Active Learning: Taking the Step from Apprentice to Master
The whole idea of mastery is you’re going to eventually become a greater master than you’re mentor.
Author and public speaker Robert Greene attended U.C. California at Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he received a degree in classical studies. He has worked in New York as an editor and writer at several magazines, including Esquire, and in Hollywood as a story developer and writer. In 1995 he was involved in the planning and creation of the art school Fabrica, outside Venice, Italy.
He is the author of numerous volumes on power, strategy, war, and seduction, including the international bestseller "The 48 Laws of Power," "The Art of Seduction," "The 33 Strategies of War," and "The 50th Law," co-written with rapper 50 Cent. Greene currently lives in Los Angeles.
There are two forms of learning. There’s passive learning and active learning. And passive learning is what we generally do in university. We read a book and then maybe we write a paper or we take a test. We’re just simply sponges absorbing information that we kind of get out at the end. Active learning is actually practicing what you’re learning. You’re actually hands-on doing it, and involved in the real world.
When you have a mentor, the tendency is to become passive. This person is a genius and you're going to listen to what he or she has to say and you just follow it.
The whole idea of mastery is you’re going to eventually become a greater master than you’re mentor. That’s the job. That’s the task. As Da Vinci said, “You’re a poor apprentice if you never surpass your master, your mentor.” So that’s your goal. You’re going to become even better than he or she.
So at some point you want to become active in this relationship. And you want to start giving some feedback. And you want to be involving yourself more. And, in fact, you are teaching the mentor some things. This will happen two or three years down the road, but the idea is you don’t want to stay trapped in the sort of passive mentor-disciple relationship when you’re worshipping somebody and you’re known for developing yourself and you’re never developing your own initiative and you’re afraid to take that step.
At some point you have to slightly distance yourself, slightly rebel even a little bit and give some back and forth where you’re saying, “Well, I like what you’re doing here but I want to maybe go in another direction.” I give the example of Glenn Gould, the famous pianist from the 40s and 50s, the greatest pianist of that era. And he had an incredible mentor. And this mentor kept giving him music that he felt was right for him. And finally Glenn Gould said, “I want to do a different kind of music.” And he basically told him the kind of music that he wanted to start practicing. And then he was able to go off in a totally new direction. That’s the spirit and energy that I’m talking about.
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Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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