What makes you successful at learning

The longest night this year is December 21st. This is a good time to think about the way we passed and the way ahead of us. This year I have definitely made my share of mistakes, yet I learned a couple of valuable lessons. It is probably impossible to tell what makes people successful in life, …

Library of books not yet read will make you think and live more effectively

This post is inspired by this article. I also used this, this and this articles. Here I want to address the issue of what we read and how it shapes our mind. If a person was born deaf what language will he hear? If the person was born blind what will he see? Oliver Sacks …

Your life as a story: using autobiographic memory

Quite often we can view our life as a story. People often tell that before the clinical death they could see their whole life passing before their eyes. This is the autobiographic memory in action. Autobiographic memory is very important in our life. We can train it, we can use it to remember other things, …

Long term memory and sleep

One thing that bothers me with long-term memory is the need to review the flashcards or mental palaces or other memory structures. Most memory experts I know use spaced repetitions constantly. Since I use slightly different tools, I use spaced repetitions only for very specific issues, and when I use it I do not like …

Brainy habits

There are many ways to study in life. Some ways are more conventional than others. There is an intricate connection between what we do and what we know. Some habits may have a surprising effect on our brain. This post was inspired by this, this, this and this articles. Conventional education It is pretty safe …

Big data and your memory

Computers are getting smarter than humans. There is nothing we can really do about it, we can maybe delay the inevitable… We can also try to use the same ideas that computers are using and get some advantage over other fellow humans. This post has been inspired by this and this articles. Big data and …

How to choose a book to read

Suppose we generated enough time each day to read something meaningful. This is in no way a small achievement, and if you can read every day you are probably one step ahead of 90% of your peers. Now, what do we read to make the most of this time? The answer is probably quite complex… …

Physical switches in our brain

Our brain is a physical object, and its reactions are physical. We may attribute our memories and experiences to some spiritual and intellectual domain, which is perfectly fine. Sometimes, however, it is best to attribute our experiences to misinterpreted physical experiences. For example, if you have a bad gut feeling, it is probably a heartburn …

Long term memory manipulations

Most of the memorization methods work with memory for several hours or days. This is what we train working with memory palaces and mindmaps. Some of the exercises work with short-term and memory: remembering an image of a paragraph or a series of numbers for a few second, enough to grasp complex concepts and generate …

Iterative reading of complex documents

Suppose we are doing a research project, and find a patent or a complex article. The document contains text, tables, graphs, names, numbers, formulas… Where do we even start reading? How do we know we understand what needs to be understood? Occasionally it makes sense to read a document more than once or twice, but …