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Essential or important knowledge/subject/skills to acquire in this day and age and beyond?


  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Whoa - that is an opening for something that could get really philosophical :)

    Some suggestions in random order:
    • Cocking and baking skills. What is healthy and how to make tasty meals.
    • IT knowledge. At least how to find what computer you need and how to make backups.
    • Economy, anything from how to do a budget to a basic understanding of inflation and the stock market.
    • Psychology. Why we do what we do and also how to spot a psycho - the clever ones do not wear warning signs but can still make people lives miserable.
    • How to clean a home, it takes more than just running a vacuum cleaner and using a dish washer.
    • First aid. Because it could get really handy.
    • How the World works. Know a little about most nations, about the international organizations like the UN, NATO, G7...
    • History. Knowing helps us not repeat mistakes and it is just generally interesting.
    • Family history. Sounds silly perhaps, but talk to parents and grand parents, some day it will be to late to do so.
    • Languages. Knowing at least one foreign language is a good thing.
    • Travel and see the World. Knowing other cultures brings perspective and inspiration.
    • Politics, not just the headlines but local politics as in who is the mayor and more.
    • Classical music. Much beauty and enjoyment can be found.
    • How to make a really good cup of coffee.
    • What makes a good music system, it makes everything better.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
    PeasTomantaIrukaElvenshaeJoe Camacho MKIIFeralspool32kime
  • PeasPeas Registered User regular
    Thanks for the list mate, I think I have a blind spot on economy and first aid so tackling those subjects should make for an immediate improvement in my knowledge

  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    edited July 2021
    You're welcome.

    Your question was a fun one to think about. I am sure there is many things I have missed, likely even important ones :P

    On that first aid thing.
    Here in Denmark where I live we have a system where everyone that feels able, can install which alerts them if there is an report of a heart attack in their local area ie. if some calls 911 or wears a heart monitor device that calls for help they get alerted. This then makes for a increased chance of someone knowing CPR getting to the person in need quickly, since of course not everywhere an ambulance is just two minutes away this has actually increased the chance of people having heart attacks surviving. Another thing that helps is that AED units for use in first aid situations are being put up most anywhere there can be many people around, many placed so that they can be accessed even when put somewhere that isn't open 24-7.

    More info about the initiative here: That includes a couple of videos giving quick overviews.

    Not sure if a similar system exists where you live, but if it does joining up could be the next step after learning first aid. Or maybe you could get local politicians to look into it.

    BlindZenDriver on
    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    I would add typing as a key skill for the modern world. You use it on this forum, after all.

  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    Typing is a highly underrated skill and looking back, is arguably the most important skill I learned in high school.

    Pick only maybe two or three items to dig into at a time. Start with small projects and work from there.

    For example, do you need your oil changed or tires rotated? Look up how to do those. Then dig into why you have to do it, and some other parts of a car that you're interested in learning more about.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    If you are this open to self improvement you're in a good position! I love that list that Zen has made

    A willingness to learn is possibly one of the greatest assets you can have. As people get older they sometimes get stuck in their ways and less curious about the world around them. Mugsley's advice is basically what I'd recommend, when you get presented with a problem research all around it for a little bit.

    For other advice, I guess listing is probably the easiest way to not make this too about me, so my suggestions are:

    Know how you learn best - Spend the time to self reflect on how you gain new skills, and try to find ways to learn that are compatible. Maybe you can just listen to a podcast, maybe you need a classroom and a teacher. Experiment with methods and lean in to things that empower you to work through frustration. Don't be afraid to feel stupid or overwhelmed, dont feel ashamed to watch learning materials meant for kids if it means you'll get better, simplified and thorough instructions.

    Practice small talk and "soft" skills - Talking to people can be hard and opens you up to vulnerability, but if you meet people who do something specific and they like to talk about it, ask them questions, let them talk your ear off, be truly engaged. Consciously working at this has been a challenge for me, but also a great skill to have. Being able to be pleasant to be around is a great ability.

    Keep a calendar - I'm not great at keeping a day planner, but in the era of smart phones, actually using your calendar can really improve your life. Put things that might be nice to do on your calendar, and not just work tasks. Remind yourself to call someone you forget to reach out to, put an event that might be interesting on there that you miss every year. Productivity is a very lucrative idea to sell people, so as you self-reflect on learning, try to think about the best ways that you specifically could make a calendar work for you with low effort, dont get swept up in needing an expensive app or paper system right away.

    Know what scares you the most - For me, finances were pretty terrifying for a long time and so I take active steps to get advice and not let myself ignore it. If you make a list of things in your life you want to improve, find the ones that seem the most like a chore and confront it.

  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    Seconding Zen's list. I'd add two:

    Biology and ecology: how things interact in nature, and how our actions affect them.
    Data: How data is generally structured, and how it travels (and changes) between systems.

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    [*] Psychology. Why we do what we do and also how to spot a psycho - the clever ones do not wear warning signs but can still make people lives miserable.

    I'm going to expand on this.

    Understanding common cognitive biases, errors, and heuristics (mental shortcuts) is a strong way to keep your mind in order. Example: 'confirmation bias' is the tendency to notice evidence that fits with your preconceptions while overlooking contradictory evidence. For example, if you believe that European cars suck, and your friend struggles with keeping his VW in working order, you might commit confirmation bias if you take your friend's experience with his VW as evidence that European cars suck. To overcome it, you should look at broader statistics on car reliability, not just your own experience. is a fun list.

    Good books on managing your own psychology and decision-making: Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, Sway by Ori and Rom Brafman, Hare Brain Tortoise Mind by Guy Claxton. (Also on my list is The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin, though I haven't read it yet so I can't give it a full recommendation. I'm just a fan of his other work.)

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Learn to tie different knots. It's a useful skill that's simple to learn. Added bonus that you can practice just about anywhere.

    ElvenshaePeasBliss 101
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