"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
6 Using Anki to do shallow reads of papers1 Syntopic reading using AnkiPart I: How to remember almost anything: the Anki systemAugmenting Long-term Memory2020-09-24Journal1 Syntopic reading using Anki2 Syntopic reading using Anki3 Syntopic reading using Anki4 Syntopic reading using Anki5 Syntopic reading using Anki6 Syntopic reading using Anki
I've talked about how to use Anki to do shallow reads of papers, and rather deeper reads of papers. There's also a sense in which it's possible to use Anki not just to read papers, but to “read” the entire research literature of some field or subfield. Here's how to do it.
You might suppose the foundation would be a shallow read of a large number of papers. In fact, to really grok an unfamiliar field, you need to engage deeply with key papers – papers like the AlphaGo paper. What you get from deep engagement with important papers is more significant than any single fact or technique: you get a sense for what a powerful result in the field looks like. It helps you imbibe the healthiest norms and standards of the field. It helps you internalize how to ask good questions in the field, and how to put techniques together. You begin to understand what made something like AlphaGo a breakthrough – and also its limitations, and the sense in which it was really a natural evolution of the field. Such things aren't captured individually by any single Anki question. But they begin to be captured collectively by the questions one asks when engaged deeply enough with key papers.
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