The Value of Learning “Useless” Things
In my book, Ultralearning, I argued in favor of directness in learning. Given a concrete objective (speaking a language, passing an exam, becoming proficient at a particular skill), the way you practice ought to match the intended use. Transfer is hard. The more we can avoid depending on far-transfer to make our learning successful, the better we’ll do.
A reasonable-sounding extension of this idea is that learning broadly is itself a bad idea. “Useless” knowledge won’t transfer, so why bother with it?