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06:55:41 PM Apr 17th 2011
[There is an old academic advice that basically says, if you want to understand what you're learning, find someone who knows even less than you to explain it to. In other words, in the process of breaking down an idea for someone else to understand you also get a better understanding of it (this is very much a truth; even if you though you got it before it can reveal a lot of mistakes or parts that you have skipped.)]
  • This also got lampshaded by a politician (I don't remember the name or the direct quote) who travelled with Albert Einstein to a conference and wrote: "On the train Mr. Einstein has explained to me his theorem and by the time we arrived to the final station I was convinced that he understood it."

The part in italics — is this really about this trope? To me, that quote says "it took an entire train journey just for him to convince me he knew what he was talking about — imagine how long it would take for him to actually get me to understand it". He doesn't seem, to me, to be suggesting that Einstein didn't fully understand it at the start of the journey.

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