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Psychology of Misjudgment 19-21:Use it or lose it, Drugs, Senescence-Misinfluenc


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19. Use-It-or-Lose-It Tendency

 

"All skills attenuate with disuse. I was a whiz at calculus until age twenty, after which the skill was soon obliterated by total nonuse."

 

"I can relate to Munger’s lost calculus skill (among others). Daily practice improves skills like math, sports, musical instruments, writing, and others. Likewise, practice helps maintain it. Stop practicing and your skill suffers."

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20. Drug-Misinfluence Tendency

 

"This tendency’s destructive power is so widely known to be intense, with frequent tragic consequences for cognition and the outcome of life, that it needs no discussion here to supplement that previously given under “Simple, Pain-Avoiding Psychology Denial.”

 

"In chemical dependency, wherein morals usually break down horribly, addicted persons tend to believe that they remain in respectable condition, with respectable prospects. They thus display an extremely unrealistic denial of reality as they go deeper and deeper into deterioration… One should stay far away from any conduct at all likely to drift into chemical dependency. Even a small chance of suffering so great a damage should be avoided.

 

Addiction is destructive."

 

An interesting really bad effect of drugs is an increased risk of Schizophrenia that generally occurs when people are fairly young (18-30), but actually can come out at ANY age.

https://www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/qa/what-drugs-can-cause-schizophrenia

 

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21. Senescence-Misinfluence Tendency

 

"With advanced age, there comes a natural cognitive decay, differing among individuals in the earliness of its arrival and the speed of its progression. Practically no one is good at learning complex news skills when very old. But some people remain pretty good in maintaining intensely practiced old skills until late in life, as one can notice in many a bridge tournament.

 

This follows with use-it-or-lose-it. Curiosity, continuous learning, and practice are great ways to delay the natural side-effect of aging."

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Agreed on all points.

 

Moderation in all things except practical skills.

 

As most here know, I finished my 4th semester as a music major last May at the age of 58.

 

I got A's in every class except for a B+ in Classical Guitar & Math for Liberal Arts.

It was friggin' hard.

 

As to the "use it or lose it" aspect, for the past month I've been going through Benward Volume 1 (Music Theory) & the accompanying workbook from page 1 & doing all the unfinished exercises (many weren't assigned & I was harried as hell so I didn't do them).

 

I'm also playing all the excerpt & examples, which I largely skipped before.

 

The material is way more understandable now & my sight reading, transposition & improv skills are improving bigly as a result.

 

I highly recommend continuing to study as you age. Put yourself under the gun in a graded environment & then review the original material & put it to use. It should be a subject that interests you heavily. For many people this may include learning a foreign language & then spending time in the country(s) where it's spoken.

 

You've lived long & are successful, enjoy life & a healthy intellect even as your body slows down.

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Agreed on all points.

 

Moderation in all things except practical skills.

 

As most here know, I finished my 4th semester as a music major last May at the age of 58.

 

I got A's in every class except for a B+ in Classical Guitar & Math for Liberal Arts.

It was friggin' hard.

 

As to the "use it or lose it" aspect, for the past month I've been going through Benward Volume 1 (Music Theory) & the accompanying workbook from page 1 & doing all the unfinished exercises (many weren't assigned & I was harried as hell so I didn't do them).

 

I'm also playing all the excerpt & examples, which I largely skipped before.

 

The material is way more understandable now & my sight reading, transposition & improv skills are improving bigly as a result.

 

I highly recommend continuing to study as you age. Put yourself under the gun in a graded environment & then review the original material & put it to use. It should be a subject that interests you heavily. For many people this may include learning a foreign language & then spending time in the country(s) where it's spoken.

 

You've lived long & are successful, enjoy life & a healthy intellect even as your body slows down.

 

Very Impressive DooDiligence.  Congrats on finishing your 4th semester.

 

Is the learning experience different at 58 vs 18?

 

Why do you recommend taking a graded class vs just reading about subjects?

 

 

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Agreed on all points.

 

Moderation in all things except practical skills.

 

As most here know, I finished my 4th semester as a music major last May at the age of 58.

 

I got A's in every class except for a B+ in Classical Guitar & Math for Liberal Arts.

It was friggin' hard.

 

As to the "use it or lose it" aspect, for the past month I've been going through Benward Volume 1 (Music Theory) & the accompanying workbook from page 1 & doing all the unfinished exercises (many weren't assigned & I was harried as hell so I didn't do them).

 

I'm also playing all the excerpt & examples, which I largely skipped before.

 

The material is way more understandable now & my sight reading, transposition & improv skills are improving bigly as a result.

 

I highly recommend continuing to study as you age. Put yourself under the gun in a graded environment & then review the original material & put it to use. It should be a subject that interests you heavily. For many people this may include learning a foreign language & then spending time in the country(s) where it's spoken.

 

You've lived long & are successful, enjoy life & a healthy intellect even as your body slows down.

 

Very Impressive DooDiligence.  Congrats on finishing your 4th semester.

 

Is the learning experience different at 58 vs 18?

 

Why do you recommend taking a graded class vs just reading about subjects?

 

Thanks. Now the real learning starts with practical application.

 

It's hard to compare the experience at 58 to the one at 18 because at 18 I was a drunken, pot head who slept in class a lot. Going back to school was 1st & foremost about the music & secondly, a do-over of high school without the altered state and raging hormones.

 

I recommended graded classes because it really puts you under the gun. This might not be necessary for everyone but I never would've studied this material as thoroughly as I did if there hadn't been a bunch of instructors breathing down my neck.

 

It also engrained a lot of academic discipline.

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