Why UNlearning?


Have you ever wondered what we’re wrong about, today?

It’s easy to laugh at the mistaken ideas of the past:

Good thing we don’t believe silly stuff like that any more, right?

The thing is, it’s only with hindsight that the error of ideas like these is obvious

In their time, they seemed like simple ‘common knowledge’. Questioning them was preposterous.

Nowadays we know for sure that Galileo was right – but when he first challenged the accepted wisdom that the earth is the centre of the universe, he was tried by the Inquisition, found ‘vehemently suspect of heresy’, and forced to recant.

In those days, of course, heresy had religious implications. But Galileo’s real ‘heresy’ was daring to disagree with the basic common knowledge accepted by all at that time. And that, unfortunately, is a sin that still exists today.


So have you ever wondered what false beliefs we might be accepting as common knowledge, right now?

It turns out there’s a few right under our noses. They have to do with speech, and with how spoken communication works.

Phonetics, the science of speech, shows that many ideas our society currently accepts as ‘common knowledge’ are actually wrong.

And if you’re thinking it’s all those ‘uneducated others’ who accept false beliefs as common knowledge – sorry but ‘our society’ includes educated, well-spoken people, who are very confident in their knowledge of speech!

In fact, without being rude, the more confident you are of your knowledge about speech, the more likely you are to hold the false beliefs uncovered in Rethink Speech.

Rethinking has to start with Unlearning!

It ain't what you don't know that gets intro trouble; it's for sure just so
A lot of people ‘know for sure’ that this quote originates from Mark Twain – but evidently that ‘just ain’t so’.

It is hard to build new knowledge on top of confidently held false beliefs. As you may know from your own experience of teaching, trying to do so often creates more misunderstanding than clarity.

And you can’t just stop after unlearning your first false belief. Most false beliefs are layered into a network of deeper false beliefs. You have to explore quite a few ‘why’ questions to get to the level where the most important changes in your thinking need to happen.

That’s why Rethink Speech starts by helping you to unlearn some ‘obvious facts’ you may have ‘known for sure’ since childhood. If that sounds negative – the good news is, the rethinking itself reveals the foundation for a better way.

In fact, at Rethink Speech, we find that, apart from the initial shock to the ego, discovering you’ve been wrong all along is generally far more interesting than confirming you’ve been right all along. If you tend to the same view, we’ll get along famously.

Unlearning false beliefs of common knowledge about speech is challenging but not technical – and definitely interesting – and entertaining, and useful. It will put you in the vanguard, shining a light for others to follow.

And don’t worry, you won’t suffer a fate like poor old Galileo!

Getting curious?

If you haven’t already, it is highly recommended you check out the material under the START tab above for background, experiences and rationale before you get started on the Unlearning modules. Then check INFO for how the site works.

You can also preview the unlearning modules from this page. To access themyou’ll have to sign up – but don’t worry they are all completely free and there is no hidden agenda (beyond helping our society overcome its false beliefs about the nature of speech, of course!).