In the interest of full transparency, I think there are some things missing to make it the best tool it can possibly be. I'm still mulling over how to tweak it so it works better w.r.t. motivation/relevancy and availability/convenience.
HN thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13521066
I've also hacked together a system, inspired by spaced repetition, for remembering better books I've read. It's turned into so much more. If you have an interest in remembering books better or using technology to get more out of reading, I'd love to chat.
For a super basic idea, imagine a Chrome plugin that creates an Anki deck out of a Wikipedia article at the click of a button? (Maybe not the most useful application, but pretty neat and a great place for a simple proof of concept.)
And what if you took that a step farther and made an app that does the same thing with text extracted from an image set. So you could take pictures of a textbook page or pages and have it do the same thing with those.
Of course, there are many practical challenges to developing the NLP process in a way that it can identify the most salient parts of a text and capture flash-card-friendly phrases or factual statements, but I think the challenges could be overcome. And it would be an amazing feat to capture the benefits of spaced repetition without the upfront cost of manual deck creation.
I don't think NLP is necessary though.
If you take a look at the stackoverflow data dump sooner or later every possible variation of a question for a particular answer is going to get asked. Ofcourse there are always new topics that haven't been covered but this is a minuscule portion of the entire data set.
I think it's a safe bet looking at Q&A happening on sites like Quora\Reddit etc in a couple years the chances that someone is going come up with a question that no one has asked before is going to be very low.
Wikipedia is missing 2 important pieces.
1. Linkage between all these questions and the content on the site. Currently Google provides this link.
2. A system to communicate to the reader what skill level /pre-reqs they need to fully appreciate/understand the content they are looking at. The UI for such a system already exists in most games.
Once these pieces are in place you are ready to create a very useful Anki deck on anything.
What most people don't realize is the entire mass of human knowledge given the size of most wiki/q&a site dump is about 100-150 GB. Throw in all the edu video content being produced on Khan Academy, NPTEL etc and you get to a 1-2TB. This isn't a big amount of data. All it needs is a learning system built on top of it for it all to be put to good use.
This may be part of why it didn't work for me:
1. I don't want to do 10 minutes - that's a lot. Perhaps 1-3 minutes.
2. There will be times/days I will not or cannot do it. The tool I used to use seemed to not handle that too well. I think it expected the usage to be too regular. Spaced repetition does not require regular usage.
Edit: maybe not worth it for something you want to spend so little time on. I think it's better than the calendar chain-link apps out there because the visualization/progress doesn't completely break if you miss a day.
Effective learning: Twenty rules of formulating knowledge - SuperMemo
Space repetition seems easy to implement and useful, thanks!
Supermemo is on the market for over 20 years, I remember using it on Amiga.
Quite amazing that they are still on the market, with not much competition.
We recently launched a free flashcards app on the Mac App Store called PAL: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pal-flashcards/id1187236321?...
It's also available on https://www.pal9000.com
We've tried keeping it as simple as possible which a fair number of people seem to like. :)
I'm not convinced that an app or any external crutch is required - one simply needs to get in the habit of reflecting on new information, and sporadically testing retention. The first step for me to start the loop is to subvocalise (or vocalise if I'm in private) the pertinent info several times after receipt, which beds the memory of learning something in, and the context, if not the fullness of the information itself. It's enough - it's a hook to trigger recall of the full information - sits in episodic memory as "a thing I said or did", rather than passive "this happened/I heard this" information, and therefore surfaces the entry point easily. If an entertaining association rises at that point, I store that too, as it acts as a mnemonic.
I do find myself sometimes doing this with useless information, however, and end up memorising pretty much every bit of information I only intended to retain for 30 seconds (e.g. a chunk of foreign text, ticket numbers, seating plans) - and find myself doing habitual recall on them until they cement like everything else.
One thing that the article doesn't touch on but I think is important is sleep - I find if I recall immediately before nodding off the information sticks far more firmly, and I resultantly wake up in the middle of the night with fresh insights. Conversely, when I don't get enough sleep for a prolonged period, my recall definitely gets substantially worse - I find I both can't remember things and if I do, they're distorted, or I don't trust the information.
For example, here's how I remember the word for 'choose': In The Matrix, Neo has to choose between a red pill and a blue pill. Therefore the Indonesian word for 'choose' is 'pilih'.
To remember the word for 'page' I think of newspaper pages blowing in the local park. I already know the Indonesian word for 'park' is 'taman' so it then becomes very easy to remember that the word for 'page' is 'laman'.
Thus each word has a little mnemonic story associated with it. Eventually through repeated exposure to the word I don't need the story any more, but it's enormously useful in getting to that stage.
Sometimes it seems like the pace of college courses is by definition inefficient, like the only way you can pass is by cramming and forgetting. Not even naturally optimized for retention.
The best students were always caught up with the class and following along whereas the average or below students were fully focused on one class at a time depending on which one had an assignment/exam coming up.
I wondered why some students are able to keep up while others fall behind. I think it boils down to efficient study strategies like this and never falling behind in one class because there's something due for another class.
I use it for Spanish vocabulary but have German, English and several others on it.