarity.

Good question, thanks. :)
sleet01sleet01 on October 21st, 2008 07:35 am (UTC)
I learned about pseudocarps like figs, due to a question about flamingweasel's stone fruit allergy, and the many reasons to use 'final' in java (with specific application to the Android platform). I also am beginning to understand that I've been much angrier since my mother passed away, which is probably totally understandable but still one of those things that sort of sneaks up on you.