Today I release a simple Sunday script building on the distant past. How do you sort a list of words in a language you're learning? The easiest order is the order you originally wrote them down in. The second easiest (and probably one of the best orderings) is random. Random ordering removes biases that a human put in and biases the list to another order. If you order your list randomly each time you read from it, you can remove bias.
This is how I ended up trying to learn kanji last year. It didn't go so well. What's wrong with random ordering of a list of words? It provides a test of one's memory. As my memory is not great, the random ordering does not actually solve the problem of memorization. So how does one memorize words? I had quite a bit of success with WaniKani this winter. I learned 85 kanji (that I had already learned on my own) and 184 words based on those kanji in a few months. What does WaniKani do that I didn't do? 1) WaniKani is an SRS. 2) WaniKani has experts to come up with a good set of data about kanji and vocabulary to cement the meaning and readings.Read more »
This is a post that covers 17 writing tests over all the kanji I've learned, 29-30 kanji per day.
The concept behind the big test is to test 30 kanji per day, excluding the one's I've already tested to get an idea of how many kanji I know. Since I learned 496 kanji, 30 kanji per day should result in 17 tests. Because I didn't have the optimization on the first three tests, there are a few repeated kanji in the first tests (五 具 典 所 語 高). It looks like 17 will still be the number of tests. Without the optimization I'd have to do a lot more tests. Since each test takes ~15-30 minutes (drawing kanji is difficult), this optimization is necessary (as more tests are done, the number of repetition per test grows).
I was really upset as I found that the rate of recall is close to 50%. While this is substantially lower rate than when I was learning rows and testing daily, I believe that it is accurate. You can see how many I don't try on -- because any attempt at drawing is a waste of time if I cannot draw the whole kanji.Read more »
Nov 3, 2016
I spent a little time in the past week porting one of my blogs to Python using Django. If the website looks similar to these four blogs, it's because they are all the same codebase with a handful of tweaks to make it possible to unify them with my other blogs and journals. While they aren't all ported yet, I thought I'd write a quick blog to explain things. For a decade and a half, I've been blogging on a PHP website I wrote in 2002 for Javantea's Fate and improved over time. In 2011, I wrote a blog in Python with Django for my trip to Brasil. When I went to Mexico, I copied the blog and created a second database. When I bought j4va.com for fun and profit (not really), I first put up a copy of java.com with some interesting things in its place. Then when I wanted to turn it into a blog, I copied the Brasil blog and made a third database. Now that I finally want to unify my blogs, it makes perfect sense to simply use the same thing, but copy all the data from the all the blogs into a single database. It's so well-written, that I didn't really need a really bad intro page anymore. So now AltSci.com goes to that unified blog interface. There's a lot of logic that makes it happen, but I'll leave that unsaid.
Of all my travels, only one trip is not available on my unified blog. I decided to use MediaWiki for my Europe Blog and spammers destroyed that blog, so I don't have easy access to the data. Eventually I'll grab the data and post it to this blog. For now, the pictures and videos will do. You have to click on the videos to get them.Read more »
Jan 17, 2013
I'm in Brasil now. I already posted a blog on my Brasil blog.
Short story time. Twitter doesn't work in the subway and I didn't want to write interesting stuff to Twitter after it ate a message, so here are a few notes about Tuesday night in New York.Read more »