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  1. #21
    Senior Member animenagai's Avatar
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    eh i'm not an NT, but i'll answer anyways. i used to be a maths major and the thing that helped me out the most were by far doing practice questions. i also find it much easier to learn in a group due to my E. since you're an ENTJ, you can try the same thing. try a study group or something.

  2. #22
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the answers special thanks to Provoker for going into so much detail I have already done by myself some of the things listed , problem is that I don't know anybody IRL which is interested in what I am trying to "master", except some professors at my department which of course I can only speak with once in a while.

    About not doing what you aren't naturally good at: I'm not so sure if this position holds on very difficult material. Let me explain myself better by means of an analogy: even the best and most talented sport players have to train hard and a lot to reach their apex and fully use their gift. This does not mean that they were incapable in the first place; taking the example from a field which I have experience with, even the best cyclist will find an hard climb hard on their legs, but they'll also be able to do it faster than anybody else. Or think about languages: not many people are able to understand a different language when they first hear it (actually, I think almost nobody). Yet many can learn it, even quite easily, with some method.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  3. #23
    Senior Member BlackOp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post

    About not doing what you aren't naturally good at: I'm not so sure if this position holds on very difficult material.
    Maybe we have a different angle on the word "master". To me, it implies complete control. I can be quite good at something that I am naturally inept at. Mastering something is an entirely different can of worms. It is perfecting something that you already have a gift for.

    I have a great admiration for Picasso. He actually would limit parameters because his artistic capabilities were so vast. That is a "master"....having to police your own prowess so you output is functional and effective.

    So maybe your use of the word "master' threw me off....My advice would be study twice as much.....
    "A species of perfection and fantasy"......

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Provoker View Post
    Excellent question. In order to master things (complex material, rubik's cubes, complicated political systems, etc) you must master your mind. Most answers are already contained in our minds and it is the person who has sharpened various dimensions of their mind to be able to cut across and communicate with other parts of the mind. In Batman Begins there is part where Bruce is talking with the League of Shadows guy and he says something like "you can fight 5 guys at once, we will teach you to fight 500 at once" (or something to that affect). Likewise, if you only have the intellectual storage capacity for a few theories, this can be changed so that you can learn to keep hundreds of theories in your working memory. To to this with any kind of efficiency, you're going to have to focus on procedures rather than substance. Just like a rubik's cube, once you've learned the procedures for solving it someone can give you the cube with any configuration and you'll be able to solve it: the substance chances, the procedure does not. How does this apply to you? Well, by taking a procedural approach you can learn to store so much more. Take theories for example, the procedure for mastering a theory can be: main position (thesis), reasons/evidence in support of thesis, strengths of the theory, limitations of the theory, counterargument to the theory. Next theory - same procedure.
    A rubik's cube is hardly complex. You can solve it with only 7 algorithms.

    I believe that the best way of learning is by tailoring the material to your learning style. If it's something that comes naturally to you, you'd probably be able to learn it using any method. If it isn't, learning will be much easier if you make it something that you will be most easily able to work with.

    Are you a visual person? I am very much a visual/conceptual learner. So if I really, really need to learn something, I first write detailed notes from text. Then I read the notes multiple times, and draw diagrams and mind-maps that illustrate to me my understanding of the material. With the detailed diagrams and mind-maps, once I'm reasonably sure of the material, I move up one degree, and make the "simple" mind-maps that give the overall view and relate what I've learnt to other concepts and material.

    So, given my simple, undetailed mind-map, I should be able to (in my mind) move up and up into varying degrees of detail and complexity.

    If you're an audio learner, record your lectures and listen to them over and over again. Talk to people about what you're learning. Talk to yourself about what you're learning. Read things out when you're revising.

    If you're a tactile learner, practice over and over again. Make physical models that illustrate the principle. Actually do experiments that show the theory. Or write, over and over again, what you need to remember. Even if you don't have your visual notes with you, your body will remember writing it.

    Sometimes, combining the different approaches will be a lot more effective. And repetition really does help, especially for things like math.

  5. #25
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    A rubik's cube is hardly complex. You can solve it with only 7 algorithms.

    I believe that the best way of learning is by tailoring the material to your learning style. If it's something that comes naturally to you, you'd probably be able to learn it using any method. If it isn't, learning will be much easier if you make it something that you will be most easily able to work with.

    Are you a visual person? I am very much a visual/conceptual learner. So if I really, really need to learn something, I first write detailed notes from text. Then I read the notes multiple times, and draw diagrams and mind-maps that illustrate to me my understanding of the material. With the detailed diagrams and mind-maps, once I'm reasonably sure of the material, I move up one degree, and make the "simple" mind-maps that give the overall view and relate what I've learnt to other concepts and material.

    So, given my simple, undetailed mind-map, I should be able to (in my mind) move up and up into varying degrees of detail and complexity.

    If you're an audio learner, record your lectures and listen to them over and over again. Talk to people about what you're learning. Talk to yourself about what you're learning. Read things out when you're revising.

    If you're a tactile learner, practice over and over again. Make physical models that illustrate the principle. Actually do experiments that show the theory. Or write, over and over again, what you need to remember. Even if you don't have your visual notes with you, your body will remember writing it.

    Sometimes, combining the different approaches will be a lot more effective. And repetition really does help, especially for things like math.
    Yes, I make maps and diagrams as well. It helps me remember the material and grasp the relationships between concepts.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  6. #26
    Senior Member Alpha Prime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackOp View Post
    See, we already know what our limitations are...and work within those realistic constraints. By that logic, maybe I should try out for the Bears. Mastering something is a very specific task. If I put my hand on a hot stove, it burns. I dont need to repeat the action to know the outcome. That lesson is applied UNIVERSALLY...in a deeper unconscious, way.
    You can only know your limitations if you set them yourself. There is no such thing as realism, and control is an illusion.


    OP: Do what you N's do: Get the big picture and break it down. Exercises will provide your mind with more patterns from which you can learn how to solve similar exercises. Repetition is key to maintaining the knowledge you gain.
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  7. #27
    Senior Member BlackOp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha Prime View Post
    You can only know your limitations if you set them yourself.

    There is no such thing as realism, and control is an illusion.
    No..the illusion is not knowing your limitations. I fully understand the construct "shoot for the stars".....I also know the pain of hitting the ground. Gravity doesnt care.
    "A species of perfection and fantasy"......

  8. #28
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    I study until I understand the material.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
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  9. #29
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed111 View Post
    I have to spend long periods in solitary confinement with lots of books, lecture materials and the Internet.
    Good grief, I can't think of anything that'd demotivate me faster!!

    For me, I'll take it in little chunks, and take it easy. Say, get a 'for dummies' book or some other self-contained guide, and just read a page or two of it at a time while you have your coffee break, and in between, don't really think about it. I find it sorta sinks in subconsciously then while I'm not doing it, then when I come back to continue reading, I know where I'm at. This way I end up mastering it without really feeling like I ever put in much work.

    At least, this was how I learned Latin - I went from total beginner to reading Virgil in a month with this method Granted, I did put in a bit of extra work to memorize vocab and grammar tables, but that wasn't difficult.... just a case of printing the grids and filling them in from memory a few times 'til it's instinctive. Like that memory game where you take something from the tray... much easier if the tray's the same every time lol Oh, and I tend to find opportunities to use it, which I don't really think of as work cos it's just fun and comes naturally - playing with words and making up silly rhymes and songs and stuff like that. People think you're messing about instead of 'working' but it's all great consolidation.
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  10. #30
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    Three words:

    Learn By Doing.
    I am an ENTJ. I hate political correctness but love smart people ^_^

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