How to Teach Yourself Hard Things

  1. Identify what you don’t understand (maybe the most important one)
  2. Have confidence in your knowledge
  3. Ask questions
  4. Do research

…Taking a bit of extra time to take a piece of knowledge that you’re pretty sure of (“there are 65535 ports, Wikipedia said so”) and make it totally ironclad (“that’s because the port field in the TCP header is only 16 bits”) is super useful because there is a big difference between “I’m 97% sure this is true” and “I am 100% sure about this and I never need to question it again”. Things I know are 100% true are way easier to rely on.”

—Julia Evans, “How to teach yourself hard things.” jvans.ca. September 1, 2018.

I would add that the an important pitfall is those things that we are sure is 100% true that aren’t true. Being a philosophical skeptic, this is probably everything.

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