April 19, 2020

progressive summarization

To use knowledge in solving problems, we need a system to forward key knowledge to the future problem solvers. This starts with our own consumption of information.

This post actually summarizes my reading of Progressive Summarization by Tiago Forte.

The goal of progressive summarization is to transfer information through time. The information transferred should be useful for your future self.

The strategy focuses on selecting which knowledge is worth acquiring and on building a system to forward valuable knowledge to the future.

The key result is realized in using knowledge to solve real problems, thereby gaining experience.

The tactics offered in this essay are

  • a contingency-based note review using the P.A.R.A framework. This tactic allows organization of “packets of knowledge” for later use based on need (as opposed to time, as in spaced repetition)
  • an opportunistic compression scheme that designs the notes to optimize tradeoffs between discoverability and contextualization. This tactic has 5-6 layers stretching from the original material to the remixing of ideas into new content

I think this works pretty well. I’m continuing to use the Pocket app as my layer 0 for preserving the full source of content I read online. I’ve started using the Notion app to handle layer 1-4, and it’s going great. This blog, it seems, will be layer 5, although I want to do some work to make it less like a blog and more like a digital garden.

Content by © Jared Davis 2019-2020

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