Ian Borukhovich: B.S. physics, Ph.D biochemistry, lead of a data science team, musician, hand-balancer, + practitioner of other random skills

I finally had the opportunity to make a podcast episode focused around my favorite topic, learning how to learn. On this episode I had a conversation with Ian Borukhovich about: making fun goals that you can actually follow through on, learning via experimentation, how to continuously improve at anything, going deeper into the skills you’re interested in, and other learning/skill development related topics. Ian is one very few people I’ve met in real life that I feel comfortable describing as an actual polymath, and I’m sure with his relentless self-experimentation and evolving learning methodology he’ll only become more interesting as time passes.

My only advice around this episode is to try out some of his ideas/suggestions. I’ve been playing around with a few of them over the past few weeks they’ve been working well for me.


  • SkillSilo Ad [0:00]
  • Intro [1:22]
  • How I met Ian [7:00]
  • Information Consumption [10:30]
  • Goal Setting [20:15]
  • How to Continuously Improve at Anything [28:00]
  • How to Respond to Unsolicited Advice [38:00]
  • Going Deeper into Skills/Learning via Experimentation [41:00]
  • Creativity/Consistency/Play and Learning [1:05:00]
  • The Importance of Imperfection and Feedback [1:21:00]
  • Why you Need to be Socially Skilled to be Smart/Developing Social Skills [1:30:00]
  • Actionable Advice for Improving Social Skills [1:43:00]

Selected Links for the Episode:

Selected Quotes from the Episode:

  • “I always had this fantasy since I was young about being a self-made genius, and you were the first person I’d met that was really into that too.”
  • “All of this is a bit inhuman. To have stimulus that you’re constantly digesting, that you’re converting.” -Ian
  • “It’s not so important that I achieve exactly that goal, but spending time towards it is certainly valuable, and I appreciate that value so I’m going to pursue some piece of that goal, at least for some time.” -Ian
Ian, on goal setting

Ian, on goal setting

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