Uri Bram is the bestselling author of Thinking Statistically and the CTO of Umuzi, an educational organisation that supports talented young people to develop the skills needed to access high-value careers. For those of you who are long time listeners, you may remember Uri first appeared on the podcast back on episode 62 where we spoke about key statistical principals, music theory and learning skills from experts.

Uri like me is someone who is interested in a number of different areas and he’s been up to a lot since we last spoke, joining Umuzi in South Africa as their CTO.

Umuzi teach a range of digital skills, including coding, copywriting and design, using real life projects to make the experience as practical as possible.

In this conversation we discuss a range of topics including:

  • How the courses are selected and delivered at Umuzi and how they compare to other alternative education programs
  • Whether there is a tradeoff between training skills and teaching people to think
  • How to choose projects when you have a lot of interests and trouble focusing

So whether you’re interested in alternative education or have too many interests and want to find a way to pick your projects better, this episode will leave you with a range of useful insights.

United States


00:00:01are you listening to the metal on podcast the show that helps you learn the skills needed to future-proof yourself and thrive in the 21st century on the show you discover the principal Dental on Foster thinks Martha and make better decisions so you can make yourself indispensable in a world of constant change I'm your host NASA was Papadopoulos welcome to the mesosphere
00:00:29hello and welcome to episode 1 1/8 of the metal on podcast anime show with me today is URI Bram a best-selling author and the CTO of a movie now snooze you may remember refers to put on the pug cost back on episode 62 what we spoke about a whole bunch of stuff including everything from the key statistical principles everyone should know about is what is music theory and learning skills from experts hurry like me as you can probably tell from that description of a lost episode is someone who is interested in a lot of different areas and he's been up to since we lost by joining a movie in South Africa is that CTO amuzie is an organization that supports talented young people to develop skills and access high-value careers so they teach everything from coding to copy writing to digital design and strategy and multimedia selected in the liver and how they compare to other alternative
00:01:29patient programs as a trade-off between training skills and teaching people to think and how to choose projects when you have a lot of interests and trouble focusing that was that me a question that came from an area bus no interest so do you interested no sense of Education digital skills or you have too many interests I want to find a way to pick your project better than this episode will leave you with a whole range of peaceful insides it was a pleasure to speak to a hurry as always and I'm sure you'll get it all out this conversation my son deleted so without further Ado please join a chat with a Rebrand
00:02:04welcome back it's great to be back until you have your own this Sunday isn't any conversation that we have you answer Shahrukh Khan's greatest since we lost by pin how you got involved with the music at the end of our last conversation I don't know if you remember but you asked me what I would change about universities and I said well as a thousand but one of them is that enough of a reputation of the real world experience I can you sing one Professor Internal Medicine
00:03:04and yeah I love it it's a great place straightened with my education for various reasons I found it ready impractical at you in a student and I'm ready Kings tackle. So I really enjoy the idea of helping people acquire I thought you still speaking into that careers and do interesting things and yeah I got get appreciate that I guess we'll do the home
00:03:53so some of the skills your teaching an Uzi coding copyrights digital design digital and multimedia stuff the skills that you are teaching animal
00:04:09yes I wish we have plans. Everything depending on the week we talked about all kinds of things we like you could come in and do them today but you'll still be in 10 years now that's what makes it away so your parents are already big now / machine learning and will be so we look for tomorrow creative and some degree or technical in some way that I need a human can do them
00:05:02I'm not no skills or career paths that may not exist in 10 or 20 years was the conversation on the internet locally what's going to be useful in the future and which career is going to be able to make some people think a lot of carnal knowledge economy jobs are going to be essentially completed with me to the way or that they'll be a very small select group of humans who with a machine an AI to accomplish the tasks that Connie Dean accomplished by an order of magnitude
00:05:47I sit on all sides of the fence depending on what day you ask me I think the job now is going to be a really important teaching coding I was using web development stack current scores happened to pull out of favor.
00:06:47useful tasks that approximate to the work that you eventually going to do I don't do this kind of thing is going to learn to cook and see how they like you can learn to code online code online using the reason I'm going to be a developer you need to respond to certain problems and I love every program in the world that is doing anything like that
00:07:42one thing I've been thinking about quite a lot recently or busy cuz it's my turn. A conversation all the time is to what extent is it useful to abstract intellectualize about the learning process because I think it is useful to a certain extent to be aware of his behavior change which complicate anything into either the internet realize things to a certain extent exactly as you said they're all sudden
00:08:20being next to wish I will be in next to a programmer and asking questions that come up in the vitamin how how useful do you think it is cuz I'm always sequence Dr John you turn around find the right balance between talking about it cuz I think it's really important to be aware of it but not to the point where my cousin tonight and how are you how are you combining like what he see the attraction
00:08:54Sammy that are lots of things that you notice when you're picking up a new skill that I think being aware of concept can be what am I I sit down to practice learning technique am I going to implement and basically I've been trying to reproduce at myself as much as possible but just little things noticing sort of big being aware of my have noticed as well despite the fact that I'm really passionate about it and I love some of old freak songs from the 60s
00:09:54my life around it the practice does full off off hey you know this stuff doesn't she Masa thinking consciously about it does not sit continuing to reflect so that does Masa of course at the end of the day you've caught a sit-down with the instrument in you go to practice and you go to put a lot of miles apart with what sort of the seriousness with the passion that this is something that you want to continue to do I think that the Design Salt to my little bit as well I feel like a load of accelerated learning conversations
00:10:54excessively about how fast you were going yes there are things you can yes understanding yourself and the desire to go Faust has sort of you know it hasn't come up in the Bouzouki I can see myself playing for the rest of my life so interesting how how do you guys think about theory and practice a movie
00:11:25I think they feel knowing how to pick up station works and really believe in that it's going to work has been really helpful in helping me like stretching my running that way and it's much more efficient than the way you know I used to let any of us do whatever we just crammed or copy notes which one is asking a habit formation that when you think about learning a lot it really helps you information I have this electricity around different software that I used it a lot of stuff I'm talking to email client to do less than these things that I use every day it's really easy to get by with them easy to get frustrated with something and say I'll just you know coffee
00:12:25keyboard shortcuts on GMAT like you know how best to use these things happen and the conversations help me want to be that person that's the Practical implementation that I just said it's the only way to tell you how I really love ya it's getting yourself a reputation to live up to write exactly in bright about optimization packing stuff and things that's what you said about identities really important like very often if I speak to people about language learning
00:13:25people people, especially ones that are how do you guys think about the idea of identity is it something that you try and fold into the lessons that you will eat after you have the projects that you setting the students and she is really really important that you aren't beliefs about yourself cuz it can really drive real baby changing
00:14:25how do you guys think
00:14:29it 100 just under the classic difference in school as bad as the managers of the organization we're all learning anything then you know I was in the recruits will call me out some things and that right now I'm wrong and gold living up these ideals of them learning is my identity and continuous education I'm so why would that you can't believe it's a retreat center project design with you
00:15:29you going to be able to do that other people getting some on this phone I don't know whether it's cold as an opportunity or at the mall in like they had to do a couple of weeks according to be told how you're learning you just see yourself letting these new things you didn't think you could do
00:16:04the show it's funny he mentioned that cuz I despite 2 Wiki about this you know for as long as I have done I genuinely feel like I wouldn't be along which is what it would be like then the other side of me is like cuz I'm sure thing look like sipping on that front of you come up against the
00:17:04how do you deal with dice dice situations of public Rock up in everyday life and I am nice. I suck sometimes I say no you and I have nothing to offer you but sympathy and you can at least offer me that a couple of Gmail hacks from from what you tell me in my career ended my sister is actually but my people they realize that a few guys helping other people other people even you know I like crazy
00:18:00it's incredibly nonlinear like one or two of those projects will have more impact than everything else in my life put together but it's made me feel much more at ease with dimmable project and will ignore my project right now and with no I didn't know I'm going to be five years from now and that's okay because if I do a couple of things now in a couple of things later and you never on the side one of those things is going to take off and be
00:18:37the thing that kind of tells my life story in a way you could say it's like a reason to think I went up to a chance the second thing it doesn't have to be a success
00:19:26the constraints of worrying about whether what you create is going to be at the thing
00:19:36I think my second packet to self I can see from Mason because I think the best thing you can do the emotional wreck that takes to be okay with that to be okay with some of your prediction for a while and then you know things like okay like I've done this while in this is the end of what I can do with it right now
00:20:36the apostles you know I studied economics and management because I thought I wanted to go into a career in finance just pick something this Julie instrumental especially know about different aspects of Education in a unit people need to think liberal arts education is is what the role of like high acid should because I agree with you that you know despite my parents haven't shelled out a lot of money on my education to try and give me the best possible education did full show in summer help me build some skills would be useful but it did.
00:21:36do you think about what the rotavirus should be the suspect it was not going to be of value in the market and put them on these high that you can read these things you can think about all this
00:22:04so I love literature and philosophy and I are there
00:22:18all right but that was just like I'm so privileged that I had and you know I got a bunch of scholarships
00:22:25200000 pounds worth of Education supposedly or something which with no money I have no money but I want to see what's been going to if I have to spend my own money
00:22:36I really struggle with that like I struggle with the social implications of how expensive is education to become and how
00:22:42you know I like spending my life and many many many thousands of pounds of somebody's money is a way somebody's money one way or the other
00:22:55and so even though that I don't know that it worth it to me and I even if you didn't want to become a creditor spending a year of your life building current projects around other must occur. Lasting helps with blood helps you to learn even if you know you know
00:23:55one person directed by professor and she hated them she was reading the 70s you have to solve 1000 problems under the reach to do that and second that is a kind of liberal arts education in some sense in a vocational education I wouldn't know the thing that I struggle with is having to the university as an extra for a couple of years as well really seeing students who want Justin to get the piece of paper precisely because they are subscribing to this
00:24:50to this way of spending through life from 18 to 21 right it's blue everyone doesn't supposedly when our society by the Sea student studying economics
00:25:08can really know what else they want to do and I so would like elements of myself in a different perspective
00:25:18it was frustrating because despite my efforts to make the lessons interesting and entertaining and Link it back to real-world stuff that made the United Bland boring sort of restatements of what's in the textbook you still do stronger than nobody like you definitely noticed that some students responding to what you're saying but you should just realize that I'm not seeing so just written off this kind of. In that lives at send me the pic just have to do with the right answer could be spent trying so many different kinds of projects of people you want to work with me
00:26:18spend a lot of time off to University figure things out and I don't feel like it's not what you think
00:26:33immature or lack of maturity stopping you from exploring those things like at the ages of like oversee like 16 Euro Focus oversee often and elsewhere I robbed and like thinking seriously about your career and then maybe 18 as well but I do feel like it's possible to get two people at. About stage
00:26:54I think you ready, I think
00:26:57the program is being a teenager in our society like I see the most satisfying stress you out of the teenager volunteering and I think you know being a teenager would be more fun and you would be more mature at age 18 you know I like
00:27:39I'm criticizing people who like to cut it young age unlike transports is doing amazing things in sports but it's clear that you know if you're a football player at age 14 and you're in a good football Academy
00:28:29how can you change that how can you make that something is more embedded in a culture cuz I don't think that
00:28:36at least from having been inside an academic institution it doesn't feel like that so mean it's going to come from within the institutions themselves especially as we were already in their interests so how can we do that as a society
00:28:55an easy question of course I don't like the situation where people have to start work a quite a young age that a lot of people who feel very sweet and I know that can be very difficult and I don't know why people say hey we can contribute to live starting University Orlando and that extends
00:29:48I'm that but you noticed Solutions in the eye when having a great University Aztecs I need a receipt at 1 rather than send someone ternative education are there any sort of beliefs around education and learning that you found to be surprising out there in South Africa about what school is there anything different or unique about South African culture and approaches to education that you are amazing
00:30:39set up a rate of cholesterol medication disposal of August designs to oppress black people it wasn't a matter of indifference it was citizens and parents can help their children in school the way that you know that my parents were very active and help me to learn I'm outside of a kind of resting with Alexa
00:31:39be quiet and not of Jack and that's something that more active employee engagement ring batter
00:32:04I spoke to someone a couple episodes of Ellen the show did he spend a lot of time traveling around the world visiting different schools he was in Korea he didn't say he went to Finland Eva's did some schools in Silicon Valley basically would give for I think it was a couple of hours a day a piece of software and they would be two basic math and literacy skills from software that we can basically respond to what they were getting wrong and then feed them more of that stuff and it would say
00:32:58you know what it's a sort of weaknesses and bring them up in a way that perhaps is much more difficult to do when it's just one teacher teaching too many students in it, I think that is more than there are more attempts to measure everything
00:33:35I am kind of Blended learning all the ways to combining technology and development is a great great
00:34:32I need to present to teach you the high-level contacts to find out where you're at about five to ten thousand. Acacians
00:34:59which you know if you apply for something and you don't get in honestly the application was lost a waste of your time and we can see if you will I get that probably proof that you're right maybe I just think we need to figure out how to build a community
00:35:55that's really interesting price for the application process to come up with all this work to apply for a job at like to do that kind of stuff says I just need a professional to be on the TV
00:36:55how can you use a free opportunity on just in terms of career stuff we had a very happy doing what you doing at the moment a place of he died of of planning extensively
00:37:37how do you encourage your friends who is sort of like struggling with gambling around than to think about these things like what kind of questions do you even if you can figure out in advance what the right projects to do on I think it was fine every time you know you like your bus will be okay with it like they will survive you can quit your job
00:38:23August Equinox is a big thing but like a lot of the time for load of people that is that opportunity like you can leave your apartment you can sublet your you know a lot of people are like you know what you can do with a friend you can go live in a very cheap country for a while you can break but I think a lot of my friends I talk to people all the time except the moment something feels wrong basically I think
00:39:23wanting to do it, just trying to climb slightly upwards Twitter I think
00:39:45and what are you where are you at with this right now what your tips for tips to finding happiness and what you should have D field at what you're doing at two other people feel like you'll sort of resonates with snow level in the we all kind of let me know that we are improving in some 50/50 about something is pretty is as pretty wise advice cuz my experience very often has been you know if it is not feeding a 50-50 it does tend to Creep by the time I had the 50s
00:40:4560 becomes a 70 becomes an 18. You said you do end up stopping something eventually it will be continuing with it so yeah why do you think people are so afraid to jump drive to change to do those things that you know that you said you know if your 50-50 about it then try something else down to the status quo by your parents will be fine like they look at it you just need to do the thing and they will like Leslie over that with a prestigious company that when you guys do you like your friends can be like this is my friend X she works but why
00:41:45I'm not getting jobs about that they would know what to do with the time by themselves they wouldn't be able to start today
00:41:53it's like jumping into cold water right like maybe jumping into the cold lake doesn't even realize you guys been tricked I think like to be by our employees to feel like we are way more than we get more people who are dying in instead of doing University
00:42:45yes I exist in a large pot of unemployed or underemployed busted by the university right now but the progression is not very far from gas then maybe I can get on a much better career pathway
00:43:46where you get them and then station
00:44:12but it's tight end of line and goes on forever so I kind of learning is for Life by do you want to ask you a couple of quick questions at the end what's a question people ask you too often where are you from and what do you do questions guys that is not interesting questions asked to go to a party and I'll still want something that never knows when that life that's what I like have you changed your mind
00:44:46brightness second I have changed my mind on the idea that I don't need to document what I've changed my mind. From now on in my life I'm going to keep going to make it right now that says things I change my mind. Forget you ever thought otherwise I can look into hay actually while I did what I believed to be quite funny from
00:45:46oh I never would have filled the opposite of it but you might find it yet she did at some point thanks again so much yes I just um use that I thought I watching I'm not willing to do a lot Instagram and Facebook and I wasn't willing to die in the shylights thanks again for coming and it was awesome date
00:46:28once again thank you for cheating into the metal and pork on if you enjoy this episode and want to take you to the next level with my free Feist that video calls it will teach you the fundamental principles that needed to learn anything fast that's why you can text to my site methadone. Net and don't forget to join me again next week for another in that interview with a building until then keep learning and catch you next time

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