The perils of optimization

For the last couple weeks I’ve been working on building a new learning platform.

The goal is to optimize learning. To help people learn faster.

I know, we have our work cut out for us.

When it comes to learning, there is plenty of room for optimization.

Online learning is a multi-billion dollar industry and thousands of companies are innovating in this space.

Recently, Elon Musk announced yet another company, Neuralink, which aims to make implants for the human brain that can wirelessly interface with a computer.

So what’s the end goal? how fast can we learn? Can Matrix-like learning become a reality? What happens when we can learn anything instantaneously?

You could learn 100 languages in a few seconds.

You could learn everything covered in a 4 year law degree in two minutes.

You could become a master chess player, nuclear physicist, rocket scientist and brain surgeon in less time that it takes to brush your teeth.

Technology is not only helping us to learn faster, it’s helping us obtain anything we want faster; information (Google), entertainment (YouTube, Netflix), food (Instacart), car rides (Uber), porn (YouPorn), products (Amazon).

We are creating an instant satisfaction economy.

But satisfaction doesn’t equal fulfillment.

We run the risk to end up in a world where we get everything we want at the expense of what we really need.

Not everything needs to be optimized. Not everything needs to happen faster and with less effort.

By reducing the gap between A: where we are, and B: where we want to be, we are killing the magic.

For the sake of the destination we are killing the journey.

We humans are still running on a 1 million year old operating system. A system designed to value and enjoy more the things for which we had to work harder, for which the journey was long, treacherous and adventurous.

In short. No pain. No gain.

We need to be careful and build technology to enhance the journey, not destroy it.

We need to learn to integrate technology in our lives so it doesn’t replace the things from which derive true lasting fulfillment.

And as someone that is now on the technology creation side, I feel this responsibility.

Maybe the ultimate goal shouldn’t be to help people learn faster but to help people enjoy more the journey of learning, even it takes longer to get to the destination.

I’m working on it.

Peace, love and cookies for a long and fulfilling journey.


P.S.: Here you have two book recommendations that recount the amazing life journeys by two remarkable humans: “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman” by Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard P. Feynman and “The Art Of Learning” by chess prodigy and Taiji Quan world champion, Joshn Waitzkin.

P.2: This week’s winner of an official Grumo t-shirt is… Stan de Wijs! (please reply to this email with your shirt size and address) – Do you want to win a FREE Grumo t-shirt? every week I’ll be giving away an official limited edition Grumo t-shirt to one of my readers courtesy of ShirtBattle. To enter the contest just click HERE.

P.3: Did you miss last week’s email? No problem you can read it HERE.


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