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Mindset Mondays with DTK – Ep #148 — Useless or Dangerous?

Though I loved Mrs. Southworth, my high school Human Anatomy and Physiology teacher, I hated the early months of the class. There was no thinking … it was at best, acronyms and other mnemonics; at worst, sheer drudgery. I still remember the origin, insertion, and action of far too many of the more than 650 muscles in the human body!

Knowing the core elements of anatomy was essential to every subsequent lesson, AND … it wasn’t learning, it was memorization, bulk storage, data intake!

As bones are to the body, data is the structure for learning, but it’s not learning.

“Learning without thinking is useless.
Thinking without learning is dangerous.”

— Confucius

Thinking involves so much more than data intake and storage. Thinking involves intentionality, discernment, decoding/encoding, exploration, and so much more. One must think in order to learn or it’s just storage and retrieval.

“Thinking without learning” feels like obsession, perseveration, mental masturbation. It’s cycling about with no destination … a grand waste of energy.

Where am I learning without thinking … taking in information and not processing, not discerning, not deciding, merely storing data?

Where am I thinking without learning … mulling over existing ‘fact,’ overthinking, surrendering to confirmation bias?

How about you?


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