Self-Education in the Age of the Internet

My friend Wayne made a post on his Facebook Wall earlier today:

Everyone should dedicate one hour to education per day. Yea, go do something useful.

Now, I actually do this already.  I am always looking for documentaries, lectures, debates and whatnot in order to further my understanding of science and of the world in general.  The more I think about it, the more I realize that this is something that everyone should do.  I realize that many people have little free time in their lives, but I say do it anyway.  Learning is the absolute best use of your time, in my opinion, and it has innumerable benefits.

For one thing, learning will challenge your preconceptions.  I can't count how many times I have watched Lawrence Krauss' lecture 'A Universe From Nothing', because it completely changed my perspective on how the Universe actually works.  This has happened to me on a number of occasions, on such topics as cosmology, biology, chemistry, and physics.

Another measurable benefit from daily learning is inspiration.  When you learn more about the world, you expand your imagination to include the new information.  Richard Dawkins once talked about wanting to write a novel based on the idea that a species of human previously thought extinct is found living in seclusion somewhere, and to talk about the differences between the cultures and whatnot.  This (brilliant, I might add) idea could really only have come from a basic understanding of biology and genetics.

Keep in mind that learning does not have to involve a scientific lecture or a documentary.  I also happen to enjoy watching tutorials, how-to's, reviews and the like, particularly with regards to my various hobbies.  For instance, I'm a loud-and-proud Vaper, meaning that I am attempting to quit smoking with the use of a Personal Vaporizer, also known as an Electronic Cigarette.  To help keep me educated on the various devices, accessories, and e-liquids available, I watch a great deal of reviews and how-to videos, as well as the occasional episode of VapeTV.

I'm also interested in miniature wargaming, so I tend to watch unboxing videos, reviews, painting tutorials, battle reports, and industry news for that particular hobby.  Any time I watch a painting tutorial, for instance, I learn something new or I get an idea for one of my projects.

Below I've included a list of some of the sources that I use or have found for self-education.  Where do you go for your daily learning needs?  I would love to hear your opinions :)

Science / Religion: - Evolution and Religion
Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism - AronRa's YouTube Series
'A Universe From Nothing' by Lawrence Krauss - Cosmology and Big Bang Theory
'Growing Up in the Universe' by Richard Dawkins - Series of lectures accessible to children and adults alike
'Cosmos' by Carl Sagan - Television series on lots of difference sciences


  1. If you love the subject and the process of learning it, you will feel that learning it is effortless. In contrast, if you really hate a topic, any effort to study it would almost be futile.

    self education


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