Otar Chekurishvili

November 10, 2021

Learning Astray

My ex-boss once told me a story about a college class he was attending. The lecturer, an Arab man, taught the students to perform certain operations on a calculator. When my ex-boss asked why they were doing this operation and tried to clarify the details, the lecturer warned him not to interrupt. After several minutes, my ex-boss asked the same question again and was warned that he would be kicked out of class if he interrupted again.

After the class, the lecturer explained that he aimed to teach how to get results. He believed that 90% of the students would never need the reasoning behind that operation. Still, he also pointed my ex-boss toward where to find answers.

This story made me think about the importance of learning First Principles. Nowadays, many young people approach learning by wanting to jump to results rather than learning fundamental concepts. This is often seen in computer science, where junior developers jump into web development and learn React or Angular without understanding how JS works or what DOM is.

To learn to run, one must first learn to walk. Before that, you must learn how to crawl. You cannot jump over these fundamental steps.


About Otar Chekurishvili

Internet Citizen. Software & Wine Craftsman. Digital Entrepreneur. https://otar.me