How to learn literally anything very quickly

Soviet poster of a man reading a book while society is being built around him.

So a lot of people ask me questions, and I usually know the answer. Why? Because I figured out the easiest possible way to learn most things about most things. I often have engaging discussions with trained and highly educated professionals in their respective fields. From medicine, to academia, to science, to you name it.

Why? Because I’m a super genius? Of course not. In fact, I have a cognitive disorder. The trick is simply to understand the key information needed about a subject in order to understand it. You do not need to be an expert to understand something, you just need literacy in whatever it is. Be it science, philosophy, medicine, you name it.

Take medicine for instance. A good example of something that seems infinitely impossible for the layman to truly grasp, but I was curious. First trick is to convince yourself of that humans aren’t magic, and that the real magic to humanity is effort. That you can in fact understand things just like anyone else. Never be intimidated.

So, I read some medical literature, and I noticed something. The first few chapters of most books on general medical knowledge always start off with anatomy, not medicine, diagnostics, treatments, etc. But rather anatomy. Every time.

And as it turns out, once you figure out things like the nervous system, cell structures, cardiovascular stuff, blood pressure, circulation (a lot of it is related to blood, blood is like super important), and so on, the rest began to make sense on its own. You also need to understand the interneurolabial system, which is a Greek wordplay for how to speak Greek.

Well, Greek and Latin, sometimes they use Latin at random.

But they usually have a glossary for that.

Point is, in about two weeks worth of study, just by grasping the principles of medicine, I was able to keep up with what doctors were saying. I didn’t know all of it obviously, but I knew enough to ask the right questions and even figure things out myself.

If you’ve ever learned a second language, then you know what this feels like. To be over that hurdle where things begin to fall together on their own. You can get to that point with just about anything, assuming you know what to look for.

Same thing with science. Once you know a bit about atoms, gravity, matter and energy, the rest becomes more intricate ways in which to describe how these things interact.

Even Marx figured this out, dialectical materialism is simply grasping the principles of history. To understand how patterns emerge, and how various social, economic and political forces interact.

So from market dynamics to thermodynamics, the key to good polymathic study is to examine the principles of things. To look at the core information needed to understand something, to study and examine commonalities in information and see how it all comes together. By examining ideas as structures, we can find out which walls that are load bearing and which ones that aren’t.

And the best way to get started in grasping this is to look at something you are already highly familiar with, and ask what part of your knowledge that is the most vital, that makes sense of it all, that becomes the rules by which everything else functions.

Once you understand this, you can apply the same analysis to any other subject, and before you know it, everything begins to make sense. Instead of retaining a bunch of useless facts, look at what the facts all orbit around, what they are trying to tell you, what connects them. The emergent nature which defines and frames them.

Once you know this, then you can know anything.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store