#24 Why do we seek permission?

From Ali Abdaal’s Why Do We Seek Permission?

"When you start teaching yourself stuff and realize how easy it is to teach yourself anything, you get over this idea that you need to be qualified to do something", Ali gave the example of his friend who always thought of coding as a black box but after starting to learn, he realized that it made more sense than he initially thought and it became easier the more he made the effort to consciously learn. 

Ali referred to Austin Kleon who said: "As long as there’s gonna be at least one person in the world who cares about what you have to say, there’s almost a moral imperative to put your stuff out there because you’re helping people, you’re helping the world, you’re adding value to the world however that might be."

The curse of the expert. Often the person you want to be teaching you stuff is not the person who is the expert because they cannot empathize, they cannot understand where you’re coming from. You want someone who is maybe six months ahead of you in terms of their own knowledge, who fully understands what it was like to be a novice in the subject. The example given was that some professors - who have gained their 'expert' status through producing research - often cannot transfer this into teaching effectively as they don't spend their lives actively teaching. 

Ali added: "When you have that mindset that being an expert is actively bad when you’re trying to teach someone stuff, who is a complete novice, you’d rather be an amateur rather than an expert."

He also talked about Tim Urban of Wait But Why who does deep dives into topics that are not so easily understandable and translates them into articles that the average person can understand. What he does is he starts off with a level 4 knowledge about a topic such as being able to read the headlines of a news article, e.g., being able to understand Space X is a company and they are trying to do space exploration and stuff. Then he does tons of research with the aim to get himself to a level 7. Level 7 so that he would be able to understand what the level 10 experts are saying. Then he blogs about these topics so that people can get to level 7 too.


When you share as a novice learning alongside other people, other people are more willing to share their knowledge with you as well. 

What is something you are learning today? 


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