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Radam

How do I increase my general knowledge?

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This may seem like a simple question. The obvious answer would be to read more books or to read more news articles. But I often find this to be hard for several reasons, I tend to lose interest in a particular book fairly quickly and I get bored whenever I read a news article in which the context goes over my head, for the latter, I essentially don't get the whole picture due to my gap in knowledge about a specific topic and that makes me lose interest. The most I would do these days is skim over a news articles, and then subsequently realising that I didn't pick up anything at all. 

I am the kind of person who has huge bursts of energy for a particular thing and refrain from going back to it after I lose this burst of energy. For example, at one point I was reading fairly in depth (more than the average person) about the Syrian civil war and I learnt a lot about the entire conflict. But after this energy was depleted I ended up not caring about the topic to even the tiniest extend, for example I wouldn't even read news articles about it. I don't remember much from my 'research', only fragments here and there, but I do suppose I can recall some of the finer details, if I were to embark on a train of thought concerning the topic at hand. I think this is a huge issue for me. 

I thought that college would make me more eager to learn about new things, but in fact it has done the exact opposite. For example, for any given day, I feel that my classes and assignments have me fulfil my "daily quota of knowledge" so I end up lazing around and not caring about learning more about the world (also bad because I do the same thing for studying). I'm doing fairly well in college with a 4.0 GPA, but I do not feel the least bit intelligent or knowledgeable particularly due to my laziness regarding learning new things. This intellectual imbalance is really bothering me quite a fair bit. 

My interest in various topics used to be sparked from reading threads on forums online, I'm hoping that I can rekindle the same mindset by lingering on the website. 

Does anyone feel the same way? 

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You can't know everything, so just stick to what interests you, but if you want to be a quiz king then you'll have to put in the effort, your choice.

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Just keep absorbing information as and when it pleases you.It'll all come together in the end where you want to go deeper. What you are doing atm  is feeling out the general landscape at a superficial level to get a broad picture with only sketchy details. One day you might want to fill in more detail on part of that broad picture i.e. specialise. Knuckle down on your course work though because you've made that commitment.

Edited by StringJunky

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I watch a lot of science documentaries in YouTube ,all those have helped me gain some knowledge about Physics . I am not much into books these days , because i got lost with some college level mathematics , especially differential equations .

These days i am mostly wondering about the differential equations involved in Maxwell's equations and Schrodinger equations , a bit shy to start a separate thread about it though

Like Sherlock Holmes said , Do not fill your head with too much unwanted stuffs , keep it minimal .It is no big deal

 

Edited by bimbo36

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I go through the same enthusiasm boom and bust cycle with various things.

The most basic answer I can give you is that you're going to need to do some not very fun work to develop the habits that will make it easier to do what you need to do.

Make reading a habit. Pick a book, read it for half an hour for bed every night until you finish it. If you find yourself growing bored, force yourself to keep going. 

When you find yourself reading an article where things are going over your head, make a list of those things and go to Wikipedia to look them up. If you can't find the necessary information on Wikipedia, have some online forums or place you can go ask questions. If you're at a University, there are likely to be people there who can answer some questions on a diverse variety of topics.

But ultimately it's just going to take some mental effort to force yourself to do things even when you don't feel like it. Once you get going and develop the habit, it will get much easier. In the meantime, the easiest way to do that is to develop a routine that includes some self-study time and force yourself to stick to that schedule. It's much easier to get yourself to do it if you can say "Ok, it's 1 o'clock, time for me to read for half an hour" than if you're just sitting around thinking "What do I feel like doing right now?" because the answer is almost never going to be doing something that feels like work. 

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2 hours ago, Radam said:

This may seem like a simple question. The obvious answer would be to read more books or to read more news articles. But I often find this to be hard for several reasons, I tend to lose interest in a particular book fairly quickly and I get bored whenever I read a news article in which the context goes over my head, for the latter, I essentially don't get the whole picture due to my gap in knowledge about a specific topic and that makes me lose interest. The most I would do these days is skim over a news articles, and then subsequently realising that I didn't pick up anything at all. 

 

I think that is a perfect place to start. I have learned a lot about investing by following up with the various things I didn't understand when reading news concerning the stock market. The things going over your head are the things you don't know. Learning those things would increase your general knowledge and it is even measurable in that as you research the things you don't understand eventually when reading the news things will stop going over your head. Your ability to get through the news without questions or confusion can be your gauge.

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After some time general knowledge became not the collecting of some new info as i have too much but to make the proper connection between facts and theories.

To train my ability to do so i practice TRIZ. While am doing these exercises i feel my brain wheels go faster and i notice the connection better.

There is nothing valuable to know more new discovered facts while am reading 10 science forums at the same time. As too many of them become old before i know it even. 

General knowledge is a relevant category when you are 18. After reaching some level it's essential to select in which area of knowledge you need to concenrate to reach your goal.

I don't need to improve my GK. But what i really need is a Ph.D degree. Finally

 

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Paradoxically the best way to increase your general knowledge may be to enhance your specific knowledge.

First, if you are serious about achieving an improvement you have to commit to working hard beyond the point where you have lost interest. If you cannot do that then, to be blunt, you don't deserve to succeed.

With that commitment made choose a topic that interests you. Let me use as an example World War II. Imagine you were intrested in WWII and wish to enhance your knowledge. Select a portion of the war that captures your attention - let's say it's the Italian theatre. Now go into more detail. Tha Anzio landings.

Locate books and articles on the Anzio landings. Read them. Make notes. Write a summary in your own words, with your own perspective. Persist even when all interest has evaporated. (It will almost certianly return.)

You will now find that not only do you know a great deal about the Anzio landings, but about WWII in general.

The trick, if you wish to consider it one, is that despite the intense focus you still pick up many facts with your "peripheral vision".

Try it. You won't be disappointed.

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19 minutes ago, Area54 said:

Paradoxically the best way to increase your general knowledge may be to enhance your specific knowledge.

First, if you are serious about achieving an improvement you have to commit to working hard beyond the point where you have lost interest. If you cannot do that then, to be blunt, you don't deserve to succeed.

With that commitment made choose a topic that interests you. Let me use as an example World War II. Imagine you were intrested in WWII and wish to enhance your knowledge. Select a portion of the war that captures your attention - let's say it's the Italian theatre. Now go into more detail. Tha Anzio landings.

Locate books and articles on the Anzio landings. Read them. Make notes. Write a summary in your own words, with your own perspective. Persist even when all interest has evaporated. (It will almost certianly return.)

You will now find that not only do you know a great deal about the Anzio landings, but about WWII in general.

The trick, if you wish to consider it one, is that despite the intense focus you still pick up many facts with your "peripheral vision".

Try it. You won't be disappointed.

Yes, underlying themes and principles start to emerge as you increase the pieces of knowledge. These realisations can be more valuable than the individual pieces themselves. I'm of the belief that the more you know, the more you novel can be

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