Author: Lloyd Morgan

  • Five Books: Books Reviews Through Expert Interviews

    Five Books has been a favourite reading discovery site of mine for a few years. Twice a week, an expert in a given field is asked to select five books on a related topic, and then explains that selection in an often-enlightening short interview. I’ve never failed to come away from an interview with some…

  • NPR’s Annual Book Concierge

    One of my favourite annual publications is NPR’s Book Concierge, released each December. After suffering from “an acute case of list fatigue”, NPR stopped producing year-end lists in 2012 and, from 2013 onwards, has instead elicited recommendations from NPR staffers and other critics to create this “interactive reading guide [that’s] more Venn diagram-y than list-y”.…

  • Music Theory, Language Transfer, and the Thinking Method

    I’ve wanted to learn music theory for a number of years, but have never found a source that’s both engaging and educating. That is, until now, thanks to Language Transfer’s music theory course. For a while now, whenever I’ve read an article or post about language learning, someone in the comments invariably praises Language Transfer…

  • Learning Languages from the Peace Corps, Diplomats and the DoD

    Earlier this week I shared language learning difficulty maps based on experiences from the Foreign Service Institute (FSI). As I mentioned in that post, the FSI courses are public domain, having been developed by the US federal government for training diplomats. However, there are two other similar language learning sources: those from the Peace Corps…

  • Language Learning Difficulty Maps

    The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) is the primary training institute for employees of the “US foreign affairs community” (diplomats, military personnel, etc.). The FSI is probably most well known for its foreign language courses, which, while sometimes a bit outdated, is still great quality and in the public domain. The FSI has has compiled “approximate…

  • The Wug Test and Language Development in Children

    The Wug Test is a foundational study in how language develops in children. It’s also a bit cute: Developed by Jean Berko Gleason in the 1950s, it’s been said that the only thing with a greater impact on the field of child language research was the innovation of the tape recorder. Gleason’s major finding was…

  • Two Palms to a Shaftment: English, Imperial, and Customary US Units

    English units were the measurement standards used across the British Empire until 1826; it’s the system that immediately preceded and (independently) developed into today’s imperial units and US customary units. I never really thought about why the UK and US diverged slightly, but (obviously, in retrospect) the simple reason that imperial and US customary units…

  • Longevity FAQ and Longevity 101: Your Beginner’s Guides

    I find the concept of longevity and longevity research fascinating, from both a scientific and philosophical perspective: it’s cool to read about how researchers have effectively reversed the ageing of some mice, and I find it endlessly curious how large swathes of society want to ‘solve’ ageing (or, maybe more accurately, the other things that…

  • Rules of Formulating Knowledge

    Back in 2009, I posted about the SuperMemo learning algorithm, based on the tried-and-true learning principle of spaced repetition (see also). I see now that, around that time, Piotr Woźniak, developer of the SuperMemo algorithm, wrote about his twenty rules of formulating knowledge. The below seven really stuck out to me, with all of them…

  • Studying and Learning: What Works, What Doesn’t

    Self-testing and spaced repetition are the “two clear winners” in how to study and learn better. That’s from an informal meta study conducted by six professors (from fields such as psychology, educational psychology, and neuroscience) when they reviewed over 700 scientific articles to identify the ten most common learning techniques and which are the most…