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I try to learn something new every...

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Hour
  3168 votes / 14%
Day
  9326 votes / 42%
Week
  1948 votes / 8%
Month
  554 votes / 2%
Year
  337 votes / 1%
..so often
  3462 votes / 15%
..time my boss makes me
  1047 votes / 4%
..time I want to look smart
  2117 votes / 9%
21959 total votes.
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I try to learn something new every...

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  • by digsbo (1292334) on Friday August 05, 2011 @07:40AM (#36995666)
    Is "something" a design pattern, or a language? An etude, or a musical instrument? A dance, or a dance step? On average, I find that if I try to learn more than two interesting things a year (i.e. a programming language or an area of hobbyist interest) I get overloaded. But I'm learning a lot about one of those two things daily.
    • by fbjon (692006)
      I answered "every week" for roughly the same reason. I don't consider learning about something to be learning something new, unless it makes me see something in a new light. I'd wager that happens at least once a week, even if on a small scale.

      Similarly, I'm aiming to learn a new language over the next two months, but I don't think that would count. That's still only "half-new", as it takes much more work than that to get any proper learning down with natural languages.

      • by mcmonkey (96054) on Friday August 05, 2011 @09:32AM (#36996608) Homepage

        I didn't know that about you.

        And I'm done for the day.

        • by Cylix (55374) *

          And I about you..

          I'm done for the year.

          I feel this has been a very productive day for the both of us. Let us celebrate with some inebriation.

      • I'm aiming to learn a new language over the next two months,

        Good luck. Two months is incredibly ambitious for learning a new language. six months to a year is more like it, but remember some people spend two or three years without getting it. Keep going though, even after two months; the key is persistence, and eventually you'll get it!

        • by cshark (673578)

          Depends what you mean by "learn." I just picked up Python. Read a book on it, wrote some code.
          I have a functional grasp of the language, but it's going to be at least a few months before I'm an expert, and can create big things without having to refer to the documentation.

          Maybe he meant "get a functional understanding of x language?"

          • I think he was talking about a human language, not a computer language. With a computer language, I agree, a week or two is good enough to learn a new language reasonably well (assuming you are already a programmer).
    • by Gripp (1969738)
      i dont think it applies to only "learning new *topics*"

      yesterday i learned that awk produces a string on error and that usleep will accept strings and treat them as "0". i also learned that to stop from learning these things the hard way i should #!/bin/bash -e from now on in that script so that exits on error rather than humming along at infinite speed... i sent 7k fetches to a telephony system in a matter of seconds, crashing their hosted network.... and i'm sure i'll learn how much the owners appreci
      • by Lord Grey (463613)

        Spot on.

        The "something" in "learn something new" does not have to be a huge topic. It can simply be a new (to you) fact, or a realization that doing something this way is easier than doing it that way. Keep your eyes open, think about what's going on around you, and it's pretty easy to find that something.

        • by Javaman59 (524434)

          The "something" in "learn something new" does not have to be a huge topic. It can simply be a new (to you) fact, or a realization that doing something this way is easier than doing it that way. Keep your eyes open, think about what's going on around you, and it's pretty easy to find that something.

          Often it's a simple as deciding to do something a better way. Instead of spending 10 minutes to do something the way I always have, I spend 30 to find a better way. Computers give oodles of opportunities for this, especially in the form of configuring, or scripting, something one does repeatedly.

          Or doing a job around the house that I've been putting off, because I didn't want to work out how to do it (eg. how to poison a grape vine).

          There's also news items on subjects I know nothing about, and am not norma

    • by qwak23 (1862090)

      I would consider something to be something, anything, regardless how big or how small. Information that seems small and insignificant can still affect your perception and understanding of the world around you.

      Today I learned the kanji for alcohol, how to use adjectives with verbs in Japanese so that I can say whether or not someone is good at something, likes something, etc, that cavalier was a term used for supporters of King Charles I as well as being a term for a fortification and the name of a car, and

  • Every Day seems logical even if its little things. If figured they meant even something as simple as oh there's a new shop opening down the street. That is a fact that I learned. If they mean something like school then that works too because usually one picks up something new each time they study. Though I guess the operative word is try.
  • by Interfacer (560564) on Friday August 05, 2011 @08:05AM (#36995828)

    2 years ago I started learning Japanese. Last year I started learning kanji.
    So I force myself to learn something new every single day, or I'll never know even the grade school kanji list.
    Learning 3 to 4 new kanji every day, and repeating them lots of times is the only way to learn the grade school kanji within 1 year.
    Even then I'll probably need another year of repeating things every day to really 'know' them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You do know that you won't get a Japanese girlfriend even if you learn their language? They're still women you know ...

      • by qwak23 (1862090)

        As someone who lives in Japan...

        Even the ugliest socially inept troll (by American Standards) can get a girlfriend here, as long as they're a foreigner.

        It's kind of like how American Girls will fawn all over a British dude with his teeth poking out of his cheek just because they like his accent.

    • by qwak23 (1862090)

      I've been doing something similar, though I got a bit lazy after the first 120 Kanji ;) (Started picking up the pace again last month). Maybe it's the fact that I live in Japan so I see kanji every day, but I really haven't lost any of the ones I learned last year, not even the proper stroke order (well, a couple I did, but only because the official stroke order was awkward for me).

      When I was hitting them pretty hard last year, I just took a few minutes several times a day to write the ones I knew (usually

      • Seeing them daily would be a great help I imagine.
        I practice traditional Japanese jujutsu, and my currciculum has the Japanese names printed next to them.
        The kanji which I have an external link to (like names of techniques etc) stick much better in my mind than the ones I only see in the kanji list.
        The least I can say is that Japanese is an interesting language.

        And sometimes not without a sense of humor. When I learned the kanji for 'target' I thought to myself 'hey, that sounds familiar. And kin means 'gol

  • by Fractal Dice (696349) on Friday August 05, 2011 @08:06AM (#36995834) Journal
    Every time I refresh slashdot is an attempt to learn something new.
    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      Every time I refresh slashdot is an attempt to learn something new.

      And a failure most of the time ;-)

      • Every time I refresh slashdot is an attempt to learn something new.

        And a failure most of the time ;-)

        The poll only says "try" . . .

        • by Pieroxy (222434)

          Every time I refresh slashdot is an attempt to learn something new.

          And a failure most of the time ;-)

          The poll only says "try" . . .

          There. I learned something today: to read TFPT before replying.

    • by Xyrus (755017)

      ur doin et rong

  • by olau (314197) on Friday August 05, 2011 @08:42AM (#36996136) Homepage

    From time to time, I think about a Slashdot comment many years back warning about the tendency of some people to get stuck with their favourite programming environment and diss everything else.

    If you're old-school, that might be COBOL or RPG on some platform (or Perl or Java :). But it's exactly the same for the "in" languages and platforms today. They may not have seen their best time yet, but tying your carrier to them forever may not be the best idea. While some people waste a lot of time chasing the fads, at one point one of those fads may actually turn out to be a substantially better tool in some areas than what you're using today. Even if it's not immediately obvious.

    Something to keep in mind.

    • by Mike (1172)

      Fossilize apostle and I comb it with a rake.

      I don't *only* code in Perl for any of those reasons. I've tried other languages, and no other language has given me that warm fuzzy feeling that Perl has. The only language that comes close is maybe Ruby. For me, what I code in is a matter of personal passion, and nothing else.

    • Eh, once you know *what* you can do with a computer and any one given language you can pick up another language in a week or two with some clever Google searches. Between the myriad tutorials out there and some targeted specific things like "How do I do a pop-up box in " you can be reasonably functional. Keep on using it and you'll be up to your old speed at coding withing a couple of months at most.

      The hard part is learning to be efficient in your *first* language, the rest just kind of naturally follow
      • Eh, once you know *what* you can do with a computer and any one given language you can pick up another language in a week or two with some clever Google searches. Between the myriad tutorials out there and some targeted specific things like "How do I do a pop-up box in " you can be reasonably functional. Keep on using it and you'll be up to your old speed at coding withing a couple of months at most.

        The hard part is learning to be efficient in your *first* language, the rest just kind of naturally follows.

        T

        • by AJWM (19027)

          Agreed. Back in the day, interviewing potential software developers, I looked for people who knew at least two radically different languages -- I knew they'd likely have little problem coming up to speed on something new (and our apps had some specialized scripting languages).

          My first two computer languages were Algol and APL (no, I wasn't learning them in alphabetical order, it just worked out that way). Definitely different.

          • by Pieroxy (222434)

            My first two computer languages were Algol and APL (no, I wasn't learning them in alphabetical order, it just worked out that way). Definitely different.

            Obviously, otherwise you would have started with A and then A+.

      • There are different language paradigms -- structured, object-oriented, procedural, functional come to mind. Some of those (in particular functional languages) require a rather different mindset than the others. So it's not always a simple matter of learning a new syntax.

        • by data2 (1382587)

          Which brings me to try Haskell time and time again. And some things just stick, e.g. map/reduce comes to mind.

  • It's not like I have "learn something new" on my agenda.
    It just happens. And I can't make it stop.

  • The Goal of our life is to know everything about everything. We live to Know. With knowledge, we will create more. Only by knowing everything can we make the best choices of our life. I cannot see a World where I cannot follow the guideline of Knowledge. I exist to Know; I know, therefore I live.
    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      The Goal of our life is to know everything about everything.

      So just before dying, when you realize you don't know everything about everything, you will consider your life a failure?
      My goal is most certainly not to know everything about everything. If anything, I try to set my goals reachable.

      • by Jorl17 (1716772)
        I dream. I do not need to end my life knowing that I Knew everything. I do, however, need to know that was my goal and that was what I fought for. This is not a mere goal, it is a purpose. Did I ever say I would consider my life a failure if I didn't know everything? I will, however, consider it a failure if all I did was "live my life". This is my goal, this is what I am good at, this is what gives me immense pleasure. I am an atheist, but this concept of an ideal goal, a purpose, is common in Christianity
        • by Pieroxy (222434)

          Then your goal is to learn as much as you can on every topic maybe. But not to learn everything about everything as you put it. That way at the end of your life you can say you've reached your goal (if you've reached it).

          • by Jorl17 (1716772)
            Yes, I guess you're right. But it sounds, at least in my native language, much better when you say "learn everything about everything". In fact, I usually say "to know of everything and of everyone" (saber de tudo e de todos). But, yes, ultimately, you're right.
  • keep your brain active and you'll minimize risking Alzheimer.

    and you stay an interestig person people like to talk with.

    Sad fact is when you get older, your learning will slow down and already learned things are in the way to understand

    un-learning is slow and painful.

    20 years ago I learned a programming language in weeks, now it takes months.

    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      Whew. I was worried there for a minute.

    • and you stay an interestig person people like to talk with.

      Maybe if you work in a university, otherwise most of the people you interact with will be more interested in sports and reality TV.

    • If it really takes you that long to learn a programming language, the problem might be your physical fitness, or your diet (or your sleep). Might want to work on improving those.
  • I wouldn't say I "try" to learn something new every day, it just happens, usually more than once a day.

  • What do you think wikipedia [wikipedia.org] is for!?

  • ...which is about every week or so, one reason I love my job as much as I do.
  • I don't learn something fore the sake of learning. I learn something because it interests me, or because I need it, or because I think it will be an advantage for me, or just as side effect of being exposed to it. Those options are not mutually exclusive, and probably also not complete. But what I definitely don't do is caring how much or how often I learn something. I tend to frequently learn new things, just because there's much interesting stuff out there, and also because I constantly find new things wo

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Friday August 05, 2011 @10:45AM (#36997406)
    It seems to be equally effective and is much easier (and impresses the same people).
  • ...chance I get.
  • I learn new things each and every day.
    I forget just as many.
    Meanwhile, my overall capacity continues to shrink with each passing day.
    Get off my lawn.

  • ...time I want to look smart.
    Gosh, I have never answered an /. poll so honestly.
    I find myself making personal plans all day, and then just standing there sitting on my butt.
    =/

  • It helps to maintain my rage :D

  • I try to learn new things by logging in to Slashdot.
  • But what that really means is the older I get the more I realize what I don't know. In my early 20's I had an answer for everything, now in my 50's things aren't nearly so straightforward.

  • I already know everything.

  • The only time you stop learning, is when you are dead.

    • by Chuby007 (1961870)

      The only time you stop learning, is when you are dead.

      when you die you learn what it is to be dead.. so it never stops..

      • The only time you stop learning, is when you are dead.

        when you die you learn what it is to be dead.. so it never stops..

        When you die, you are not dead yet. The dead don't die.

  • Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.
  • I learn plenty by just living life and doing everyday stuff, I don't need a rule of "learning something new at a randomly chosen time interval" to dictate when I should take in new knowledge or skills.

  • I chose every so often. I thought about every day, but that seems to restrictive. I learn...when I learn. Sometimes it may be every minute I'm in the saddle of a unhappy horse, sometimes it could be not for a few days, because life is not always intense. Perhaps the fuzzy aspect to this survey is the meaning of learning. Watching the news I can learn about the world, but I see that as more information gathering, not learning. Reading how to scrape data fro html tags is not learning, its application of

  • It's not once a week, it's not once a day. Most days I learn something, but it's like the work week - you need some time off, not every day needs to be a learning experience.

  • One has to wonder about those saying they try to learn something new ever hour. Makes one wonder if either they don't sleep or that they constantly dream about being in school or reading. Sounds pathological or dishonest/misinformed/poor self-reflection skills.

Bus error -- please leave by the rear door.

 



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