Incremental Reading for Memory Non-Constrained Learning

I’m new to this forum but I think a lot of you might find incremental reading interesting. It’s hard to summarize well (thus I recommend you watch this video on it, SuperMemo for Wizards) but it’s basically systematized learning that makes use of spaced repetition:

  1. import learning material
  2. application generates a queue of your learning material
  3. go through queue, be presented with material and do processing
    -when you find something interesting, make an extract
    -if your extract is short, maybe rewrite it or make a cloze deletion to generate an SRS flashcard
  4. move on to next material in queue when you’re bored or finished processing the material

There are some parts I haven’t gone into like priority but this is the basics. I’ve found it quite useful and have at least 1,000-5,000 articles imported (though I obviously haven’t finished processing all of it).

It completely offloads management of learning material beyond assigning priorities (which isn’t hard) letting you vastly increase the amount of material you can manageably go through.

Because it makes use of spaced repetition, you can essentially incrementally go through gigantic amounts of material and have a linear growth in knowledge over time. Since you make the cards alongside reading the material incrementally, you don’t face the issue most anki users end up with regarding cramming cards rather than learning and then making them

Thanks, @rajlego for sharing this. I had heard about Incremental Reading before, but — just like spaced repetition in general for things other than language vocabulary or simple facts —it is hard to grasp the benefits if you don’t try it out yourself for a considerable amount of time.

I was wondering if you could share some more of your experience in how you decide which content is interesting enough to become an extract, and if and why you decide to rewrite something vs. just copying it over?

I was wondering if you could share some more of your experience in how you decide which content is interesting enough to become an extract, and if and why you decide to rewrite something vs. just copying it over?

There’s this idea of learn drive that I like [drive here is used in the psychological sense. I mention that because I didn’t realize that for a long time myself]: your brain has taste buds and it can tell what information is useful or not useful.

Basically, my brain is able to figure out what is ‘cool’ or ‘not cool’ in relation to weights it has for goals I have (e.g. I want to be good at public speaking -> this extract looks to improve it, extract time!).

For rewriting vs copying over, I think it’s just obvious when I look at the thing. I think my internal mechanism for this is length of passage vs. density. If it’s highly dense and long, extract/break down. If it’s not dense but long, maybe summarize. If it’s dense and short, maybe rewrite then make cards.

it is hard to grasp the benefits if you don’t try it out yourself for a considerable amount of time.
if you want to try it let me know, I teach SuperMemo (for free, have taught around 40ish people) and have had a lot of luck getting people to being able to use it after 1-2 hours (whereas it took me far longer to understand the basics from the documentation alone)