Last week I went to our local hackspace, the RaumZeitLabor, and I talked to Cheatha about my recent adventures with Anki. There were a few other people there that listened to my ramblings as well, and their reactions were not at all what I had expected.
It wasn't a well-prepared talk or anything, but the ensuing discussion was eye-opening.
There were a few firmly held opinions:
- memorizing facts using the flashcard method (Karteikartenlernen) is horrifying to many.
- the same people say that it doesn't make sense for learning a programming language, because learning how to program is a matter of practice and practice alone.
I even confused Cheatha, which is hard to do. So my main takeaway from the evening is that there are many more ideas in what I'm working on than I realized, all of which I tried to put into one short talk. But that simply doesn't work. The ideas are:
- What is spaced-repetition learning? How and why does it work? What's it good for? (boring but necessary)
- How to leverage Anki's templating system to efficiently create effective flashcards. (fun for nerds like us, but…)
- How I captured and memorized vocabulary for learning Spanish when I lived in Mexico, and how I'm capturing and memorizing vocabulary while learning Ruby now. (my main focus right now)
- How I try to remember more of what I read: books, articles, documentation. (still a little fuzzy, also for me)
I'll have to explore each of these ideas separately. And I will, because I still believe that it will benefit me. So I guess the very next question I have to answer is: what benefit do I hope to get from memorizing all this information? It's a valid question that until now got drowned by my excitement of learning the new tools and the perception of "making progress".