One Year Anki Update

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Stats and Workload


What I’ve Learned Since Last Time

  1. You need more cards than you think. The best Anki card requires that you only remember one piece of information. This gives your review algorithm maximum modularity to target specific pieces of information that you may be missing. For even a single concept in biology or a single algorithm, this usually means many more cards than you think it means as there are many levels of granular detail.
  2. Anki is not free. When you decide to study a concept, you are committing potentially hundreds of cards and tens of hours to understanding and remembering it. While this is a good trade off for things that you are likely to see in the rest of your career (biology and algorithms for me) or life (Spanish, paradigm shifting books), it is not worth it for trivia. Just because you can Ankify something doesn’t mean you should.
  3. Be careful what you Ankify. During the fall/winter I was Ankifying Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow. I have since stopped reading about 2/3 of the way through the book and discontinued my Ankifying because most of the conclusions of the book have not passed the replicability crisis. Even though I couched all the cards that I made from the book as being from the book, all these untrue facts about social science are stuck in my brain as if they were true. I think it may be a better bet to stick to more hard sciences (math, physics, biology, etc) when ankifying books. Or alternatively, when ankifying something from history, to draw from multiple opposing sources.

Future Plans

  1. Graduate School Studying I have my qualifying exam in 8 days. Between then and now I will be cramming in as much biology knowledge as I can. After the exam, I plan to use Anki to remember the three weekly papers that I read, as well info from seminars and lab meeting.
  2. Spanish Sentence Mining See my Refold posts for more information about this. Basically this is a strategy to enhance uptake of lower frequency vocabulary.
  3. Deep Reading Books While Thinking Fast & Slow was a failure, I think the general principle is still sound for ankifying books. However, it may be better suited for books I have already read, and VERY low frequency (it is strenous to ankify a book), perhaps 1–2 books a year.




“To the contrary, that the very genes do not lose a miRNA that has not been brushed away by the finger of God.” Musings about biology, learning and literature

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Deus ex Vita

Deus ex Vita

“To the contrary, that the very genes do not lose a miRNA that has not been brushed away by the finger of God.” Musings about biology, learning and literature

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