You Cannot Learn What You Think You Already Know

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” -Epictetus, Discourses, Book II, ch. 17

What It Means

Be it a skill, craft, or just general knowledge, to improve yourself is to learn. But you cannot learn if you believe there is nothing left for you to learn. What if what you know is only one of many possibilities, and some are better than others? What if what you know could be further enhanced by what others know? What if what you know is actually wrong?

No matter what you pursue in life, keep yourself hungry to learn. Choose to always have a beginner’s mind, constantly looking for another angle. Get comfortable with being wrong, and relish it when it happens. It’s okay to be wrong as long as you make it a lesson. 


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Steve Wozniak Praises Makers and Open Source

    During a keynote at Atlantic Design & Manufacturing 2017, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak shared his thoughts on open source, the Maker movement, and why engineers should build for themselves.

    “In recent years the software has meant a lot more to me than the hardware advancements in terms in how we live our life,” he said, adding sobering remarks as to the latest hardware offerings from the company he co-founded. “I don’t remember anything catching my attention particularly,” Wozniak said.

    What does catch Wozniak’s attention these days are trends like open source and the maker movement – both of which have grown from ideas and a spirit that he told the audience get right to the heart of why he helped start Apple in the first place. “In our first manual for the Apple II we put in every bit of my designs, software, and examples of other programs,” he said. “And everybody could pick it up and see how they could develop their own plug-in boards and software. It was very open source, and very favorable. A thousand companies started making accessories for the Apple II computer.”

    Wozniak continued, “I love the maker movement because we started [Apple] with a demonstrable product,with a prototype that was working. I was not just an engineer, I did the whole thing – I brought up ideas, drafted them on paper, I sat down and plugged chips into boards, tested every single wire..”

    A big thing Wozniak stressed to the audience was the importance of doing things for fun and for building things with yourself in mind rather than potential profits.

    “You might go to Maker Faire and you see these things and you might think. ‘Who would want to buy that?’ But the people making it are getting the skills that could change their job in the future.”

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Opponents of GMOs Know a Lot Less About Them Than They Think They Do

    90 percent of scientists say GMOs are safe. So why doesn’t the public agree?


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