The Reis Release #5

What I’m doing…

Learning how to learn an online course by Cousera (it’s most popular course).

This was mentioned in the biohacking podcast from last week and I’ve enjoyed it so far. I’ve been listening to it in on 1.75x speed to run through it quickly (pro-tip, if 1.75x seems too fast, dial up to 2x, listen for a few minutes then dial back down). There have been some practical (proven) techniques to improve learning: for example, testing yourself by trying to recall what you read after you finish a chapter, glancing at a chapter before reading to get a sense of the big picture, and setting a timer for 25 minutes to focus without any interruptions (called the Pomodoro Technique) and then reward yourself with a couple min break. A fascinating anecdote mentioned was that both Thomas Edison and Salvador Dali, in order to unleash their most creative thoughts, called diffuse learning, would hold ball bearings or a key in their hand as they took a nap and right as they reached that subconscious state, their hands would drop the ball bearings/keys and wake them up. This is very similar to a project at MIT unleashing the unique and imaginative ongoing during dreams and semi-lucid states and why people often come up with ideas while on a walk or in the shower.

Preview: If you’re going over what you’re learning right before you take a nap or going to sleep for the evening, you have an increased chance of dreaming about it. If you go even further and set it in your mind that you want to dream about the material, it seems to improve your chances of dreaming about it still further. Dreaming about what you’re studying can substantially enhance your ability to understand. It somehow consolidates your memories into easier to grasp chunks.

What I’m listening to…

Leigh Drogen – Revenge of the Humans on the Meb Faber Podcast.

First off, I hadn’t heard of Meb Faber who is the founder and CIO of Cambria Investment Management, a thought leader on investment strategies, and author. This is a bonus episode with a guest speaker who is the founder of Estimize, which is a data provider to quantitative investors. The first twenty-five minutes were really intriguing and provided a nice overview of how the investment landscape is changing from fundamental to systematic. Statements such as “the nerds are the new kings of Wall Street” and “there’s an arms race for datasets” got me hooked (note the second half of the podcast gets very geeky). Finally, he advocated woman are superior PMs (studies show this): women are more analytical, less prone to irrational bets, and fewer issues in the workplace because they have less ego (in the speaker’s experience).

What I’m pondering…

As mentioned above, I’ve started listening to some things in 1.5-2x speed to increase my “download time” (I feel like I have star in Mario Kart). Is reading, listening to podcasts, etc widely inefficient as the download time is so slow? If we become cyborgs or more advanced cyborgs (since we kind of already are cyborgs with everyone having an iPhone and AirPods glued to their hands/ears), will we be able to just download a book via WiFi in a minute and implant it into our memory? At the very least, we all should’ve taken speed reading classes or a learning how to learn class in middle school instead of French.

Quote I enjoyed…

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.” – Richard Feynman. Next up on my list is to watch some of his lectures online. I enjoyed his book, “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character.

Please feel free to give me feedback and have a wonderful weekend!

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