We live in a marvelous age of information and entertainment, but what if I told you you could combine the two? I know what you’re thinking, and, no, I’m not referring to the ham fisted educational shows that kids are forced to watch. Not that there’s anything wrong with that approach, but it’s not for everyone. There are alternatives for a more discerning audience that still wants to learn something new.
First and foremost, YouTube has spawned a surprisingly rich educational community. Channels like Crash Course exist to teach you in a fun and interesting way. However, where this approach really shines is channels and shows like Idea Channel and Game Theory that take scientific, logical, or philosophical ideas and apply them to pop culture. These can allow you to think about your favorite shows, movies, and games in a whole new light while also teaching you things you never knew.
Next, there’s the fascinating world of foreign films and TV. These shows and movies will require some reading, sure, but they’ll expose to you other cultures, for starters, and they can also help you learn a new language. The latter benefit would be even more pronounced if paired with classes or a program like Rosetta Stone. You’ll be bilingual in no time with this technique!
Lastly, just doing some external research when entertainment exposes you to new ideas will help you understand the stories better and teach you some real world knowledge all at once. You’d be surprised how much of our entertainment is informed by a working knowledge of mythology and religion, let alone science and philosophy. For example, did you know that Thor from the Avengers is based on and named after the Norse god of thunder? There’s really no reason you can’t learn from your fun, or have fun learning!