Have you Heard of “Ultralearning”?
Noted autodidactic philosopher, Scott Young, has just released his latest book called Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career. I have followed Scott for quite some time and am very excited about his latest achievement. Scott describes himself as someone who has “been experimenting to find out how to learn and think better.”
This concept of “ultralearning” is similar to the idea of learning something fast in that both approaches assume that learning methods can be targeted independently from the thing you are learning.
What does Scott Young mean by “Ultralearning”?
I wanted to help him get the word out about his new book which is available for pre-order. When I get my copy, I’ll be sure to review it here.
UPDATE: Scott’s book is by now released! and available via your favorite bookstore.
Meanwhile, I asked him to give a quick e-interview about his book.
Mini-E-Interview with Scott Young about his book Ultralearning
What started you on this 3-year journey to write Ultralearning?
Although I worked on the book mostly full-time for three years, I’ve really been writing it in my head for over a decade. The starting point was probably my first introduction to the idea that you could take on ambitious self-directed learning projects and end up getting better results (and have more fun) than most people do with their learning efforts in school and elsewhere. I write about that process in the book, but finding other people along the way encouraged me to try to share their stories. I felt like there was something important here that could apply to people who want to learn in more ordinary ways.
Who can benefit from your book?
Anyone who cares about learning something or getting better at something important to your life. Admittedly, that’s a bit broad, but that’s also because learning impacts all of us! In practice, I think the book is going to appeal to people who like learning things and want to take it seriously. I’m hoping that the book can give them a path forward to take on something that will help them for their career and life.
What part of Ultralearning was the most fun for you to write?
That’s hard to say. There are a few stories I really enjoyed covering in the book, in particular Judit Polgar’s chess mastery resulting from an unorthodox approach to homeschooling starting when she was only three years old. However, there are lots of parts of the book that I enjoyed putting together. But in truth, my goal wasn’t to make a book that was fun for me to write, but fun for you to read. That means a lot of editing, I probably wrote twice as much as the whole book, but did a lot of editing to make sure only the best stuff got into the final copy.
How does it relate to your past experiences, like teaching yourself MIT’s computer science courses?
Ultralearning covers all of my big projects, but really I wanted the book to be about an idea, not just about myself. So I did a lot of research into other people’s learning stories, and poured through a ton of research of the science of learning to try to give the most general picture. I hope some of my projects inspire people, but I also wanted to feature a lot of interesting stories and research that might inspire people as well!
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Are you Excited?
I am excited for Scott and for everyone who reads his book. I think Scott is addressing the new direction learning is turning in the rapidly moving technology-age that we live in. So… Thanks, Scott! Now, you all go out there and pick up a copy of Ultralearning.