Posted by: rdkpickle | 10.19.2011

how to be good at something

Our brains are wonderful things:

“You may feel like your brain cannot cope with so much information or jump seamlessly from one medium to another, just as you may have felt in high school that you couldn’t learn a foreign language or conquer higher math.

But as the brain faces new language (or acronyms and abbreviations), new visual and auditory stimulation, or new and different ways of processing information, it can change and grow in the most remarkable fashion.”

I Live in the Future and Here’s How it Works


Students: These are a couple of the things I hope you learn from me. (In addition to math.)


  1. Algebraic!

  2. […] As linked to on Sonata Mathematique: […]

  3. addendum: this great quote:

    “I had two friends in high school who sort of showed me how a piano works. And I just spent two years being terrible at it until I was good at it. That’s just me. There’s no way I’m actually intrinsically talented at writing, acting, playing music, puppeteering. It’s that I’m willing to be shit at them for a while, until I’m good at them. It’s like when you watch a kid in math class—at some point, they just shut off, like, “I’m not going to be good at this, ever.” I don’t ever reach the “Fuck it” point in anything. I’m willing to be bad for as long as it takes, until I’m good.”
    –Jason Segel

    (hat tip: @tieandjeans

  4. I meant to comment with a link back to that quote, but somehow lost the plot. Thanks for digging it out of my archives. 🙂 I use the Marie Curie xckd as the surrogate for that on my desk, to get around the inevitable language issue.

    “You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard you become great in the process.”

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