Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Art of Learning, by Josh Waitzkin

Mr. Waitzkin was a chess prodigy, about whom a book, Searching for Bobby Fisher, was written by his dad in 1988. It became a movie in 1993. As a young adult, Mr. Waitzkin moved from chess to martial arts, competing in Tai Chi's push hands tournaments (a large part of this book), and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

The conceit of this book is that Mr. Waitzkin can extrapolate from his experiences as a world class chess player and world class martial arts competitor to provide lessons about learning. Hence the title.

As an auto-biography, it is interesting although rather repetitive. As an instructional text, it is so far from useful as to be a zero.

So if you're curious about Mr. Waitzkin, then by all means read this (preferably by borrowing it from a free public library). If you want to learn about learning techniques, how to gain excellence in a field, etc., just cross this title off your list now. (The latter was my motivation for reading the book, and the reason for my poor reaction to it.)

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