High-Level Thoughts

I didn’t get much from this one, I think some people like it, but I felt there was a lot of bias and bad research. I’d read other books on learning.

Summary Notes

The interesting notes I took from the book:

  • We learn better when we abandon routines and vary our working / learning environments.
  • Repetitive practice isn’t as effective as highly varied practice, we retain better when we mix it up.
  • Distractions can help “shake us up” when we’re stuck on a hard problem.
  • The harder we have to work to remember something, the greater the subsequent spike in memory is. That’s why Anki and other SRS systems work well, they force us to retrieve right when we’re about to forget.
  • We perform better on tests when we’re in the same state of mind as when we studied, even if that means being mildly intoxicated.
  • Guessing and then seeing whether you were right or not can be more effective than studying, it engages your mind in a more demanding way.
  • For big projects, start as soon as possible and take breaks whenever you get stuck to allow the breakthroughs to occur. You can’t force them.

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