Learning Loop – Sunday Clippings #6

Hello there,

This week I wrote a post about Practice and Repetition, two steps that are the building blocks of developing any skill. This idea comes from a book called Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland who put this down to a simple skill of pottery. I also wrote a post about the “Red Queen Effect” which is an idea that comes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

It was my birthday last week so I compiled all my lessons from the last year as a blog post. It’s personal but I saw many writers sharing their favorite life lessons on the internet so I decided to follow the crowd. On to the newsletter, now!

Recently one of the highlights has been learning content through online mediums and finding effective ways to do so. Here’s an interesting concept I came across recently called the Learning Loop. The Learning Loop is based on the idea that to accelerate learning it needs to be implemented in our day to day life. It’s easier to learn things from actual experiences that run in a loop than the basic conceptual understanding.

A great part of this is based on taking reflections and feedback from yourself. When something less or more effectual happens, a concise reflection increases the quality of the learning and impacts how long it sticks with you. While discussing this concept in an article, Shane Parrish, the founder of Farnam Street writes,

“Think about a clock: at twelve o’clock on the dial, you have an experience. At three o’clock, you reflect upon that experience. At six, that reflection creates an abstraction—a mental model—and at nine, you go on to take action based on that. Draw little arrows between them, and you can visualize this loop of learning. Mostly we skip the reflection part. We just want to get to the point. We want the answer so we gloss over the experience and the reflection to get to the abstraction, which answers the question what should we do.”

This is usually where a problem arises, it’s the difference between Single and Double-loop learning method. The practitioners of Single-Loop Learning follow a short-term approach. It’s meant for learning things, getting the result and hopping onto the action associated with it. The problems and their solutions here are too close to each other.

The Double-Loop Learning often follows a longer line of action but is more effective. The key features of this organizational system involves assumptions and self-awareness. In the Double-Loop Learning, making assumptions about the material helps to incorporate it in an established manner. While having a solitary loop does work but transitioning it out into actual learning is based on multiple loops of repetition and reflection than just consuming information for the result.

Asking questions like “What are the patterns?”, “What are the details?”, “What did work and what didn’t?”, “What do I need to do in order to keep moving forward?” and answering them helps to increase the clarity of the abstractions in our mind. Usually, consuming content alone isn’t enough, a dedicated learning loop if required for effective learning. That’s all I wrote for this issue. I hope you learnt something new. :)

Have a great week,


This Week’s Clippings

1 – Online Course – Recently, I have signed up for multiple classes on Skillshare. The one I’m taking at the moment is about learning Complete Web Design with Vako Shvili. You’ll learn how to create web designs using apps like Figma (Photoshop alternative) and Webflow. I think Web Design is a very useful skill to have for future projects plus it’s fun to learn. I recommend this class if you want to familiarise yourself with these apps for creating designs online.

2 – Blog Post – This blog post on Paul Graham’s blog about Crazy New Ideas is a must-read. Here’s a highlight that resonated – “When a new idea first emerges, it usually seems pretty feeble. It’s a mere hatchling. Received wisdom is a full-grown eagle by comparison. So it’s easy to launch a devastating attack on a new idea, and anyone who does will seem clever to those who don’t understand this asymmetry.”

3 – SNL – I was excited for yesterday’s Saturday Night Live with Elon Musk as the host. I really enjoyed the Gen-Z Hospital skit and the Chad on Mars skit. Overall, it was quite entertaining. Miley Cyrus’ live performances were excellent. SNL seriously needs to hire better scriptwriters though.

4 – Video – It’s intriguing how behind the scenes of production are more interesting to watch than the content itself. Here’s a video on how Steve Giralt, a visual engineer makes food commercial using visual engineering, robotics, advanced camera work and a lot of creativity.

4 – Quote – “More effort is wasted doing things that don’t matter than is wasted doing things inefficiently. Elimination is the highest form of optimization.” (Source: James Clear’s 3-2-1 Newsletter)

(This is an issue of the “Sunday Clippings”. Every week I compile various valuable ideas, learnings, along with my highlights from interesting articles, books and podcasts in a short and skimmable email newsletter. Sign up here to get future issues delivered directly to your inbox!)