Pick What You Want to Know

Knowledge doubles every 17 years.1

Since I was born, there’s been a 40% increase in global population but a 300% increase in knowledge.

There’s more to know than people to know it.

I can only take in so much, so how do I choose where to invest my attention?

  • When I can afford it, I follow my interests.
  • When I need to, I focus on circumstances.
  • If there’s an outline to get where I’m headed, I follow the plan (mostly).
  • And if I can’t decide, or just want to explore something new, I follow someone else.

I’ve got options—more options than I can handle. But these patterns at least give me a framework for choosing what to learn next.

P.S. Take your time.


  1. “[S]ince about Isaac Newton’s time (1642–1727) knowledge of the type we are concerned with has about doubled every 17 years… [Y]ou face, even more than I did, the constant need to learn new things.” —Richard W. Hamming, The Art of Doing Science and Engineering.


Open Graph image by unsplash-logoJaredd Craig