The Art Of Learning

BarroMetrics Views: The Art Of Learning

Josh Waitzkin’s bio makes for interesting reading (see http://www.joshwaitzkin.com/josh/): it’s not often Chess aligns with the Martial Arts. I came across him when I saw ‘Searching for Bobby Fisher‘ – great movie.  I’ll leave it to you to read the links.

Here I’d like to shine a light on Josh’s ideas on how to learn. Now, I have to say that I dislike the format of the book: combing through pages of personal anecdotes in search of nuggets of gold is not my idea of fun. Still, the effort was worthwhile.

Josh’s main messages – to learn:

  1. We start by integrating and internalizing the fundamentals seeking to understand the principles of our discipline.
  2. Fueled by our understanding and internalization, we increase our repertoire of techniques, choosing the ones that best suit are personality while maintaining contact with our central core.
  3. What results is a network of deeply internalized, interconnected knowledge.

His techniques:

  • Bite-sized steps and complexity. Start with the simple and move up in complexity as our knowledge grows.
  • Once we attain competence, we look to attain the desired results with less and less effort (what he calls making ‘smaller circles’.
  • We attain mastery through ‘presence in the now’, learning to stress and recover. Mastery he defines as one where our rigidity to the ‘dogmatic interpretation of principles’ is replaced by making decisions defined by current circumstances. We are ‘at peace with and navigating the tensions of competing truths, letting go of any notion of solidity’.
  • Finally, his learning model is akin to Deliberative Practice.

On Monday, I’ll look at Josh’s approach in relation to trading.

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