Knowledge Engine applied to Feynman Technique

Note: Feynman Technique can be taken as a macro workflow in Knowledge Engine, which can contain many smaller regular workflows.

According to Feynman Technique:
1. Pick a topic you want to understand and start studying it. Write down everything you know about the topic on a notebook page, and add to that page every time you learn something new about it.
2. Pretend to teach your topic to others, especially to youngesters who are not familar with the topic . Make sure you’re able to explain the topic in simple terms.
3. Go back to the books when you get stuck. The gaps in your knowledge should be obvious. Revisit problem areas until you can explain the topic fully.
4. Simplify and use analogies. Repeat the process while simplifying your language and connecting facts with analogies to help strengthen your understanding.

How can Knowledge Engine(KE) be used in this process? We understand that learning is to build up a model of a domain, and Feynman Technique is a technique for building such a model. KE, based on Significant Experiences (SEs) is sufficient in building up a mature model of a domain knowledge. Below we outline how KE can be used in the process of Feynman Technique:

  1. pick a domain from KE (there will be domain tags in kE for people to choose from. TODO:), write down things you know about this domain in snippets, or search and find your relevant experiences from your past Significant Experiences (SEs). You can even try to build up some frames to represent your current total understanding of the domain, and in the process, you can probably identify a few key tags of this domain’s knowledge, which you can use to collect your SEs in your learning of this domain
  2. You can use your frame to teach this domain to other people.
  3. After realizing the gaps, read books, do some appropriate projects or do any activities that can help you fill the gaps. Revisit your frames and tags and keep udpating them to better reflect your current understanding of the model.
  4. Keep enriching your frames and simplifying them at the same time. And repeat the process.

In the above process, you can see that KE can be used to support Feynman Technique. Furthermore, all the SEs are collected along the way to build up a rich model and speed up the thinking in this learning process. We can also expand Feynman Technique beyond teaching and books reading to include projects or other types of activities. Thus to discover your gaps and fill in those gaps, you don’t just rely on teaching and book reading, but also by other activites like working on projects, touring meuseums, travelling, watching movies, playing, or whatever you want to do in your real life.

Understanding of the model can be layer by layer. Sometimes it is difficult to obtain sufficient resources to build up the model deeply and completely, and you somehow still need to use it in some way in your work. So an understanding model at some level is justified at times. With KE, it allows such building up of models in flexible ways. So this is another aspect that we can expand on Feynman Technique to reach a more complete picture of learning.

If we understand Feynman Technique as centered around building a model, we know that learning activities can be very flexible. For example, you don’t have to read through a book from beginning to end. You can jump around or take a glimpse first to see if you can improve your model (of understanding) very quickly. (This is why life centers matter, because with life centers, you can approach it and interact with it in very flexible ways. Here we treat the model of understanding as a life center.) And everyone’s methods in how to build up the model quickly for oneself can be drastically different.

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