Learn More Stuff

Bridge learning again but it is learning that is of interest.

As those of you who have read my blog I have been learning the card game bridge for the past 7 months. As I am doing so I am thinking hard about how my understanding of this complex, but fun, game is developing. I am at a stage where I properly realise that there is so much I do not know, but I am finding new ideas are far more easily assimilated than when I first started learning. I still make loads of mistakes but I am also mostly recognising the mistake and I think I can probably avoid the same mistake in the near future.

I explained a particular part of the bidding system to a fellow bridge player when he asked about why a particular bid was made. I think the desire to teach is strong within me – perhaps use that line in a film somewhere. I also think that wanting to explain to others is a sign of the stage of my own understanding and growing confidence. It also very much helps me to clarify my own understanding.

But I want to think about how new ideas are assimilated or not. There is stuff that better players explain to me that I just don’t get. Why are some new things understandable and others not?

I feel a diagram coming on. Perhaps a couple.

learning new stuffSo this is it. There are 2 new things to be learned. The blue area represents my current bridge knowledge.

The red areas are some new knowledge I am trying to learn. The red ovals represent the features, some of the content of new stuff 1. As you can see there is no real overlap with my current knowledge.

To give you a simple example let’s imagine the new idea is the bid “One No Trump”

Each red oval represents one idea. I know what “one” means. I know it in the context of numbers. I know what “no” means. Can I eat the cake? No, said my wife who checks my weight. I certainly know about Trump – the president of the USA. Enough said. But can you see why “One No Trump” is so difficult to understand? Not only do the elements not overlap my bridge knowledge, but I know each part in a different domain.

The green shapes do have a degree of overlap with my current bridge knowledge. One part is well within, one is overlapping and a third is currently outside my knowledge. I am likely to be able to understand the green idea. There is enough overlap. And having learned the green idea my bridge knowledge has expanded and other ideas may then be learnable.

More knowledge is better as it allows more learning.