Knowledge is Not Understanding

By Anupum Pant

Let’s say you know how to ride a bike. One day, like Destin, you flip the bike’s handle. That is to say, when you turn the handle left, the bike turns right and vice versa. Yes, a welder can easily do that to your bike with help of a tiny gear system.

The thing about knowing how to ride a bike is that you don’t really understand how you do it. Millions of things go running in your mind when you do it. The algorithm is hardwired. So many things happen in there unconsciously, you never realize. Unless…

You do the flipping and try to ride this new flipped bike. You just can’t. Assuming you know your bike well, you think it’s going to be just a matter of time that you learn to ride this new thing. But it’s not that easy. Especially when you are old. Destin goes around the world offering people $200 to ride this thing for 10 feet without putting down their feet. No one has been able to do it. It takes effort.

Destin put in this effort. He unlearned his old way of riding a bike and took 8 months to master this new flipped bike. To his amazement, he learned it suddenly. One minute he wasn’t even close to riding it and the other minute he was gliding past in his new bike. But it took 8 months and a lot of practice.

Now, he took it a level further. He hopped on to a normal bike, and guess what? He couldn’t ride it. His brain had learned to ride the flipped bike too well. The algorithm inside had changed.

And suddenly, like he had learned to ride the flipped bike, after some practice, something clicked and he was back to riding the normal bicycle. He documented all of it in a video below. Which I think has a very deep message for all of us. It can’t be put into words. It’s a realization.

Also, his son, with a much more plastic brain than his could learn to ride the new bike in just two weeks. Learn it young is another direct message this genius experiment gives us.

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