Four pieces of my life aligned recently that kept 17th century western Europe at the forefront of my imagination:

  1. Versailles on Netflix, following Louis XIV early in his reign as he moved the French court from Paris to Versailles and built a palace there

  2. Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson, about the Royal Society in England in the 17th century and the Natural Philosophy exploits and experimentation performed by characters like Isaac Newton

  3. Tinycards by Duolingo, a flashcards app that helps you learn through courses such as the Duolingo French course, Spanish course, and European countries course

  4. Europa Universalis IV by Paradox Development Studio, a grand strategy game on Steam that lets you play as various countries such as France during the Eighty Years’ War, and through the ensuing struggle among France, Spain, Netherlands, and England (among others)

My leisure time spent reading, playing video games, and watching tv were all themed around 17th century western Europe, as was my random idle time memorizing information from my mobile flashcards. This setup was not an entire coincidence. In Europa Universalis, I only started playing as 1600s France because I was engrossed with watching Versailles. But circumstances allowed me to become more entrenched.

A while ago I was thinking about the concept of learning through hyper exposure. The best example is learning a new language by immersing yourself in a nation and culture built around/with that language, such as moving to France to learn French. My unresearched and anecdotal perspective is that hyper exposure is one of the best ways to learn. Imagine if you were to learn European history in school; outside of school for leisure, you would be reading, watching tv, and playing video games about events and characters set in historical Europe, which would in turn feed into your curiosity to learn more about the subject at school. This is how childhood interests and hobbies and passions develop. And for some people, it follows them for the rest of their lives.

We need to think up more opportunities for more subjects for hyper exposure.