"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."

-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
4 Augmenting Long-term Memory6 Augmenting Long-term MemoryAugmenting Long-term Memory2020-09-24JournalIn this essay we investigate personal memory systems, that is, systems designed to improve the long-term memory of a single person. In the first part of the essay I describe my personal experience using such a system, named Anki. As we'll see, Anki can be used to remember almost anything. That is, Anki makes memory a choice, rather than a haphazard event, to be left to chance. I'll discuss how to use Anki to understand research papers, books, and much else. And I'll describe numerous patterns and anti-patterns for Anki use. While Anki is an extremely simple program, it's possible to develop virtuoso skill using Anki, a skill aimed at understanding complex material in depth, not just memorizing simple facts.