You must unlearn what you have learned!!!

3 minute read



When you are solving a particular problem your knowledge or expertise plays a vital role. Problems are usually delegated towards experts in the respective domains. The experience & knowledge is key in most of these situations.

But quoting Master Yoda from Star Wars, “You must unlearn what you have learned” in some instances. The knowledge or experiences you possess may not be perfect, or it could be limiting your ability to achieve more.

For an example when you are solving a problem, the well known method would be perfect. But if you start analyzing from the basics and think new, there might be better solutions. This unlearning or fresh thinking would lead towards innovation.

Thus, it is evident that its always best to have an open mindset when you are working, so that you would be able to design and develop something really unique. The concept of unlearning helps you to look at things in a fresh mindset, leading you towards better understanding and ultimately better decisions.

This concept is not only applicable for scientific or high level problem solving leading to innovations. Unlearning could greatly help us in our day to day lives. People are normally conventional. All the decisions are based on some core beliefs & cultural insights that they have been taught. Based on those learning they try to take decisions, while in a biased state of mind.

Most of the social issues arise due to this restricted thinking, where they do not see the entire picture. Their arguments are based upon what they know, and how they see it. They do not take that extra effort to look at the problem from a fresh perspective. Usually this leads to great uncompromising debates. This is quite the same with their political views. Despite the current situation they always vote based on their core learning or principles, without any analysis. In order to truly succeed and learn it is important to be able to unlearn, look at the facts and take the correct decisions.

The reason why this thinking is not popular is due to the fact that, unlearning results in accepting a form of failure. When you unlearn something, you are challenged, something you truly believed in is challenged. Most of the cases people do not want to be challenged and accept that they were wrong. Hence they would keep on debating pointlessly. In conclusion it would be beneficial to unlearn and look at everything at an unbiased perspective.

This is not only applicable for us humans. It is also affecting our counterparts, Artificial Intelligence. Recently by mistake one of my pictures were tagged to a wrong person. And based on that input the algorithm kept on classifying the image wrong. No matter how many new pictures were newly fed and manually classified, there was no unlearning mechanism to undo. Failure to unlearn the mistake just kept on adding more mistakes.

In conclusion whether you are a machine or a human, unlearning is of great importance. One of the main reasons is the fact that knowledge changes with time, and what we believe to be true today could easily be replaced by a better theorem. Hence the importance of unlearning and tackling problems in a fresh unbiased perspective.