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i have been waiting for some time to do this post. have you ever heard the word autodidact? this word is a big part of my life, and a major reason for my rise from nothing. if you want more on my background read the soul searching article.

what is an autodidact

“i felt so inspired by what my teacher said, said i’d either be dead or be a reefer head, that’s not how adults should speak to kids….” -jay z

an autodidact is a word for a person who engages in learning without the formal structure of school. an autodidact is self-taught, and or more clearly their method of learning is self-directed.

think about the idea of learning itself. we learn all the time, everyday, and have been doing so for a very long time. the term itself was derived in ancient times from the fact that people who lived in isolation for most of their lives could still discover simple truths without any formal education.  think good will hunting, and if you have never seen good will hunting there is a trailer below, highly recommended.

having the disposition

the important thing about learning is not the actual act of learning but having a disposition for learning. as i am currently conducting a formal literature review on critical thinking, the research shows that it is more effective to measure critical thinking skills after you have measured critical thinking dispositions. learning is no different, and a disposition simply means you must be willing to learn. to what degree are you willing to learn?

are you truly open minded, truly. well no one is truly open-minded, but to what degree do you have a disposition to learn new things. having a disposition for learning will only move you forward.

how do autodidacts learn?

if you are here that is a great example of self-directed learning. it is you experiencing minimalism through someone else’s experiences that may lead you to some form of enlightenment. your learning of being a minimalist is self-directed, and therefore you are practicing a quality of being an autodidact. however being an autodidact by definition is more than just subscribing to a couple of blogs, and reading a few books. by definition let’s not forget that you must have some type of structure that would allow for retention, of a topic. you must structure your own learning to accommodate any goals or objectives you have.

it is also common for an autodidact to gain knowledge of let’s say something like agriculture not through class, but possibly going to work a farm. in the movie batman begins we see bruce wayne go into the japanese underworld to understand those criminals he wishes to influence. it’s the age old tale of the apprentice and the master, old school education. bruce wayne gets a perspective that is un-tainted and as a result fully understands what drives poverty and crime, and can therefore combat those things where they need to be combated. it is a lesson in information literacy.

information literacy

have you ever heard of someone agreeing with someone else for no good factual reason. it is probably because that person does not have a high degree of literacy when it comes to deciphering information. part of being an autodidact is opening your mind to things that you have convictions not to accept, and by doing so gaining experiences that you would not have gotten otherwise.

information literacy is always asking why, and learning how to find answers on your own. not settling with a statistic that you hear through the media, but rather researching it on your own to see why. it is also knowing how to find information, like being aware of how google’s search engine works opposed to other search engines. for a more clear definition of info literacy watch this video.

open courseware and online tutorials

in the age of the web, it is easier to access information. many prominent universities are now publishing full courses, and majors on the web. google open courseware some time. there are also credible professionals who give youtube tutorials on a variety of topics. here are a couple of resources that you can use:



  1. March 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    I am a bridge player who has paid thousands of dollars a year on bridge coaching. I have been told that I can and should teach myself how to play bridge: I’ve got the mind, the tenacity, the drive, the perseverance. For some reason, I seem to think that the knowledge someone else possessions is more provocative than if I learn the exact same thing from books. Someone makes a brilliant play and I’m in awe. I make the same play and I convince myself that it’s no big deal. It’s just me. Autodidact I shall be from here on out.

    Vita Reid – The One Minute Minimalist.

  1. April 1, 2010 at 6:26 am
  2. May 10, 2010 at 6:08 am

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