Francois raises an interesting question about learning. I don’t know if we learn “better” from people we associate with, but I do think we are more likely to accept information as being “true” or “correct” when we receive it from people we associate with. That could be simply because we tend to trust the people we associate with, and conversely, we prefer to associate with people we trust. So maybe the key to answering this question is to focus on what attributes lead us to trust another person and thus open ourselves to learning from them. So I’m wondering why is it that I trust Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal, and therefore tend to accept his product reviews without hesitation? Maybe its because over the years of reading his columns I’ve built an association with him in my mind. Maybe it comes from the way he writes; I “hear” him talking to me as I read and I like how he sounds. Or as Seth Godin points out in his latest book, All Marketers Are Liars, maybe I’ve told myself the lie that Walt and I share the same world view about personal technology, and so I am willing to learn from him. If Francois finds some books on the topic, I’ll have to borrow them.