General Question

binary's avatar

What to learn next?

Asked by binary (461points) December 19th, 2008 from IM

I’m someone who loves to learn new things, ideas, et cetera. Although I’m only a high school student, I’ve tried tackling things from quantum physics to string theory (albeit, I can’t fully appreciate either at my level of understanding). What are you guys trying to learn, or what would you suggest someone else learn?

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28 Answers

laureth's avatar

Wow, binary, that’s pretty impressive! I’m not sure I can top that, nor am I sure you’d be interested in anything I could come up with. Heck, you could teach me a few things, i bet!

dynamicduo's avatar

Cooking. Do you cook? It’s a great skill to have, and it’s very easy. I highly recommend a book called The Professional Chef which covers pretty much every cooking technique in such wonderful detail.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Learn some trading card games. You sound like a pretty smart person so you could be pretty good. I know Magic the Gathering and the World of Warcraft tcg. If that is not to your liking, learn a language or two. Learn an instrument. Do you have a lot of time? read up on a kind of pet you’ve never had and get one! Oh you could go so far with this. :)

derektherock42's avatar

Learn about poetry. Learn about art and music. Culture.

augustlan's avatar

Good for you…it’s great that you’re looking beyond what school can teach you! As a stone in the wall of your education, nothing will ever serve you better than understanding people. Why they do things, how they interact, how environment and perception shapes them. The depth and breadth of human nature is endlessly fascinating. You will use this knowledge every day of your life.

asmonet's avatar

Go back to basics.

Learn to sew or as dynamic said, cook. Learn to build tables, chairs, do something with your hands. Not everything you’ll use in life is intellectual. :)

arnbev959's avatar

Shorthand. I taught myself from a book at the public library.

jholler's avatar

Sign language.

binary's avatar

Shorthand is a skill I need to learn. As far as card games, that reminds me that I have a deck of playing cards I need to learn how do a few tricks for… I wouldn’t mind learning cooking technique, and I’ve consigned to the fact that not everything worth doing is an intellectual pursuit.

Jeruba's avatar

Right-brain stuff. It’ll provide some enrichment, some different human values, and some balance. Try oil painting. Don’t think masterpiece. Think color, line, form, perspective. Think image and imagination. It doesn’t take much to set you up, you can take basic classes at places where they sell supplies, and even if you don’t keep it up for long it will change the way you look at things. It might even change the way you do science.

Alternatively, study Sanskrit, an amazing, complex, and beautiful language with an elegant structure, a magnificent grammar, a venerable history, and an ability to express precise concepts that we Westerners typically don’t even know how to think about.

juniper's avatar

How about CPR and other emergency medical techniques? They often have short, intensive courses offered during holidays.

tinyvamp's avatar

eventually i want to learn physics because just the little things i’ve heard about it are fascinating!

i’m currently ruby on rails, spanish and italian eventually i’ll get to french and japanese.

in the summer i am thinking about taking drifting lessons! :D

steelmarket's avatar

Dig into:
Entanglement (the book is good).
The coming singularity (try Ray Kurzweil’s books)

Then, how about trying:
playing guitar
personal finance (you will need it)
web authoring (start your own site)

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i just made a list of things i want to learn more about, i don’t know if any would be of interest to you, but go for it if they do. [=
-courtney love (so sue me, i think she’s interesting!)
-carving (like wood and whatnot)
-mass murderers (the psychology of them, etc)
-religions in general, especially buddhism
-native american history
-the aztecs, mayans, etc, especially that theory that the aztecs (i think?) had extraterrestrial connections haha
-behind the scenes of american public education
-classic cars [:
-caffeine legality
-egyptian mythology
-the reasons things are considered good luck
-the ukulele [=

KatawaGrey's avatar

@tiffy: That is quite a list. I hope you learn about all of it! A little tidbit about the Aztecs: No one in Latin America actually liked the Aztecs which is why Cortes was able to conquer them so thoroughly. He and his men never could have conquered the Aztecs on their own. :)

tiffyandthewall's avatar

@katawa, thank you! ironically i put it together during class instead of listening to lectures haha. also thanks for the fact! that’s really interesting. [=

tiffyandthewall's avatar

oh i’d also like to add to my list, i’m pretty interested in Elizabeth 1, and the Tudor family in general. and just general psychology.

finkelitis's avatar

The most important thing I did in high school was learn pottery. The most important thing in college was dancing. I also think anything improvisational is great for your whole life: improvisation speaking, music, dance, or theater/comedy.

jholler's avatar

“caffeine legality”?

please elaborate!

tiffyandthewall's avatar

haha i just kind of wonder why caffeine isn’t often thought of twice as a drug while, though pretty minor, it is. i mean, even alcohol is age limited. not that i’m complaining. and not that caffeine does as much as alcohol, but still. just vague curiosity. [:

steelmarket's avatar

@binary, I’ve got a feeling that you might enjoy these books (if you have not already read them):
Godel, Escher, Bach by Hofstadter
The Inflationary Universe by Guth
Prime Obsession by Derbyshire
Guns, Germs and Steel by Diamond

SpTaAiYd's avatar

Seriously learn about the history of the federal reserve, the people who run the world from behind the scenes. Also dig into the real history of human origin.

finkelitis's avatar is a great way to get tastes of the latest in tech, design, and entertainment. I highly suggest it.

Ort's avatar

Learn about environmental art and how art and science can combine to help us create a sustainable culture. A sustainable human civilization is about as important a thing as I can think of and it needs to be beautiful and fun for people to want to create it. Plus, it’s so interdisciplinary you can approach it from any angle that interests you.

shamroch's avatar

@binary I think we’re a lot alike. I like to get into stuff, get a precursory understanding, and then move on (which is what I imagine you have done with quantum and string theory, unless you’re a physicist). My best two recommendations are music and international politics.

The reason is because both of them change every day. Even once you have a basic understanding of genres or political trends, you can still watch them play out over time and constantly be finding new things to be informed about.

Also, music is the easiest way for nerds to move into the social strata, because you can study it and still be cool. ;)

prasad's avatar

Learn to learn!

mammal's avatar

i suggest one learns acceptance

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