Categories
Uncategorized

7 articles to read this week

Below are some interesting articles I stumbled upon this week.

The Perfect Nap: Sleeping Is a Mix of Art and Science: Neither nap too long nor too short. And you’re definitely not getting enough sleep if you start dreaming in a 20-minute nap!

Cognitive Science Meets Pre-Algebra. Holistic, connective learning beats out learning in blocks. Either way, we’re still trying to learn why the brain is always moving.

Please Stop Complaining About How Busy You Are. I know you’re busy. So am I. But I still find time to take care of the most important things and try to have a life. Let’s not complain to each other about how busy we are and make it worse.

Jonathon Fletcher: forgotten father of the search engine. Fletcher created web search in 1993, 5 years before Google. He called it the “Jumpstation.”

What It Means to Be Popular (When Everything Is Popular). Thank goodness the masses are dividing into a mass of niches and confusing what it means to be “popular”. Conformity sucks anyway. Again, be this guy.

Turns Out Your Kids Really Did Love That Music You Played. Apparently we love our parent’s music more than we love the music we grew up with. Pink Floyd, Joy Division, and Depeche Mode are indeed extraordinary. Music is also timeless.

Dizzee Rascal mashes up Vine and Cinemagram for new video. I suspect we’ll see more long-form videos in the ever-snackable GIF format.

Categories
Uncategorized

Cognitive Science Meets Pre-Algebra

studying mixed sets of related things — paintings, birds, baseball pitches — greatly improves people’s ability to make quick, accurate distinctions among them, compared with studying as usual, in blocks.

I’m a big believer in holistic learning. Mixing and mashing things, albeit difficult in the beginning, allows you to see the bigger picture.

Categories
Uncategorized

Writing into a Wall

Ideas can be sticky. Too sticky. The last few months I’ve been working on a book called Train Diaries, based off a series of posts on Medium.

After rereading the first draft last night, I immediately felt agitated. I felt like I was forcing myself to publish a book on an idea just because I did months of work.

Sometimes, you can’t see the whole product until you put the pieces together.

Don’t get me wrong: I still think using the train as a metaphor to predict the evolution of technology and social media makes sense. A lot of the things that happen on the train eventually happen at large.

But quitting can be an absolute relief, especially since I’m not even sold on the book. I’m actually just going to let this concept sit. It may just be a chapter of another book. I always go back to Seth Godin’s advice:

“Don’t publish everything you write, but the more you write, the more you have to choose from.”

My first draft is shit. I’m not going to force oil under a rock for a book that has already has a small digital shelf life.

Books are like my little startups. And just like that , I’m moving on to the next one.

Categories
Uncategorized

Create more than you capture

Listening is an essential part of learning. But then we need to do the work.

Clarity comes from recreation. The only way to understand something is to redo it.

Writing something out is a great way to summarize thoughts. There are also other ways to connect the dots: speaking out loud, mind-mapping, sketching, and walking with a quiet mind.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

Maya Angelou

Recreating is learning. There’s no better way to learn something than to try to teach it:  to yourself, to others, to an imaginary friend, or the mirror.

Do it by doing it.

Categories
Uncategorized

Thinking Wordlessly

Words lack meaning without an image. That’s why language is so hard to learn. Learning leans heavily on layers of reference and emotional connection.

To truly understand something new it has to have an attached value. You’ll want to use it for something meaningful. Just trying to remember something to pass a test never sticks in the long-run.

Rote memorization fabricates memories but it doesn’t create interconnecting neurons. If you strip away words completely all that’s left are images.

Images elucidate meaning, obviating the need for words. Communicating and remembering in images removes the bias of speech. Can you think without words? Cavemen did.

Categories
Uncategorized

Try to absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and add what is essentially your own.

— Bruce Lee
Categories
Uncategorized

History Books
History Books

Categories
Uncategorized

Tim Galles
Tim Galles

Categories
Uncategorized

There’s nothing I ever learnt in school or any place that hasn’t come to be useful. Nothing has ever been wasted.

Vladimir Kagan
Categories
Uncategorized

Organizing a learning process

Understanding complexity depends on how well you organize data. 

Every time I get frustrated by what feels like millions of moving parts, I take a piece of paper and spill every little annoying nudge of an idea on paper.

The second thing I do is connect those ideas with a pen in a hub and spoke system, as some thoughts are merely smaller working pieces of the unifying concept.

The last thing I do is grab a post-it note and re-synthesize only the essential parts. Smaller space reinforces the most substantial, most significant elements.

I never take new concepts at face value. 

I need to break them down two or three times and in different formats to get it.

Try learning by mashing, remixing, and reformatting ideas. If you can create variations, you’ll understand the material more deeply.