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(first time commenting on LW)

This post resonated with some of the failures with SRS I felt this term in school. I wrote a short retrospective / post-mortem here, but it probably lacks a lot of context, so here are a few quotes that seem most relevant here:

I recently read the absolutely terrific LessWrong blogpost Seven Years of Spaced Repetition Software in the Classroom. The title speaks about classroom use, and many people think that's very distinct from personal use. But I tried to pretend like my teachers are using SRS so it's the same.


All students poop (at least in formal education). They have to, otherwise they'd go crazy. It now seems naive that I thought I could go through Caltech while retaining ALL IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM ALL THE CLASSES. 


...For example, entropy or enthalpy. You could define both of these in various ways, always carving out a new edge of them. They're not suitable for a prompt "What is entropy / enthalpy?", but maybe they're fine for "What's the formula for entropy / enthalpy?". 

But tell me now: how do I poop? Is the formula really the most important thing? No, what I'd really like is to deeply internalize a mental model of what entropy or enthalpy is (for the record, I still don't have them). How do I poop the formula and keep the model?'s what I want to do differently next term:

  • Optimize for passion and curiousity, not note-taking / spaced repetition workflow.
  • Distinguish between basic terminology and notation, and large and complicated concepts. Review terminology and notation frequently. Meditate over large and complicated concepts.
  • Look for the most important concepts and turn them into mental models. Forget the rest.
  • Learn. Don't learn using SRS. Don't learn by building a second brain in Roam. Just. Learn.