📖How Can We Develop Transformative Tools for Thought?

Matuschak, Andy and Nielsen, Michael
  • First prototype is interleaving articles with small quizzes where you can answer “I remember” or “Did not remember.” After finishing the article, in 5 days you’re emailed for a review session. Then after two weeks, after month, after a couple of months, etc. That’s § Spaced Repetition.
  • With spaced repetition you get exponential returns for increased effort. Every additional minute reviewing the card provides more and more benefit (because you remember the card longer and longer). → Spaced repetition provides exponential returns on investment
  • videos are much better at prompting emotions than the text

    • “educational” videos do not substantially change understanding of the subject but rather create a powerful emotional connection
    • “mnemonic video” would have narrator ask questions inline, pause for user to think (“press anywhere to continue”), and then explain the answer inline.
    • “taking emotion seriously”
  • tools for thoughts are hard to develop but are easy to copy. that’s why it’s hard to build a business building them in the first place
  • “The work is really about exploration of an open-ended question: how can we develop tools that change and expand the range of thoughts human beings can think? ”
  • “good tools for thought arise mostly as a byproduct of doing original work on serious problems”

    • you cannot create a good tool for thought in a particular field unless you’re good at this field
    • Quantum Country was created in part to answer a specific question