Information with a Long Half Life
March 25, 2019
Author: Bianca Yang
I recently came to a visceral realization of just how important the half life of knowledge is. It hit me one day when I was daydreaming during a robotics class lecture on graph search algorithms. I realized that my grasp of basic algorithms had seriously declined since I’d stopped taking CS courses and doing software-heavy work. The realization drilled a brief burst of fear into my consciousness, as I realized that algorithms and most of the foundational, first-principles type things I’d learned in my engineering courses were exactly those pieces of knowledge with long-half lives.
That idea of information, concepts, etc, with long half lives has been bugging me for a couple of weeks now (as have the things I posted in my last post. Unfortunately, I’m slow to learn and slow to act, so it’s only now that I’ve decided to ramp up my self-learning by studying textbooks. Why textbooks? Because they’re designed to be the most efficient way to accumulate knowledge.
What will I start with first? Perhaps a robotics textbook for now, since that is what I think is the most interesting path to pursue right now. In parallel, I need to study the FAA Pilot’s Handbook.
After that I might dabble into electronics and signal processing. After that, we’ll see where I’ve gone in life and what makes the most sense for me to look into. Besides, there’s an endless supply of textbooks on the internet to discover.