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The Feynman Technique - 3 Steps to Learning Something New

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Richard Feynman was a physicist who received a nobel prize for his work in quantum electrodynamics. He was notorious for asking his mathematicians to explain concepts in simple language to test their understanding. 

Here his unique technique to learn new materials:

Step 1. Choose a topic you want to understand and start studying it. Once you know what it is about, take a piece of paper and write the topic at the top of the page.

Step 2. Pretend you’re teaching the idea to someone else. Write out an explanation on the paper while you describe them out loud. Like this you get an idea of what you understand and where you still have gaps. Whenever you get stuck, go back and study. Repeat that process until you can explain it.

Step 3. Finally do it again, but now simplify your language or use an analogy to make the point. If your explanation ends up wordy and confusing, that’s an indication that you do not understand the idea well enough. If that happens go back until you have mastered it.

It is the process of thinking about an idea while teaching it that make the method so effective. Once you can explain an idea with simple language and create graphic analogies, you have deeply understood it and will remember it for a long time.

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Films For Action is a library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Over the last 15 years, we've reviewed and curated over 1,000 free documentaries and 4,000 short films, plus over 150 pay-per-view documentaries, spanning 34 topics related to changing the world.

During this time we've been able to reach tens of millions of people - not by owning a TV network or spending truckloads of cash on advertising, but because millions of awesome people keep sharing 'films for action' with their friends on social media - in particular, our 850,000 supporters on Facebook and 70,000 site members. 

One of the coolest things is, thanks to our patrons, our library is ad-free and 100% supported by member donations, while 99% of our library is free to access and always will be. The pay-per-view films on our site, of course, help support the filmmakers, and 90-100% of the revenue for PPV films hosted by us goes to the filmmakers. 

To thank our $5/mo patrons, we partner with filmmakers and distributors to provide free access to a growing number of films that are normally pay-per-view. With just 20 highly curated films at the moment, it's basically a very, very tiny Netflix for world changers, but its main function is to support the library as a whole.

If you'd like to know more, want to help out, or you're a filmmaker looking to collaborate, feel free to get in touch!

Cheers,  Tim Hjersted