Measuring Synergies

I really like getting feedback from the environment — it seems like one of the best ways to actually learn and internalize a skill. I should really write a post on that sometime.

I’m pretty happy with how my life is going right now, I’m doing things and learning things, and the things I’m learning are starting to build synergies.

What’s a synergy?

It’s being able to do the same thing in multiple ways, and having those multiple ways complement each other. Being able to take apart reality and make sense of it in multiple ways that capture different important aspects of it.

It’s when your skill at one thing makes you better at another thing. At it’s best, it’s even better than skill transfer — it lets you get better in ways that you couldn’t have by simply studying the other thing more. For instance, Josh Waitzkin won a martial arts world championship using strategies he developed and internalized from chess.

I totally want to be that awesome.

In the meantime, I should be able to figure out if I’m getting there or not. In other words, to get feedback as to how well my skills are synergizing.

How can I tell when that’s happening?

When I reread something, and understand something that I didn’t before, and can notice what thought process generated that new understanding, I conclude that that thought process is producing synergy.



About atucker

Provisional pronouncements and (hopefully) honest mistakes. I'd like to be differently wrong about things, and helpful to the world.
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