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The Gaps in Knowledge Are Where Wisdom Grows

The Gaps in Knowledge Are Where Wisdom Grows

A few days ago, I listened to the latest episode of Meng Yan’s podcast “The Gaps in Knowledge,” which resonated strongly with me.

It talks about three points:

  1. People always tend to simplify their understanding of the world.
  2. Seemingly consistent simplifications often fail to explain specific details.
  3. Wisdom is the ability to discern subtle differences between things.

Throughout my life, I have been constantly repeating the process of simplifying my understanding initially, gradually delving deeper, and finally seeing the gaps, and then filling them with my own cognition and understanding.

The Gaps in Swimming

Swimming is a skill where you can easily find various tutorials online, and many people can learn it by exploring on their own.

But my experience in learning various sports tells me that understanding it intellectually is completely different from understanding it physically; there are many details that need to be filled in between.

For example, the first mantra of the breaststroke, “when you stroke, your legs don’t move,” suggests that stroking is very important, and by mastering the technique of stroking, you can breathe smoothly.

However, in fact, when beginners focus too much on stroking, they often find themselves sinking before they can breathe.

The premise of stroking is that the body is close to the water surface, and when you slowly lift your head, you can extend the time your mouth and nose are above the water by stroking. That is to say, even without stroking, you can still breathe, but the breathing time will be very brief, making it more tiring to swim.

How to keep the body parallel to the water surface? How can you slowly lift your head? The answers to these questions need to be explored through practice.

My process of learning to swim is a continuous process of discovering new problems and constantly seeking answers for myself. (Although I also found a coach, the coach only taught by rote and could not answer detailed questions)

Especially in the early stages, there are often a lot of problems that suddenly appear, and you have to try various ways to identify the core issues, and then gradually resolve all the problems by solving each core issue.

Still, taking breathing as an example, the premise of breathing is that the body is close to the water surface. In the case where various details are not perfect, the core issue to be resolved is to maintain momentum, that is, to keep kicking, which allows the body to be close to the water surface, and then further explore the timing of lifting the head to breathe.

So for me, at this time, I need to move my legs more to provide propulsion to the body, and then the head can emerge above the water.

Later, by continuously trying different head-lifting and breathing rhythms, I slowly relaxed and finally managed to breathe with legs completely still, reducing unnecessary resistance and consumption.

By continuously investing time and energy, gradually discovering all the detailed issues and solving them, swimming has become a sport that stretches the body and relaxes the mind.

The Gaps in Technology Development

In terms of work, I am best at reducing the cost of research and development.

A few days ago, I just helped a friend optimize his side project, eliminating React and the database, reducing the development workload by about 75%, allowing him to devote more time to product operations and promotion.

In this process, I have been reminding him that the technical architecture adopted by the company’s R&D team is mostly not suitable for personal side projects. You can’t have as many R&D resources as a company (if you have that much, it is usually because the business has grown healthily and is entering a stage of accelerated growth).

And the high sensitivity to R&D costs, as well as targeted methods to reduce costs, are gradually discovered and summarized in the traditional R&D process.

At the same time, R&D costs are not necessarily the lower the better. How to obtain the best commercial results with the lowest cost is the correct direction.

This involves a huge amount of gaps that need to be discovered and filled over the years. I am very happy to delve into these gaps and gradually summarize my own methodology.

The Gaps in AI

The above two examples are my personal experience of “the gaps in knowledge are where wisdom grows.”

As the AI era gradually approaches, the difficulty of acquiring and using knowledge has been greatly reduced again. (The last time it was greatly reduced was in the information age, with the typical representative being the search engine.)

For those who continue to discover gaps in knowledge and create new knowledge, it is undoubtedly a strong aid.

As early as three years ago, I was inseparable from AI when writing code. Now, AI is like the mobile internet of that year, deeply integrated into my daily life and work in all aspects.

AI can help me discover gaps in knowledge faster, as well as inspire inspiration and solve problems.

And the curiosity and initiative behind this problem discovery and problem-solving are the human nature that AI cannot replace.

AI can satisfy your thirst for knowledge and attention to emotions, but it cannot realize your self-worth, because self-worth can only be realized through your own creation.

And creation comes from the gaps in knowledge.

A small gap that seems at the beginning may become a huge new field in the future. (The Scaling laws behind this AI outbreak is a typical example.)

Wishing curiosity and execution power to be with everyone. 💡

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