Thursday, February 09, 2012

Entangled Learning


This is how I have come to understand the world. I have adopted this style of learning as my way of seeing the world and unravelling how it works; as my way of living and learning in it.

I came up with the idea of Entangled Learning some time back – I am not sure when; perhaps in some form or other I have always seen things this way. To describe it, I have borrowed the word Entangled from the world of Quantum Physics, where it is used to describe how particles of energy or matter can become correlated in a way that one behaves the same as the other, irrespective of how far apart they may be. This is dry stuff – and boring to most of us (but certainly not to quantum physicists) – so for practical purposes we should think of Entangled as simply meaning ‘inter-twined’, ‘connected’ or ‘strongly associated’.

In learning about something – and by this I mean really learning; deeply learning; studying, dissecting and understanding a thing – we will inevitably uncover a certain set of truths or principles that underpin that understanding; and it is this set of truths (principles/laws) that serves to become the engine that drives our understanding of other things – seemingly unrelated things.
If we learn a thing – we have, at our disposal, the knowledge of that thing. But there is only limited leverage (if any) to be enjoyed in the owning of that knowledge (or skill). But if we can look deeply enough, and clarify our understanding, and in doing so, deepen our knowledge of the underlying principles of what we study, we can (if we are so inclined) perhaps begin to see how that knowledge can be applied to other aspects of our lives. If we can succeed in doing just this we are leveraging that knowledge into further understanding or benefit. This is a powerful face of leverage that often eludes those professing to understand what leverage means.

In short; to reduce it to the most basic idea, it is this: when we come to understand a deep truth in one thing – in looking we will find it in other things.

This may or may not be of interest to anyone but myself – but it is something I have wound and bound to the way I live my life and see the world – and for me; it has underpinned what success I have enjoyed thus-far. I could write volumes on this subject – because like most things, it can be broken down and mapped out to the point where it would become obvious to almost everyone. The deep truths I have come to understand in my martial arts practice are now woven throughout the fabric of my life – through my marriage, my investments, my re-creational pursuits, my fitness regime, etc. I use that understanding to solve problems, to play, to grow, to learn and uncover yet more truths …
Dry stuff … but very meaningful to me.
JBW

7 comments:

Klaus Burton said...

I completely agree; I notice the entanglement as I come to new realisations, too.

I like the use of the word entangled, and the fact that its use in this context demonstrates its meaning is very cool; it demonstrates the entanglement of knowledge of quantum mechanics with the knowledge of language.

Far from dry!

girl with the dragon tattoo said...

Mr. Will,
this is kayla by the way...
I would like to hear more on this subject so please feel free to elaborate because this 'dry' stuff you talk about changes the way i think and do things everytime i see you or read your blog.....
Thank you for being the one to share this way of thinking because to some degree or another i have always known this but havent been programmed to apply it realistically all the time...
K.

Anonymous said...

More please.....

Keith said...

Quantum Entanglement is where two things can interact with each other, and then, be separated in a indeterminate state. If we try and imagine it in real world terms (not that it could happen) If two people hop on a seesaw (teeter totter for you Americans) then that seesaw gets cut in half (but maintaining a quantum entanglement) and then taken to opposite sides of the playground, there is a quantum link that means if some time later one person goes down, then the other person will go up.

An Idea that might interest you John is called "Emergence" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence

It's the idea that massive complexity can come from very simple interacting "truths". We see in nature many examples of emergence... we also see very common traits or 'truths' that occur in many different things. I kind of liken what you are saying to this idea of emergence.

It's like the 'truths' are entangled.

meaning we have entangled emergence

in fact, theories go, that in the physical world, the universe in terms of how we perceive it with our eyes is a result of emergence from the quantum world.

JBW said...

Thanks for the feedback everyone- and thanks for the further clarification Keith - nice. I will read more on 'emergence'. Cheers. JBW

Liam H Wandi said...

Fantastic post. I've always carried in my heart an alternative interpretation of Archimedes' quote: give me a lever long enough and I will move the world.

Back in the day, mathematicians and scientists where mainly philosophers trying to understand the world.

Give me a lever. I think the simplest explanation he was talking about is what we all know as a lever: basically, a stick that revolves around a fulcrum.

I think he meant more. I think the lever is his symbol for the kind of knowledge and wisdom that you refer to here. For what is a lever but a multiplier of force and effect.

Give me a lever long enough and I will move the world.

Give me the inner core of knowledge (that has the most leverage) and I could change reality.

Excellent post John.

JBW said...

'A multiplier of force and effect' - brilliant Liam. I love that! thank YOU!
JBW