My experience with tiles and tilesets is not extensive, so I have been having some trouble finding a rhythm. However, once I did, things started advancing and I am quite pleased with how it looks. I also noticed that while walking my dog through the forest and admiring golden Autumn leaves I would have an abundance of new ideas of what to do and what else to add, so I must ensure I don’t get overwhelmed by feature creep. I plan on writing on my experiences with working with tiles in future posts. Be sure to check the Solum Cosmonauter Central hub for any future updates.
Today I decided to talk about a subject that has been fascinating and troubling me for a very long time - knowledge. As I have described in my about page, I am not that young anymore, so learning new and complex subjects doesn’t come very easy, which is why I have researched a lot about how I can better acquire knowledge. This is still an ongoing journey, but for now I feel I have settled into solid habits and systems and that is why I would like to talk about them.
The objective is to learn better, understand concepts and memorise data where needed. Disclaimer: I do have a tendency to overanalyze and overcomplicate things, so any suggestion for simplification is welcome.
Pillars of a healthy brain
One of the first Latin quotes I ever learned was “Mens sana in corpore sano”, which means “Healthy mind in a healthy body”, and I strongly believe this is something no white collar worker should neglect. The expression relates to how a healthy body leads to having a good mental and psychological well-being. And the fundamentals, in my opinion, for a healthy body, are the following three points: sleep, diet and physical exercise. I will not go into details about any of these, there are doctors and experts and a wealth of information out there.
Filtering knowledge and setting objectives
The starting point for me is always setting an objective. This objective should be made very clear and should have an explanation for why it is important (example: I want to learn object oriented programming in C# so I can make games in unity). Today, having access to the internet means having access to almost infinite (from the point of view of how much a normal human can process) information. And that means that before doing anything, I usually spend a little time going through (skimming) available materials and deciding if it is worth taking a deeper look at them or not. Once that step is done and I have a list of tutorials, documents or videos I can get started with the actual act of learning.
Flow of information
While listening to or reading the materials, I try to extract what seem to be important concepts by taking notes using pen and paper and the Cornell method. After this stage is done I usually stop and think if I want to take this information further or discard it. If I decide to take it further I will create new notes based on the hand-written ones using treesheets and maybe a mind-map or a diagramming software. At this stage I try to clear up everything and I might even go back to the original materials or additional searches if there is something that I am still having trouble with. The final step in processing my notes comes in the form of transcribing them into obsidian. Throughout these three steps I don’t just copy-paste text between different applications, I try to understand underlying concepts and rearrange everything using my own words, mind maps and drawings.
It might seem like a complicated system, but it really isn’t. It can be distilled into three steps: gathering information, processing it into knowledge and then memorising it.
Unfortunately if I learn something new, then use it once or twice and then I don’t use it anymore for a long period of time, I tend to forget what I have learned. And it’s a pity, since I usually spend a lot of time and effort to “get it”. So that’s where the concept of spaced repetition comes in. And there is a very nice, open source solution called Anki. Anki is the last stop for my newly acquired knowledge.
Advantages, disadvantages and conclusions
This system might seem complicated and that’s also probably because I use a lot of different methods and applications. It does take a lot of time from start to finish, but acquiring knowledge is a time-consuming process for a normal human, there is no way around it, especially if you want to really understand and master what you are studying. I could and I probably will talk a lot more about this system, but for now I just wanted to go through an overview of it all.