Friday Finds — Learning Science, Expert Generalists, Our Knowingness Problem

Sponsored by iSpring

“The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.”

Brian Herbert

My son and I are in Seattle this weekend to check out some colleges. To be honest, he’s head over heels for this city, but I secretly hope he stays a bit closer to home. Even so, I can’t wait to spend some quality time with him, exploring some cool places – like the Boeing flight museum (so cool!) and, of course, sampling some good food along the way. I hope you’ve got something fun lined up for the weekend too!

As always, thanks for reading.

What I’m Listening To: This week I discovered the Peach Tree Rascals and I’m enjoying them again today.

Last Week’s Most Clicked:

The Learning Content Maturity Model

📰 News & Notes

Ten of My Favorite Papers on the Science of Learning and Thinking

Newsletter regular Scott H. Young has compiled a list of his favorite papers on the science of learning. From topics like effective studying techniques to the psychology of motivation, these papers offer valuable insights into how we can optimize our learning process. Whether you’re a student or a lifelong learner, these papers will help you better understand the science behind learning and how you can use it to your advantage. So grab a cup of coffee and dive into these fascinating reads. Your brain will thank you for it!

🥡 Take away: These papers provide valuable insights into how we can optimize our learning process and improve our ability to learn.

The cult of bare minimum learning

In today’s fast-paced world, where everything is available at our fingertips, we have developed a cult of bare minimum learning. We are accustomed to finding quick answers on Google or asking Alexa for help, rather than taking the time to understand the underlying concepts. We have become obsessed with efficiency and productivity, leading us to prioritize speed over depth of knowledge. This mindset has created a culture where we celebrate knowing the bare minimum to get by, rather than striving for excellence and mastery.

However, this approach to learning is detrimental in the long run. It limits our potential and prevents us from fully understanding the world around us. By only learning the bare minimum, we miss out on the intricacies and nuances that make a topic truly fascinating. It also impedes our ability to think critically and creatively, as we rely on surface-level knowledge rather than digging deeper. To truly succeed in today’s world, we must break free from the cult of bare minimum learning and embrace a growth mindset that values continuous learning and personal growth.

🥡 Take away: the “cult of bare minimum learning” is a dangerous mindset that encourages people to focus only on efficiency and speed, at the expense of quality learning.

Becoming an Expert Generalist

The article by Nick DeWilde explains how being an expert generalist can give you a unique advantage in today’s fast-changing and complex world. It describes the characteristics of an expert generalist, such as having a broad range of interests, being curious and open-minded, and having the ability to make connections between different fields.

He also shares practical tips on how to become an expert generalist, including reading broadly, experimenting with new skills, and building a diverse network of people. A great read for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge and skills beyond their current field or industry.

🥡 Take away: This article provides valuable insights and actionable strategies for those who want to become more versatile and adaptable in their personal and professional lives.

Our big problem is not misinformation; it’s knowingness

In a thought-provoking article, “Our big problem is not misinformation – it’s knowingness,” Jonathan Malesic challenges the prevailing belief that misinformation is the root of many of our societal issues. They argue that our culture’s tendency towards “knowingness” – the belief that we already know the truth and have no need for further inquiry or education – is a more significant problem. By embracing a humble mindset that acknowledges the limits of our knowledge, we can foster more meaningful and productive conversations and make progress towards a better future. (If you’re a Ted Lasso fan like me, this probably reminds you of this scene.)

🥡 Take away: The problem of the ‘knowingness’ problem requires a willingness to recognize and acknowledge our own limitations and biases, as well as a willingness to engage in honest, open-minded dialogue with others who hold different beliefs..

100+ ChatGPT prompts for creators: Speed up your workflow with AI

This collection of prompts from the Descript team can help supercharge your creative workflow with the power of AI. Diving into this treasure trove of handpicked prompts, you’ll discover how ChatGPT can transform your projects and save precious time, no matter the task.

From brainstorming ideas, drafting content, and editing text, to polishing your final product, ChatGPT has you covered. Leverage these to generate innovative concepts, optimize your writing process, and refine your message like never before.

🥡 Take away: Experiments have shown that ChatGPT boosts productivity by a whopping 35% and these prompts can help you tap into that

Say goodbye to manual work and save your brain for the big stuff. In the book, Automate Your Busywork, SaaS CEO and no-code enthusiast Aytekin Tank provides a guide on how to finally have the time to accomplish your most important work. Pre-order today.

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🎧 Podcasts

These are the podcasts that caught my ear this week.

The Neovation Learning Hub can become your source of eLearning articles without the sales pitch! Explore topics like creating custom content, training platform uses, eLearning libraries, learning analytics, and AI for instructional design – never miss an update – subscribe for free today!

🧰 Tech, Tools & Tips

If tools are your jam, check out my new WorkSmarter newsletter


Build a profile page in minutes. Share your world with


Readymag is a web-based design tool that helps create websites, presentations, portfolios, and all kinds of digital publications without coding. AI Voice Generator

AI Voice Generator with 600+ AI voices. Generate realistic Text to Speech voice over online with AI. Convert text to audio and download as MP3 & WAV files.


Optimize prompts for GPT-4, ChatGPT, Claude, MidJourney, DALL-E, StableDiffusion, Kandinsky, Lexica. Automatic prompt engineering done right!

Two days of lectures and workshops given by top industry experts

iSpring Days 2023 is a free online eLearning conference where top industry experts will gather to share best practices and proven solutions that elevate digital learning experiences and result in improved KPIs.

Speakers: Cara North, Holly Owens, Tom McDowall, Patricia Rieger, Clark Aldrich, and others.

Dates: April 27-28

What you’ll learn:

  • Boost training metrics & improve your bottom line
  • Build effective and engaging scenarios
  • Design impactful eLearning programs
  • Avoid common course design mistakes
  • Choose training goals that align with business objectives
  • Increase employee retention
  • Overcome hurdles along the road to eLearning success

See you at the conference!

🧳 Where’s Mike?

Microlearning Conference
April 27

Learning & Marketing Conference
June 7-8

Friday Finds is an independent publication that I produce in my free-time. You can support my work by sharing it with the world, booking an advertising spot, or by buying me a coffee.

Published by Mike Taylor

Born with a life-long passion for learning, I have the great fortune to work at the intersection of learning, design, technology & collaboration.

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