Talking about Feynman Learning Method, Book Recommendation and Absurd World

Original link:


Concept art made by MidJourney

Richard Feynman

There is a sad truth pervasive in our educational system: short-term memory of knowledge is encouraged rather than deep and elegant understanding. Thinking back to my student days, I often felt dazed after listening to the teacher’s lectures. The standard practice after class was to reread the textbook and force as much information as possible into my brain in order to understand what I had learned.

Scientific research shows that people learn very inefficiently by listening to lectures and reading, but only through discussion, practice and explaining to others can they truly integrate what they have learned. It is not enough to just listen to the teacher in class or read the textbook by yourself. Teaching what you have learned to others is an effective form of learning. Today, let’s share the Feynman learning method that was born as a result.

Richard Feynman was an American theoretical physicist, born in New York City in 1918. Feynman did not learn to speak until he was three years old, but his observation and wisdom were stronger than other children. Feynman’s parents constantly encouraged little Richard to ask questions and think for himself, with an eye toward developing ways in which he could think outside the box. Feynman taught himself advanced mathematics as a teenager, and went on to earn a B.S. from MIT and a Ph.D. from Princeton. He then became famous for his work on quantum electrodynamics, for which he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.

Richard Feynman’s true gift lay in his ability to communicate complex ideas with simplicity and elegance. He observed that people often tend to use a lot of jargon or deliberately describe the problem very complicated when conveying information, which is used to hide the fact that they do not have a deep understanding of the problem. Therefore, Richard Feynman developed a new learning model that enabled him to acquire knowledge successfully.

The Feynman learning method has four important footholds:

– First select the concept/knowledge point you want to learn or set a learning goal.

– Pretend that you are going to tell elementary school children about your learning.

– Find knowledge points that you cannot clearly explain and describe, then go back to the source of information/knowledge, relearn and understand until the corresponding knowledge can be taught smoothly.

– Refine and simplify the content learned above, remove redundant or conceptual information, and be able to express it in plain language.

When you learn new knowledge, how do you check whether you really understand the knowledge point, or just know the name of the knowledge point? American educator and philosopher Mortimer Adler once said, “A person who says he understands a point of knowledge but cannot express his thinking and learning results, then he does not really understand at all.” The ultimate path to detecting knowledge is the ability to transmit it to another person.

The following are the specific steps of the Feynman learning method:

1. Teach your learning outcomes to young children.
Take out a blank sheet of paper and write the topic you want to study at the top. Now list your understanding of this knowledge point one by one, as if you were teaching a 12-year-old child (this age child has enough vocabulary and attention to understand a new concept). You will find yourself compulsively writing down a lot of complex terms and vocabulary. In fact, these are meaningless nouns, you need to force yourself to explain these nouns with simple language and vocabulary, doing so can help you understand the problem on a deeper level.

2. Review learning outcomes.
In the first step, you will find the omissions in your knowledge system: either you cannot explain the knowledge points in simple language, or you cannot connect the knowledge points, or you forget the important knowledge points. Fear not, this is the process of starting to learn. Please go back to the source of knowledge to learn and understand again, and explain it with simple vocabulary. Just trying to remember terms and complex nouns is a manifestation of self-deception.

3. Tidy up and simplify.
Now that you have a lot of study notes, check again to see if there are any proper terms that confuse yourself and others. String the notes together into a text that can be narrated in simple language, and then read it aloud. If the text sounds confusing to you, repeat the previous steps until your text reads concisely and clearly.

4. Send to others.
You can show your final version of your notes to other people (say, a 12-year-old kid), and if they can understand it, it means that you have really mastered the understanding of the knowledge point.

Finally, insert a short story from Feynman’s autobiography “Don’t make trouble, Mr. Feynman”.

Richard Feynman and his wife Eileen are childhood sweethearts, and although they have different interests, they can complement each other. Irene appreciates Feynman’s intelligence and tolerates his stubbornness and realistic side; Feynman also likes to discuss issues with Irene and do some small projects together, such as learning Chinese and making clothes together. Feynman commented on Irene as his ideal partner, without her, he would not be able to lift up his energy for life.

Unfortunately, Irene was infected with fatal lymphatic tuberculosis. Regardless of the contagiousness of the disease, Feynman resolutely proposed to Irene and held the wedding. When Irene was seriously ill, she was always worried that she would not be able to give Feynman what she needed. Feynman felt that his love for her did not come from what Irene could provide for him, but from what she was. favorite. When death took Irene, Feynman wrote, my love for Irene did not diminish in the slightest, although at this time Irene really could not bring me anything anymore.

Feynman was enlisted by the state to secretly study the atomic bomb project, and he was often unable to go home. Therefore, he had been in frequent correspondence with Irene during this period. After Irene passed away, Feynman still maintained this tradition, but he would add a sentence to his letters to Irene: “Dear, please forgive me for not sending this letter, because I don’t know your new address.” In 1965, Feynman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his outstanding contributions to quantum electrodynamics. His acceptance speech was: “I would like to thank my wife… In my heart, physics is not the most important thing, but love is. Love is like a stream, cool and transparent…”.

I checked a lot of letters Feynman wrote to Irene, and I can feel the sincere feelings of this talented genius for his wife. A beautiful intimate relationship is nothing more than being able to support each other and achieve each other. There are endless stories to tell in the long night, frequent fights, and deep conversations. Distance and life and death are not a problem, and the soul fit is the foundation.

“We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.”

―Richard P. Feynman

​Book recommendation

The American investment company OSV I am currently working for has a podcast and email subscription called Infinite Loops . A recently published book list recommendation article was very popular on Twitter. A brief summary of my boss Jim O’Shaughnessy (Jim O’Shaughnessy) Recommended 30 Books (Ten Recommended This Week)!

1. The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch

Naval said that over the past decade, the books of author David Deutsch and Taleb have influenced the way he sees the world, giving him a deeper understanding of the “real world”.

The author Deutsch is proficient in the three disciplines of mathematics, physics and philosophy, and is optimistic about the development of the world. He believes that humans have the ability to understand reality, that everything that does not violate the laws of physics is possible, and that problems can be solved. Humans are good explainers, and we iterate old theories with better explanations to understand the world.

Science is not about summarizing events that happened in the past and assuming that they will happen again in the future. The essence of science lies in continuous trial and error, proposing bold hypotheses, and then testing them through experiments. The purpose of science is to explain our world, not to predict the future with certainty. Science never ends, and we should always be open to new ideas and explanations. Human development is not linear, and it doesn’t make sense to predict the future in a linear fashion.

Intellectuals are often rewarded for holding pessimistic views. Explaining what’s going on and how harmful they are seems to be serious academic work. But so far, most gloomy predictions of disaster have been wrong. Pessimists do not admit that we can solve problems through technology and innovation, and being rational optimists is the way out for human beings. The reason why we face many problems is because the knowledge is not broad enough. Only by inspiring creativity can one come up with better explanations or think of better ways to improve human life.

2. “Tao Te Ching” Lao Tzu

Needless to say, a classic among classics.
Attached is a video of me transcribing the Tao Te Ching haha!

3. The Hero with a Thousand Faces and the Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

American writer Joseph Campbell spent 5 years reading 9 hours a day, went to Europe to learn Sanskrit, studied myths and legends from ancient times to the present, and then wrote the book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” that influenced “Star Wars” “.

The book summarizes the characteristics of stories that have been widely circulated in human history, that is, to follow the “hero’s journey” : rejecting the responsibility of the general’s appointment → being summoned by the mentor → embarking on the journey → slaying demons along the way → returning Tell stories along the way and share lessons learned.

A person’s life is also a process of finding his own hero’s journey. We are not seeking the meaning of life, but want to experience life and feel the feeling of being alive. Looking back at history and looking at ancient civilizations, we will find that there are prophets, priests, psychics or shamans in society to guide individuals to achieve spiritual time travel, but contemporary society has cut all of these.

The current society gives us a sense of security, telling us that as long as we follow the path given by the society, we will have everything. But this “everything” is not what everyone wants or is right for them. If we want to have a “sense of security”, then we must follow the path arranged for us by society or our parents and family members. At the same time, we also voluntarily give up “the life we ​​should have”.

Life is like walking through a long tunnel with no end in sight and anxiety. If you can clearly see your own life trajectory, it is not your real life, but something imposed on you by society and the environment, and your life can only be known when you look back at the end. And what we can do is to take the action of going forward bravely and fearlessly along the way as a voluntary act, participate in and experience the whole process. The biggest question we need to answer is whether we have the courage to embark on a journey into the unknown.

4. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

I’ve read a lot over the past few years about Stoic philosophy , the genre’s leading exponents include the philosophers Seneca and Epictetus, and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (author of Meditations) , they emphasize obeying the laws and laws of nature, not trying to control things beyond their control, and valuing human self-reflection to pursue inner peace.

In my opinion, Stoicism is a clear stream in the philosophical system. Other schools are often prone to become more confused, and even have a feeling of emptiness and hopelessness, while Stoicism is more peaceful and comfortable, and I also Tattooed two quotes from the Stoics:

Memento mori (Men are mortal)
Amor fati (love of fate)

Stoic philosophy has never been just a discipline, but about the art of living, it has always been a philosophy of life. It teaches us to be strong in the face of adversity, to control what we can control and not to demand what we cannot control. Be strict with yourself, be lenient to others, and always love your own destiny.

5. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

This book is also recommended by major podcasts and official accounts, so I won’t go into details here. By the way, I recommend another unpopular book “Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals” by the author Robert Pisger. Possibly one of the most underrated works of all time, this book keeps ordinary folks at bay because of its obscure concept of The Metaphysics of Quality (MOQ). MOQ reveals that reality is not made of matter, but of different value models. MOQ sheds new light on the philosophical issues we humans have been struggling with, such as the nature of the duality of subject and object, the opposition between good and evil, the relationship between science and religion, and the importance of freedom and action.

6. Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing by Jed McKenna’s chief intelligence officer, Dan Jeffries, recommends this book in the following sentence:

“This is not a fun book, and I don’t recommend you read it unless you really can’t stop yourself from doing the stupidest thing possible, finding out the truth in the cage of reality you’re in. Would you like to swim with giant electric eels? Quite Well, that’s what it’s like to read this book.”

7. The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size by Tor Nørretranders

You’re currently ingesting about 11 million bits of information per second. But unfortunately, your mind can only process about 50 bits per second, and if you are a long-time reader of this blog, your perception should be relatively strong, so even if you can process 60 bits per second . This book explains the remaining 10,999,940 bits of information.

8. The Status Game: On Human Life and How to Play It by Will Storr

Life is a game. There is no way to understand our human world if you cannot understand this first. Every living being is playing a game whose hidden rules are built into us and silently guide our thoughts, beliefs, and actions. The game is inside us, and we live to play it. If you want to understand the “human” operating system, you have to read this book.

9. The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous by Joseph Henrich

Our human ability to learn has given rise to a process known as “cultural cumulative evolution.” On timescales of generations, cumulative cultural evolution can produce increasingly complex technologies and languages, psychologically influential rituals, efficient institutions, and complex protocols for crafting tools, houses, weapons, and water vehicles. This evolution happens often, even though no one understands how these practices, beliefs, and agreements work, or whether these cultural elements are actually useful for our human advancement. This book explains this phenomenon.

10. Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don’t Make Sense by Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland is a well-known ad man, thinker and TED speaker. He is the vice chairman and creative director of the well-known advertising company Ogilvy Group (Ogilvy Group). His career in the advertising industry spans more than 30 years, bringing extensive experience and deep insights.

Sutherland’s ideas are considered very instructive and thought-provoking. He regularly explores topics in human behaviour, consumer psychology, marketing, advertising, creativity and design. He emphasizes the importance of creativity and psychology in business and social life, and advocates for human-centred design and solutions.

Sutherland is also a popular TED speaker, speaking on a wide range of subjects including social science, business, psychology and design. His speech style is humorous, humorous and easy to understand, which is deeply loved by the audience. His TED talks have been viewed millions of times and have received widespread recognition and acclaim. This book is the crystallization of his wisdom over the years.

​because of love

Tell chatGPT about the recent situation, let it write a story based on it (names have been randomly replaced), and give a solution:

When Manika was in London, she met a little brother A from Italy. Although there was no chemical reaction of love between them, the two got along well and became good friends. A’s good friend B recently moved to Portugal from London, and A introduced Manika, who is now living in Portugal, to B, and they finally met offline last Friday.

At this offline party, B introduced Manika to many of his friends, including an Italian brother C from Zurich who made Manika feel familiar when they met, and they chatted very well. Manika feels they have a lot in common with each other.

However, C is a cheerful person who enjoys getting along with everyone present, making it difficult for Manika to judge whether he has feelings for her. At this time, C’s friend D began to show a strong interest in Manica, and during the next few days of play parties, he often chose to sit with Manica, constantly looking for topics to tease Manica Happy, even after returning to Italy, I kept sending messages to Manica, saying that I miss her very much.

Manika feels very tangled now, because she felt love at first sight for C, and the two got along very happily, but C’s good friend D made public his love for her, and kept sending messages to express his miss. At the same time, Manika also realized that she met B and C through A before, and A had expressed affection for her, so she felt something was wrong.

In this case, Manika should consider her own feelings first, and ask herself if she really likes C, instead of just being confused or impulsive. If she is sure that she really likes C, then she should be honest with A, tell him how she feels, and explain that she and A are just good friends, not lovers. In this way, A’s misunderstanding and harm can be avoided, and he can better understand Manika’s feelings.

Manika could then consider being honest with C, telling him how she feels, and asking him if he feels the same way. If C also has a crush on her, then the two can try to date for a period of time to see if they are really suitable for each other. If C does not have special feelings for her, then Manika should also respect his feelings and maintain a friendly relationship with him.

Finally, Manika should also consider D’s feelings. If she doesn’t like him, then she should keep an appropriate distance in the relationship, avoid giving him wrong hints, and let him have more hope.


My comment: Although chatGPT’s analysis and explanations are sound, these suggestions are not easy to use in practice. For matters involving emotions, using rational thinking to find the optimal solution always has no good solution, so what can we do? Wait and see.

By the way, commemorate this special five days: 20,000 steps per day ➕ sleep only four hours a day ➕ talk wine ➕ beach recreation ➕ singing and dancing ➕ Portuguese cuisine ➕ Philosophy ➕ Broadly forming good relationships… Summarized with a lyric written by a friend: you make me feel I’m alive again ❤


A week of miscellaneous thoughts

1. American pioneer journalist and novelist Hunter Thompson had understood the philosophy of life at the age of 22. One of his friends once wrote to him and asked him, “How should life be spent?”

Hunter replied that everyone’s life experience and growth background are different, and the advice that one person regards as truth may be a huge disaster for another. If I give you specific opinions and suggestions, it is equivalent to The blind lead the blind… Having said that, Hunter summed up his philosophy of life:

I think life is a tragedy, we always try to set goals for ourselves, but we don’t spend time exploring ourselves. We set a goal, and in order to achieve it, we are constantly adjusting ourselves, just to satisfy a concept, a concept that is actually nothing. Doesn’t it seem silly to keep improving yourself just to achieve one goal?

For example, when you were very young, you wanted to be a fireman, but is your goal still to be a fireman now? I can say with relative certainty that the aspirations of most people today are very different from the aspirations they had as children. Why is this? Because your experiences and thoughts change, every decision you make along the way of growing up will shape you into a different person, so we are not living for some goals that will change easily, we are not living to be lawyers To live is not to live to be a banker, we live to be ourselves.

We must fit the purpose to the individual, not the individual to the purpose. A person’s life is a process, and the goal is just an accessory. If a person does not choose a path for himself, then others and the environment will make choices for you unconsciously.

Instead of looking for goals, create a path to self-worth, think about what kind of life you want to live, and then think about how you can make it happen. No one has to spend the rest of his life doing what he doesn’t want to do, and he doesn’t have to accept the choices that the existing life hands you. Life is so much more than that.

2. Since I started to practice meditation in 2017, I have enjoyed the many benefits that meditation has brought to my life , but the tools that brought me to this state at the beginning could not take me any farther.

I struggled for a long time in the bottleneck period, and then the teacher appeared when I was ready—— Teacher Faxin’s “Relaxation” course is most suitable for my current state. It not only makes me notice the undetected body and The tension in my mind also taught me how to truly relax.

Everything seems to be leading me to a state of relaxation, allowing energy to flow through my body and mind unimpeded. No matter how advanced meditation techniques or miraculous courses are, they are just tools to help me practice more smoothly. In the end, I still have to rely on my own experience and comprehension. Don’t be in a hurry, take one step at a time, and remember that practice is A lifetime thing.

3. Because of template education, we are like small fish thrown into a rushing river in the first half of our life, drifting with the current without direction. Suddenly one day, the river flows into the sea, and we have no power to push us forward. So we suddenly lost our way and were at a loss. who I am? Where do I come from? Where are you going? No one has ever taught us to think about these fundamental self-awareness issues. When a big wave hits, we continue to walk on the wave, and then in the chaos, drifting with the big wave, we end our lives in a daze.

And when you know who you really are, you won’t be like a blind fish drifting with the waves. You can choose to swim against the current, or ride the wind and waves to go your own way. Every fish has its own destiny, and every fish has its own destiny. Each choice will also take you to a different location. There is no right or wrong choice, only the courage and perseverance to get up after a fall, and gradually form the ability to think independently and develop a free personality in this process, just like a certain literati once said , the so-called hopeful life may be to win a war on the spread of self-worth.

4. Σίσυφος, Sisyphus, Sisyphus.

Sisyphus is a king in Greek mythology. Because he betrayed Zeus and played death, he was punished by pushing a boulder to the top of the mountain, but every time he was close to the top of the mountain, the stone would roll back to the foot of the mountain, forcing him to start all over again. Again and again, forever. In his philosophical essays, Camus likened this punishment to man’s futile search for meaning and truth in a meaningless and cruel world. The birth of the sense of absurdity stems from the contradiction between people’s longing for this world and this world that constantly disappoints people. In this contradiction, people experience the meaninglessness of the world. But the vast majority of people are unwilling to accept this reality, or turn to hedonism, or resort to religious beliefs, thereby deceiving themselves or paralyzing themselves.

Camus thought that when Sisyphus went down the mountain to push the stone again and again, he was not in despair, but was fighting against fate. He was an absurd hero. When you realize that the absurdity in life is inescapable and that it makes people’s lives miserable and hopeless, the only thing you can do is to take the absurdity as a starting point, accept it, and then resist. Just like Sisyphus, every time he pushes a stone to the top of the mountain, he doesn’t think it’s hard labor, but enjoys happiness in labor, exhausting his potential to find meaning for his life. His meaning is to do the same thing endlessly matter.

As Camus sums it up: “The struggle to reach heights is enough to fill a man’s soul. One should imagine Sisyphus happy”. In the absurd and chaotic world, only human “passion” is the only reliable criterion.

5. I will be in Dublin, Manchester and Amsterdam from next week to the end of the month. Local readers and friends are welcome to invite. Friends who have been there are welcome to share good tips hahaha!

This article is transferred from:
This site is only for collection, and the copyright belongs to the original author.