Three Pillars of Learning
– Depth; What ideas are important?
– Breadth; What connections are there between ideas?
– Process; How do people think about things? Models.
These pillars work with each other in a virtuous cycle of learning. Models of how the world works help you to understand it. Those models help to build deep understanding of a particular idea. The deep understanding means that you understand the model further, you generalize and then apply the model to other areas or fields. Because no model is perfect in a more general setting, applying the model more generally forces you to reevaluate the model and improve it or scrape it. The outcome is a better model and the cycle continues.
Graduate school is a social environment that allows this cycle to continue unhindered.