Weeknote for 2/9/2020

Life maintenance


I did a little better at getting to bed earlier, so my sleep schedule isn’t a lost cause yet. I’m going to start a list of rules for my time management, probably in the form of implementation intentions.

Conceptual modeling


I got through another chapter or so and continued tinkering with the way I take notes to help me learn efficiently. I’m hoping I can find ways to pick up the pace.



The major event in my head last week was gearing up for next month’s project on learning, for which I started listening to my books on the topic and researching active learning.

Kenneth Higbee’s Your Memory: How It Works and How to Improve It is one I read ten years ago that resulted in this essay, and I still recommend the book to anyone who wants an overview of memory and some specific techniques for turning your mind into a filing system, some of which you can pick up from these talks by the author.

Benedict Carey’s How We Learn is a bit lighter on details, being written in a more narrative-oriented journalistic style, but it fills in some gaps and thin spots of Higbee’s coverage, focusing on some of the more indirect and subconscious aspects of learning, such as the way forgetting aids learning.

Stanislas Dehaene’s new book How We Learn, which I found while looking up Carey’s, is a neuroscientist’s look at memory, and unlike pretty much everything else I’ve seen on the subject, it gave me the sense that we do know a lot about how memory works in the brain. He also has extended discussions that compare human and machine learning, so the book was relevant to me on both learning techniques and AI.

A question by Jeremy about modern learning methods reminded me to look into an idea I ran across long ago, project-based learning. It belongs to a family of pedagogies called various names, but for now I’ll go with active learning, and it’s effectiveness is debated, so I’m still deciding how much time I want to invest in it.



I’ve been neglecting TV shows and movies because they take up time I’d rather use on my projects, but I was missing them, so over the weekend I picked up where I left off on my AI movie list and watched The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), a remake of the 1951 original. I don’t remember hearing about it when it came out, and the poster didn’t give me high hopes, despite the cast, but it was more thoughtful and creative than the drivel I was expecting, which might be why I liked it better than a lot of the Letterboxd reviewers.

Unlike the original, this story barely even mentioned AI, so it’s questionable whether it belongs on this list, but it’d be interesting to think about how we could create a robot with G.O.R.T.’s architecture.

I rented the movie on Blu-ray, so I watched some of the interesting special features, which included one on Fox’s efforts at environmentally friendly movie production and one on the design of G.O.R.T., which could’ve turned out much different in ways that would’ve been fascinating in another movie, but I think they made the right choice for this one.

This entry was posted in Conceptual modeling, Learning, Movies, Sleep, Weeknotes. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Weeknote for 2/9/2020

  1. Linda W. says:

    I saw the Godfather trilogy years ago. The first two were stellar.

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