North Star Podcast: Tiago Forte: The Future of Education


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Podcast Notes Key Takeaways

  • Lifelong learning doesn’t happen without community” –David Perell
    • A community is a group of people who, when you leave, proactively pull you back
  • Online schools allow you to connect with people who share select interests
    • In real life, you’d have to drive for miles, depending on where you live, to find someone who shares a specific interest. On the internet, you simply shout out into the void and people come to you.
  • “When you actually write, the quality of your thinking gets so sharp that your ideas don’t just become interesting, they have the potential to be dangerousDavid Perell
  • A tip for long-form writing: Get to the point as quickly as possible
  • Digital note-taking allows you to save all your ideas for the rest of your life
    • As the number of your stored notes increases linearly, the number of connections you can make between them increases exponentially
  • The five things to look for when receiving feedback (C.R.I.B.S.):
    • C: Confusing – Rewrite the confusing part
    • R: Repeated – Delete anything that’s repeated
    • I: Insightful – Talk more about interesting and insightful areas
    • B: Boring: Consider deleting or rewriting the boring areas
    • S: Surprising: There should be an element of surprise for the reader
  • When you ‘re the bridge between disparate intersections, each new intersection reduces your competition (you generally need to intersect three fields to reduce your competition to zero)
    • A perfect example: Elon Musk bridges the combination of physics, rocket science, and business
  • Quotes to ponder:
    • “If you’re doing something that you can actually describe well, it’s probably not ambitious enough” David Perell
    • “If you have a job that there’s a name for, over the long arc of time it’s over”David Perell
    • “Many of the very best things that have ever been written are really good summaries of things other people have done” –David Perell

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My guest today is Tiago Forte, who runs an online course called Building a Second Brain.
This episode is different than most of my podcasts. It’s less of an interview and more of a conversation.
Tiago and I have collaborated closely for the past year. In February, we worked together to film and produce my online writing course called Write of Passage. And throughout the year, we’ve teamed up to improve every aspect of the student experience.
We recorded this episode from Arizona where we were hosting our Creative Process Workshop, which offers a radical new approach to writing in the Information Age, just like Write of Passage.
In this conversation, we reflect on the time we’ve spent working together, explore the key trends in online education, and talk about what we’ve learned by teaching more than 1,000 students combined.
Please enjoy my conversation with Tiago Forte.
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2:15 – the shifting bottleneck of online education
10:53 – discovering how much our own identities/how we perceive ourselves impact our actions
13:30 – changing identity on scale through online schooling
25:04 – the audio revolution and returning to Marshall McLuhan
28:20 – origin story of Write of Passage
35:23 – how feedback loops exponentially increases your output
41:50 – it’s easier than ever to create, so what has gotten harder
48:20 – the evolution of note taking
54:38 – C.R.I.B.S.
58:55 – to create takes courage OR the internet just magnifies humanity
1:04:49 – if you can easily describe what you are doing it’s probably not ambitious enough
1:13:05 – everything is “figureoutable”
1:19:20 – reaching quality through quantity
1:28:19 – Michigan and Ford factory visit
1:35:41 – the power of a weakness
1:41:40 – you cannot change your own identity without growth
1:44:52 – importance of constraints
1:50:40 – what’s the experience of playing with constraints and an example of an outcome?
1:56:32 – writing as thinking and re-writing as re-thinking
2:00:52 – “freedom to make a bad painting”
2:04:32 – the paradox of specificity: the more specific what you are known for is, the more opportunities you’ll attract

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