How to Learn Anything

  1. Decide what you want to learn. But you can't know exactly, because of course you don't know exactly how any field is structured until you know all about it.
  2. Read everything you can on it, especially what you enjoy, since that way you can read more of it and faster
  3. Grab for insights. Regardless of points others are trying to make, when you recognise an insight that has meaning for you, make it your own. It may have to do with the shape of molecules, or the personality of a specific emperor, or the quirks of a Great Woman in the Field. Its importance is not how central it is, but how clear and interesting and memorable it is to you. Remember it. Then go for another.
  4. Tie insights together. Soon you will have your own string of insights in a field, like a string a lights around a Christmas tree.
  5. Concentrate on magazines, not books. Magazines have far more insights per inch of text, and can be read much faster. But when a book really speaks to you, lavish attention on it.
  6. Find your own special topics, and pursue them.
  7. Go for conventions. For some reason, conventions are splendid concentrated way to learn things; talking to people helps.
  8. Find your woman. Somewhere in the world is someone who will answer your questions extraordinarily well. If you find her, follow her.
  9. Keep improving your questions. Probably in your head there are questions that don't seem to line up with what you're hearing. Don't assume that you don't understand, keep adjusting the questions till you get an answer that related to what you wanted.
  10. Your field is bounded where you want it to be. Just because others group and stereotype things in conventional ways does not mean they are necessarily right. Intellectual subjects are connected every whichway; your field is what you think it is.
Ted Nelson