E37: Mattias Ribbing – Speed Up Learning, Think Pictorially, and the Future School System (Part 2/2)

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Bio: Mattias Ribbing is an author, educator, and 3-time Swedish champion of memory sport. He’s also become a Grandmaster of Memory internationally. Mattias sits down for a conversation about mnemonics, biohacking, self-improvement, minimalism, and his thoughts on improving the school system.

Episode Summary:


Listen to the full episode on iTunes (and please leave a rating to help the podcast reach more people): E37: Mattias Ribbing – Speed Up Learning, Think Pictorially, and the Future School System

  • The Teflon Brain: You listen to information and nothing sticks. The day after you forget it all.
  • Reason behind Teflon brain: It’s too new therefore it doesn’t connect to something you already know.
  • If you can’t see connections to something you already know, take a step back and stop grinding through information you aren’t ready to learn yet.
  • Instead, read a lot of simple summaries from that area so you have concepts, events, objects and names to connect the more in-depth information to.
  • You don’t want to attempt learning in-depth information about an area you have no basic knowledge in because you will just end up temporarily memorizing that in-depth information then later forget it.
  • You need to have simple references to things you are learning, otherwise it won’t make sense or stick.
  • Here’s an example using the study of history: Read summaries about 2 great men from each era then connect everything to those men.
  • This is why journalists become experts so fast on new topics.
  • They have written thousands of summaries about various topics and thereby they can draw on all these summaries for learning new things.
  • When you read, be sure to visualize simultaneously.
  • Also, read one chapter per position. One on your desk, one on the toilet and one on the floor. This enhances learning.
  • Spanish language: If you know the 1000 most common words you will understand 87% of speaking.
  • This means that by learning around 3 new Spanish words per day for a year you will be able to understand 87% of speaking.
  • The same concept applies to all other languages.
  • Use 1000mostcommonwords.com to find the most frequently used words of each language.
  • Then learn the most frequently used words by connecting each of them to an image.
  • Later, learn how to say one sentence with each word.
  • Also, if you watch TV, watch it in the new language.
  • If you learn 3 words per day you should be able to understand most of that language within 1 year.
  • Every generation since Socrates said that the youth is going downhill.
  • In the past, this was mostly because of bias.
  • Unfortunately today there’s science backing this statement up.
  • Flynn effect: In intelligence tests there has been an increase of 3 intelligence points every decade since the start of the 20th century. Since 1995 the gains stopped.
  • Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking: From the 1950s until 1990s we have increased creativity every decade. The gains stopped in 1990s.
  • Why is there a decline in intelligence and creativity? Today, information is packaged into the simplest videos and graphics on TV, apps and social media. so you can just consume it. This limits your need for visualization and it limits your vocabulary.

Oskar Faarkrog

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