Half life of facts and compound knowledge - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

Get an account to save ideas & make your own & organize them how you wish.

deepstash

Beta

Half Life: The Decay of Knowledge and What to Do About It

# Half life of facts and compound knowledge

If we want our knowledge to compound, we’ll need to focus on the invariant general principles.

Half-lives show us that if we spend time learning something that changes quickly, we might be wasting our time.

74 SAVES

This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

## Half Life: The Decay of Knowledge and What to Do About It

fs.blog

2

Key Ideas

### The Half-Life of Facts

Facts decay over time. And the time it takes to disprove or replace half of it can be predicted.

Data in medicine become half as relevant in 2-3 years. For exact sciences, 2-4 years.

### Half life of facts and compound knowledge

If we want our knowledge to compound, we’ll need to focus on the invariant general principles.

Half-lives show us that if we spend time learning something that changes quickly, we might be wasting our time.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

##### The 5-Hour Rule

The most successful, busy people in the world dedicate at least 5 hours a week to deliberate learning.

The 5-Hour Rule is the most critical practice we can all adopt for long-term career suc...

##### The Simple Math

It takes about 6,400 hours of class time and studying to get a 4-year degree. Assume that it takes you only 5,000 hours to master your field.

While you are happy that you've prepared for your profession, the knowledge you've learned is fast becoming outdated. We can safely assume that in 10 years, 50% of the facts in the field would be outdated. This means that for you, just to keep up in your current field, you'd need to learn 5 hours per week, 50 weeks a year.

##### Trends To Consider

When we consider the future of work, there are two trends we should keep a note of. They are:

1. Half-life of knowledge
2. Law of increasing learning

4 more ideas

##### Erwin Schrödinger proposed a paradox

Erwin Schrödinger was a Nobel prize-winning physicist. Schrödinger proposed a paradox in 1935 to illustrate a point in quantum mechanics about the nature of wave particles.

At the center of...

##### The feline paradox: Schrodinger's cat

A cat is placed in a steel box along with a Geiger counter, a vial of poison, a hammer, and a radioactive substance. When the radioactive substance decays (it decays as a random process), the Geiger detects it, triggers the hammer, and release the poison, which kills the cat.

Until the box is opened, the cat's state is entirely unknown. Therefore, the cat can be treated as both alive and dead simultaneously until it is observed. If you try to make predictions about the cat's status, you're possibly going to be wrong. But if you assume it's a combination of all of the possible states, you'll be correct.

Really minute things don't obey Newton's Laws. The rule that we use to govern the motion of a ball or car can't be used to explain how an electron or atom works.

##### Meta-Learning

It's knowing how to learn. Learning itself is a skill, and knowing how to do it well is an incredibly valuable advantage.

Merely acquiring information is not learning....

##### Learning has 2 phases

Learning is a two-step process:

• Read/listen: feeding ourselves new information.
• Process and recall what you’ve just ‘learned’: connecting new materials to what we already knew.
##### Remembering the right things

You should not waste your time by committing unimportant details to memory.

Your focus should be on understanding the bigger picture, on how things relate to each other.

9 more ideas

##### Junk Knowledge
Most of the stuff we read is junk, with little or no value in a year.
Expiring knowledge is something disposable, which we consume daily.
Timeless or long-term kn...
##### Long-Term Vs Expiring Knowledge
• Expiring Knowledge, is better than junk knowledge, as it is not as useless, but has a short shelf life. It catches our attention due to its topical and current nature.
• Long Term Knowledge is hard to find as it is not that visible and requires a keen eye. Long-Term Knowledge has no expiry date and actually compounds over time.
##### Quality of Intake

Whether it's the questions startup companies ask in meetings, or the quarterly earnings of a company, short-term, expiring knowledge has very little context if not paired with long-term knowledge.

If you intake more long-term knowledge by reading good books, you can be a better judge of which expiring knowledge to absorb and which to reject.

##### Finding a balance

We read that we should eat a balanced diet, live a balanced life, and seek a good work/family balance without defining balance.

Balance is the taking of appropriate action when circumstan...

##### Frank Herbert

“There is no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves.”

##### No mass-producible solutions

It is important to understand that balance is relative: the focus of balance is always going to be different from person to person. There is no one size fits all.

For example, what a balanced diet means for one person may be entirely different for another. Both diets may be healthy, but it is the context that makes it so.

2 more ideas

##### Learned Optimism in Psychology

This is a concept that suggests that we can always change our attitude and behaviour, be aware of our thoughts and stop our negative self-talk.

Learned Optimism is a positi...

##### Pessimism Vs Optimism

Pessimism is defined as the anticipation of good or bad things to happen in the future, while optimism is generally considered the opposite. Optimism can be defined as the individual difference variable reflecting the extent of which we hold positive expectancies for the upcoming event.

The ways in which we think affects our health, well-being and success, even though the situations are the same.

##### Benefits of Optimism
• A positive impact on many aspects of physical and mental health.
• Provides motivation to work harder.
• Greater career success in life.

6 more ideas

##### Knowing isn't doing

Learning about improvement is very easy, but actually improving is really hard.

Most any change that requires a lot of consistent mental effort is going to fail because you spend most of th...

Your context influences your decisions. If you make an effort to control your environment, you won't have to exert self-control.

##### The 20-second rule

Make the things you want to do take 20 seconds less time to start and let the things you want to keep away from take 20 seconds longer to get going.

3 more ideas

##### A New Way To Study

Studying takes too much time, and there is only a limited number of hours. Spaced repetition method uses time intervals and makes you recall more information, using less time.

The spacing e...

##### Pierce J. Howard

“Work involving higher mental functions, such as analysis and synthesis, needs to be spaced out to allow new neural connections to solidify. New learning drives out old learning when insufficient time intervenes.”

##### Everything Remains In Memory

A recent theory on forgetting states that everything we learn remains in storage inside our memory, but our ability to recall and retrieve that information fades if we do not practice fetching information.

2 more ideas

##### Living in the age o doubt

We live in a time when all scientific knowledge (the safety of fluoride, vaccines, climate change, moon landing, etc.) faces coordinated and vehement resistance.

The acces...

##### We now face risks we can’t easily analyze

Our existence is invaded by science and technology as never before. For many of us, this brings comfort and rewards, but this existence is also more complicated and sometimes agitated.

Our lives are full of real and imaginary risks, and distinguishing between them isn’t easy. We have to be able to decide what to believe and how to act on that.

##### Marcia McNutt - Geophysicist

“Science is not a body of facts. Science is a method for deciding whether what we choose to believe has a basis in the laws of nature or not.”

6 more ideas

##### The curse of knowledge

... is a cognitive bias that causes people to fail to account for the fact that others don’t know the same things that they do.

##### Why we experience the curse of knowledge

Since we spend the majority of the time experiencing things from our own perspective, we struggle to imagine the perspective of others.

The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias that makes it difficult for people to account for the fact that other people’s thoughts, beliefs, and views are different from their own.

##### Minimize the curse of knowledge

You need to be conscious of the fact that people have different levels of knowledge than you.

• Ask for feedback from the people you are communicating with, in order to confirm that they understand what you are saying.
• Make sure that you explain the technical terms and concepts that you use as you are using it.

3 more ideas