Cheery Friday Greetings from Learning How to Learn! Mar 11, 2016

10th January 2017

Cheery Friday greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Why don’t we ride zebras like horses?

Chris Higgins in Mental Floss points us towards one of the most informative, funniest little videos we’ve seen in a long time: Why Don’t We Ride Zebras Like Horses? This video grows from one of our favorite books, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond. Diamond helped create a virtual genre of large scale studies of people and their cultures. One of the most recent books to emerge from that genre is our top recommended book last year, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari

Learning How to Learn continues to grow—in many different languages!

Learning How to Learn continues as a juggernaut in the world of MOOCs. We have had nearly 1.4 million registered students since the course’s birthday. Learning How to Learn is the most-translated of all Coursera’s courses, with completely translated Spanish, Chinese, and Portuguese versions, and videos captioned in many other languages.

If you’d like to help with translating Learning How to Learn into your favorite language, please sign up for the Coursera Global Translator Community (GTC). (Take a look at the great pdf that walks you through the signup process.) Once you’re signed up with a Transifex account, just make sure you’re logged in to Transifex and you should then be able to find the translation project for Learning How to Learn here. If you have a problem, just email our own special Learning How to Learn contact at Coursera, at

Complexity theory

We’ve long had an interest in complexity theory. Our friend Zach Caceres, who heads the Michael Polanyi College, a wonderfully open program for obtaining a college degree at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín, has recommended the Complexity Explorer at the Santa Fe Institute. This website has excellent online courses and other educational materials related to complex systems science.

GREAT general book to get you started on chaos theory

If you’re not a scientist, (or even if you are) and you want to get a compelling overview of the birth of chaos theory—a sort of fraternal twin to complexity theory—read James’ Gleick’s Pulitzer Prize nominated, million copy best-seller Chaos: Making a New Science. It’s now in its 20th anniversary edition. We recall once speaking with a philosopher who made erroneous presumptions about how the world works (he hadn’t studied chaos theory). This misunderstanding crept back into his studies of philosophy. Whatever you know, or think you know, it can be helpful to broaden your understanding by learning at least a little about important new areas.

Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team

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