Learning log

I’m pretty big on being self-taught. I’ve taught myself auto mechanics, home wiring, carpentry, Italian cooking and a host of other things. It’s important to note, though, that I didn’t do this because I’m some sort of super genius — I’m not — it’s because I’m cheap and impatient.

If the religious types are right, and I find myself in Hell one day, the Devil will surely know that the best way to torture my immortal soul will be to put me in front of an instructor who is talking about how to do something without ever letting me try it.

I learn by touching, trying things out and making mistakes, and after about two minutes of being told how to do something I tend to tune out; often to my determent.

This is half of the reason why, when I decided that a B.A. in economics might be a nice addition to my B.Sc., I didn’t run out and register. The other half is because I am cheap. Legendarily cheap.

I taught my self to fix cars and build stuff not because I wanted the experience, but because I have a big problem with paying someone to do something that I can do myself (I have the same problem with restaurants, hence the cooking).

Lucky for me then that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) now offers course notes, assignments, exams and even textbooks for many of its courses online, to anyone who cares to download them.

In short, if you have the motivation and the time, you can get an education from MIT in subjects such as history, nuclear science and athletics to name just a few.

So that’s what I’m going to do. Over the course of the next several months (maybe years) I will try and teach myself everything I would learn getting a B.A. in economics. And to keep myself honest, I’m going to tell you about it every week or two.

Stay tuned for the next installment.