# Trajectory of Acquisition

edited April 15
This discussion was created from comments split from: Call for "Critique my Zettel"-Notes.

• @Sascha here is my zettel:

# Trajectory of Acquisition
ID: [[202203191529]]
Tags: #learning #practice #acquisition

A trajectory of acquisition is propelled by the actions of persistent [[202108172152]] failure and correction [[202103311946]].

These principles can give a more accurate understanding of the evaluative benefits of a grading system in academic environments. The highest marks for an assignment or an overall grade simply expresses if an adequate amount of time, and the necessary threshold of failures and corrections have been attained to produced long-term memories of the subject matter.

- Trajectory of Acquisition (“The cognitive process of acquiring skill or knowledge.” Or “the learning or developing of a skill, habit, or quality”)

The application of these two principles reveals at least two things:

1. Grades are an assessment of the invested time in the process of failure and correction.
2. Grades are not a reflection of identity or worth.


Thanks for providing this great opportunity for feedback!

Darryl

• ### Content

• I have difficulty to see a central core. I think it is because the note is way more complex than it seems.
• To me the note is geared towards a value judgement towards grades and not about the trajectory of aquisition.
• So, these are the thoughts I see in the note.

• The connection between failure and trajectory
• The connection between action and trajectory
• The connection between persistence and aquisition
• The connection between all three above and the nature of grades
• The connection between identity and grades
• The connection between worth and grades
• I don't see the possibility of your conclusions about grades you are drawing since there is no explicit argument stated.

• In addition, if you make the implicit argument explicit, you cannot come to such a strong conclusion since the consolidation of grades entails more than just learning (kiss arses for example)
• To conclude my thoughts on the content: There is a great mismatch between the development of the note and the complexity of the content. I cannot estimate the reasons. There are two hypothesis:

1. You processed something you already are sure about. That creates a temptation to be to short and leaves a lot of gaps. My recommendation would be to apply the Feynman Technique to close those gaps.
2. You processed something that you don't understand well enough to write a concise note. In that case, my recommendation is to create a fully developed note for each thought I mentioned above.

### Title

• The title is not complete. It needs a further explanation in what connection the note is to the trajectory of aquisition.
• It reflects the complexity of the content of the note. It needs to be vague to feel like an appropriate umbrella for such a complex content.

### Tags

• Within the scope of this notes they are fine.
• I'd add "#grades", "#selfworth" if you don't change the note.
• If you create more notes about each thought you could end up with a structure note on a complex thought which would change the criteria for tags.

• The links in the first sentence are difficult to understand for me. The link after "persistent" seems a bit ambiguous because in this context persistence wouldn't add much to the Zettel.

### Summary

This was the most difficult to comment note since I could expand a lot on the content or write very little. I think the vagueness is the anchor point on which you should focus. Either you know too much or too little I think. If you re-write the note to be more explicit issues would disappear.

Comment on my Comment:

• This note is very difficult to comment on since it is so concise. I am even starting the comment with this bullet point.

I am a Zettler

• Thank you for your critique @Sascha; it is most appreciated. I will reply more fully after processing your feedback.

• @Sascha thank you again for taking the time with this. Here is my response to your feedback.

Full Disclosure:

My intention for sharing the particular note I did was two-fold: First of all, I intentially chose an underdeveloped note whose content I knew you have a deep knowledge in given your posts throughout the years and your expereince coaching. This was to see how you would coach a person venturing in an area you have a personal expertise in, and how it could benefit my own processing of knowledge (in general and of the subject in particular). Secondly, I wanted to expose myself to as much critical feedback as possible. This was both to learn to accept critical feedback and to glean information I would not have even thought to ask, but whose answers you would expose through your feedback.

One more pertinent note: I am trying to adhere as closely as possible to how you employ the ZKM as I have been able to understand it by piecing together bits from the blog posts and forum comments. While I appreciate and value individuality when applying the method, I don't have the time (or expertise) to reinvent the wheel methodically. I recognize and value your expertise in this area and want to maximize the benefit of your expereince. My intention is to learn how to ride the bike with efficiency, precision, and speed, before trying to do any tricks of my own expression. And I feel like I still have training wheels on! I state my intention in hopes that you will answer my questions below with that context in mind.

All that said, thank you for your gentle and helpful feedback. Here are my comments and questions, with the refactored note at the end (I don't want to double dip, but I would appreciate any critique you are willing to give on the refactored note if you have the time).

I have difficulty to see a central core. I think it is because the note is way more complex than it seems.
To me the note is geared towards a value judgement towards grades and not about the trajectory of aquisition.

I admit the content on grades was an "intuitive leap" that came to my mind when writing the note, rather than a reasoned conclusion. I think I might need to create a hypothesis tag to make explicit they type of thoughts it is. How do you handle hypotheses that you don't immediately research/reason?

So, these are the thoughts I see in the note.

The connection between failure and trajectory
The connection between action and trajectory
The connection between persistence and aquisition

I introduce these connections in the new note by linking to the content of other notes.

The connection between all three above and the nature of grades
The connection between identity and grades
The connection between worth and grades
I don't see the possibility of your conclusions about grades you are drawing since there is no explicit argument stated.

In addition, if you make the implicit argument explicit, you cannot come to such a strong conclusion since the consolidation of grades entails more than just learning (kiss arses for example)

This is a valid point. I will have to consider how the two topics (possibly) connect; it was more of a hypothesis, but not specifying this really muddied the note. As you point out, grades can be a subjective indicator. You've helped me understanding that finding a connection will take much more work (e.g., a structure note on identity). In the mean time, I created a section for research questions related to grades and assessment.

To conclude my thoughts on the content: There is a great mismatch between the development of the note and the complexity of the content. I cannot estimate the reasons. There are two hypothesis:
You processed something you already are sure about. That creates a temptation to be to short and leaves a lot of gaps. My recommendation would be to apply the Feynman Technique to close those gaps.
You processed something that you don't understand well enough to write a concise note. In that case, my recommendation is to create a fully developed note for each thought I mentioned above.

Thank you for this. I definitely need to examine my own assumptions and deficiencies and how they each affect my writing/reasoning. As to your hypothesis, although I was able to fill the gaps somewhat, I confess that the reason is most likely the latter.

The title is not complete. It needs a further explanation in what connection the note is to the trajectory of aquisition. It reflects the complexity of the content of the note. It needs to be vague to feel like an appropriate umbrella for such a complex content.

Agreed. This title is begging to be changed. My practice (which I have tried to adhere to) has been to use claims for titles of individual zettels, and topic titles for structure notes. Is this a correct practice?

Within the scope of this notes they are fine.
I'd add "#grades", "#selfworth" if you don't change the note.
If you create more notes about each thought you could end up with a structure note on a complex thought which would change the criteria for tags.

Since I have changed this note into a strucre note, would you suggest changing/adding any tags?

Also, since this changed into a structure note with a double hashtag (##trajectory_of_acquisition), should I add that same tag as a single hashtag to the notes referenced in this strucure note? What is your practice on this?

The links in the first sentence are difficult to understand for me. The link after "persistent" seems a bit ambiguous because in this context persistence wouldn't add much to the Zettel.

Yes, thank you, I can see how that link seems really irrelevant. I rephrased it to, "Distributed Practice [[202108172152]]."

This brings up a question about methodology: What is your opinion on using a UID when attached to a different title? For example: Although I rephrased point number 2 as from "persistence" to "Distributed Practice" with the UID, the actual title of the note that UID refers to is, "Learning Requires Practice Over Extended Periods". Should I have just used the same title? Or is it acceptable to use a different title in another context, although it has the same UID?

Also related, when I use the actualy title with the UID in a strucure note, I use dot leaders, but since this title was changed, I just put the UID after. What is your practice on this?

This was the most difficult to comment note since I could expand a lot on the content or write very little. I think the vagueness is the anchor point on which you should focus. Either you know too much or too little I think. If you re-write the note to be more explicit issues would disappear.

I tried to make the refactored note more precise and focused.

This note is very difficult to comment on since it is so concise. I am even starting the comment with this bullet point.

Thank you for pulling your punches! I was expecting the full force of your bluntness, haha!

# Σ Trajectory of Acquisition
ID: [[202203191529]]
Tags: ##Σ ##trajectory_of_acquisition #learning #practice #acquisition

## Working Definition

A Trajectory of Acquisition: “The cognitive process of acquiring skill or knowledge.” Or “the learning or developing of a skill, habit, or quality.”

## Propellents of Acquisition

In order to initiate and maintain a trajectory of acquisition, three principle propellents are essential:

1. Deliberate Practice [[202003212126]].
2. Distributed Practice [[202108172152]].
3. Repeating Cycles of Failure and Correction [[202103311946]].

The deliberate, distributed practice of repeating cycles of failure and correction produce neurological adaptations according to established parameters [[202103302355]], producing what is known as long-term potentiation [[202108132355]]. With intentional cycles of failure and correction, targeted failure actually leverages failure for the purpose of acquisition.[[202203232346]]

## Hinderances to Acquisition

Although specific hinderances towards acquisition can be legion (depending on the context), there are general principles that can hinder acquisition and interrupt the cycle of failure and correction during deliberate and distributed practice.

1. Effortless Performance [[202203232207]].
2. Constraints upon Resource, Effort, Motivation [[202003141323]].
3. Emotional Disturbance Resulting from Struggle [[202203232202]].

## Conceptual Diagram of the Trajectory of Acquisition

#Figure 1: Trajectory of Acquisition: Cycle of Failure and Correction

Y
|
|
|    ---- ◀───────────────3─────────────▲
|        4│                             │
|    ◀────┼───────────────3────────▲    │
|   4|....▼────────5/1─────────────┼────┼─────▶▶
|    │                             │   2│
|    ▼─────────────5/1─────────────┼────▶
|                                 2│
|    ●─────────────1───────────────▶
|
0─────────────────────────────────────────────────────X

**Symbol Key**
- Y-Axis: Time (i.e., length of distributed practice).
- X-Axis: Neurological development.
- ●: Starting point of baseline content.
- ▶: Trajectory of acquisition.
- ▶▶: Continuation of cycles.
- ----: Developed neurological efficiency (long-term potentiation); increases with additional cycles.
- ....: Acquisition of baseline content resulting from targeted failure and correction; increases with additional cycles.

**Notation Key:**
- 1: Baseline for acquisition (current knowledge, skill, etc.).
- 2: Elevation of baseline through new information or resources.
- 3: Deliberate, effortful practice of baseline content (greatest potential for constraints).
- 4: Targeted failure (greatest potential for emotional disturbance).
- 5: Correction of failures resulting in incremented advancement and expansion of new baseline.

## Research Questions

- Are grades the most accurate gauge of acquisition in academic environments?
- Grades can be affected by student-teacher relationship, performance anxiety, emotional and situational factors.
- How can this model of acquisition be used for assessment?
- How can this model be applied as a pedagogical tool?


• I am trying to adhere as closely as possible to how you employ the ZKM as I have been able to understand it by piecing together bits from the blog posts and forum comments. While I appreciate and value individuality when applying the method, I don't have the time (or expertise) to reinvent the wheel methodically. I recognize and value your expertise in this area and want to maximize the benefit of your expereince. My intention is to learn how to ride the bike with efficiency, precision, and speed, before trying to do any tricks of my own expression. And I feel like I still have training wheels on! I state my intention in hopes that you will answer my questions below with that context in mind.

I really like this because this is exactly how I think is the best way to actually learn something. Like this you are following Shuhari and it is always a great idea to follow old japanese wisdom. But in all seriousness, these three steps and their application should be part of all meta-learning inventories.

Just an anecdote: My first boxing coach (who was very old school which means abusive) told me to do 1000 japs and right straights per day. I did this for months with the result that I made huge leaps of learning. I stuck to Shu which is a very useful ability: To endure the boredom that comes with repetitions. Swimmers depend especially on this ability and the swimmers ability to improve is his ability to persists being mindful in each stroke instead of just going through the motions.

It is very rare nowadays to witness people who take this aspect of learning seriously.

All that said, thank you for your gentle and helpful feedback. Here are my comments and questions, with the refactored note at the end (I don't want to double dip, but I would appreciate any critique you are willing to give on the refactored note if you have the time).

It will come soon with some delay.

You processed something you already are sure about. That creates a temptation to be to short and leaves a lot of gaps. My recommendation would be to apply the Feynman Technique to close those gaps.
You processed something that you don't understand well enough to write a concise note. In that case, my recommendation is to create a fully developed note for each thought I mentioned above.

As to your hypothesis, although I was able to fill the gaps somewhat, I confess that the reason is most likely the latter.

This is perfectly fine! The goal of a note is to be fully developed. Not: Something is just a note if it is fully developed. So, you presented me just an early version of your understanding.

This is a stage most notes about something one doesn't understand yet need to go through.

My practice (which I have tried to adhere to) has been to use claims for titles of individual zettels, and topic titles for structure notes. Is this a correct practice?

It is one convention that could be followed which is proven by example by Andy Matuschak who popularised this convention.

I don't follow such a convention since there are many notes that are sufficiently summarised by a much shorter title. Examples are:

• "Societal vs communal laws" -> A note on the difference between laws in different context (society = people who doesn't know each other necessarly; community = people who now each other personally)
• "Virtues as means to adhere to ethic principles" -> A note on a certain take and concept on what virtues are (or could be conceptualised)
• "Attentions harvesting through cognitive vulnerabilities" -> A note on the How of harvesting attention (a note connected to Tim Wu's Attention Merchants)

But there are many notes, indeed, that are titled by claims.

So, I deem a title good when it feels like a perfect summarization. Then titleing the note serves the additional opportunity to understand the content of the note by compression.

Since I have changed this note into a structure note, would you suggest changing/adding any tags?
Also, since this changed into a structure note with a double hashtag (##trajectory_of_acquisition), should I add that same tag as a single hashtag to the notes referenced in this strucure note? What is your practice on this?

I don't want to find a structure note just because it uses a concept which I highlight by marking it with a tag. Structure Notes will become very complex and therefore the tag section would bloat over time. Rather, I want the structure note to be my entry point when I think about the context.

For example, I don't really see practical value in the tag "#practice" if I'd imagine the note being in my own Zettelkasten. If I'd use the the tag I want to narrow down my search if the search offers me to many results. But then it is not the case that I want to be presented with a note that offers me even more options (all the embedded ideas and linked notes).

At least from my experirence: Using the double hashtag is enough.

What is your opinion on using a UID when attached to a different title? For example: Although I rephrased point number 2 as from "persistence" to "Distributed Practice" with the UID, the actual title of the note that UID refers to is, "Learning Requires Practice Over Extended Periods". Should I have just used the same title? Or is it acceptable to use a different title in another context, although it has the same UID?

What is within the content of the note is not the title in a technical sense but it is the link context. Imagine using a complete sentence to represent the note content and placing the UID behind it. It wouldn't be a different title but something that is even more understandable and telling than the title. But at the same time the title lives in the note list. That means that the title has to take the space on your screen into consideration. It shoud be short for mundane practical reasons, too.

I think a more useful way of thinking about what you are writing in the note when you refer to another note is not to think that you just use the title of your note but create a proper context for the link which could even result in an own paragraph. The link context is proper if the connection is explained. This can be the case if you create a list of related concepts like you did in your improved note. And, sometimes, like I said, a whole paragraph is needed.

Your new note is vastly improved! It already looks like a rough draft for an article on the topic which means that it approaches a level of understanding that allows you to communicate it in an ellaborate way. And: There are many possible connections that make this note a fine starting point to go deeper into the concept and it looks receptive to new insights you will have over time.

These are some additional metrics how you can estimate the quality of the note:

• Do you feel that you can go to the note as a starting point if you want to think about the concept?
• Do you feel that the note is open for further connections?

I especially like your visualisation since now you created a model that connects parts to the whole so you can both isolate a part and integrate it back. That allows to navigate the various levels of resolutions.

I am a Zettler