What are you learning?

Most of us are discovering that we didn't know everything after all. We did when we were younger, but now we don't. There are various physical conditions of brain maintenance that result in disorders that are currently poorly understood, such as altzheimers and what they used to call senility, but research does indeed point to keeping the brain active by continuing to learn things as a contributing beneficial factor. Plus, we're the kind of people that would be doing this anyway.

What are you learning at the moment, these days, this year? Not necessarily iOS music related, although it could be, or could touch it tangentially.

One thing I might chuck in here: the things I'm learning these days have a 'circle completion' aspect. When I was young I was into various interests, some of which stood me in stead to earn a living. I didn't fully learn those topics, I stopped when other people thought I knew my onions. I suspect a lot of people out there in real jobs are similar charlatans living in fear of being found out. I've no idea how I fell into this pattern, but what I seem to be doing is to rediscover areas of interest that I had when I was much younger, and revise up on them, catch up to the knowledge level I used to have, then exceed it and learn all the stuff about it that I basically skipped or faked, the first time round. It is very much like going back to school, only this time, paying attention.

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Comments

  • Great post and probably relevant to a lot of folks here (considering average forum member age).

    I try to learn thing as an ongoing thing to keep the mind 'lubricated' as one ages.
    Currently I'm looking at how to play chess better and learning the fingering technique required to be able to play bass 'finger style'. I'm also trying to analyse the patterns I fall into with my guitar playing, after having played for a long time, there's a tendency to repeat things - again and again.

    Yes, in my experience of the workplace, there's a fair few people who live in constant fear of being 'found out ' :)

  • @u0421793 said:
    One thing I might chuck in here: the things I'm learning these days have a 'circle completion' aspect. When I was young I was into various interests, some of which stood me in stead to earn a living. I didn't fully learn those topics, I stopped when other people thought I knew my onions. I suspect a lot of people out there in real jobs are similar charlatans living in fear of being found out. I've no idea how I fell into this pattern, but what I seem to be doing is to rediscover areas of interest that I had when I was much younger, and revise up on them, catch up to the knowledge level I used to have, then exceed it and learn all the stuff about it that I basically skipped or faked, the first time round. It is very much like going back to school, only this time, paying attention.

    That's refreshingly honest :)

    Presumably this is a matter of motivation: are you learning something to impress others, or to do your job, or out of intrinsic curiosity? The best learning is obviously going to come from the third option, because intrinsically motivated learning is the only one that comes from somewhere genuine.

    I assume as humans we all share a natural curiosity that drives us to learn stuff that interests us, whatever that may be. But then I speak to friends and it seems that not everyone does learn new stuff as they get older, which is a bit surprising to me, their lives must be very dull.

  • edited February 13

    As for a laundry list of "stuff", it seems almost seems irrelevant, the way I see it life is learning, full stop. Everything you do, from raising children, interacting with others, to your work, your hobbies, even how you live and think is all a constant learning curve. Either you're busy learning, or you're busy dying (to paraphrase St. Bob).

  • I wrote a thesis titled 'The Harmonic Algorithm' recently, which is a deep mathematical analysis of all possibilities for performance using harmonic overtones, on electric bass. Now I'm developing my playing techniques and usage in composition with regard to this material.

    On iOS I've more or less got my head around all the apps I'm using, although I'm still chipping away at understanding my iConnectivry device.

  • Always trying to improve on the guitar/keyboard.

    Always got a book on the go. I've been through a midlife crisis "evaluate your life" thing so I've quit the smokes, improved my diet and exercise and bought the obligatory red convertible.

    I have a current keen interest in all things spiritual and that mindful meditation stuff that's all the rage. The nature of consciousness, psychology, philosophy, the study of the brain and how it can be used as a servant rather than a master and all that keeps me thinking and, hopefully, growing.

    Also trying to improve my willpower wrt New Shiny Apps/Plugins and make more of what I have.

  • @richardyot said:

    Presumably this is a matter of motivation: are you learning something to impress others, or to do your job, or out of intrinsic curiosity? …

    I'm actually learning electronics all over again. In my adventure of fixing my ARP 2600, I realise that although I've actually worked as an electronics engineer twice in my life, and built a digital clock at age 13 and studied electronics at school and then went on to drop out of electronics college in Australia (taking the easy way out and going to Art college instead back in the UK), I must own up and admit that I ran away from electronics because someone put some mathematics in the way. Bastards. Don't they realise I can't do maths.

    Now, though, I'm remembering all the things I ran away from - how to bias transistors, different operating modes of transistors, current mirrors and sinks and sources, what Thevenin and Norton's theorems are about (still lots of scary formula in there - the thing I realise I don't get about maths is the notation - it's not maths I don't get, it's notations. Same with music - notations - I don't easily comprehend notations). All of this is stuff that, if I had understood it first time round, would allow me to actually design circuits, whereas all I got as far as is to be able to find my way around other people's circuits, and not in any particularly deep way either (as I'm finding with the circuit for the ARP 4019 VCA, which is more and more elegant and clever, the more I look at it).

  • I am learning that I am still who I was when I was younger.

    There was a point in my life around 1997 I crossed a line. A threshold of self imposed guard rails, controlled chaos. At one point, I crossed myself. The problem is that I did punish myself for doing so. The consequence and punishment I administered to myself were in reality more self destructive than the acts themselves.

    At this point, it was my understanding I would never be the same.

    The recent couple of years have allowed me to see all was not lost. I was still me.

    I now feel as though I have been reincarnated back into my birth self. Twice in one physical existence on this earth.

    Who was I in between?

    I don't know. But, he was insane and showed me things that one could only imagine fiction by other interpretations.

    I have lived, died, and live again.

    At this point, I am happy and conscious of my living and existing on this plane.

  • I learnt how to fix my 23-year-old microwave, woot!

    I got it working again (after putting my glasses on) with only
    ... a couple of palette knives
    ... a spoon rest
    ... a match
    ... a tea light and
    ... a cable tie

    I didn't even need my Leatherman.

    @decibellesmicrowave said:
    Kachunk! Beep beep beep (pause) Whirrrrrr ....

    Best. Sounds. Ever.

    I suspect this will seem pretty mundane to most of you in the tech trade or with tech backgrounds, but for me and my music/arts background, it was a huge win. Go me. :smiley:

    Tis the seee-zun too heeet water bottles
    Round 'n round they gooooo, til microoo-waaave beeeeps.

  • edited February 13

    @decibelle said:
    I learnt how to fix my 23-year-old microwave, woot!

    I got it working again (after putting my glasses on) with only
    ... a couple of palette knives
    ... a spoon rest
    ... a match
    ... a tea light and
    ... a cable tie

    I didn't even need my Leatherman.

    @decibellesmicrowave said:
    Kachunk! Beep beep beep (pause) Whirrrrrr ....

    Best. Sounds. Ever.

    I suspect this will seem pretty mundane to most of you in the tech trade or with tech backgrounds, but for me and my music/arts background, it was a huge win. Go me. :smiley:

    Tis the seee-zun too heeet water bottles
    Round 'n round they gooooo, til microoo-waaave beeeeps.

    Thanks for reminding me - I must do a microwave leakage check on ours, it's nearly that old. Here's a fairly strange page on how, http://m.wikihow.com/Check-a-Microwave-for-Leaks (there's a bit where they suggest putting a laptop in the microwave to see if it can still be pinged over wifi, and they briefly mention not to turn the microwave on, but you can be sure some idiot will do) (the reason for putting a laptop in the microwave is that wifi is 2.4GHz (or 5GHz) and also a microwave oven's magnetron (which is basically a high power radio transmission antenna/waveguide) operates at 2.4GHz - wifi, microwave, same thing. If the oven's capacitance trap formed by the door, the glasses metal grille, and the metal surface facing the door, are all clean and dent-free, they'll constitute a notch filter at 2.4GHz, not letting any of it through (or much). If there's food or dents on the metal face or the door, the centre frequency of the filter will shift and it'll trap something else but let the microwave energy pass through. I think I'll try mine later with a neon screwdriver and see what I can see (when it gets dark). Not sure about putting my iPad in there, I might accidentally instinctively and reflexively heat it up for 30 seconds like I do with my tea. Besides, not being able to ping it doesn't indicate that it's blocking enough to be safe.

  • For me it's more about trying to unlearn and just feel again. After 20+ years approaching things from the more technical side, now I'm trying to ignore all that theory and just have fun again. Trying not to obsess about the details and to work fast instead of over-tweaking things. Harder than it sounds!

  • edited February 13

    Funny enough, I am learning how to eat, how to sleep, how to breath and how to walk(optimally). Yes, this required a lot of unlearning first.
    "Learning" the piano keyboard is high on my list of things to get to asap.

  • I'm trying to learn how to play fingerstyle guitar after being inspired by watching Tommy Emmanuel live. It's a skillset that's surprisingly far from what I do professionally (which is singing + accompaniment on guitar)

  • I started saving things in One Tab - Here's about the last 1000 tabs I've had open on the Mac anyway, going back to December - mostly all Audio related, been heavily focused on AOIP protocols, USB, Latency & Jitter, Core Audio Framework... bunch of other stuff

    http://www.one-tab.com/page/H-Kp3Z0URDaLK3EaGPN2TA

  • I've been taking piano lessons for just over 3 years which has helped tremendously. I've also been taking composition lessons from a composition PhD student at the local university. I'm also trying to learn DSP properly (including refreshing my maths), but there are only so many hours in the day.

  • edited February 18

    deleted

  • Recently learned how to tie my shoes.

  • @funjunkie27 said:
    Recently learned how to tie my shoes.

    Both?

  • I'm working on solid internal timing, counting one-e-an-a two-e-an-a in my head while playing anything - fingerdrumming on LaunchPad, Bach on recorder, singing, whatever.

  • I got into iOS when I had 2 little children. I put my flamenco guitar study to one side and wondered if I'd ever go back to it. 3 years later, with iPad Pro 12', forScore, page turner (BlueBoard), and an iLoud, I've returned to the study. God I wish I had those tools before.

  • @u0421793 said:

    @funjunkie27 said:
    Recently learned how to tie my shoes.

    Both?

    Yes...but not at the same time. It was tongue in cheek, obviously, but I did discover recently that by reversing the knot, I could avoid having the knot come untied as easily.

  • @funjunkie27 said:

    @u0421793 said:

    @funjunkie27 said:
    Recently learned how to tie my shoes.

    Both?

    Yes...but not at the same time. It was tongue in cheek, obviously, but I did discover recently that by reversing the knot, I could avoid having the knot come untied as easily.

    Do you ever mismatch your socks?

  • @Arpseechord said:

    @funjunkie27 said:

    @u0421793 said:

    @funjunkie27 said:
    Recently learned how to tie my shoes.

    Both?

    Yes...but not at the same time. It was tongue in cheek, obviously, but I did discover recently that by reversing the knot, I could avoid having the knot come untied as easily.

    Do you ever mismatch your socks?

    All the time....I end up with the right sock on the left foot and vice versa.

  • @funjunkie27 said:

    @Arpseechord said:

    @funjunkie27 said:

    @u0421793 said:

    @funjunkie27 said:
    Recently learned how to tie my shoes.

    Both?

    Yes...but not at the same time. It was tongue in cheek, obviously, but I did discover recently that by reversing the knot, I could avoid having the knot come untied as easily.

    Do you ever mismatch your socks?

    All the time....I end up with the right sock on the left foot and vice versa.

    Same here :D

  • I am currently upgrading skills for my career and like you I previously only went as deep as needed to maintain employment as an onion salesman, err, or something. Anyway, now I am going much deeper into learning (yay Youtube) but there is no way to learn these subjects completely and even the masters who teach them often say things like 'you could go super deep in this particular area' and that they are really endless.

    A few months ago when I started this upgrading I though it would be my usual cursory flyby and I would be back to the couch making music on the ipad in no time. But alas I really want this to stick and to be more the real thing at work and not just winging it. It also doesn't hurt that kids right out of school are so well trained now so I gotta get my shit together. But hey, in the end it is fun and I am actually quite enjoying it. It has been a long time since my work has actualy been fun and while I do need to mindscrew myself into sticking at it and staying focused I feel this effort may not be pointless throwaway when I retire and actualy apply to personal endeavors down the road... ...maybe? Or that is just part of the mindscrew helping me to stay focused and pay the mortgage. Yah, I needed to become more like the corporate shill I previously eschewed in my shallow flybys of youthful 'learning' but hey, no one gets out of this game fully intact. We are a product of our conditioning/learning.

  • edited February 18

    deleted

  • I've learnt that school, like youth, is (mostly) wasted on the young.

  • Yesterday i figured out a new and better way to smoke a pork tenderloin

  • speaking of shoes. @funjunkie27 I discovered this a while ago and its pretty awesome.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IijQyX_YCKA

    Also I am in a constant state of learning and deep thought. So at any given time I might be contemplating the mysteries of quantum physics or I might be learning new ways to cook a chicken. I am also always trying to learn something new about music theory and how it all works.

  • @gmslayton said:
    speaking of shoes. @funjunkie27 I discovered this a while ago and its pretty awesome.

    Pretty cool and interesting that at my age you can still relearn something so basic.

  • edited February 13

    I bought a lovely Martin 00-18 acoustic in the weekend and am brushing up on finger picking - so beautiful to play!

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