I earlier typed out a list of rules for SRS success which fortuitously wound up to be ten, but then today I thought of an eleventh rule. I’ll be amending the earlier post to include it, but here it is in any case:
The Law Of Pride
The reason people deliver themselves cards too complex to memorize and in volumes they can’t possibly keep up with is due to an overestimation of their own abilities. This is the infamous and insidious Dunning-Kruger effect in action. After all, it’s only those lowly mortals who can’t remember things and need to follow the rules.
Pride is the queen of the mortal sins for a reason. Pride leads you to waste hundreds of hours idling while attempting to remember cards you have, yes, forgotten. Pride leads you to idle on new cards which you think you should remember–you’ve seen them a few times by now, haven’t you? Pride leads you to pass cards you know you failed, but are ashamed to admit to yourself that you did. Close enough, right?
Above all, pride is counterproductive, frustrating, and a gigantic waste of time. If you’ve forgotten something, it isn’t an attack on your moral character. If a card is identified as a leech, it isn’t because you are stupid. Well, you might be stupid, but even if that’s true… there’s nothing you can do about that, is there? Except continue forward, earnestly, through the snow.
Be honest about yourself. Even if you could remember something if you pained over it for 30 seconds, that’s just the same as having forgotten it. So just swallow your pride and fail. The nice thing about SRS is that you are offloading the task of remembering what you need to remember to a computer. If you pain over every little thing, the time savings is significantly reduced. Just relax and let the system do its work, because it is inevitable that you will remember it in time if the card is well designed. A well designed card is hardly any work at all–there’s a clear answer, and you either got it or didn’t. You should dispose of it, right or wrong, in under fifteen seconds.
Pride leads you to believe that you should be doing things faster and better, and leads to concurrent shame at your lack of performance, and neither of these feelings is true or productive. Pride is the main reason many adults don’t learn new things, so don’t let it stop you.