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不闻不若闻之, Not having heard is not as good as having heard, 闻之不若见之, having heard is not as good as having seen, 见之不若知之, having seen is not as good as mentally knowing, 知之不若行之; mentally knowing is not as good as putting into action; 学至于行之而止矣 true learning is complete only when action has been put forth ­- 荀子 – Xunzi

Linking concepts together

(Oxbridge Notes Guide to Autodidactism)

Try and find examples of abstract concepts that you can stick to them, our brains are better at remembering things from the real world. This is also the idea behind memory palaces.

I find the trick musicians use to learn to play by ear remarkably clever. Knowing that a good melody is more-or-less impossible to forget, musicians memorise and name the intervals (distances between notes) within well-known songs whose melodies they have already internalised. A minor third (descending) is the melodic distance dropped between “Hey” and “Jude” in the Beatles classic of the same name; a perfect fifth ascending is the first two notes in the Star Wars theme, whereas a perfect fifth descending is the melodic drop between Flint and Stones within the theme song to, um, The Flintstones.

Naming Concepts

Another way to help remember an abstract concept is to name it. I will never forget the idea that 'murder ghandi' represents.

Beware Learning Porn

(Oxbridge Notes Guide to Autodidactism)

Because honestly, 70% of the non-fiction reading I do is learning porn. I'd be better off with textbooks or wikipedia. As he says, fine to explore using this learning porn, but you get most of the value (and difficulty) when you really dig into a subject and try to understand it rather than just knowing some facts about it.

Understand it means you can

  • apply it to novel situations
  • rederive it from principles
  • explain it clearly to others

The internet is filled with a closely related vice: learning porn. Amongst its ranks lie blog articles about AI that gloss over the fully necessary details, popular science books that skip the pesky bit about physics, or lecture series on mathematics that omit any exercises. These education

sources are enjoyable to consume as entertainment, and useful to the extent that they excite you about a field, provide helpful “broad before deep” introductions, and deliver the key jargon for Googling should you wish to investigate further. But we must recognise learning porn for what it is, complete with all its shortcomings, and be aware of the opportunity cost of its consumption when learning time budget is limited. Despite the subjective feeling of ease and the sense of speedy learning you’ll experience when watching Khan Academy videos on Linear Algebra, you probably won’t be capable of applying this knowledge to any real world problems without doing supplementary exercises,

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Last modified 2019-06-21 周五 14:19. Contact max@maxjmartin.com