79 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2022
    1. When I come across interesting information, I underline then write a corresponding question in the margin. So what I underlined is an answer to the question.

      This practice is quite similar to writing out good spaced repetition question/answer cards for forcing active recall and better long term memory.

    2. Randall Stutman, an executive advisor and prolific note-taker, says, “collecting insights is just the preamble to what really matters: reviewing, with some level of consistency, those insights. You have to routinely make those insights available to yourself.” “Wisdom is only wisdom if you can act on it,” Randall says. “In the review process, you’re making those insights available for your mind to act on.”

      Regular review through one's note cards is important for the memory portion of directly remembering your insights and received wisdom, but they're also important for helping to allow you to grow them into new ideas as well as combining them with other ideas to allow dramatic innovation.

  2. Sep 2022
    1. But Ebbinghaus laidthe foundation for a long-lasting and influential tradition of learningtheories that separates understanding from learning.

      Because Hermann Ebbinghaus' early studies on memory, retrieval, and spaced repetition focused on meaningless random letter combinations that ha no natural associations, he started a field of learning theories that separated the ideas of understanding and learning. Learning is creating connections between ideas we already know (contextualization).

    1. Whichever tools are selected, criticalreading skills, like other cognitive skills, benefit from spaced andinterleaved practice (Brown et al., 2014).

      Curious to see what Brown et al have to say.

      Brown, P. C., Roediger, H. L., & McDaniel, M. A. (2014). Make it stick: The science of successful learning. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/jhu/detail.action?docID=3301452

  3. Aug 2022
    1. https://universitylifecafe.k-state.edu/bookshelf/academicskills/indexcardstudysystem.html

      Natalie Umberger is writing about an "index card study system" in an academic study skills context, but it's an admixture of come ideas from Cornell Notes and using index cards as flashcards.

      The advice to "Review your notes and readings frequently, so the material is 'fresh.' " is a common one (through at least the 1980s to the present), though research on the mere-exposure effect indicates that it's not as valuable as other methods.

      How can we stamp out the misconception that this sort of review is practical?

  4. Jul 2022
    1. Marshall, in looking at your cards, I'm curious how easy/hard you feel it is to remember longer portions of full quotes like your H.L. Menken example using only spaced repetition? I usually find it far more taxing and not as long lasting as using other more classical mnemonic methods (method of loci/songlines).

      Piotr Wozniak has some material on creating/designing more concrete cards for spaced repetition that I've found generally helpful. I know that Andy Matuschak and Soren Bjornstad have some ideas, experience, and research in the space but I've yet to see more deep research on the effectiveness of these more specific practices at scale or beyond the anecdotal.

      https://marshallk.com/7-steps-i-take-to-get-value-from-what-i-read-notes-on-note-taking-review

    2. After each review session, there’s often one flashcard in particular that I really dig into. I might spend 5 minutes writing about it. I might just think about it while going about my day.

      Spending just a few minutes writing about an idea in one's flash card review can be a useful way to better integrate that idea into one's field of thought. Bringing it out and expressing it more fully, linking it to other thoughts, and shifting the modality from reading into writing can be powerful methods for ensconcing it into one's memory as well as mentally owning it and even potentially extending it.

  5. May 2022
    1. making anki cards is an act of understanding in itself

      I'm always struck here that no one in these spaces mentions the idea of modality shifts as a thing of value.

    1. However, the degraded performance across all groups at 6 weeks suggests that continued engagement with memorised information is required for long-term retention of the information. Thus, students and instructors should exercise caution before employing any of the measured techniques in the hopes of obtaining a ‘silver bullet’ for quick acquisition and effortless recall of important data. Any system of memorization will likely require continued practice and revision in order to be effective.

      Abysmally sad that this is presented without the context of any of the work over the last century and a half of spaced repetition.

      I wonder that this point slipped past the reviewers and isn't at least discussed somewhat narratively here.

    1. it's like that's 00:44:13 called like maintenance rehearsal in uh in the science of human memory it's basically just re reintroducing yourself to to the concept how you kind of hammer it into your mind versus elaborative rehearsal is kind of what you're talking about and 00:44:26 what you do which is to uh elaborate on more dimensions that the the the knowledge you know uh that relates to in order to create like more of a a visual stamp on your mind

      Dig into research on maintenance rehearsal versus elaborative rehearsal.

    1. https://forum.artofmemory.com/t/what-language-s-are-you-studying/73190

      I've been studying Welsh on and off now for just over a year.

      I've been using a mix of Duolingo for it's easy user interface and it's built in spaced repetition. I like the way that it integrates vocabulary and grammar in a holistic way which focuses on both reading, writing, and listening.

      However, I've also been using the fantastic platform Say Something in Welsh. This uses an older method of listening and producing based teaching which actually makes my brain feel a bit tired after practice. The focus here is solely on listening and speaking and forces the student to verbally produce the language. It's a dramatically different formula than most high school and college based courses I've seen and used over the years having taken 3 years of Spanish, 2 of French, and 2 of Latin.

      The set up consists of the introduction of a few words which are then used in a variety of combinations to create full sentences. The instructors say a sentence in English and the listener is encouraged in just a few seconds to attempt to produce it in the target language (Welsh, in my case), then the instructor says the sentence in Welsh with a pause for the student to repeat it properly, another instructor says it in Welsh with a pause for a third repeat. This goes on for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. The end result is that the learner gets into the language much more quickly and can begin both understanding the spoken language as well as produce it much more rapidly than older school based methods (at least in my experience, though I have known some college language labs to use a much more limited version of a similar technique). Each lesson adds new material, but also reviews over older material in a spaced repetition format as well so you're always getting something new mixed in with the old to make new and interesting sentences for conversation.

      SSiW also has modules for Manx, Cornish, Dutch, and Spanish.

      I find that the two done hand in hand has helped me produce much faster results in language acquisition in an immersive manner than I have done previously and with much less effort.

  6. Apr 2022
    1. https://forum.artofmemory.com/t/the-contestant-who-outsmarted-the-price-is-right/43337

      Circling back to this a few years later... I just watched the documentary Perfect Bid: The Contestant who Knew Too Much (2017) which follows the story of Theodore Slauson from the article. Apparently he had spent a significant amount of time watching/taping the show and documenting the prices.

      The documentary provides a single example of Slauson using a visual mnemonic for remembering the price of one item. The majority of his method seemed to be the fact that he put his pricing lists into a self-made spaced repetition system which he practiced with extensively. For some of his earliest visits to the show he mentions that a friend who travelled with him quizzed him on items on his price list on the way to the show. This, likely combined with an above average natural memory, allowed him to beat TPIR.

      Outside of the scant memory portion portrayed, it was a reasonably entertaining watch.

      https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6854248/

    1. https://www.idorecall.com/

      This was mentioned to me by Nate Maertens in our lunch discussion of edtech tools, spaced repetition, and Barbara Oakley from 2022-02-11.

      Nice layout and bullet pointed reasons for using it on a slick website, but it looks awfully expensive in comparison to Anki and Mnemosyne (free). Looks like they've got pre-existing content, but a quick scan doesn't center the value of creating your own cards.

    1. Reynolds’ students have had strong positive reactions to this style of notes and consistently attribute the notes as a key factor in their engagement and learning in the course (Reynolds & Tackie, 2016).

      Susan Reynolds' paper indicates that students have positive reactions to her skeletal notes, but does her research indicate that they are measurably better?

      What is the right balance of encouraging attention and participation in the process versus saving time for the students? Active work in the process is likely to be shown to work best.

      Has anyone done research on actively helping students and modeling for them after a lecture experience to show them the appropriate follow up methods?

    1. The latest advances in machine learning — namely transformers and self-supervised learning in natural language processing — will also make it possible to build personalized discovery engines that organize and surface information that is timely, relevant, and impactful

      And possibly summarize it. And connect it to your own knowledge graph.

      Readwise's spaced repetition and integration with Roam/Obsidian is doing some cool stuff with surfacing connections and serendipitous reminders. Here is a Twitter thread I wrote to myself when I started playing with it: https://twitter.com/alexbowe/status/1476817961897783296

    1. https://super-memory.com/articles/20rules.htm

      Who created SuperMemo? ::: Piotr Wozniak

    2. You should avoid such items whenever possible due to the high cost of retaining memories based on sets.

      Piotr Wozniak recommends against avoiding memorizing sets and prefers enumerations.

      Is this a result of his not knowing the method of loci as a means of travelling through sets and remembering them easily? It's certainly evidence he wasn't aware of the as a general technique.

      He does mention peg techniques, mind maps, and general mnemonic techniques.

    3. Before you start believing that mastering such techniques will provide you with an eternal solution to the problem of forgetting, be warned that the true bottleneck towards long-lasting and useful memories is not in quickly memorizing knowledge! This is indeed the easier part. The bottleneck lies in retaining memories for months, years or for lifetime! To accomplish the latter you will need SuperMemo and the compliance with the 20 rules presented herein. There have been dozens of books written about mnemonic techniques. Probably those written by Tony Buzan are most popular and respected. You can search the web for keywords such as: mind maps, peg lists, mnemonic techniques, etc.

      Dr. Piotr Wozniak was apparently aware of at least some mnemonic techniques, but didn't rely on them heavily. Was this the result of the fact that he was pushing a product which he relied on for income? Was there something else?

      Why didn't he more tightly integrate the two ideas?

    4. Use mnemonic techniques

      I'm surprised that given the topic of the site and a mention of Tony Buzan on this page that mnemonic techniques don't have a more primary place here.

    5. Highly recommended by:

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Soren Bjornstad </span> in Rules for Designing Precise Anki Cards - Control-Alt-Backspace (<time class='dt-published'>03/21/2022 05:21:46</time>)</cite></small>

    1. A word of warning before you go import-crazy, though: cards you create yourself are invariably better than cards you import, even if the person who shared them is a spaced-repetition expert (which they usually are not). The act of making the cards helps you learn them, plus you won’t be creating any cards that you don’t care about, and you can use personal references on them. Further, importing large quantities of cards often tempts you to try to memorize information you don’t fully understand, which can waste immense amounts of time. That probably sounds like such a dumb idea you would never do it, but it’s so common I guarantee you’ve done it at some point in your life – it’s surprisingly difficult to notice it’s happening.

      The best space repetition decks are ones the learner has created for themselves. Creating the cards yourself will act as a first layer of repetition, but it will help you fashion them in your own words and in a way that best dovetails how the information fits into your scaffold of existing information. By creating your own cards, you're more likely to do so for information you're most interested in . Importing cards from others defeats these benefits and increases the likelihood that you'll create a mound of material that is both uninteresting as well as material one doesn't have pre-existing scaffolding for.

    2. You might find that reviewing in Anki is harder than normal study. This means it’s working – Anki’s goal is to show you mostly the material you’re struggling with and the material you’re most likely to forget, so it will feel harder than an average study session where you study hard and easy material in more equal amounts. However, the difficulty and the number of cards you appear to be forgetting might make you feel like it’s not working. Give spaced repetition a few weeks and see how well you remember your content then; that’s the only way to really know how well it’s going. (This phenomenon is well-known and has a name, desirable difficulty.)

      Desirable difficulty is a learning task which one has a desire to know, but which is sufficiently difficult enough to be challenging. Spaced repetition systems, if properly filled with topics in which one has an interest, will surface the least well known material for revision and should provide a sufficient level of difficulty for learning.

      see also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desirable_difficulty

  7. Mar 2022
    1. MY LECTURE NOTES

      Elizabeth Filips has digital versions of medical school notes online. She's drawn them (in software) by hand with color and occasional doodles in them (there's an image of Einstein's head with an E=mc^2 under it on one page) which makes them more memorable for having made them in the first place, but with the color and the pictures, they act as a memory palace.

      I've found no evidence (yet) that she's using direct mnemonics or that she's been specifically trained in the method of loci or other techniques. This doesn't, however, mean that she's not tangentially using them without knowing about them explicitly.

      One would suspect that this sort of evolutionary movement towards such techniques would have been how they evolved in the first place.

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eP8Bq9x5yw

      A nice overview of spaced repetition systems.

      Soren Bjornstad previously worked for Anki and is now at Remnote.


      I wonder if anyone has created a spaced repetition system set up that leverages Hypothes.is? It would be cool to write questions and answers as one takes notes in Hypothes.is and then be able to quickly/easily export those annotations into a spaced repetition system.

      Example:

      Q: What is the best annotation tool on the inernet?


      A: Hypothes.is

  8. Feb 2022
    1. I would consider my Read Write Respond site as a ‘blog’, but agree with you that my Collect site is not really a blog. In some respects I would be happy enough to make it private is it is primarily my own secret garden with the gate left open. This is why I curate my monthly newsletter. It is a habit which I find forces me to look back through all the noise. I think this creates a clearer narrative to pick through than my multitude of links.

      Aaron Davis uses the review through his website's posts, bookmarks, etc. to create his newsletter as a means of reviewing what he's read and thought about.

    1. While it is obvious that familiarity is not understanding, we have nochance of knowing whether we understand something or just believewe understand something until we test ourselves in some form.

      The Cornell notes practice of writing questions in the empty left column as a means of testing knowledge can be an effective tool after taking notes to ensure that one has actually learned and understood the broad concepts. They can also be used for spaced repetition purposes as well.

      Valuable though they may be as teaching and learning tools, they don't figure directly into the idea of permanent notes from a zettelkasten perspective.

    2. Academic writing in itself is not a complicated process thatrequires a variety of complicated tools, but is in constant danger ofbeing clogged with unnecessary distractions. Unfortunately, moststudents collect and embrace over time a variety of learning andnote-taking techniques, each promising to make something easier,but combined have the opposite effect.

      Not highlighted in this context but it bears thinking about, Ahrens is looking at writing in particular while many note taking techniques (Cornell notes, SQ3R, SQ4R, etc.) and methods geared at students are specific to capturing basic facts which may need to be learned, by which I mean memorized or at least highly familiar, so that they can later be used in future analysis.

      Many of these note taking concepts are geared toward basic factual acquisition, repetition, and memorization and not future generative thought or writing applications.

      It's important to separate these ideas so that one can focus on one or the other. Perhaps there are contexts within which both may be valuable, but typically they're not. Within the zettelkasten context the difference between the two may be subtly seen in the conception of "literature notes" and "permanent notes".

      Literature notes are progressive summarizations which one may use to strengthen and aid in understanding and later recall. These may include basic facts which one might wish to create question/answer pairs for use in spaced repetition programs.

      Permanent notes have a higher level of importance, particularly for generative writing. These are the primary substance one wants to work with while the literature notes may be the "packing peanuts" or filler that can be used to provide background context to support one's more permanent notes.

      Compare this with: https://boffosocko.com/2021/12/22/different-types-of-notes-and-use-cases/

    1. In an effort to get the notes that existed out there in my files into my head, I tried using algorithmic “spaced repetition” to memorize them all via a handful of flashcard apps like Memrize and Anki. But very soon the predictable happened: I missed a day here, a weekend there, and the daily flashcard quota became a wildly varying imposition on my time. I realized that in a few months, let alone years, at this rate most of my time would be spent on the maintenance of memories. I, as others have found, would be too busy maintaining these memories to use them.

      Work out mathematically at what rate the accumulation of notes would outstrip one's ability to memorize them solely using spaced repetition of a few generations.

    1. The third way I interact with my notes is a mechanism I’ve engineered whereby they are slowly presented to me randomly, and on a steady drip, every day.I’ve created a system so random notes appear every time I open a browser tabI like the idea of being presented and re-presented with my notations of things that were interesting to me at some point, but that in many cases I had forgotten about. The effect of surprise creates interesting and productive new connections in my brain.

      Robin Sloan has built a system that will present him with random notes from his archive every time he opens a browser tab.

  9. Jan 2022
    1. Its design allows you to jump between moving fast and slow through your notes and has the benefits of active recall built-in, making your memories stickier.

      This method also presupposes that one is taking notes solely for memorizing facts and helping to support basic understanding.

      What about for analysis, comparison, synthesis, generation of entirely new ideas?

    1. https://words.jamoe.org/highlight-question-and-answer/

      A somewhat disingenuous reframing of the Cornell notes method. They've given it a different name potentially for marketing purposes to sell in a book. At least HQ&A is a reasonable mnemonic for what the process is.

      They do highlight the value of modality shift from reading to thinking about how to formulate a question and answer as a means of learning. They don't seem to know the name or broader value of the technique however.

      This question technique is also highlighted in the work of Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen. Cross reference: https://andymatuschak.org/prompts/ and their quantum mechanics course experiments.

  10. Dec 2021
    1. The possibility of arbitrary internal branching.

      Modern digital zettelkasten don't force the same sort of digital internal branching process that is described by Niklas Luhmann. Internal branching in these contexts is wholly reliant on the user to create it.

      Many digital systems will create a concrete identifier to fix the idea within the system, but this runs the risk of ending up with a useless scrap heap.

      Some modern systems provide the ability for one to add taxonomies like subject headings in a commonplace book tradition, which adds some level of linking. But if we take the fact that well interlinked cards are the most valuable in such a system then creating several links upfront may be a bit more work, but it provides more value in the long run.

      Upfront links also don't require quite as much work at the card's initial creation as the creator already has the broader context of the idea. Creating links at a future date requires the reloading into their working memory of the card's idea and broader context.

      Of course there may also be side benefits (including to memory) brought by the spaced repetition of the card's ideas as well as potential new contexts gained in the interim which may help add previously unconsidered links.

      It can certainly be possible that at some level of linking, there is a law of diminishing returns the decreases the value of a card and its idea.

      One of the benefits of physical card systems like Luhmann's is that the user is forced to add the card somewhere, thus making the first link of the idea into the system. Luhmann's system in particular creates a parent/sibling relation to other cards or starts a brand new branch.

    1. I've been having a really good time this week writing prompts as inline annotations on web books.

      I'm seeing a larger growing pattern of people who are using Hypothes.is as a means of pulling their notes into their digital notebooks. Here Andy Matuschak is doing it to create spaced repetition cards for mnemonic purposes, a use case I haven't seen much of in the Hypothes.is space.

      The fact that many are using Readwise (a paid monthly subscription) to do so is unfortunate. We definitely need more open source/free methods for doing this.

      The Hypothesidian plugin for Obsidian is one of the few direct products I've seen in the space so far.

      Most of this knowledge pattern I've seen has been in the tools for thought space and not within educational spaces, thought there is some overlap which will create the necessary bleed-through.

      Services like IFTTT might also be a potential solution, but outputs from RSS and ATOM strip out data like tags which are highly useful. Perhaps a custom IFTTT integration? Though this opens up the issue of yet another middleman service for collecting rents.


      Source: https://twitter.com/withorbit/status/1474575944429957125

      I've been having a really good time this week writing prompts as inline annotations on web books. pic.twitter.com/gCvpTAsjt1

      — Orbit (@withorbit) December 25, 2021
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    1. Women’s gambling: women in many indigenous NorthAmerican societies were inveterate gamblers; the women ofadjacent villages would often meet to play dice or a gameplayed with a bowl and plum stone, and would typically bet theirshell beads or other objects of personal adornment as thestakes. One archaeologist versed in the ethnographic literature,Warren DeBoer, estimates that many of the shells and otherexotica discovered in sites halfway across the continent had gotthere by being endlessly wagered, and lost, in inter-villagegames of this sort, over very long periods of time.36
      1. DeBoer 2001

      Warren R DeBoer. 2001. ‘Of dice and women: gambling and exchange in Native North America.’ Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 8 (3): 215–68.

      Might it be possible that these women were actually gambling information relating to their "gathering" or other cultural practices? By playing games with each other and with nearby groups of people, they would have been regularly practicing their knowledge through repetition.

      How might we provide evidence for this? Read the DeBoer reference for potential clues.

    2. But we often find such regional networks developinglargely for the sake of creating friendly mutual relations, or having anexcuse to visit one another from time to time;33 and there are plentyof other possibilities that in no way resemble ‘trade’.

      There is certainly social lubrication of visiting people from time to time which can help and advance societies, but this regular visiting can also be seen as a means of reinforcing one's oral cultural history through spaced repetition.

      It can be seen as "trade" but in a way that anthropologists have generally ignored for lack of imagination for what may have been actually happening.

    1. Talking about his process, he quoted the jazz pianist Keith Jarrett: “I connect every music-making experience I have, including every day here in the studio, with a great power, and if I do not surrender to it nothing happens.” During our conversations, Strong cited bits of wisdom from Carl Jung, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Karl Ove Knausgaard (he is a “My Struggle” superfan), Robert Duvall, Meryl Streep, Harold Pinter (“The more acute the experience, the less articulate its expression”), the Danish filmmaker Tobias Lindholm, T. S. Eliot, Gustave Flaubert, and old proverbs (“When fishermen cannot go to sea, they mend their nets”). When I noted that he was a sponge for quotations, he turned grave and said, “I’m not a religious person, but I think I’ve concocted my own book of hymns.”

      Based on the collection of quotes and proverbs it sounds more like he's got his own commonplace book which he uses to inform his acting process. Sounds almost like he uses them so frequently that he's memorized many of them.

      Interesting that he refers to them as "hymns".

      Compare this with Eminem's "stacking ammo" for a particular use case.

      h/t to Kevin Marks for directing me to this article for this.

  11. Nov 2021
    1. Over the years in academic settings I've picked up pieces of Spanish, French, Latin and a few odd and ends of other languages.

      Six years ago we put our daughter into a dual immersion Japanese program (in the United States) and it has changed some of my view of how we teach and learn languages, a process which is also affected by my slowly picking up conversational Welsh using the method at https://www.saysomethingin.com/ over the past year and change, a hobby which I wish I had more targeted time for.

      Children learn language through a process of contextual use and osmosis which is much more difficult for adults. I've found that the slowly guided method used by SSiW is fairly close to this method, but is much more targeted. They'll say a few words in the target language and give their English equivalents, then they'll provide phrases and eventually sentences in English and give you a few seconds to form them into the target language with the expectation that you try to say at least something, or pause the program to do your best. It's okay if you mess up even repeatedly, they'll say the correct phrase/sentence two times after which you'll repeat it again thus giving you three tries at it. They'll also repeat bits from one lesson to the next, so you'll eventually get it, the key is not to worry too much about perfection.

      Things slowly build using this method, but in even about 10 thirty minute lessons, you'll have a pretty strong grasp of fluent conversational Welsh equivalent to a year or two of college level coursework. Your work on this is best supplemented with interacting with native speakers and/or watching television or reading in the target language as much as you're able to.

      For those who haven't experienced it before I'd recommend trying out the method at https://www.saysomethingin.com/welsh/course1/intro to hear it firsthand.

      The experience will give your brain a heavy work out and you'll feel mentally tired after thirty minutes of work, but it does seem to be incredibly effective. A side benefit is that over time you'll also build up a "gut feeling" about what to say and how without realizing it. This is something that's incredibly hard to get in most university-based or book-based language courses.

      This method will give you quicker grammar acquisition and you'll speak more like a native, but your vocabulary acquisition will tend to be slower and you don't get any writing or spelling practice. This can be offset with targeted memory techniques and spaced repetition/flashcards or apps like Duolingo that may help supplement one's work.

      I like some of the suggestions made in Lynne's post as I've been pecking away at bits of Japanese over time myself. There's definitely an interesting structure to what's going on, especially with respect to the kana and there are many similarities to what is happening in Japanese to the Chinese that she's studying. I'm also approaching it from a more traditional university/book-based perspective, but if folks have seen or heard of a SSiW repetition method, I'd love to hear about it.

      Hopefully helpful by comparison, I'll mention a few resources I've found for Japanese that I've researched on setting out a similar path that Lynne seems to be moving.

      Japanese has two different, but related alphabets and using an app like Duolingo with regular practice over less than a week will give one enough experience that trying to use traditional memory techniques may end up wasting more time than saving, especially if one expects to be practicing regularly in both the near and the long term. If you're learning without the expectation of actively speaking, writing, or practicing the language from time to time, then wholesale mnemotechniques may be the easier path, but who really wants to learn a language like this?

      The tougher portion of Japanese may come in memorizing the thousands of kanji which can have subtly different meanings. It helps to know that there are a limited set of specific radicals with a reasonably delineable structure of increasing complexity of strokes and stroke order.

      The best visualization I've found for this fact is the Complete Listing of the 214 Radicals and Major Variations from An Introduction to Japanese Kanji Calligraphy by Kunii Takezaki (Tuttle, 2005) which I copy below:

      A chart of Japanese radicals in columns by number, character, and radical name & variations with a legend for reading the chart

      (Feel free to right click and view the image in another tab or download it and view it full size to see more detail.)

      I've not seen such a chart in any of the dozens of other books I've come across. The numbered structure of increasing complexity of strokes here would certainly suggest an easier to build memory palace or songline.

      I love this particular text as it provides an excellent overview of what is structurally happening in Japanese with lots of tidbits that are otherwise much harder won in reading other books.

      There are many kanji books with various forms of what I would call very low level mnemonic aids. I've not found one written or structured by what I would consider a professional mnemonist. One of the best structured ones I've seen is A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters by Kenneth G. Henshall (Tuttle, 1988). It's got some great introductory material and then a numbered list of kanji which would suggest the creation of a quite long memory palace/journey/songline.

      Each numbered Kanji has most of the relevant data and readings, but provides some description about how the kanji relates or links to other words of similar shapes/meanings and provides a mnemonic hint to make placing it in one's palace a bit easier. Below is an example of the sixth which will give an idea as to the overall structure.

      I haven't gotten very far into it yet, but I'd found an online app called WaniKani for Japanese that has some mnemonic suggestions and built-in spaced repetition that looks incredibly promising for taking small radicals and building them up into more easily remembered complex kanji.

      I suspect that there are likely similar sources for these couple of books and apps for Chinese that may help provide a logical overall structuring which will make it easier to apply or adapt one's favorite mnemotechniques to make the bulk vocabulary memorization easier.

      The last thing I'll mention I've found, that's good for practicing writing by hand as well as spaced repetition is a Kanji notebook frequently used by native Japanese speaking children as they're learning the levels of kanji in each grade. It's non-obvious to the English speaker, and took me a bit to puzzle out and track down a commercially printed one, even with a child in a classroom that was using a handmade version. The notebook (left to right and top to bottom) has sections for writing a big example of the learned kanji; spaces for the "Kun" and "On" readings; spaces for the number of strokes and the radical pieces; a section for writing out the stroke order as it builds up gradually; practice boxes for repeated practice of writing the whole kanji; examples of how to use the kanji in context; and finally space for the student to compose their own practice sentences using the new kanji.

      Regular use and practice with these can be quite helpful for moving toward mastery.

      I also can't emphasize enough that regularly and actively watching, listening, reading, and speaking in the target language with materials that one finds interesting is incredibly valuable. As an example, one of the first things I did for Welsh was to find a streaming television and radio that I want to to watch/listen to on a regular basis has been helpful. Regular motivation and encouragement is key.

      I won't go into them in depth and will leave them to speak for themselves, but two of the more intriguing videos I've watched on language acquisition which resonate with some of my experiences are:

  12. Sep 2021
    1. I think it’s valuable to add some initial thinking and reflection when I bookmark an article or finish reading a book, but haven’t yet figured out a process for revisiting recent notes to find connections and turn that into longer or more complex thought.

      This is definitely the harder part of the practice, but daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reviews can definitely help.

      To start I primarily focused on 3-5 broader sub-topics of things I felt were most important to me and always did those first. This helps to begin aggregating things and making a bigger difference. The rest of my smaller "fleeting" notes I didn't worry so much about and left to either come back to later or just allow them to sit there.

      I think Sonke Ahrens' book How to Take Smart Notes was fairly helpful in laying this out.

      Incidentally the spaced repetition of review is also good for your memory of the things you find important.

    1. Voice is lost

      Can we, like Shepherds, tell a merry Tale? Stephen Duck, The Thresher's Tale (poem)

      There's a link here to shepherds and a bardic tradition. In some sense, shepherds have lots of time to kill during the day and thus potentially tell stories. But they're also moving around their environment which also makes it easier for them to have used songline-like methods for attaching their memories to their environment.

      How far back might this tradition go in our literate culture?

      I also wonder at the influence of time on oral traditions as the result of this. Lynne Kelly describes calendrical devices in a variety of indigenous settings in Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies for potential use in annual spaced repetition. What about the spaced repetition within daily cycles of regular work as described in this paper with respect to shepherds, fishing communities, and crofting?

      The daily cycle of life may have been a part of the spaced repetition for memory.

      How might we show this?

      A quick example that comes to mind is the French children's song Alouette, Gentille Alouette which details how one kills, cleans, and dresses a chicken for cooking.

  13. Aug 2021
    1. https://www.reddit.com/r/commonplacebook/comments/jb8x3d/what_does_your_indexing_system_look_like/

      Brief discussion of indexing systems for commonplace books. Locke's system is mentioned. Another person uses a clunky system at the bottom of pages to create threaded links.

      Intriguingly, one person mentions visiting theirs often enough that they remember where things are. (spaced repetition with a bit of method of loci going on here)

    1. Mainchini is a clever looking Chrome extension that does spaced repetition for learning Japanese by showing words every time one opens a new browser tab.

  14. Jul 2021
    1. Feature Idea: Chaos Monkey for PKM

      This idea is a bit on the extreme side, but it does suggest that having a multi-card comparison view in a PKM system would be useful.

      Drawing on Raymond Llull's combitorial memory system from the 12th century and a bit of Herman Ebbinghaus' spaced repetition (though this is also seen in earlier non-literate cultures), one could present two (or more) random atomic notes together as a way of juxtaposing disparate ideas from one's notes.

      The spaced repetition of the cards would be helpful for one's long term memory of the ideas, but it could also have the secondary effect of nudging one to potentially find links or connections between the two ideas and help to spur creativity for the generation of new hybrid ideas or connection to other current ideas based on a person's changed context.

      I've thought about this in the past (most likely while reading Frances Yates' Art of Memory), but don't think I've bothered to write it down (or it's hiding in untranscribed marginalia).

    1. For the second keynote, I took copious notes and followed the spaced interval formula. A month later, by golly, I remember virtually all of the material. And in case if you're wondering, both talks were equally interesting to me--the difference was the reversal of Ebbinghaus' Forgetting Curve.

      Not exactly a real scientific trial, but...

      Note also that the other part was his having taken notes and actively engaged with the material as he heard it. The notes also formed the basis of his ability to do the spaced repetition.

      Mnemonic methods could be used in place of the note taking for the properly trained. Visual memory just goes to expand on it.

      This is an awfully fluff article that's probably too prescriptive. I wonder how many people it influences to try it out? How successful will they be without a more specific prescription?

  15. May 2021
    1. Polar is an integrated reading environment to build your knowledge base. Actively read, annotate, connect thoughts, create flashcards, and track progress.

    1. the utility of either the Western "memory palace" technique or the Australian Aboriginal narrative method likely requires sustained practice and repeated exposure to the target material for long-term retention (i.e. weeks to months)

      This also shouldn't have been in question. There's a reasonably large body of practical experience of the effects of spaced repetition from indigenous cultures, not to mention psychology research from Hermann Ebbinghaus onwards.

    2. Most (95%) students indicated that they found the technique effective, and over half (56%) indicated that they would definitely employ the method in their future studies.

      However, I suspect that without prompting or repeated uses and examples, the percentage of students who actually do is likely abysmally poor.

    3. here was a noticeable decrease in recall performance among the students trained in the Australian Aboriginal method after 6 weeks, with the participants in that group indistinguishable from the untrained recall group. However, this observation should be treated with caution, as the sample was too small for accurate quantification of performance.

      This is a bit surprising, though the (N=3) numbers were so small.

      It also makes me wonder if the Aboriginal method training included a spaced repetition component of any sort as traditionally it likely would, though it's highly likely that novices memorizing a random list of butterflies wouldn't have reviewed over their performance a week, a month, or other intervals later.

    4. Following the 20-minute rest, a final recall test was performed, this time without the opportunity for students to review the list prior to recall testing.

      It would be highly useful to do another test at a larger interval, say a week or a month later as well, both with and without the suggestion of spaced repetition with all three groups.

    1. It does take a while to look at the scanned image to figure out where exactly I placed that particular piece of information - that’s one downside of the system. But as I journal “organically”, meaning putting everything in the same place from pictures to drawings, my brain can find what I need on the scan pretty quickly, compared to pages full of text between lines.

      This may not be as bad a thing as needing to reread a short section is also good for creating context of the original note as well as review for memory and retention.

    2. There’s this thing I simply call “365”. With each new year (or sometimes at the end of a notebook, when I feel like it), I make a 2-page spread mind map of things that kept me busy. It’s more or less an analog tag cloud and it’s extremely rewarding to make. You get to browse through previous journals, look at things you’ve written down and actually managed to pull of, and take note of that in one or two words. That creates a thick cloud full of the things that defined you for the last year. It’s actually quite incredible to look at. When I’m done doing that, I try to underline the words that meant more to me than others. Applying the retrospective principles from software development on your own personal life and writing down what made you glad, mad or sad actually helps you do something about that.

      This is an example of spaced repetition being done as retrospective and hiding some of the value of making the important things stand out and reviewing them for better long term retention.

    1. Sebastiaan is writing a review plugin that takes advantage of the concept of spaced repetition, which sounded really cool. I hope it’ll get published someday.

      This sounds promising. I'll keep my eye on a possible release.

  16. Apr 2021
    1. To hear technologists describe it, digital memories are all about surfacing those archival smiles. But they’re also designed to increase engagement, the holy grail for ad-based business models.

      It would be far better to have apps focus on better reasons for on this day features. I'd love to have something focused on spaced repetition for building up my memory for other things. Reminders at a week, a month, three months, and six months would be a useful thing for some posts.

    2. I still have a photograph of the breakfast I made the morning I ended an eight-year relationship and canceled a wedding. It was an unremarkable breakfast—a fried egg—but it is now digitally fossilized in a floral dish we moved with us when we left New York and headed west. I don’t know why I took the photo, except, well, I do: I had fallen into the reflexive habit of taking photos of everything. Not long ago, the egg popped up as a “memory” in a photo app. The time stamp jolted my actual memory.

      Example of unwanted spaced repetition via social media.

  17. Mar 2021
    1. Memory is commonly classified by psychologists according as it is exercised (a) mechanically, by attention and repetition; (b) judiciously, by careful selection and co-ordination; and (c) ingeniously, by means of artifices, i.e. mnemotechny, mnemonics. It must, however, be observed that no mnemonic is of any value which does not possess the qualities of (a) and (b). A mnemonic is essentially a device which uses attention and repetition, and careful selection is equally necessary. A more accurate description of mnemonics is "mediate" or "indirect" memory.
  18. Nov 2020
    1. Then, through repeated review sessions in the days and weeks ahead, people consolidate the answers to those questions into their long-term memory.

      How is this any different to extracting questions from the text and adding them to something like Anki? Except that in Anki I have the questions with me all the time, I don't need to be online, don't need to register anywhere, and can choose the questions that are meaningful to me, can connect it to other knowledge...it seems that this simply embeds a less useful form of spaced repetition into the text. Or am I missing something?

  19. Oct 2020
    1. Nevertheless, the very fact that I am going through my notes reflects a new habit I am trying to build, of setting time aside every week, and sometimes more often, deliberately to tend the oldest notes I have and the notes I created or edited in the past week. Old notes take longer, because I have to check old links and decide what to do if they have rotted away. Those notes also need to be reshaped in line with zettelkasten principles. That means deciding on primary tags, considering internal links, splitting the atoms of long notes and so on. At times it frustrates me, but when it goes well I do see structure emerging and with it new thoughts and new directions to follow.

      This is reminiscent of the idea that indigenous peoples regularly met at annual feasts to not only celebrate, but to review over their memory palaces and perform their rituals as a means of reviewing and strengthening their memories and ideas.

    1. I don’t think the right answer is to use something like the Mnemonic medium to memorize a cookbook’s contents. I think a likelier model is: each time you see a recipe, there’s some chance it’ll trigger an actionable “ooh, I want to make this!”, dependent on seasonality, weather, what else you’ve been cooking recently, etc. A more effective cookbook might simply resurface recipes intermittently over time, creating more opportunities for a good match: e.g. a weekly email with 5-10 cooking ideas, perhaps with some accompanying narrative. Ideally, the cookbook would surface seasonally-appropriate recipes. Seasonality would make the experience of “reading” a cookbook extend over the course of a year—a Timeful text.

      Indigenous peoples not only used holidays and other time-based traditions as a means of spaced repetition, but they also did them for just this purpose of time-based need. Winter's here and the harvest changes? Your inter-tribal rituals went over your memory palace for just those changes. Songs and dances recalled older dishes and recopies that hadn't been made in months and brought them into a new rotation.

      Anthropologists have collected examples of this specific to hunting seasons and preparations of the hunt in which people would prepare for the types of game they would encounter. Certainly they did this for feast times and seasonal diets as well. Indians in the Americas are documenting having done things like this for planting corn and keeping their corn varieties pure over hundreds of years.

    1. These are preliminary results, and need more investigation.

      How preliminary can they really be? The idea of spaced repetition goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans and Hermann Ebbinghaus did psychology research on the topic and was publishing in 1885. Surely they've got to have a better grasp than this indicates here.