Author Topic: Ultralearning  (Read 2912 times)

Linea_Norway

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Ultralearning
« on: November 26, 2019, 02:29:26 AM »
I was just listening to a Mad Fientist podcast from October 16th about Ultralearning, with Scott Young. From the website: "Ultralearning is a strategy for aggressive, self-directed learning."

I like the concept. From what I understood, you pick a certain (shortish) time frame and define a learning project and learn it in the best possible way (for you). This best possible way is probably not by going to school and study for several years, but doing it your own way and much faster and more intensive. Like learning a language, just live in a country where they speak the language and only speak that language for a couple of months. During an ultralearning project you can typically use more hours than you would learn on a course that goes one hour a week. Ideally you should also not only study from books, but combine different aspects from the material, including real world aspects.

I will be FIREing in a few weeks, and from January I would like to use this concept of ultralearning for learning new skills. One of my ideas is to learn biology, which has my interest. I had a look at the universities and what they offered. But that is often biology/chemistry and very based on getting a job afterwards. For me the job part is not relevant. I just want to learn more about plants, trees and the diversity of life. And I want to learn using a microscope for mushroom determination.

According to the podcast, you had to limit your learning scope within the amount of time. So my first project will be to learn the basics of botany, so that I will be able to use my flora (a plant book) in a correct way, by using the key in the beginning of the book. Today that key is just a collection of unknown words and the glossary in the back doesn't explain them.
I will start at the library at see if they have some relevant books. And I will also look for online university material in basics of botany. Then, because it is winter, I will have to wait until spring to go out and look at plants and study them more. I also plan to do a course in microscopy at my mushroom club. I have already provided them with studying materials. And I plan to buy a (used) microscope to study at home.

Is anyone else into ultralearning and has some plans learning projects?

Adam Zapple

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2019, 07:16:19 AM »
I have not tried it but Tim Ferris touches on this concept as well, especially when it comes to learning languages.  Just wanted to recommend his books and podcast if you haven't already discovered them.

ROF Expat

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2019, 01:10:08 PM »
I don't know that I'd classify it as "ultralearning" but I have been studying ecology a little like you are talking about.  I've spent a lot of time in Africa in recent years, so I've been working on getting certified as a safari guide/field guide.  After that, I'd like to get certified as a walking guide.  I have no interest in working as a safari guide, but I spend quite a bit of time in the bush and on safari.  As I learn more, all my outdoor activities get more rewarding. 

Dave1442397

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2019, 04:28:46 PM »
This is a friend's story about his daughter, who went to a place I'd never heard of called General Assembly - https://generalassemb.ly/ :

She never liked school but I sent her to 3 semesters at Rider at $13,000 a semester. So after wasting about $40,000 doing that she went to court reporting school for a few years but then decided that wasn’t for her. Then she worked as a waitress for a while at Buffalo Wild Wings. When she contacted me about General Assembly, I thought it was a scam. How can you pay just $14,000 for a 10 week class and then get a great job. But she did it, she applied herself and graduated the 10 week class. They helped with teaching her how to interview and job placement. She had two offers one In Nashville with UBS and took the job with Price Waterhouse in Miami they started her at $80,000 plus a signing bonus. Best $14,000 I ever spent. I still can’t believe it.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2019, 12:21:01 AM »
I don't know that I'd classify it as "ultralearning" but I have been studying ecology a little like you are talking about.  I've spent a lot of time in Africa in recent years, so I've been working on getting certified as a safari guide/field guide.  After that, I'd like to get certified as a walking guide.  I have no interest in working as a safari guide, but I spend quite a bit of time in the bush and on safari.  As I learn more, all my outdoor activities get more rewarding.

This is also my goal, to make my hikes more interesting because I know more about the things I see.

Malcat

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2019, 06:18:10 AM »
No idea about ultra learning, but I'm never ever not learning things. It's rather compulsive for me actually. I find not understanding things to be uncomfortable.

Trifele

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2019, 05:48:42 AM »
I've never heard the term "ultralearning" @Linea_Norway, but I understand the concept.  I also wanted to learn more about plants once I had more time.  I've gardened and grown trees for years but felt I was lacking the underlying knowledge of botany.  I joined my county's Master Gardener program, which helped a lot.   I also liked this book -- Practical Botany for Gardeners, by Geoff Hodge (2013).  It's an easy, interesting read.  It covers many of the botanical topics I was after without becoming a full-on biology/biochemistry text.     

Moonwaves

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2019, 07:59:23 AM »
Have you checked out the Coursera courses available? For example, there's Understanding Plants - Part I: What a Plant Knows and Understanding Plants - Part II: Fundamentals of Plant Biology. Haven't studied these but have done other courses with Coursera and find it can be good. It's mostly free unless you want to get a certificate/academic credit and even then, I think I paid about €40 the one time I wanted to do that.

Also check out Botanic Gardens, either in Norway or further afield - maybe you could find an interesting course at Kew, for example.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2019, 08:06:04 AM »
Have you checked out the Coursera courses available? For example, there's Understanding Plants - Part I: What a Plant Knows and Understanding Plants - Part II: Fundamentals of Plant Biology. Haven't studied these but have done other courses with Coursera and find it can be good. It's mostly free unless you want to get a certificate/academic credit and even then, I think I paid about €40 the one time I wanted to do that.

Also check out Botanic Gardens, either in Norway or further afield - maybe you could find an interesting course at Kew, for example.

Thanks, I will check those out.
There is a botanic garden in Oslo and it is still on my list of things to visit one time. But I'll need to wait until spring/summer before it gets interesting again.

Moonwaves

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2019, 09:03:03 AM »
Have you checked out the Coursera courses available? For example, there's Understanding Plants - Part I: What a Plant Knows and Understanding Plants - Part II: Fundamentals of Plant Biology. Haven't studied these but have done other courses with Coursera and find it can be good. It's mostly free unless you want to get a certificate/academic credit and even then, I think I paid about €40 the one time I wanted to do that.

Also check out Botanic Gardens, either in Norway or further afield - maybe you could find an interesting course at Kew, for example.

Thanks, I will check those out.
There is a botanic garden in Oslo and it is still on my list of things to visit one time. But I'll need to wait until spring/summer before it gets interesting again.
Don't forget about the other gardens, too. You can search the BCGI database on their website.

LennStar

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2019, 09:23:11 AM »
I once read about a language learning camp where people of all grades of knowledge vow to not use any language other than the one they want to learn.
Since the beginners and the routiniers are together, they can teach each other.

The funny (or not so) part of that is that many take that vow so strong, they already several times had to call in a translator when there was a medical emergency and the people did not even talk in their mother language on the stretcher.


But more to the OP: The best and fastest learning is deliberate learning with a teacher. Maybe you should try to find one? Someone who can give you the 101s in 1 on 1 teaching?

And since you are into biology, how about a bird counting group or something like this? There are never enough species counter people. They give you a training on the species you have to look out and you go out into "the wild" a few days a year (or more if you want) to find and count.
Fresh air, healthy, you learn something...

asauer

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2019, 09:26:34 AM »
I'm actually reading the book now- the techniques are very interesting.  When I get my schedule back on course (March 2020), I'm going to polish up my Spanish and master Italian using the Ultralearning system.

PJ

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2019, 07:38:09 PM »
I haven't been quite as deliberate as what you're describing, but one of the reasons I've enjoyed getting into the fish keeping hobby over the last few years, is because it gives me so much opportunity for learning - about fish and invertebrate species, aquatic plants, ecosystems, equipment, etc. So many YouTube videos, blogs, species profile listings, forums, etc...

9patch

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2019, 04:04:51 PM »
I've met Scott twice (both through World Domination Summit), and liked watching his youtube series on language learning. The most intensive thing I've tried to apply this to is language. It's amazing how much you can pick up in a short time. Let us know how things go!

Magnolia

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2019, 05:26:22 PM »
There is a app you can download through your library called Kanopy which provides free movies,documentaries, TV series which also has a sections called The Great Courses. There is a course called Introduction to Botany which has 24 episodes. It looks interesting and comprehensive.
Kanopy is world wide. My local library provides it for free as part of its services paid for from local government taxes. YOu should check with your local library and see if they offer it.

Kanopy also has courses on languages, all the sciences, algebra, history etc. Best FREE app that I use.

Magnolia

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2019, 06:16:13 PM »
just saw an interesting microscope post on pinterest that would interest you. Google 1000 x zoom 1080p as they have a microscope camera that can attach to your mobile phone. Looks small and portable to take hiking. I have never used this product so not recommending it. It looks like it may suit you purpose so would be worth investigating.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2019, 05:18:55 AM »
just saw an interesting microscope post on pinterest that would interest you. Google 1000 x zoom 1080p as they have a microscope camera that can attach to your mobile phone. Looks small and portable to take hiking. I have never used this product so not recommending it. It looks like it may suit you purpose so would be worth investigating.

I bought a second hand microscope. I only need 100x and 400x zoom. According to those who gave me advice, 1000x require oil Immergion and gets very messy.

Mighty Eyebrows

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2019, 04:35:54 PM »
No idea about ultra learning, but I'm never ever not learning things. It's rather compulsive for me actually. I find not understanding things to be uncomfortable.

Ah, yes, the nagging voices of success! As a kid I decided I wanted to know everything. Now I am slightly more realistic and have found that there is at least 5% that is not worth the time/effort. That means I now want to know about 95% of everything.

"The Great Courses" mentioned above is excellent. I particularly like listening to their audio courses when driving or doing things that only take half my brain.

https://www.thegreatcourses.com/

If you are near a university or community college, there are often courses available for non-students. Where I am, many university lectures also have empty seats in the hall that you can just show up and attend (discreetly). You don't have to do an entire degree, but the focus of attending a full term course can be excellent.

Picking your own schedule and really putting attention on it is also great, particularly if you do self-study.

robincanada

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Re: Ultralearning
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2019, 04:55:06 PM »
https://academyofideas.com/

I found them from their podcasts. Available on iTunes.   8-11 minute lessons on how to be a full human being.

Nothing I have ever found more meets the qualifications for “ultra learning”