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Want to Remember Everything You’ll Ever Learn?

Submitted by on April 27, 2008 – 8:55 pm 250 views One Comment



Wired recently featured an intriguing article titled: Want to Remember Everything You’ll Ever Learn? Surrender to This Algorithm. Piotr Wozniak, a Polish Renaissance Man of sorts, has developed an algorithm and software product to help people learn and retain knowledge at amazing levels. This software, called SuperMemo

“is based on the insight that there is an ideal moment to practice what you’ve learned. Practice too soon and you waste your time. Practice too late and you’ve forgotten the material and have to relearn it. The right time to practice is just at the moment you’re about to forget. Unfortunately, this moment is different for every person and each bit of information. Imagine a pile of thousands of flash cards. Somewhere in this pile are the ones you should be practicing right now. Which are they?”

SuperMemo certainly looks like an interesting project, and I would highly recommend reading this article. One particular quote on learning/forgetting stood out to me:

“The problem of forgetting might not torment us so much if we could only convince ourselves that remembering isn’t important. Perhaps the things we learn — words, dates, formulas, historical and biographical details — don’t really matter. Facts can be looked up. That’s what the Internet is for. When it comes to learning, what really matters is how things fit together. We master the stories, the schemas, the frameworks, the paradigms; we rehearse the lingo; we swim in the episteme.”

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