Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Skills verses Information.

I played Rock Band the other night. Despite having not played in many months it was nowhere near as painful as the first time I played. In fact it was hard to tell from my playing that I ever took a break at all...

This is hardly a new observation, anyone who has tried to ride a bike after a break of a decade or longer has seen much the same thing. It seems reasonable to me that skills do not degenerate at anywhere near the rate of knowledge. I realized long ago that I seem to be forgetting knowledge at nearly the rate I am learning it. This was easiest to see in my colege bowl scores. Despite learning a great deal in undergrad, my scores in trivia competitions were about the same every year. I forgot my history nearly as fast as I was learning science.

If this is the case it seems that I should be trying as hard as I can to learn new skills rather than new information. Getting better at things like computer programming, drawing, math, public speaking, and so on seems like one of the best uses of my time.

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