I didn't have any specific article in mind. It is just a topic that I am aware of in my life. For example, I love learning new things, but instead of using them I often just jump to learning another thing. Which seemed like widening my options, until a few years later I realized that I keep forgetting the old things and that I actually never used most of them. Thus learning is an enjoyable hobby for me, but to make it useful, I have to go beyond mere learning.

There is such thing as "learning too much", or more precisely, being so obsessed by learning that you never actually use what you learned. (The problem is not much knowledge per se, but zero application of that knowledge beyond mere signalling.) And this is a mistake that probably many smart people do, and you can get a lof of applause for promoting it as the most noble way of life. On the other hand, as Steve Jobs alegedly said: "Real artists ship."

Of course there is also the opposite mistake of doing some stuff every day for years, and never taking time to learn how to do it better. But among educated people this is considered a low-status mistake, while learning many useless things is a high-status mistake.

How has lesswrong changed your life?

by mstevens 1 min read31st Mar 201557 comments


I've been wondering what effect joining lesswrong and reading the sequences has on people.

How has lesswrong changed your life?

What have you done differently?

What have you done?