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Vaniver comments on The Best Textbooks on Every Subject - Less Wrong

167 Post author: lukeprog 16 January 2011 08:30AM

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Comment author: Vaniver 28 September 2015 04:00:50PM *  3 points [-]

The difference between recall and recognition is perhaps important for this. Even if you can't recall things unbidden, recognizing that something fits with your "sense of history" or not is useful. For example, if someone says "remember that time a Muslim army invaded central France?" you might think "oh yeah, what was that battle's name? Wasn't Charlemagne's father involved?" instead of "that sounds like an AU timeline."

(The 'dates and battles' view is better than ignorance, but I still think it's a very oversold perspective relative to scientific / economic / engineering history.)

Comment author: Lumifer 28 September 2015 04:27:14PM -1 points [-]

Even if you can't recall things unbidden, recognizing that something fits with your "sense of history" or not is useful.

Yes, but it's the standard school approach of "throw a lot of everything at the wall, something will stick". It doesn't look efficient or effective. I can see some sense in it during the middle/high school years because you're basically training kids to deal the overwhelming amounts of information (e.g. by forcing them to figure out what's important and what's not) -- however adult self-education should be able to do a lot better.