The Hidden Life of Trees

25th August 2017

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Month

Today’s book is a little different from usual.  It is The Hidden Life of TREES: What They Feel, How They Communicate, by Peter Wohlleben (Audio book here).  We LOVE this best-selling book, which has been optioned for translation into 19 different languages!  The New York Times review of the article summed up some of the book’s intriguing insights about how forest trees are social beings: “They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the ‘Wood Wide Web’; and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots.”

Wohlleben’s use of analogy and metaphor to convey fascinating science is masterful. This is of the best books we’ve read on nature in the last few decades.

MOOC of the Week

This week, we’re featuring a new MOOC related to intellectual humility from The University of Edinburgh, Philosophy and Religion.  It will begin on August 28th. This MOOC deals with vitally important topics of excessive certainty.  (A fascinating book on that topic, incidentally, is On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not, by Robert Burton.)

We can’t resist also pointing out the MOOC “Chicken Behaviour and Welfare,” also from the University of Edinburgh. It just started on August 21st.  If you’re into chickens, this MOOC looks like a classic.

Barb’s Most Extensive Interview is a leading education resource that covers online and on-campus colleges & universities that include undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and post-doc programs. In addition, they cover K–12 and select alternative education programs. Take a look here for’s interview with Barb Oakley—the most extensive interview Barb has ever given.

The Complete Guide to Not Going to College

We’re always liked the online magazine Quartz, and now we like it even more.  Here’s a great guide to how to learn and be successful without going to college. The article also features quotes from our very own Barb about the value of MOOCs from online providers like Coursera.

The Single Easiest Way to Get Unstuck

Here’s a one minute video clip from Barb when she was at Inc. headquarters in New York City about the best way to get unstuck in thinking about a problem.  (Can you tell it was a hot day in New York?)  

“T” versus “Π” Approaches to Career Building

Here’s a discussion of the traditional “T”-shaped approach, versus the more modern “Π”-shaped approach to career success, in Training Magazine.  It’s all in how you approach your learning!

The Diffuse Mode–How It Helps in Problem-Solving

If you’re into financial market analysis, you may enjoy this article “The next crash risk is hiding in plain sight,” on how the diffuse mode can help you better understand risk. [Hat tip, LHTLer Jim Embury.]

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team
Follow LHTL on Facebook | Join the private LHTL Hall of Fame group | Follow LHTL on Twitter

See all book recommendations at

View more Cheery Friday e-mails >