The Art of Learning (review)

Title: The Art of Learning

Author: Josh Waitzkin

Link to Amazon

 This is a rather peculiar book. It is a sort of intellectual autobiography of Josh Waitzkin, in which the chess wunderkind –World famous after the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer- explains his development in the world of chess championships and how the transformed himself into a martial artist, winning world championships of Tai-Chi.

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While he describes his own life and attainments, he also present us with his original way of learning things and make them stick. A fascinating combination of creativity, self-discipline and alternative view of learning emerges from those pages.

His learning method is described in some detail. Sometimes it makes perfect sense and you’d like to try on yourself immediately. Others it is too related to chess or Tai-chi to make any sense outside it. Other times the description is so sketchy that it is not usuable.

I wouldn’t recommend  the book for just the learning tips he presents there, there are few, and randomly distributed through different parts of the book. However, it works well as a biography of a learning process, and it is enjoyable to read, almost like a novel: Waitzkin knows how to describe a chess tournament of a Push Hands fight to make it quite thrilling.

I plan to write a couple of posts to describe his ideas on learning

 

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