All of Remontoire's Comments + Replies

Programming-like activities?

It does if you interpret James's comment to mean interactions with romantic intent.

Dating a single person for a long time is akin to managing a team of developers (sure, you don't get quick feedback) and chatting to someone you don't know in a book store is like quickly compiling something in a new language.

Well, it might not really count as useful feedback if you just get a segmentation fault without any explanation what went wrong.
That... definitely explains my failure at "dating a single person for a long time" and my (relative) success at "chatting to someone you don't know".
Rationality Quotes December 2013

I disagree. Unless we are talking about sofware engineering then it seems to me that what you select is based on previous projects but the choices themselves are based on tested scientific models with predictive power.

To clarify; the use of precedent in engineering is not objectionable (on the contrary, it is quite sensible); it merely runs counter to this popular idea that engineers are forever deciding everything via Science. You seem to be saying that any engineering precedent must ultimately be based on a scientific model somebody used in the past. Well, maybe... if you're willing to call "we tried it this way and it seemed to work" a scientific model, then okay.
On learning difficult things

There seems to be a definite relation between active recall, the testing effect, spaced repetition, generation, learning in different environments, changing the parameters of learning. They seem to all work with long term memory by either filling short term memory up with different material or waiting until short term memory forgets the material in question. At least, that's my reading of the research.

I found out about these learning effects while researching the interaction between spaced repetition and deliberate practice. I'm starting to think that c... (read more)

I've only been using SRS for around 6 months, and only starting doing textbooks this way in June, so I have no direct evidence for long term effectiveness. Also, the first five textbooks I Ankified were from classes I had already taken. Of the texts of previously unlearned material I done this for, most (all but one) have been for classes I am currently taking. In these I have been adding chapters to Anki prior to the material being covered in class and waiting until it's taught in class to do any practice exercises. Because of this pacing, I haven't been progressing any faster, but I am doing significantly better in those courses than before... ...which might only be because I'm using SRS now when I didn't before.
On learning difficult things

It actually sounds like you're getting a third effect out of your setup. Namely interleaving.

You could probably improve it slightly further by trying to generate your own theories before reading chapters and learning the material in different locations.

Thanks for the link, that was a very interesting read! The generation technique reminds me a lot of active recall []. In both cases doing some sort of work yourself improves retention. I imagine it works best with theoretical material, and for many topics it would be near impossible to use. For example, recently I've been studying some nuclear physics, which it is very empirically based. The equations are made to fit the experimental data, and so are difficult to generate. Seemingly a better way to use the technique would be for the material to be presented with key parts missing, and the learner would have to generate just those parts. This, of course, requires specifically prepared material, and not just the conventional textbooks I am using.
The Majority Is Always Wrong

Learning and memorization.

Spaced repetition, the testing effect and the use of mnemonics has not replaced linear non tested study (where you read something over multiple times in a short period of time, don't test yourself and don't space the readings.)