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Cédric's Shortform

A conversation with a friend of mine in the car about him learning React.

This conversation might be interesting to others as rationality techniques were successfully used to persuade someone to act more rationally for their benefit in an everyday life type context.

K: 'When I get home I'm going to keep working on my portfolio website and use that to learn React'

Me: 'How are you going about that?'

K: 'I'm following a YouTube tutorial'

Me: 'I think you should just learn the concepts yourself then apply them to making the website without following a tutorial. When I was following tutorials I could not make projects independently afterwards using what I had just learned in the tutorials'

K: 'Yeah, but I already started, I'm just going to finish this...'

Me: 'That's the lost cause fal...'

K: 'Yes, I know it's a fallacy, but when I start something, I want to finish it'.

Me: 'But your goal is to learn React, your approach is not effective. I mean, you can do whatever you want but I think you're going about it the wrong way'

K: thinking expression for many seconds

Me: 'It's not just for me that the tutorial approach didn't work, I routinely see posts about how people fail to apply anything they learn in tutorials after they complete them. Or posts about people doing tutorials for months and not being able to actually work on anything themselves'

K: More thinking

Me: 'Whacha thinking about?'

K: 'I'm thinking about how I best learned at uni'

Conversation then shifts to what methods of learning we found most effective. Friend has done the rational thing and moved away from the ineffective technique.

If anyone has ideas about how I could have been even more effective, I'd love to hear them!

How To Raise Others’ Aspirations in 17 Easy Steps

These statements might spur some action in the moment but are unlikely to have lasting effects. People have a certain level of trait conscientiousness and certain behaviour/thinking patterns. I think it'll take more to actually meaningfully push someone to aim higher and act on those higher aims.

One could probably use those consistently on a friend over time and actually see a change (provided the friend actually wants to change/is receptive).