How to increase Learning / Knowledge bandwidth? (How much you can learn at once)


Imagine a situation, when a student studies a lot (May be for an exam or for skill building). That student has free time and is willing to study all day long, with maximum efficiency, over a certain period.

Perhaps, that student would want to incorporate learning as a constant habit…

However, it is also widely denoted that “cramming for exams” does not work, and that taking too much information at once can be overwhelming, causing Information overload. Hence, it is not efficient to take much of the information at a moment, and a lot of it could be forgotten shortly after learning. That is why some are in favor of “spread out learning”.

There probably might be some kind of a limit or a balance of how much information could be taken over a certain period for an individual. It would indicate how much information it is the best to take, let’s say in a day.

Perhaps a student would like to increase that limit/balance, so that more information could be taken with the same learning effect/efficiency that could be achieved with smaller amounts of information previously.

It is important to note that this kind of increase, should not be created at the expense of learning rigor and attentiveness

May be, a student could go through a set amount of material in a day, and later, consistently increase the material amount taken in a day?

2 thoughts on “How to increase Learning / Knowledge bandwidth? (How much you can learn at once)

  1. I will try to answer from a different than usual perspective. Let’s say there are different kinds of knowledge: the one that is more general and reusable, and the one that is specific. Information is a relative measure – if something is complex news but you know them then there is zero information to you.
    The possessed knowledge is a combination of some general building blocks + extra really specific knowledge. The better general blocks you have, the less extra information you need to learn given some news (as any situation is encoded as a specific combo of general blocks).

    So learning general models (like conservation laws, Bayesian models, temporal discounts, network-temporal relations/adaptations, systems/complexity science, etc.) should increase the capacity for learning information. In other words – interdisciplinary knowledge helps you understand things better.

    E.g. this is why masters of chess are able to keep in working memory many games at once – they have these chess-general memory blocks ready.

    However, the general models mentioned are more useful for building conscious/theoretical knowledge as more “performing” knowledge is hardly built in this way. It does not mean that all our skills are context specific. We still have some general models but they are hard to name. Thus understanding the hidden-from-consciousness parts more brings up rational influence.

    I hope this makes sense as it is computation-compression inspired reasoning and not the one based on neuropsychology.

  2. Your post says to imagine the situation well there’s already like four ways of doing it, it’s not that there aren’t ways is that it takes nearly superhuman levels of discipline.

    You have to give up the majority or all of your social life to increase the amount of hours.

    Then you need to have a rigorous attention to detail when somebody acts as their own mentor to can keep yourself on track to keep you from going down rabbit holes.

    There’s two UK premed students who are studying for the I believe it’s the London imperial College of medicine, ones karma medic and the other is something but they go into multiple hours of YouTube video of their study method.

    There’s the Cornell method for taking notes hell you can even use kanban and six sigma to craft study effort.

    This balance you speak of is already a solved solution of exploration versus exploitation. Exploration is learning something new and exploitation is implementing it. You could easily dial this up to 18 to 20 hours a day of hard-core study time to do this for a few weeks but normally you’re looking at 15 to 18 hours a day of study for long-term semihard-core study

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