Occasionally, I will ask someone who is very skilled in a certain subject how they became skilled in that subject so that I can copy their expertise. A common response is that I should read a textbook in the subject.

Eight years ago, Luke Muehlhauser wrote,

For years, my self-education was stupid and wasteful. I learned by consuming blog posts, Wikipedia articles, classic texts, podcast episodes, popular books, video lectures, peer-reviewed papers, Teaching Company courses, and Cliff's Notes. How inefficient!
I've since discovered that textbooks a
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I've also been reading textbooks more and experiencied some frustration, but I've found two things that, so far, help me get less stuck and feel less guilt.

After trying to learn math from textbooks on my own for a month or so, I started paying a tutor (DM me for details) with whom I meet once a week. Like you, I struggle with getting stuck on hard exercises and/or concepts I don't understand, but having a tutor makes it easier for me to move on knowing I can discuss my confusions with them in our next session. Unfortunately, a paying a tutor requires actua

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4cousin_it5d Maybe commit to spending at least N minutes on any exercise before looking up the answer?
1Matthew Barnett5d Perhaps it says something about the human brain (or just mine) that I did not immediately think of that as a solution.

Matthew Barnett's Shortform

byMatthew Barnett 11d9th Aug 201978 comments


I intend to use my shortform feed for two purposes:

1. To post thoughts that I think are worth sharing that I can then reference in the future in order to explain some belief or opinion I have.

2. To post half-finished thoughts about the math or computer science thing I'm learning at the moment. These might be slightly boring and for that I apologize.