Chatbot offers study help in unreliable Internet areas, FoondaMate raises $2M

South African study-by-text startup raises $2M. A South African edtech firm that offers a study-by-text service for students with unreliable internet access has raised $2 million in seed funding. FoondaMate, founded in 2020, offers an AI-powered chat bot to provide students with study materials via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.” EdWeek

Learning scientific studies through careful highlighting

From Andrew Bihl:

In my experience, much of learning technical information comes down to drawing categories and relationships. I’ve found while reading that by highlighting statements according to their purpose, I can more quickly understand the information being presented. It also helps me stay focused and see which statements I didn’t comprehend on first pass. I assign statements to one of five functions:

  • points

  • limitation

  • evidence

  • value

  • background

Via Hacker News

What will happen to America’s focus on decency?

quillette.com/2021/10/15/the-exhibitionist-economy

The twin sister research team of Pelin and Selin Kesebir arrived at similar conclusions by drawing on a large corpus of books. They found that rising American individualism had led to a decline in “general moral terms” including decency and conscience and a 74 percent decline in “virtue words” such as honesty, compassion, and patience.

Reduce the “ands” to succeed in software startups

The general rule is optionality is strength.  When there are lots of ways for things to go right, that is a strong position even if you haven’t actualized one of those ways.

The converse of this is a business that has extra “and” clauses — even more than usual. Marketplaces, for example, almost never succeed. When they do succeed, they are often durable and profitable, which makes them a smart bet for a Venture Capitalist that can maintain a diversified portfolio of attempts, but for the individual business it’s a tough road.

Jason Cohen / ASmartBear via HackerNews

A Neuroscientist’s Poignant Study of How We Forget Most Things in Life | The New Yorker

In researching a post about brain stress levels and how we manage information for Howdy Product, I found an interesting article on how many memories we forget. If the author is true, and our “fragments of experience that do get encoded into long-term memory are then subject to ‘creative editing'”, then what is our response? I’ve been thinking about my own relationship to my personal record- what do I want to capture? How do I want to revisit it?

Essentially, how important are my memories to my overall existence?

More on writing your personal record:

Maria Popova – Cartographer of Meaning in a Digital Age (video below). Kottke – developing a personal scheme to categorize your life.

An interesting take on Lisa Genova’s Book “Remember..”:

“To remember an event is to reimagine it; in the reimagining, we inadvertently introduce new information, often colored by our current emotional state. A dream, a suggestion, and even the mere passage of time can warp a memory. It is sobering to realize that three out of four prisoners who are later exonerated through DNA evidence were initially convicted on the basis of eyewitness testimony. “You can be 100 percent confident in your vivid memory,” Genova writes, “and still be 100 percent wrong.” — David Kortava (Source: A Neuroscientist’s Poignant Study of How We Forget Most Things in Life | The New Yorker)

Find Buy Lisa Genova’s book “Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting”:
In a library: Print, Audiobook, Digital
From Amazon: Print, Digital
(A note: I may receive a commission from these links, at no cost to you.)

 

Maria Popova, Cartographer of Meaning in a Digital Age

I’m a big fan of Maria Popova- especially her thoughts on finding your own meaning and creating your own personal record (YouTube video):