Help me learn new things! – The Recap

from The Incidental Economist at on December 28, 2016 at 12:19PM

I wrote this back in 2010:

A couple of years ago, I was reading a biography of Albert Einstein.  I was struck by how much he, and scientists like him, we versed in philosophy.  I realized it was one of the areas in which my education was deficient.

This seemed like a big hole, especially given the rhetoric being flung around about health care reform.  People cited the values of our founders, those of America, and how they would feel about reform.  I realized I knew shockingly little about this.  I did what I usually do in that situation – I took a whole pile of books and spent many summer evenings reading in my backyard with a glass of scotch.  My wife is still making fun of me.

That summer led to this post. It also led to this paper. And then years passed.

I like learning new things. I think it’s important. It keeps me fresh. It makes me a better person. I decided, last December, that I wanted to dedicate a significant amount of time this year to learning more about topics I knew little about. I asked for your help in picking them, and in suggesting things I should read or watch. Each month, I wrote up what I learned, and reviewed the materials.

I only missed two months, which isn’t that bad considering I still had a full-time job, wrote 30 or so columns for the NYT, made a hundred videos for Healthcare Triage, wrote a handful of times for the JAMA Forum, and two dozen more for the AcademyHealth blog. Not to mention blogging for TIE. Oh, and I wrote a book.

The individual posts are still available from both The Schedule and here. I wanted to collect all of the sources together in one place, though. The bolded green entries are those I especially recommended. When I look at the list altogether, I can’t believe I managed to get it done. I’m pretty proud of this.

January – History of water and growth in So Cal (and maybe elsewhere)

February – Wine

March – Game Theory

April – Cryptography

May – Art History

June – The history of railroads in the US

July – Oceanography

August – Football (strategy and theory)

September/October – Chaos Theory

November – Linguistics

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. I think I might try something else in 2017. More on that to come.