03 October 2007

Link of the Day: Study Hacks

I stumbled across a blog by Cal Newport, who is a computer science graduate student at MIT. His blog focuses on productivity advice for students. He espouses some interesting ideas like the Straight-A Gospels.

Here are some of the posts that caught my eye:
  • "Never be hungry" - I have learned the hard way about skipping meals. JUST DON'T DO IT. Cal also suggests that you should drink three glasses of water and eat one healthy snack per caffeinated beverage.
  • "Studying is a technical skill" and "Pseudo-work does not equal work" are posts about you can train yourself to be ultra-efficient with your studying. This is related to the old adage of "work smarter not harder."
  • "What makes an interesting life interesting?" - I like idea #4 of having one secret project. Feynman used to work on multiple secret projects at the same time. At any one time, one of them would be successful, so it made him look like a genius (not that anyone thought he was dumb).
  • "Paying your dues" - I agree with Cal that the baby boomer generation is really harsh on us twenty-year olds. We should all send this blog post to our parents to make them realize that no, we are not a bunch of spoiled brats. To me, the idea of paying your dues is just a vicious cycle of abuse. Your boss: My parents/elders/bosses made me suffer, so you should suffer, too.
  • "The graph as a question" - I like to structure papers and presentations around figures, but I've never thought of figure-based learning.

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