2015-12-29

Learning new things for Dummies

A floating dummy used for man over board train...
A floating dummy used for man over board training, commonly referred to as Oscar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Learning new things for Dummies


I read incessantly.

Seldom do I read anything that is fiction any longer.

I find I simply have too little time that I can dedicate to leisure reading.

However, the topics I do read about vary widely.

Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Statistics, Probability, Genetics, Econometrics, Weather, Day-Trading.

All of these topics I have learned about through the series of books from Wiley labeled the "..for Dummies" series.

Each book, that I have read, is a little over 300 pages or so. This usually takes me slightly less than a week depending on my interest, and whether or not I am completely unfamiliar with the topic. They all come with extensive reference information. If you read through one of the books and need more detailed information it will point you to the right direction.

Web links, other books in the series, other books that are generally used in the topic discussed are all referenced.

The main thing that drew me to the series, and keeps me buying new books in the series again and again is in the title itself.

If you are new to a subject you are a dummy. 

English: Histogram of sepal widths for Iris ve...
English: Histogram of sepal widths for Iris versicolor from Fisher's Iris flower data set. SVG redraw of original image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 Guess what? We all are dummies about one subject or another.

These books seldom make an assumption that the reader has in-depth knowledge of the topic or even related topics  They do not even make the assumption that the reader is familiar with basic terms.

So far in the twenty or so books in this series I have read, none of them have started using a term that was new to me, and failed to properly introduce it.

Some of the books I get to serve as an overview of a topic I may have some mild interest in so that I may be able to more intelligently discuss the topic with others that are more fluent than I in the topic.

Other topics I have purchased whole collections of the series that are interrelated (Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, Statistics, and Probability). They serve as a foundation refresher since I have not studied some of these topics for some time.

I do not limit my reading to this series, but this is usually my starting off point when I set out to learn a new subject. So far, the foundation this series lays allows me to press onward to even advanced topics quickly, efficiently and with little delay in looking for a glossary of terms.

Now, go learn a new subject you Dummy!