“Knowing more” is the game fools play

Written by
Matt Perryman

The thing I hated most about school was the pointless busy-work.

You know what I mean, all that work they load on you when you’re in primary school and high school. It doesn’t help much at all with learning. What it does is keep you grinding. There’s a difference.

I’ve heard it said that schools are organized this way to teach the kids what to expect when they get to adulthood, where they’ll be expected to show up, shut up, and do pointless busy-work — once in a factory, now in a cubicle. Who knows if that’s true, but the modern workplace isn’t much different from the prison-schools.

The worst thing is how this method of education creates the impression that learning is about passive absorption of information.

You sit there and listen to somebody talk at you, hour after hour. More information, more things to read, more videos to watch. Load it up, keep it coming.

That’s low-energy learning.

There was already way too much “information” before ChatGPT and its cronies showed up. I read an article just yesterday talking about how Amazon is already flooded with AI-generated books that have a value on par with used toilet paper. Once the marketer-bros get the boilers burning, you can kiss goodbye to whatever is left of useful Google searches.

A drowning man does not need more water. He needs a life-jacket.

Curation, filters, selectivity, and fine but pitiless discrimination are essential survival tools.

The way I look at it now, I don’t want to “know more”. I don’t want to collect facts like a rat hoarding cheese in your bedroom wall.

I want to know the right things. I want to know effective things. I want to apply knowledge to get specific results.

Learning is active. I figured that out the hard way while teaching. Sure as sin, nobody ever taught me that. Grad school hung me out on a wire and said, “go figure this out”.

Fact is, the biggest upgrade I ever made to my own learning was teaching the material to others. Your mind works different when you have to sift out the gems from mind-numbing 18th century German prose that takes no prisoners, and then make it interesting to a room full of bored 19 year olds.

That’s how I do things now in my own life. That’s why I write. Writing gives me clarity and focus. It’s not about more, it’s about finding an inch-wide patch and going a mile deep.

That’s why I help others develop this low-effort, high-energy approach to learning. (Even if you’re learning how to move your body and make it a consistent habit.)

There’s levels. We’re talking mental game for physical well-being here. It’s all connected.

I don’t find much interesting about the sciences of exercise and nutrition any more for this very reason. We already have 98% of the picture. A handful of basic principles can tell anyone what works best most often. Everything else is marketing and ego.

Learn, but learn by acting, and put your learning into action. That’s my lesson for you.

Matt Perryman

P.S. My methods combine learning, skill development, and lifting into a “whole person” approach to personal transformation. If you want to learn more, click here.

You know what?

This article was sent to my faithful readers as an artisanal hand-crafted email. If you enjoyed this article and want more like it, you should sign up for this newsletter.