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How Useful Autodidacticism?

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:22 pm
by Red
Autodidact is defined as 'a self-taught person.'

We've already talked about how studying the humanities are usually better left to be studied at home, and a lot of sciences benefit from having expensive equipment and expert supervision, but how far is the extent of studying various things by yourself?

With the internet, we now have access to Youtube, Wikipedia, forums, books, and other websites that all provide educational content in all types of fields, which serves a very important purpose, and increases overall education among the public (hopefully).

I've used Youtube to learn about a lot of things, mostly Calculus from Khan Academy, and I think I have a pretty good idea of the basics of Differential Calculus (though I didn't get to Integral yet). Now I know this is just an anecdote, but, in regards to mathematics, I feel as though I learn better studying myself on my own time at my own pace, instead of at school where there isn't any of that; PreCalc last year was terrible for me, and although I don't really like to blame teachers for being ineffective at their job, this is not one of those times. My teacher was a nice guy, definitely knew a lot about mathematics and had an obvious passion for it, but damn did he suck at teaching; he often went too fast, and he always goes about it as if we've studied it all before and we're just reviewing. I had to spend a lot of time learning the material at home, since I barely learned anything in class, and it took far too much time. I mean, I did decently in the class, a B+, but I'm still pissed about it because I know I could've done better.

I love mathematics, and I study it because, as pretentious as it sounds, it's the language that we humans use to understand the universe, when our senses (when used correctly) and critical thinking skills are not enough. So, everyday, I try to watch at least 1 video on calculus. I also get the beneft of being a bit more prepared than others for when I get to college so then I can show off in class like I always do. ;)

Anyway, does anyone else have experience with self study? Where is it more useful than learning about it via education?

Sorry if this post is messy by the way, been pretty busy lately.

Re: How Useful Autodidacticism?

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:25 am
by teo123
Everyone who works is probably self-taught to some degree. That which is learned on the computer science course on an university is mostly inapplicable to real life, a programmer will probably need some of that once in his whole career and forget it until then. It's often been said that what is learned there (basic electrotechnics, advanced math, advanced algorithms...) is rarely useful, but that if you don't know that, you won't realize when you need it to learn it by yourself. Though, to me it seems that rhetoric applies just as much to, for instance, advanced CSS. When I was building my website, I ended up needing that but not being aware of that.
My father works as a historian, and he admits to being mostly self-taught: that which he learned on the university hardly helps him decipher medieval Latin manuscripts.

Re: How Useful Autodidacticism?

Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:34 pm
by Red
Wow teo, decent post. There may be hope for you.

I'm not very familiar with computer science, aside from what I know about Discrete Math. As I said, you can't just rely on your own teaching when it comes to the sciences; that is more reserved for the Humanities (as your father has).