This is incredible. Scratch that. This is life changing. Thank you so much for sharing Derek.
I was skeptical that Spaced Repetition Software would work for me and my terrible memory. I’ve tried plenty of techniques in the past. For instance, I spent a while learning the peg system in an effort to be able to memorize dates, numbers and lists. While it worked, it serves me more as a party trick than an actual life changing approach to memory.
What I particularly love about using Anki, which I’ve been doing for a half an hour a day on the bus since reading this article, is I feel the information is actually sticking. Because of that, I want to spend more time learning, and because of that my memory muscle is actually growing stronger. My ability to memorize quicker and quicker is already improving. I’ve gone from hating the very idea of memorizing to getting excited about learning more. I’ve always been frustrated wasting time memorizing because I knew it was facts I’d just forget in another couple months. This doesn’t feel like that. This feels like I’m gaining a super power.
I did a small test over the course of the last three weeks to see if Anki would really work for me. I didn’t want to jump into something ambitious like a programming language before seeing if it actually worked for a small data set. I challenged myself to use it to learn the names of all of the countries in the world. There’s less then 200. If Anki could teach me those, I had faith I could then go on to more ambitious challenges.
I loaded a shared deck, and three weeks later, I feel confident I know them all. It took half an hour on the bus every day, but that’s a small sacrifice. In a few more weeks it will be cemented for life. That’s incredible. Now I’m excited for what I’ll be taking on next.
In this order
- Bones of the body
- Muscle systems
- Names of all of my facebook acquaintances
- Street names in San Francisco
- Biblical Hebrew
- Music Theory
- WordPress tags
That should take me well into next year.
Life changing Derek. Life changing. Thank you.
I went to see Chris Dorr give a talk on promoting indie films and projects through social media. Here’s a collection of my notes from that talk with helpful links throughout.
He stressed the importance of having a strong database of followers, and how important it is to grow that over time. Independent artists can literally support themselves off of 1,000 true fans. Kevin Kelly goes into how with 1,000 fans you can support yourself for life.
Broken down by Industry:
Film maker, Ed Burns created a movie for $9,000 and this is how he successfully promoted his independent movie through social media.
Indiegame: The Movie have an amazing case study of how they made their film profitable also through social media channels.
Musician, Amanda Palmer’s Kickstarter Campaign has a great case study that notably led to this controversy.
Jeff Gomez talks about being a transmedia producer.
Nick Kristof talks about how to market in the modern era for charity causes.
Clay Shirky gave a TED Talk on how the Internet will (one day) transform government:
“The digital revolution is almost as disruptive to the traditional media business as electricity was to the candle business.”
He ended with some film organizations to help with Funding and for support in the San Francisco Area:
Nothing revolutionary, but a good collection of examples worth sharing, and more importantly, an excuse to share my endless sketches done with my trusty Bic.
On the outskirts of Nashville, I drove down the freeway weaving in and out traffic, going a little over 85, switching lanes every 15 seconds, as traffic crawled at 55 around me. If a cop saw me, I had no doubt he’d rightfully pull me over. I prayed that that didn’t happen in the eight mile stretch between where I was and the airport. My flight was taking off in 50 minutes, and I still needed to return my rental car, check my bag, and hope that I didn’t hit traffic.
Cut to thirty minutes earlier. T-minus eighty until my flight departed.
When I got to the airport, there were no rental car locations. I searched for Budget’s location on my phone. It was eight miles away meaning if Budget had a slow shuttle I was screwed.
‘I probably should have checked this beforehand,’ I thought.
I started driving in that direction, and about a mile in, saw it was taking me straight towards the center of Nashville. It didn’t make sense. I looked down at my phone, this time looking at the address that they’d listed in my email when I booked the car.
1 Terminal Road.
Searching for directions to that, I saw I was going the wrong way.
The real destination was only a mile and a half away, which still seemed pretty far from the airport for a road with Terminal in the title. Also, it was listed as 1 Terminal Court. Not Road. I’d done that dance before, so I searched again, not letting the autofill correct me. It showed up with the same address. Reluctantly, I drove there.
‘There’ ended up being a dirt road under a bypass with a massive truck depot lot on the left. No Budget Rental Car.
“Shit,” I screamed, knowing I would miss my flight. There wasn’t enough time. I got back on the road, heading to the actual Budget Rental Car place inside Nashville, still feeling this didn’t make any sense. Why would the airport drop off be eight miles away?
Ten minutes and six red lights later, I got to a tiny Budget office. This wasn’t right. I swerved the SUV into the lot and ran into the office.
“Is this the Airport Budget place?” I asked the guy at front.
He looked at me and kind of smirked.
“No. That’s by the airport.”
“Oh, cause I typed in Budget and got this. Do you get that a lot? I’m sure you do.”
“No. Never gotten that before.” He looked at the other guy there. They smiled, “You see-”
He kept talking but I ran out yelling behind me, “Thank you. I don’t mean to be rude, but my plane takes off in less than an hour and I’m pretty sure I’m screwed.”
By the end of the sentence I was back in the SUV, screeching out and heading back to where I’d started. I thought how this was probably going to be a $400 screw up. How I trusted my phone without double checking, and it was likely going to cost me, which is ironic as the whole point of my phone was to avoid situations like this.
This was my very last day on a job I’d had for four years, traveling one week out of the month to teach. On the one hand, it would be a terrible way to end it. On the other, it would be a pretty poetic finish to a run that for all intents and purposes should have ended two years ago. I swore to myself pretty loudly.
‘I’m an idiot,’ I thought, switched lanes, hit my brakes, switched again, and continued praying no cops saw me. The windows were down, country music played at full blast (this was Nashville, after all) and I relished in the air beating against my face at 80 miles an hour, feeling alive.
In less than ten minutes, I got back to the airport, this time from the front where there were all sorts of signs showing where the Rental Car drop off was.
I sped up the ramp, over the Do-Not-Back-Up thingies and came to a halt behind someone slowly removing their luggage from their trunk.
“Hey, my flight takes off in 40 minutes. Could I quickly get a receipt?” I asked as I went for my bag in the trunk.
The Budget Employee shot me a look.
“Give me a minute,” she said. Not an option.
“Can I get it emailed to me?” I asked, as I shut my trunk.
“Sure?” she said.
“Great. The keys are on the seat. I hope that’s all right. We good?” I didn’t wait for a response. I was running with my bag in tow towards the gate. I ran through the lot towards departures and down the escalator. I hoped my projector was fine, as I heard my 45 pound bag clank as it hit each step.
Reaching the Delta front counter, I swiped my card. I wish I could say this was the first time I’d almost been destroyed by an airline’s 40 minute absolute cut off policy. I was prepared for the worst.
This time my card was accepted. It wasn’t a problem. After four years of endless traveling, it was over.