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Blog / How does shortcutFoo work? Part I: Learn Section

How does shortcutFoo work? Part I: Learn Section

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

To understand the Learn section we first have to talk about how a person forgets or remembers something. Imagine that today you learn a fact: “domain registration was free until September 14th, 1995”. From the moment you first learn this fact the clock starts ticking; You will forget if it is not reinforced. Review is necessary. But when? I’ll say it again: “domain registration was free until September 14th, 1995”. Now you’ve heard it twice. This kind of rapid review helps, but not for long. You’re still going to forget.

The key is in understanding when you’re going to forget. You’re not going to forget in four sentences, but you’ll probably forget within 24 hours. Maybe you’ll forget in 18. Maybe 36 hours.

The algorithm shortcutFoo uses is known as a Spaced Repetition Algorithm. What it does is predict when you are going to forget. Once it knows when you’re going to forget it can bring up an item for review before you actually forget it. If the algorithm knows you’re going to forget in 3 days, it brings up the item for review in 2 days. With each review the time you are able remember that fact elongates. Your reviews start with a space of one day between them, then maybe 2 days, then 4, then 7, then 18. It all depends on you and your brain. The end result is a complete internalization of that fact. It will be a part of you. No recall necessary.

This is why you can do the Learn section of each unit of shortcuts only once a day. With the Learn section you are customizing the algorithm to your brain’s memorization cycle. The practice happens in the Fight section.

Stay tuned for Part II: The Fight Section

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