Jess Martin

⚠️ Warning! This is an in-progress research note exported directly from Jess's note-taking system. The ideas in this note are still under active development.

Last Updated: September 25, 2020

Notes on "How can we develop transformative tools for thought?"

Essay by Andy Matuschak and Michael Nielsen.

Essay link: How can we develop transformative tools for thought?

This essay is coming borne out of a similar philosophical place as the . See my discussion of why we are not doing "transformative" work in Alan Kay.

Compelling Ideas

  • [[Tools for Thought]] actually operate more like public goods - once the technique is discovered, which can require significant initial investment
  • The current business models necessitate incremental improvements to existing systems that will yield immediate profits. Though Silicon Valley touts experimentation and claims to laud failure, there is actually not a "freedom to be wrong."

How would you build a medium to better support a person's memory of what they read?

Secondarily: "What interactions could easily and enjoyably help people consolidate memories?"

  • Translate the reading into a dialogue.
    • Could GPT-3 ([[On GPT-3]]) or some other tool be used to deliver the essay as more of a dialogue with the reader?
    • This would enable a "slow release" of the essay's contents, with the ability for the learner to ask about the concept in different ways.
    • Could use the [[Socratic Method]] to help the learner "uncover" the truths of the topic interactively.
  • Require the reader to "generate" ([[Generation as a learning technique]]) the next section of the essay.
    • Based on what you know now, the next concept you need to understand is "X". Can you guess at what "X" might be and how it might relate to what came before it?
    • Even if the learner is wrong in their descriptions of the topics, they will be better positioned to assimilate the new topic once they have it explained to them.
    • Need to sketch out what the interaction pattern could be for this type of experience.
  • Require summarization of the previous section to "unlock" the next section of the essay.
    • Require the learner to write a summary of the key ideas from the previous paragraph or section
    • Summaries could be shared and graded by peer learners, allowing others to learn from other's restatement of the ideas
  • Learner communities seem super important, but not sure how to unlock this.
    • "Reading together" in cohorts could be a power fun experience.

See Also

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