Exploration is much harder and much easier than it once was.
Physical exploration is much harder. Humans have swarmed across the planet, marking territory, discovering caves, streams, mountains and seas. Aside from the deep seas and the magma lakes below Earth’s crust, little remains to be discovered. I’m immensely fascinated by northern Canada, which remains sparsely populated, especially in places like Baffin Island.
Intellectual exploration and innovation are exponentially easier. The Internet has made huge quantities of information available to nearly everyone at fast speeds. And it’s easier to find people to work with on projects and problems, because they can be next door or on the other side of the planet.
I’m engaged in this type of exploration at Hacker School. I spend all day in a room alongside other skilled people with various backgrounds and interests, and we try to learn a lot rapidly and solve interesting problems.
Today I made good progress: I brainstormed approaches to a speech accessibility project; worked on Learn C the Hard Way, including a pair programming session on C switch statements; and attended sessions by resident Mel Chua on learning styles. Learning styles aren’t destiny: They reflect personal preferences and natural tendencies, but it’s possible to become comfortable in a non-innate style.
My personal learning style is somewhat reflective, extremely intuitive, evenly visual and verbal, and somewhat sequential. I’m constantly seeking connections between different ideas, then piecing them together in a logical way toward a goal.
What’s great is that thought patterns and ideas are not a finite resource. They’re endless, endlessly renewable, and endlessly interesting.