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Problem Solving

88 STASHED IDEAS

Traps you can fall into with flashcards.

  • Using off-the-shelf flashcard decks: You may think that pre-made flashcards save time, but many of the pre-made decks need editing to fit your purpose.
  • Bad card design: Simply copy and paste stuff from classes can be fast but make memorising a mess.
  • Memorisation instead of understanding. Memorisation should follow understanding, not replace it.
  • Flashcards are a fake substitute for doing real learning. Doing lots of flashcards may leave the impression that you have learned a lot, but it is not true for complex subjects.
David R. (@dav_rr748) - Profile Photo

@dav_rr748

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Problem Solving

  • Each question should only have one answer.
  • Questions should not contain redundancy.
  • Questions should be simple. A more complex problem should be broken into smaller parts.
  • Questions should be something you need.

Flashcards are about retrieval practice. You put a question on one side and the answer on the back. By trying to say the answer before you look, you strengthen the memory link.

Spaced repetition systems (SRS) enhance this technique by automatically scheduling reviews.

Flashcards are vastly superior to passive review techniques. They work well when used appropriately.

If you have used flashcards before, but they were not effective, chances are you either designed the cards badly or other forms of practice may work better for you. If you love flashcards, go forward with caution. Ask if flashcards are really enhancing your learning.

Learning with flashcards

Flashcards can be a powerful learning tool, but they can also be a waste of time.

  • They are powerful because retrieval and spacing are key to memory. If you have a lot of information to memorise, flashcards will help you the best.
  • But flashcards can also waste your time. You may memorise something you don't need, or fail to memorise the important things. But most of all, flashcards can be a way to avoid doing the real thing.

As humans, we often subconsciously attach emotion to the mental maps we've created along with the infromation that we've come to know, whether it may be accurate or not, this significantly alter's one's perception.

We must keep in mind that we shouldn't fully trust the infromation that is delivered to us. This is a deplorable issue that is never to be taken lightly like biased crime statistics, because regardless of where it may be from, it has enough power to influence over someone's choices.

There is a division in psychology that looks at human and animal behavior, that division is called behaviorism. This theory assumes that every single behavior done is a response to environmental stimuli.

With this understanding, behavioral geography is seeking to understand how people build, how they change, and how the landscapes, in particular, affect and influence the behavior of both humans and animals.

  1. The possibility of every individual having different mind maps is likely. This is due to the fact that mental maps aren't just the perceptions of your own spaces, but they are also the perceptions of places you've never been to before.
  2. Mental maps are based on assumptions and conjecture which can affect human interaction significantly.
  3. Borders of neighboring countries may see boundaries differently.

Since mental maps can be created for places you've never been to for social media, news outlets, and even movies are able to depict faraway places for people to vividly create their own mental maps of them.

However, most media representations of these places are not entirely accurate and will only cause the formation of distorted or error-filled mental maps. Such in the case of the map we've all grown to see, the Mercator's map, wherein for centuries it has depicted the size of Africa wrongly.

Mental Maps

A mental map is a first-person perspective of an area that an individual possesses. This is a type of subconscious map that shows the individual what places look like and how to interact with them.

Every individual has their own mental map, a large and a small one, wherein the former is used to recall towns, states, and countries; while the latter is to navigate smaller areas like your home, or the way to your favorite cafe. We subconsciously use our mental maps to plan all of our activities.

Jootsing Consists Of Three Steps
  • Study the system. Read all the fundamental books, articles, and research papers that explore your system of interest. Contact experts, ask questions, become familiar with relevant policies. 
  • Understand the rules. While you study the system, make sure to take notes as to what rules are commonly considered as unbreakable. 
  • Jump out of the system. Take the rules one by one, and think of ways to break each of them.
  • Jootsing means studying the rules of the system before you can break them.
  • Jootsing is a much more extreme version of thinking outside the box. Jootsing forces us to completely break away from the box, to create within a space that breaks the fundamental characteristics of the box.
  • But jootsing is not about breaking the rules for the sake of breaking the rules.
Daniel Dennett

“It helps to know the tradition if you want to subvert it. That’s why so few dabblers or novices succeed in coming up with anything truly creative.”

  • Jootsing or “Jumping Out Of The System” is a technique to encourage creativity in science, philosophy, and the arts.
  • All systems have rules. With jootsing, a system’s rules can be used as a starting point to work against.
  • The term was coined by Douglas Hofstadter, an American scholar of cognitive science, physics, and comparative literature.
  • “You need water to use shampoo” → Dry shampoo
  • “You need a license to drive a taxi” → Uber
  • “You need alcohol to make cocktails” → Mocktails.
Cautiously Optimistic

Our predictions usually seem to fall towards extremes, either too optimistic or too pessimistic. We underestimate how bad things can be in the short term, and how much better they can eventually turn out to be in the longer run. This leads to bad decisions, laughably wrong forecasts and predictions and a lot of confusion.

A reasonably optimistic person is a little cautious, a little cynical, and expects surprises, setbacks, bewilderment and disappointment.

The war-torn countries of the 1940s, Germany and Japan, quickly recovered and exceeded the expectations of the world, ranking much higher in development than many countries who had not experienced war.


Progress happens at an exponential rate when people learn new things, and when there is collective pain, suffering and misery, people learn a lot.

A realistically optimistic person knows that though things will happen, things that will be surprising, disappointing or completely out of control.

Too much optimism prevents us from accurately predicting and understanding the pain and struggle that is inevitable in the future.

What it does is it reduces our stress and anxiety and provides a ‘playground’ where we can imagine alternative realities which we need to believe in.

Staying on the Bus

If a person 'stays on the bus', gives his best and goes the mile in his work, in time, he will start to see his work shine.

Re-work and Revise

Re-working, re-visiting, and revision of your learning and your creative piece will make all the difference.

Elite, super successful people revise and rework their way to mastery.

Mastery requires Consistency

Consistency leads to eventual success, which may not be visible in the start (just as a start of bus journey from the same familiar routes) but as life branches out, things start to take shape.

The Helsinki Bus Station Theory

The Helsinki Bus Station Theory broadly means that our creativity, life and career paths may seem the same as we begin, but our uniqueness and real creative work starts as we branch out eventually, discovering our niche, and being masters of our work in a unique way.

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