# [Zettel Feedback]: Operationalization problem of memory

edited November 22
• This is a recent note that is connected to one of the core problems in the domain of ZK/PKM: How to transfer value creation from one domain (e.g. ones privat ZK) to another (e.g. a blogpost, your daily habits etc.)
• This note is focussed on stating the problem.
• Feel free to comment, improve on the note -- both on the formalities and the content of the note.

# 202211150901 Operationalization problem of memory

What memory is depends on how you test it. If you understand memory merely as the ability to parrot something that you have stored, memory is something completely different than if you are talking about availability. Do I have a good memory if I can name the back of an index card, but I can't access its contents when I'm supposed to be using it?

Memorization takes into account a small part of this problem: It is a common recommendation that one practice "Active Recall" and not merely repeat the material (e.g., by reading through it several times).

After "Active Recall", the key is to make content available when you actually need it, not just in the test situation. There is a difference between memory and the repertoire at one's disposal.

But it is difficult to operationalize the situation of actual use.

Thesis: You should start with simple memory techniques and then work your way up to more complex ones.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) (slightly edited by myself)

Post edited by Sascha on

I am a Zettler

• As an outsider it is difficult to understand the problem. I suppose you are hinting at a compromise between memorization and application or something like that (I'm not familiar with the content).
I would begin with a definition of memory. Then compare the shortcomings for parroting, active recall, etc.

How about reversing the order of the note? Then the most important part is right on top - the thesis, followed by statements and definitions.

my first Zettel uid: 202008120915

• edited November 22

Re: Thesis: You should start with simple memory techniques and then work your way up to more complex ones.

Interesting post Sascha! Just a stream of thoughts, no rhyme or reason...

kilo-, hecto-, deca-, deci-, centi-, milli-, in descending order of magnitude

King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk

Marstallplatz 1 80539 Munich

acronym...

TV/Television

Re: How about reversing the order of the note? Then the most important part is right on top - the thesis, followed by statements and definitions.

Sure enough zk_1000, its your data. Besides Christian has a built a nice piece of software, very versatile. What kinds of zettel do you catalog?

• edited December 2

Thanks for the feedback. I edited the note like this:

### 202211150901 Operationalization problem of memory

Memorization is the lowest form of understanding.

Memory is what you measure. But the problem is that it's hard to measure what the real purpose of memory is: a tool to solve problems.

Example 1: When you test memory with a simple query of cards, you are testing a very specific behavior. The person tested can then give a specific, the "correct", answer to a question. However, this does not mean that we can access the corresponding content when we need it. Everyone knows the problem: What you have learned with cards does not necessarily come to mind when it is needed, for example in a conversation.

Example 2: If one understands memory as the mere ability to provide a certain response to a stimulus (= question and answer), it is obvious to conclude that those learning methods are considered effective that lead to the most effective improvement of this stimulus-response chain. Against this background, learning by understanding is less effective. Students have already recognized this in the form of so-called bulimic learning: For the exam, it is more effective to learn in a way that results in rapid forgetting.Later, they pay the price that they do not have access to what they have "learned". <!--TODO Check https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulimielernen for any evidence -->

The operationalization problem of memory thus goes beyond a problem of scientific theory. It has immediate consequences for whether the associated practice delivers what it promises.

Thesis:Building robust memory through progressive learning techniques.[[202212020858]]

I tried to improve the note by separating the theses that leads to something actionable and the reasoning that leads to the thesis. Right now, this note changed its role from being on its own to a supporting note to the note that is linked bellow.

In German, "bulemic learning" is the derrogitory word for cramming.

I am a Zettler