Understand Fundamentals

tl;d #

By understanding fundamental concepts and fundamental principles, you would be able to operate on and create complex ideas.

Proposition #

Every complex and sophisticated idea is composed of simple fundamental ideas and principles.

Why? #

If you'd look around yourself you will find a lot of complex objects or ideas which we don't quite understand how are functioning. It might be overwhelming to figure out how things work in Finance, Software Architecture or Blockchain.

At first, it seems to be scary and unbearable to grasp the complex idea at once. Whatever the idea you are looking at it has to be constructed from the building blocks, most fundamental ideas or principles. It's like the construction of Lego from most simple pieces you might create something impressive.

Recently, I was thinking about what would be the most efficient way to learning with the highest ROI (return of investment). I was pondering the idea of immersive learning, which is about jumping into the environment of your interest and learn from your direct experience and instant feedback. Seems the most effective strategy. But how do you know what to pay attention to? What is the most important pieces of information that are your 80 in 80/20 ratio?
It seems that focusing on absolute basics is the most efficient approach. From those ideas and concepts, the complex one is built. If you would understand those concepts deeply and wholeheartedly with the ability to explain them to the child with simple words, you will get a solid foundation that would serve you in further reasoning.

Action points #

Given this idea, what would I do in my day to day life?

Get Basic Seriously #

Usually, basic knowledge isn't exciting. Simple ideas seem boring, repetitive and seem not to give you much advancement. So, it would be beneficial for us to change this notion into: basics are crucial for successful application of knowledge and further development of ideas.

Don't fool yourself #

Quite frequently we are trapped in the Illusion of Knowledge. It is when we think that we know something about the concept while we know only the name of it. And if we take a closer and honest look we surprisingly to ourselves discover that our perception of knowledge was skewed and in fact, we don't know as much as we thought.
As Richard Feynman famously pointed out:

I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something - Richard Feynman

Double Down on Fundamentals #

Whenever you have the temptation to skim through basics into more advanced topics you likely making a mistake that is going to lead you to the Illusion of Knowledge trap. Instead, make sure that you understand the basics thoroughly and can explain them in simple terms.
It's absolutely fine to have a recap of concepts if you've forgotten something.

Conclusion #

Make sure that you got the basics right as they are crucial for further exploration of a subject that you're interested in, as well as building your ideas.