This is a card in Dave's Virtual Box of Cards.
Applied LearningPage created: 2022-09-17 , updated: 2023-05-04
Trying to learn things without being able to apply them can be very ineffective.
I’ve "learned" at least half a dozen programming languages I never ended up using on a regular basis. I did not retain what I learned (and I suspect my understanding was mostly surface-level since I didn’t write programs beyond the exercises).
(But the languages I use on a regular basis are practically muscle memory for me.)
I also struggled to learn mathematics on my own until I started writing a ray tracer.
This also ties into The Phenomena of the Game Manual.