Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • - Sometimes learning can be hard,

  • so hard that it feels like it isn't worth it.

  • Let's fix that.

  • (soft music)

  • Hello and thank you to our Patreon supporters

  • for making this video possible.

  • Because we have a Patreon now, whoo!

  • Anyway, I hate learning,

  • so, I'm ending the channel.

  • No, but can you imagine, the views!

  • Anyway, I bring it up because,

  • I guess it's kind of ironic.

  • If you watch our videos,

  • you might assume that the three of us

  • have this wholesome, unconditionally loving

  • relationship with learning.

  • Like we were born with this unusually strong desire

  • to figure stuff out,

  • but I don't think that's true.

  • (bell ringing)

  • Hello.

  • - Hello.

  • - Okay, I have a question for you guys.

  • Do you like learning?

  • - Yes.

  • - Yes, but-

  • - Next question (chuckles)

  • - Continuing on that but, hmm.

  • Do you actually like learning though?

  • - Okay, so basically,

  • I think I like the idea

  • of being someone who likes learning,

  • but like, actually sitting and learning,

  • like there are a lot of like, asterisks on it.

  • - I like being knowledgeable.

  • I like being able to like have a conversation

  • and be knowledgeable about topics.

  • But to get to the point of being knowledgeable,

  • (scoffs) that's pain!

  • - Yeah, I do find that sometimes,

  • a lot of the joys of learning are like locked behind,

  • like basically paperwork.

  • I don't know how else to say it.

  • I find it really difficult to get excited

  • about learning things when you're taught facts

  • and information in isolation.

  • - Yeah, you want to apply it to the real world, you know?

  • - Yeah, it's like a toast and butter.

  • You've gotta put the facts on the toast of the world.

  • You know what I mean?

  • You were making so much sense.

  • - And then I made more sense, right?

  • - It's kinda like the three of us exist

  • in this weird space

  • where we like the idea of learning.

  • We like having learned something,

  • but we don't like that, unfortunately,

  • necessary bit in the middle.

  • So today in this video,

  • we are going to figure out why learning is so hard

  • and hopefully, how to make it easier.

  • This is gonna be a big one.

  • - The research for this question

  • didn't take a few days or weeks,

  • it took over a year,

  • learning about learning through application.

  • We challenged ourselves to pursue little things,

  • weird things, and things so big

  • that we were kind of doomed to fail.

  • - [Taha] We documented the process

  • and examined every step of the way.

  • - [Melissa] Where do I start without a syllabus to guide me?

  • - [Sabrina] When do I find the time to read a 300 page book

  • about olive oil?

  • - [Taha] Why keep going

  • when I just want to play "Minecraft?"

  • - [Melissa] We found all these little obstacles

  • that have nothing to do

  • with the thing we were trying to learn.

  • - [Sabrina] And everything to do with a faulty approach

  • to learning itself.

  • - [Taha] One that we wanna fix.

  • - So, what did we find?

  • Now, I should say that this isn't gonna be

  • the be all end all all of education issues.

  • Race, class, culture can impact your approach,

  • your access, your experience in learning.

  • Because as you know,

  • (glass clattering)

  • we live in a society.

  • However, these are the problems

  • that we found ourselves struggling with the most.

  • So here's why learning can be so hard.

  • - First, we need to understand how thinking works.

  • A simple model of the mind has three parts.

  • The collection of all the knowledge

  • you've built up in your life,

  • the sights, sounds in situation around you,

  • and the working memory.

  • This is where elements from long-term memory

  • and the environment are combined to better understand

  • and interact with the world.

  • In other words, thinking.

  • Thoughts from this process

  • that transfer to long-term memory for future use

  • can be considered learning.

  • While this process seems straightforward,

  • it can fall apart in three major ways.

  • Let's assume you're trying to figure out

  • where grass comes from.

  • If your long-term memory

  • doesn't have enough related knowledge,

  • your ability to learn weakens.

  • This is because your energy is spent on the basics,

  • like determining whether a fact is relevant

  • or googling the definition of a new word.

  • You're building the paths connecting your environment

  • in long-term memory to your working memory.

  • Unfortunately, this slows progress

  • on the thing you actually care about.

  • Making exploring unfamiliar territory frustrating

  • instead of exciting.

  • Common techniques to ease those frustrations

  • are visual demonstrations, jokes, and personal stories.

  • They can create a better,

  • more memorable atmosphere for learning,

  • but they can also serve as distractions.

  • Ones that shift focus away from the core goal.

  • Forming a tempting exit

  • for people who may already want a way out.

  • But suppose you have the background knowledge

  • and determination you need,

  • applying that knowledge can still be a challenge.

  • In school, your teachers were your educational GPS.

  • Narrowing the scope of the problem

  • and controlling the pace of new information.

  • Outside of that structure,

  • it's easy to be overwhelmed by your own curiosity,

  • seemingly trapped between an academic maze

  • that costs $200 to enter

  • or hoping someone has made a simple video

  • answering your question.

  • So, that's the problem, or at least part of it.

  • It was honestly kind of weird

  • seeing the frustrations that we felt for so long

  • laid out so neatly on the pages in black and white.

  • If the problem was so obvious, so well-documented,

  • why isn't more being done about it?

  • - [Both] So we're doing something about it.

  • - Melissa. - [Melissa] Oh!

  • - So, secretly, we have actually been

  • doing something about it,

  • this whole year, basically.

  • We've been trying to solve these problems

  • through our videos and making you lab rats.

  • - Welcome, lab rats.

  • Okay, so problem number one.

  • As I mentioned before,

  • the amount of long-term memory

  • or general knowledge you have

  • can limit the amount that you can learn.

  • So this is your brain on limited long-term memory.

  • This is your brain on "Answer In Progress."

  • Did I change slides?

  • Yeah, I did, big.

  • - Many wrinkles.

  • - And the reason why this is your brain

  • on "Answer In Progress"

  • is because we take an interdisciplinary approach.

  • We're talking about all of these things

  • so that we can help you build up

  • a kind of broader range of knowledge

  • just by watching these videos.

  • We aren't building out a niche,

  • which some people would say is a bad strategy

  • for growing out a YouTube channel,

  • but who cares about that?