# FormulatingKnowledge

## 20 Ways of Formulating Knowledge

### 1. Do not learn what you don't understand.

Understand as much as the material before learning, interact with it.

### 2. Learn before you memorize

Do not start from learning loosely related facts, try to get a background that links them together.

### 3. Build upon the basics

-- Build upon simpler models, which are easy to learn and comprehend. -- Basics are usually simple to learn and retain, don't neglect them.

### 4. Minimum Information Principle

• The material must be formulated as simply as possible.
```* Simple material is easy to remember -- simple -> few possible variants to travel a path -> synaptic path forms itself better
```
• Repetitions of simple items are easier.
```* Item of two subitems is suboptimal.
```

> What are the characteristics of the Dead Sea? > Salt lake located on the border between Israel and Jordan. Its shoreline is the lowest point on the Earth's surface, averaging 396 m below sea level. It is 74 km long. It is seven times as salty (30% by volume) as the ocean. Its density keeps swimmers afloat. Only simple organisms can live in its saline waters

• GOOD*:

> Q: Where is the Dead Sea located? > A: on the border between Israel and Jordan > Q: What is the lowest point on the Earth's surface? > A: The Dead Sea shoreline

Except for times when you need to actually recite it -- remembering what you remember.

### 5. Masking parts of sentences:

> Q: Kaleida was funded to the tune of \$40 million by ...(companies) in 1991

### 6. Use imagery

``` - The visual cortex is well-developed in humans
- Verbal processing greatly inferior to visual processing power
- Mind maps
-
```

### 7. Use mnemonic techniques

``` - Amazingly effective
```

### 8. Avoid sets

``` - A set is a collection of objjects.
- *BAD*: What countries belong to the EU?
- If they are necessary, convert them to *enumerations* (make them ordered -- and listed always in the same order) or **grouping**
- Listing members in varying order at each repetition has a disastrous effect on memory
```

### 9. But avoid enumerations too

``` - Not as bad as sets but still bad
- It's better to use masking when they're unavoidable:
- *GOOD*:
- What three letters does the alphabet begin with?
- Fill in: A ... ... ... D E
- Fill in : B C ... ... F G
- Here we use OVERLAPPING masking, memorizing the order is helped by the other questions.
```

A poem split into multiple items: > Q: The credit belongs ... (Teddy Roosevelt) > A: to the man who's actually in the arena >Q: The credit belongs to the man who's actually in the arena ... >A: whose face is marred by dust and sweat (a man who knows the great >enthusiasm)

>Q: whose face is marred by dust and sweat ... (The credit belongs) >A: a man who knows the great enthusiasm and the great devotions (who >spends himself in a worthy cause)

>Q: a man who knows the great enthusiasm and the great devotions ... (The >credit belongs) >A: who spends himself in a worthy cause (who in the end knows the >triumph of high achievement)

>Q: who spends himself in a worthy cause ... (The credit belongs) >A: who in the end knows the triumph of high achievement (so that his place shall never be), etc. etc.

### 11. Combat interference

``` - Similar words/concepts are bad for memory
- *Interference* is when knowledge of one item makes it harder to remember another item.
- Detect and eliminate:
- Make items as unambiguous as possible
- Minimum information principle
```

### 12. Optimize wording

> Q: Aldus invented desktop publishing in 1985 with PageMaker. Aldus had >little competition for years, and so failed to improve. Then Denver->based ... blew past. PageMaker, now owned by Adobe, remains No. 2 >A: Quark

• GOOD*:

>Q: PageMaker lost ground to ... >A: Quark

(Here the other information is inconsequential; if they are important, store them in separate items)

### 14. Personalize and provide examples

> Q: What is the name of a soft bed without arms or back? (like the one at Robert's parents) > A: divan

### 15. Rely on emotional states

``` - Vivid and/or shocking
- Don't overuse same tools (sonst interference)
```

### 16. Context cues simplify wording

> "What does GRE stand for in biochemistry?" > "bioch: GRE"

### 17. Redundancy doesn't contradict minimum information principle

``` - Reasoning cues to interact with the material
- You don't write the answer, but how to get there
- Derivation steps -- same as above
- Multiple semantic representation
- Described from different angles
- Flexible repetition
- When more than one possible answer
```

### 18. Provide sources

``` - Where I got the info from
- Mark it when everything's complicated ("Other sources differ!")
```

### 19. Prioritize

``` - Multiple knowledge sources -- see which one I could/should expand, at the cost of which others
- Extracting knowledge
- Learn just what is needed or will be needed
- Formulating items
- Optional/explanatory comments in parenthesis, so my attention is focused on the actual information
```