The unreasonable effectiveness of chaotic knowledge acquisition

last updated: Jun 20, 2024

I used to believe that if I never made the time to properly work through a concept, all of that knowledge was lost to me approximately forever. Repeatedly failing to marshal the time and focus for “deep study” made me feel terrible, as if I were wasting or spurning the very insights I’d professed to desire! By contrast, it provides immense comfort to know there’s some background process in my head, diligently working to incorporate disjointed syntax into something with robust meaning. Specifically, this realization has made me (1) way less panicky about missing out on information, because I have faith it will re-emerge when the time is right, and (2) much more appreciative of my brain doing its best, even when I’m deeply frustrated with my own cognitive limitations.

I admire her dedication to bringing her sloppy notes into formal notation!

I have long relied on the chaotic integration of knowledge into my mind, and one of the purposes of these notes are my attempt at some sort of similar method of typing things that I learn out to make them more likely to stick in my brain.

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