It's the penultimate edition for the year!
Welcome to my new readers and welcome back to everyone else. You're reading Scholé Supplement, the bi-weekly newsletter that celebrates curiosity, learning and life as a grokkist.
🍭 I sketch out how to spot five different flavours of grokkist
❤️🔥 Meet our newest Reimagine Education member, Banyan Global Learning
🎙 I share of this year's listening stats from the podcast
🍬 Down in Snackables you can watch human fountains at play, explore the nature of consciousness, and find some tips for improving your palindrome game
🍭 The 5 flavours of grokkist
When folks discover my writing about being a grokkist, they often tend to latch on strongly to some aspects while being confused or even turned off by others.
As a result, there are a bunch of you who follow my work with interest and enthusiasm but who still aren’t actually sure whether or not you’re a grokkist.
That’s on me! But hey, we’re all still figuring this thing out, calibrating and recalibrating as we go, and isn’t that part of the fun!
It’s become clear to me that grokkists come in different flavours.
We are all fast and voracious learners who thrive on making connections where others don’t, but we go about our grokking in different ways and for different reasons.
First, let’s remind ourselves what we have in common, and then I’ll try to sketch out what I’ve figured out so far about the different flavours.
A grokkist is a lifelong learner whose moves through life by constantly grokking new things. We accumulate new knowledge and experiences as a way of being. Our path through life is often squiggly and episodic, but when you look closer there’s usually a red thread that connects the many different things we’ve grokked.
And now, bearing in mind this is still very much a first draft, here are my five flavours of grokkist:
- Are all about taking action, perseverance and being consistent
- Take a do-it-yourself approach to getting results
- Often self-taught and self-reliant, learning by doing and picking up specific credentials as they need to
- May not identify as intellectual and often find formal education boring, elitist or irrelevant, but are voracious hands-on learners and pick things up fast, especially through practical examples
- Have incredible self-discipline and are comfortable with delayed gratification
- Often attracted to tech-related fields, where what you’ve made and what you can do matters more than your qualifications or which school you went to
- Chase ALL the tennis balls and find ALL the connections ALL the time
- Jump from one thing to the next, seeking novelty and escaping boredom
- Not motivated by 'goals'
- Have a complicated relationship with time
- Are usually either overemployed or underemployed
- Point us at something and watch us go
- HUGE last-minute energy
- Starting is more fun than finishing
Flow Rider grokkists
- Go with the flow, taking opportunities as they come up with no particular long-term direction in mind
- Have mostly unplanned careers - we just find things interesting and pursue them
- Often our ‘next thing’ comes from a suggestion, recommendation or invitation from friends or colleagues
- Don’t mistake our lack of interest in ‘career goals’ for a lack of effort or ability – we like to be good at things and will be conscientious about giving everything our best shot
- Usually rapidly successful in whatever we do for work, but are more motivated by having a rich and interesting life, of which work is only one part
- Incredibly independent - don’t try to tame us or conscript us to your cause - we have our own reasons for doing things that don’t concern you
- Tend to value kindness, collaboration and harmony, seeking out supportive and nurturing environments (or creating them)
- Cursed with a deep desire to understand the universe
- Read and engage widely and deeply, across fields and disciplines
- Often have a difficult relationship with school, academia and structures that enforce approved ways of learning
- Love learning for its own sake, independent of its application (but we still care about applying it!)
- Follow our curiosity aesthetically, often focusing intensely on one area of interest at a time, from all angles
- Once we feel we've reached a certain level of understanding, we can feel 'finished' and move on completely
- Probably did well at school and in the established system
- Tend to build up an impressive array of qualifications, credentials, connections and social capital
- Have a strong attachment and dedication to our area of professional practice and want to make it better by bringing new knowledge and approaches
- Chafe against the constraints of what's possible and/or allowed
- Often outwardly successful, but can feel inwardly stuck and unfulfilled
- Do well and find meaning when we adopt an insider-outsider relationship to our area of professional practice
Are you one or more of these? What did I get right/wrong and what did I miss? Reply and let me know.
Reimagine Education ProjectVisit the Reimagine Education hub
This edition I'm pleased to introduce you to our newest member – Banyan Global Learning – a group of grokkist-friendly educators working with the traditional system to help kids find their place in the world.
They do this through programs like their virtual field trips that teach children about social and emotional learning using narratives that the students interact with to solve problems and exercise their digital citizenship skills.
I like the way founder Seth Fleischauer describes social and emotional learning:
It's essentially doing the hard work of knowing what your feelings are and being able to express them, but also knowing the emotions and the feelings of others. The reason that we want to do this is so that ultimately we can make the best choices, choices that are not only good for us, but good for the world.
We've created a warm introduction to Banyan Global Learning's work especially for grokkists, which you can find along with my full conversation with Seth over at Banyan Global Learning's new Reimagine Education member profile.
Don't forget, Nathanology's online 'Eco-Philosophy for Environmental Activism' course is taking place over 4 sessions in January/February. Find out more and reserve your place at the link below.
🎙Still Curious Podcast
It's around this time of year that everyone's socials are awash in Spotify Wrapped posts, people posting about how no-one cares about your Spotify Wrapped post, clickbait posts about the galaxy of Spotify Wrapped TikTok memes, and think pieces written by ChatGPT about what Spotify Wrapped says about the state of music.
In that spirit, I thought I'd share what Spotify Wrapped had to say about the Still Curious podcast this year.
Podcast listening stats are notoriously fragmented and are not measured consistently across platforms.
And in case you were wondering, Spotify only accounts for around 16% of listeners anyway – the most common ways folks listen is via Apple Podcasts or through the website.
Here's the Top 8 ways to listen, which account for around 90% of listeners.
Meanwhile, I'm busy recording a handful of conversations at the moment which I look forward to releasing in the new year to kick off Season 3.
Assorted awesome links, just because.
You might remember deadpan darling Aubrey Plaza from such shows as Parks & Recreation, Season 2 of The White Lotus, and all manner of voiceover work. Here she is being delightful responding to people on social media. Worth it just to hear her describe her three types of fans.
Was it a car or cat I saw? Neither – it was a palindrome! A devoted creator of palindromes talks about his craft and offers some tips for aspiring palindromists.
Stardust's mission is to create transparent tools that give people control of their personal data on the web. Stardust Cookie Cutter is a free browser plugin (many browsers supported) that takes care of those annoying cookie consent popups that cover half the screen. Just install it, tell it your preferences once and then enjoy a quieter browsing experience.
The Ungoogleable Michaelangelo's podcast explores where the limits of language meet the fringes of reality. I found particularly compelling this episode which artfully introduces and explores Julian Jaynes' influential work, The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Jaynes' theory of consciousness is one of those ideas that will change the way you look at the world, and this conversation is a great way into it if the book seems a bit heavy.
Warning: if you thought my podcasts were long, this one is feature length! But it flies by as you are clearly in the company of a deep, playful and unbound intelligence. Still, only attempt this if you enjoy relentless wordplay and phrases like ‘ontological cliffhanger’.
Human Fountains are a comedy troupe who describe themselves as the world's only human fountain show. In the above video you can see them performing My Heart Will Go On. Lots of other silly and soggy videos on their YouTube channel also.