Michael Stuart Kelly Posted March 23, 2008 Share Posted March 23, 2008 How to Learn Quickly from the Dark SideI have recently been hanging around some er... unsavory... places on the Internet to get a certain kind of er... information I need right now. (No, I am not talking about porn or gambling and I am not going back to my evil ways of yesteryear, but I do know how to get along with the dark side and I do know how get the information I need.)Since I am a reformed bad guy and now wear a white hat, imagine my jaw dropping open on reading some of the best advice on rapid-fire learning I have ever encountered from a couple of these dudes from down under. (I will not identify these people and will paraphrase and summarize their advice in my own words as I am sure they would prefer to remain anonymous.)Tip No. 1 - Crash course on an unfamiliar business1. Go to some online magazine sites like Forbes, Fortune, Business Week and other top business magazines. In the search field for previous articles, type in the keywords that identify the business you want to learn about.2. When the articles come up, print out at least 10 of them all total, but a few more is better. Do not read them on the computer. Print them out. Go on up to 50 if you find some shorter ones, but that's already pushing it a bit too hard.3. After they are printed out, sit down somewhere quiet, preferably in your favorite chair with some kind of beverage to get real comfortable, and read them with all your attention. Full focus.This should take about an hour. After that, you will know more than 99% of the rest of the world knows about that business and often more than many of the professionals in it.Tip No. 2 - Quick book reading 1. Read the Table of Contents2. Read the Index. The entire Index, word for word.3. Read the Index again, looking for what you liked or what caught your attention.3. Read the first paragraph of the first chapter (or two paragraphs if they are short).4. Read the last paragraph of the chapter (or two paragraphs if they are short).5. Go through all chapters that way. The idea is that in most chapters the author will (a.) say what he is going to tell you, (b.) tell you what he wants to tell you, and (c.) say what he just told you. The middle is usually fleshed out with padding—filler material, stories, quotes, experiences, etc. Make sure the last paragraph(s) retells the first with a different slant, otherwise dig a bit deeper both ways.You are done. This takes about 10-15 minutes and should make you smarter over time. (You can also save a lot of money at book stores like that. The guy recommends buying a coffee or something and never doing more than five books at a time so you don't tick off the store's employees. ) Tip No. 3 - Talking with experts You can get by on 90% knowledge with the vast majority of people, but with experts (the top 3% or so), they require a different approach. And they are usually where the money and opportunities are, so this is very useful to learn.First you need vocabulary. (The following examples are the ones the guy gave, slightly changed.)Medical patients don't just have problems. Patients present problems and symptoms. Clients of lawyers aren't engaged in unlawful activity. They exhibit behavior. Architects don't provide solutions. They offer visions.And so on.As for learning, you can get a handle on the 10% you don't know by skimming magazines at book stores 2 or more hours a week. Specialty magazines are written by experts. It takes some time, but it works.ConclusionThese methods should not be used where real in-depth learning is needed, but they will serve you for most of the areas in life you have to deal with that are outside your field of expertise. Also, I can't think of a better introduction to a new subject you want to learn than by doing these things.Why can't we get that kind of objectivity on the white-hat side?Michael Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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