Believe it or not, every once in a while somebody will ask me how I know so much about a given topic. My answer to them is always that I’ve read a book on the topic:
If you want to be stronger, more powerful, and the driving force in your own life; if you want not to be tossed by every wind, irritated by every opinion, persuaded by every protest, losing your self in the presence of dynamic people, read more books.
The more concepts, metaphors, and ideas you fill yourself with, the broader your conceptual and verbal language, the better you know yourself and navigate a world populated with the selves of others.
If you don’t dive into long-form ideas regularly, you won’t know how to think them or respond to them.
I’ve been told that I’m a bastard in debates. I don’t attribute that to my knowledge or skill but to other people’s lack of knowledge and skill. Most debates today seem to take the form of parties throwing soundbites or memes at each other. An anarchist will argue that governments need to be eliminated entirely and a statist will respond by asking who will build the roads. Neither party will likely go beyond those soundbites. However, if either party is well read on the topic, they will have a significant advantage because they’ll have the foundational knowledge that both soundbites are built on. Having such familiarity with their argument and their opponent’s argument will allow them to utterly crush their opponent.
YouTube and Wikipedia are great for general overviews but if you really want to arm yourself with detailed knowledge, you should read books.