We learn then we forget. It might seem to be a waste of precious time subtracted from life. Some time ago I started to write every day two things (yes, only two) I learn every day. One column for thing things that are totally new to me and other column for updates.

What is your method to not forget?

Or should I just do not care about it? It=learning

After all beauty does not need much of knowledge ☺

  • 2
    What exactly is your question regarding philosophy? As I read it, this is more of a philosophical question, which cannot be answered objectively and is hence a bad fit for SE.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 14:01
  • I am sorry to totally disagree with you. This has answers. We might have 70 years of life. It is a total waste of time if (1) somebody thought about this, (2) she/he has some good contribution for the solution and (3) he/she is willing to share such contribution AND me and others that have the similar questions can not benefit from her/him contributions. ☺ if somebody who uses SE has contributions to give is very welcome.
    – KwanzaKymi
    Commented Apr 15, 2018 at 6:12
  • Your title question is different from the question asked in the body of Q. As formulated, it also seems to be more oriented towards psychology/neurosciences than philosophy.
    – Gnudiff
    Commented Apr 15, 2018 at 7:22
  • Regarding your first point I disagree. Regard your second point it is neutral to me.
    – KwanzaKymi
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 11:52
  • I make the Person from Porlock remember things for me. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person_from_Porlock
    – Boba Fit
    Commented Nov 22, 2022 at 13:17

3 Answers 3


I feel like you’re inching towards the paradox of learning, a very important problem for especially ancient Philosophy. —You could think of it from a teacher’s perspective:

Some of the students don’t need your help; and the remainder can’t or won’t benefit from it.

So why become a teacher? Indeed this problem cuts to the very possibility of learning anything at all. How could you learn something if don’t already know about it; how would you know where to “look”? This is in a way a bootstrapping problem.

For Plato, the solution has to do with reminiscence; all apparent learning is remembering, owing to a kind of transcendent Memory oriented towards a “past beyond the past”. Hence: you knew all this before birth; what you perceive as learning is only remembering.

  • Thank you for expanding my views with your comment. So, if "learning" is NOT The thing what could it be, please?
    – KwanzaKymi
    Commented Apr 15, 2018 at 6:15
  • For Plato, “it” would be the Memory of the forms’ imprint on your soul...
    – Joseph Weissman
    Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 21:48
  • That is a cool though. Thank you for that. Please, educate me a bit further. How would the "means" such as Memory and Learning [the forms imprinted in the soul] would serve the "objective(s) of life"? Is the objective(s) of life imprinted as well?
    – KwanzaKymi
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 1:19
  • For Plato, I think we might be talking about Knowledge or the Good — something like the Sun which illuminates the forms. (But again this circles back to the paradox; how can you teach someone to be good?)
    – Joseph Weissman
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 2:37
  • Good point. Thank you. Can a person forget what is good?
    – KwanzaKymi
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 7:55

Classic, known to many who studied English as a second language:

“The more we learn, the more we know. The more we know, the more we forget. The more we forget, the less we know. So, why learn?”

There could be different disambiguation to this paradox, e.g.:

  • Standing on the shoulders of giants We build new knowledge on the basis of what we already know, so we do advance by learning, even if we forget what we learned in the past.
  • Overwhelming force One needs to learn a lot in order to extract the grains of knowledge that are really necessary to this particular person.
  • Bicycle effect Once you learned something, it is easier to relearn it anew. Like riding bicycle - if you learned it as a child, the skill will easily come back to you, even if you hasn't practiced for decades.

I don't quite know how to answer this so I'll share some potentially relevant facts. All the time, we are having ideas and then having 2 results undergo fusion into one. If an idea cannot be made to get a lot of attention specifically, that's because it doesn't need to because it's small and insignificant. The relevant thing that you are a competent responsible being who can think on the spot given the task at hand right then sticks for ever. It's probably not quite like that but let's say that each year, 2 results in your mind are undergoing fusion into 1 at the same rate as 1 is getting 2 derivative works and getting deleted but being remembered in some form on the spot right then in the 2 derivative works. It reorganizes the mind set of having the habit of extracting the right files from your brain to tackle any problem the way you're suppoed to. Eventually, we reach the golden years with the precisely focused mind at about 80 years of age. It actually takes that long to develop it. If the universe worked in such a way that death is nowhere to be found and we have no concept of death, one relevant thing would stick. If you have the precisely focused mind of the golden years, it means you have an 80 year ago past self. You could consider your earlier younger years of before you turned 80 to be remembered for ever in the form of the precisely focused mind of the golden years. Sometimes, people undergo cognitive decline and lose it. Young people aren't gonna have that kind of mind. The earlier times happen first then the later times follow. It's a precisely focused library of files in the brain. Young people aren't gonna have it. It makes sense.

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