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Learn it right: The Feynman Technique: A formula for learning that ensured he understood something better than everyone else January 22, 2017

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A Nobel prize-winning physicist identified three simple steps to mastering any subject

I wasn’t always a good learner. I thought learning was all about the hours you put in. Then I discovered something that changed my life.

The famous Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman understood the difference between “knowing something” and “knowing the name of something,” and it’s one of the most important reasons for his success.

Feynman stumbled upon a formula for learning that ensured he understood something better than everyone else.

It’s called the Feynman Technique and it will help you learn anything deeper, and faster. The topic, subject, or concept you want to learn doesn’t matter. Pick anything. The Feynman Technique works for everything. Best of all, it’s incredibly simple to implement.

The catch: It’s ridiculously humbling.

Not only is this a wonderful method of learning, but it’s also a window into a different way of thinking. Let me explain:

There are three steps to the Feynman Technique.

Step 1: Teach it to a child

Take out a blank sheet of paper and write the subject you want to learn at the top. Write out what you know about the subject as if you were teaching it to a child. Not your smart adult friend but rather an eight-year-old who has just enough vocabulary and attention span to understand basic concepts and relationships.

A lot of people tend to use complicated vocabulary and jargon to mask when they don’t understand something. The problem is we only fool ourselves because we don’t know that we don’t understand. In addition, using jargon conceals our misunderstanding from those around us.

When you write out an idea from start to finish in simple language that a child can understand (tip: use only the most common words), you force yourself to understand the concept at a deeper level and simplify relationships and connections between ideas. If you struggle, you have a clear understanding of where you have some gaps. That tension is good—it heralds an opportunity to learn.

Step 2: Review

In step one, you will inevitably encounter gaps in your knowledge where you’re forgetting something important, are not able to explain it, or simply have trouble connecting an important concept.

This is invaluable feedback because you’ve discovered the edge of your knowledge. Competence is knowing the limit of your abilities, and you’ve just identified one!

This is where the learning starts. Now you know where you got stuck, go back to the source material and re-learn it until you can explain it in basic terms.

Identifying the boundaries of your understanding also limits the mistakes you’re liable to make and increases your chance of success when applying knowledge.

Step 3: Organize and simplify

Now you have a set of hand-crafted notes. Review them to make sure you didn’t mistakenly borrow any of the jargon from the source material. Organize them into a simple story that flows.

Read them out loud. If the explanation isn’t simple or sounds confusing that’s a good indication that your understanding in that area still needs some work.

Step 4 (optional): Transmit

If you really want to be sure of your understanding, run it past someone (ideally who knows little of the subject—or find that 8-year-old!). The ultimate test of your knowledge is your capacity to convey it to another.


Feynman’s approach intuitively believes that intelligence is a process of growth, which dovetails nicely with the work of Carol Dweck, who beautifully describes the difference between a fixed and growth mindset.

This post originally appeared on Medium. If you want to work smarter and not harder, I recommend subscribing to The Brain Food Newsletter. You can follow Shane on Twitter and Facebook, and read more of his work at Farnam Street.


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Africa: Gambia’s longtime autocratic leader finally leaves the country and go into exile January 22, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh finally left the country on Saturday evening local time after several days of negotiations with West African leaders and Gambia’s incoming government over the terms of his exit from office.

Locals were relieved that his departure managed to take place without a violent resolution as tension had built up while the protracted negotiations carried on. The erratic former leader left from capital city Banjul on a plane headed to Conakry, Guinea, and is expected to leave there to spend his time in exile in Equatorial Guinea.

Many Gambians believe that had Jammeh stayed in the country, he would never have actually relinquished power to the incoming government of president Adama Barrow. Jammeh’s departure brought an end to 22 years of eccentric and repressive rule over a small country which has not made much economic progress under his leadership. Instead, a disproportionately high number of young Gambians have left home to risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean in an attempt to reach Europe.

Jammeh, 51, had agreed 24 hours earlier to step down nearly two months after losing a general election to Adama Barrow. Jammeh initially agreed to hand over peacefully soon after the elections only to change his mind. His final agreement to step down and leave the country only came after soldiers from neighbor Senegal crossed the border under the auspices of the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS).

The focus for Gambians has now turned to calling Jammeh to account for some of his alleged human rights abuses. A joint declaration issued on Saturday by ECOWAS, the African Union, and the United Nations sparked controversy among Gambians because it seemed to prevent Gambia’s new government leadership from seizing assets and property from Jammeh that he acquired while president, and to allow Jammeh return to the country whenever it suits him:

ECOWAS, the AU and the UN will work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that former President Jammeh is at liberty to return to The Gambia at any time of his choosing in accordance with international human rights law and his rights as a citizen of the Gambia and a former head of state.

Though the joint declaration is not likely to be legally binding, responding to it will still be a tough early test for president Barrow, who was sworn in on Jan. 19 at the Gambian embassy in Dakar, Senegal, after Jammeh refused to step down.

While many ordinary Gambians welcome the country’s first peaceful transition of power since independence in 1965, they also hope Barrow will investigate some of the claims against Jammeh, particularly human rights abuses. In an interview on Saturday with the BBC, Barrow said he was looking into creating a truth and reconciliation commission similar to one established in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid in 1994.

 

 

Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh finally left the country on Saturday evening local time after several days of negotiations with West African leaders and Gambia’s incoming government over the terms of his exit from office. Locals were relieved that his departure managed to take place without a violent resolution as tension had built up while…

via Gambia’s longtime autocratic leader finally leaves the country and go into exile — Quartz

OLF’s Galasa Dilbo in New Year’s message to Oromo: By working together, we can realize emancipation of Oromia January 22, 2017

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OLF’s Galasa Dilbo in New Year’s message to Oromo: By working together, we can realize emancipation of Oromia from colonial occupation


Posted: Amajjii/January 22, 2017 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com |


The newly re-elected Chairman of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Mr. Galasa Dilbo, addressed the Oromo nation in a statement issued upon the New Year 2017.

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ADDA BILISUMMAA OROMOO
OROMO LIBERATION FRONT

2017 New Year Message from OLF Chairman Galasa Dilbo

Comrades and Compatriots,

Happy new year to you all! I hope you will celebrate the start of 2017 in good spirit with comrades, family and friends. As the new year is approaching, it is good to look ahead and think about what this year may bring us.

But, first a quick look back. 2016 was quite a year for all of us. We have been through many challenges; and the circumstances being most unfavourable for our nation. As the year ushered in, Oromia was in the midst of popular uprising spearheaded by our gallant youth. As the year progressed, our countrymen and women joined the peaceful resistance against the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) occupying forces in masses in every part of our country. The response of the TPLF was brutal culminating in the October 2, 2016 massacre at the Irrechaa celebration in Bishoftu.

2017-new-year-message-from-olf-chairman Galasaa Dilboo-click-here-to-read-the-full-text-in-pdf

Read the Full Statement (OromoLiberationFront.net)