I see your point and this is what I have more or less been repeatedly told.I think like you told,the best thing to do would be to condense a lot of courses down to their key concepts that can be kept refreshed through spaced repetition.
I think 90% may be an underestimate(you could probably tell me more about it).Like, over the course of your career,you would have used less than 10% of the info you collected through your college(including all the nitty-gritties of various topics-the derivations,the special cases etc..).These contribute immensely to your understanding of the topic,but my question is do the nitty-gritties stay after a long time? This is my main question. I'm quite alarmed at the possibility that I might not remember something that I had understood so well when I need to use it and like you told generally people seem to be getting on well without it.
For example,lets take the situation you mentioned, a preliminary understanding of Control Theory had helped you identify the problem and correlate it with your existing problem.Even if the problem demanded a more in-depth and a rigorous analysis using Control theory(one that you would have easily done just after finishing the course), you would have not been able to do it and would probably have to spend time reading up on it(the time may be lower than if you were reading it completely new).But mostly you benefitted from the preliminary/broad understanding of the course than the full blown one.It would have been much more efficient(as in you could've done a lotta other stuff),if you had instead initially spent your time just getting upto speed on the very broad view of the topic and used spaced repetition to strengthen it.of course we can debate on the exact amount of content,but we can agree that the full blown one is probably waaay off.
I also agree with what Kaj said.But "Control Systems" is a course that you know, you wont use in anywhere near full capacity when you become a Mechanical engineer.And there a lot of courses to which you can say that(as in you definitely know that you wouldnt want to work work in any field involving that majorly).
This whole thing occurred to me because I realized I was learning a lot of stuff that I didn't like and probably want even gonna use.Now my concern,there a lot of stuff that i really invested time on -so how do I make sure that I am going to be able to use them
Thanks. That's a really nice list.I have not seen a lot of these ideas previously.Especially general purpose tool-idea and stock of problems-idea is very good.These ideas are really nice to ensure in-built spaced repetition.
But can you give me some ideas about the second question I asked.I cant do this because I am still undergrad.So pick a topic that you learned about say 4-5 years ago(or any time-frame for that matter),make sure that you haven't used that particular knowledge for the past 4-5 years,try to get back to the same knowledge-level that you had acquired when you first learned the topic(or some % of it) and measure the amount of effort/time that you took.Then calculate the ratio of (this time or effort)/(time or effort when you first read that particular topic).
Hey,nice to meet a Mechanical engineer here.I have heard this told to me a lot.But I think as John has pointed out,education is mostly used as a signalling device.From what I understand,even if you were to were do a post-grad in Mechanical and work in research field,you would still NOT be using 90% of your education.If you ask that is a huge waste of time.Contrary to John,if you take a Mechanical Engineering degree,you will mostly end up studying/reading a lot of stuff that you surely know that you will not use in the future.We have to finish some specific courses to complete our degree requirements..
I think you are overestimating the time you would have taken to learn your job had you not gone to college(years to do so)-(I dont know I am in undergrad).But a simple exercise,I would ask you to do is-
1.Imagine if you only took courses that would help you in the job(lets say the courses where 30-50% of course content(or any other parameter that you choose) directly helps you) and then look at the time req to train.
2.Imagine if you did not have to take any of the course you did not like.
How much would it still impact your skills/knowledge level right now/time req to train for your job?
All this is assuming,that you get the degree with the same grades that you have right now.This should not be a problem as trying to hack the test requires much less(1-2 orders of magnitude lesser) effort than actually learning the subject.So outside of its utility as a social signalling device,most college courses provide low knowledge-utility.
I will concede that it helps you have a general layout of different courses,but my question is it worth spending 30-40 hours per course for this general layout?
I dont get it.Any belief could be said to "pay rent" if you can conceive a situation where it will be useful later on.
A general situation that I made up was.
Given any belief X and at least 2 people believe X,I always have utility in believing X(I think it should be knowing) as it helps me predict the actions of the other 2 people that believe in X.
Even in the example where the student regurgitates it onto the upcoming quiz-the belief had utility for him as he could use that to improve his grades(constraining reality in a way he wants it to be).
I believe you should judge your beliefs based on expected utility in the future(extremely hard to calculate).
PS:This is my first comment/post.Forgive me if is a bit rough