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Education is the answer

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

When you're playing poker, if you can't spot the fish at the table, then you're the fish. This means that everybody at the table is trying their best not to be the fish. And they are doing this by learning about the game, the tricks, how to read the moves of other people. In other words, by educating themselves about the game.

If you end up playing at a table regularly where the quality of the players is good, then you will end up improving your own game, even if you lose money to begin with.

This is how tribes raise the standard of everyone that is part of them. Collectively, they get better over time, because it costs to be the worst at anything in a tribe.

Intuitive as this seems, we don't always see things in this way because we aren't always physically sitting at the same table like in a poker game. Often, we don't even know how many others are at the table, let alone figuring out who the fish is.

So, we neglect the aspect of educating ourselves as we don't see the danger of not doing so immediately.

While education is the answer, formal education isn't. Formal education is very restrictive and designed based on what would have worked thirty to fifty years ago. It is worse than modeling the future based on a specific period of past data.

Informal education happens when there is curiosity and patience. Curiosity is important because without questions in our minds, the answers won't have a place to go and will just fly over our heads and we will not remember them again when needed. And patience is important because several interactions that start with us being curious won't end up yielding useful information.

But informal education happens when we are strongly part of a tribe. How much do you know about your close friends or your family and how much do you know about casual acquaintances at work? The difference is in the strength of the tribe.

While I'm curious, I'm not very patient. When I don't find something in an easily consumable format, I don't spend the time needed to dig deep and understand the crux of the matter. This leads to two possible outcomes.

One, I might defer making a decision on something for a lack of understanding of certain basics related to making that decision - like, should I invest in bitcoin or should I buy a house in Amsterdam?

Two, I might just rely on someone else to make the decision for me and go along with it - like letting someone else in the group decide what restaurant to eat at or joining a company just because a friend works there.

Both are dangerous in their own right, and depending on the situation, one can be more dangerous than the other.

No matter what the question is, education is the answer - but only that education that comes from curiosity and patience. 

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