Richard Feynman (1918–1988) "The Great Explainer” - Deepstash
Richard Feynman (1918–1988) "The Great Explainer”

Richard Feynman (1918–1988) "The Great Explainer”

He is considered to be one of the most important physicists of all time.

Feynman was brilliant, eloquent, and an exquisitely passionate thinker who stands unequivocally for his ability to synthesize and explain complex scientific knowledge.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

1. Identify the subject. Write down everything you know about the topic. Each time you run into new sources of information, add them to the note.

2. Teach it to a child. Write plain and simple so even a child can understand what you're talking about.

3. Identify your knowledge gaps.  What are you missing? What don’t you know? 

4. Organize + simplify + Tell a story. Piece together your notes and begin to spin a tale using concise and simple explanations.

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Multi-disciplinary approach to learning

I wanted very much to learn to draw, for a reason that I kept to myself: I wanted to convey an emotion I have about the beauty of the world. It’s difficult to describe because it’s an emotion. … It’s a feeling of awe — of scientific awe — which I felt could be communicated through a drawing to someone who had also had that emotion. I could remind him, for a moment, of this feeling about the glories of the universe.

 — Feynman discussing the intersection of art and science.

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The Feynman technique for teaching and communication is a mental model (a breakdown of his personal thought process) to convey information using to the point thoughts and simple language.

Feynman started to record and connect the things he did know with those he did not know, resulting in a thorough notebook of subjects that had been disassembled, translated, and recorded.

We can use this same model to learn new concepts.

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RELATED IDEAS

RICHARD FEYNMAN

“I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.”

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The Feynman Technique

... is the perfect strategy for learning something new, deepening your understanding of a concept, enhancing your recall of certain ideas, or reviewing for tests.

The process takes 15 minutes to master. All you need is a blank notebook and a pen or pencil.

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  • Step 1: Pick something you want to learn. Spend time with the idea until you have internalized it as best you can.
  • Step 2: From memory, write everything down that you know about the subject in a way that a child can understand. Write the items down that you don't remember and find answers for those items.
  • Step 3: Question every line you have written down. Some things you will understand, but at some point, you will write things down that you don't know. Then find the answers to these new topics.
  • Step 4: Repeat step 3 until the questioning adds no incremental value. Reorganize the various information you found interesting. Then question your own information to see if there are more gaps in your understanding.

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