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 Post subject: Re: Follow the wise old men - and solve problems faster
Post #41 Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 6:25 am 
Gosei
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John Fairbairn wrote:
I'll try one last tack. What I am arguing for is that, to learn something from doing tactical problems, the most efficient kind of practice is effortful and rich in associations. Trying to solve a problem in your head is part of the effort, I agree, but you can add to the effort by playing the moves out on a board. This gives you the flow (suji) of the stones and creates associations.


I'm with you on this. In my last post I made a short remark that replaying the moves on a physical board adds experiences (ie possible associations) but what remains is the question of efficiency (let alone practicability). More on that later in this post.

John Fairbairn wrote:
The exact method you adopt can be totally different from what I'm proposing but I don't see that efficient learning can be achieved unless your choice of method guarantees extra such as associations and flow. Mere repetition of problems that you've solved before but can't now remember is even more boring than - and actually more similar to -tracing your own steps in the sand.


Agreement with the first sentence. For the second sentence: There is some nuance. Repetition (especially spaced-repetition) is really powerful to remember stuff and for remembering facts I don't know any method more efficient (whether you enjoy this process might be personal preference?).

Now we really go full circle: The problem when learning go problems through repetition is that you have a visual (ie diagram). Since the brain does not take photographs, subconciously you will end up memorising only certain abstract elements of the visual. And here comes into play what (I guess?) Bill Spight refers to as key stones. If the way you remember the visual does not include the key stones, you can't likely claim understanding of the problem but just memorisation of this particular shape. To keep the imagine of the toolbox: You'll end up with an open-end wrench only useful for working on this problem. Been there, done that. (Anyone also reminded of the bias in maschine learning algorithms?)

So yes, (solution) diagrams might end up being a bad when you combine it with spaced-repetition. So how to proper engage with tsumegos to understand them instead of just remember them?

John Fairbairn wrote:
All of these methods will add something further to your knowledge, but some methods are better than others. For example, scribbling in the margin is often close to useless, whereas scribbling the book's ideas in your own words - self-testing, in other words - tends to pay off big time. Your internalise the knowledge.


...and I believe the same is true for tsumegos. It's not revolutionary either as far as I know: Start making your own problems! "The asians" did that all along when I correctly remember my reading of various go exchange students' experiences.

You have various ways to turn that into practice: In a book you can pose problems the usual way but instead of just given the answer on the next page you can ask the reader whether the problem would work with the same solution when you take away this or that stone. For more engagement, don't show a diagram with less (key) stones but instead ask the reader which stones they consider key for their solution to work. Now you can present the answer to both the initial problem and the key stones on the next page.

If you structure the problem book thematically you can end each chapter with a couple of empty diagrams encouraging the reader to make their own problems based on what they have seen and learnt about key stones (and ask them to upload them to your site for interaction with other players... not even discussing the business value behind this). Like this you still keep the entry level for engagement really low (even better: make an app), since no board or stones are needed (and no place to put them) and you can at least spark engagement, ie by given the reader the choice to immerse themself. I'd say this choice is better than designing a cumbersome solution and (more or less) forcing the reader to use "third party devices".

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 Post subject: Re: Follow the wise old men - and solve problems faster
Post #42 Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:24 am 
Honinbo

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dust wrote:
The rascal guru Gurdjieff is an unexpected reference from Bill.


Oh, I was heavily into Gurdjieff 50 years ago. :) I even picked up my copy of All and Everything: Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson by walking into the publisher's offices when I couldn't find it in any of the metaphysical bookstores I knew of in Manhattan. ;)

One of my favorite Gurdjieff anecdotes:

Some of Gurdjieff's students in Paris complained that since studying with him they had become boring, according to their friends. Gurdjieff replied, "You haven't become boring, you have become honest."
:)

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 Post subject: Re: Follow the wise old men - and solve problems faster
Post #43 Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:02 am 
Honinbo

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SoDesuNe wrote:
Repetition (especially spaced-repetition) is really powerful to remember stuff and for remembering facts I don't know any method more efficient (whether you enjoy this process might be personal preference?).

Now we really go full circle: The problem when learning go problems through repetition is that you have a visual (ie diagram). Since the brain does not take photographs, subconciously you will end up memorising only certain abstract elements of the visual.


Memory is in general reconstructive. :)

SoDesuNe wrote:
And here comes into play what (I guess?) Bill Spight refers to as key stones. If the way you remember the visual does not include the key stones, you can't likely claim understanding of the problem but just memorisation of this particular shape.


And not even that. ;)

SoDesuNe wrote:
So yes, (solution) diagrams might end up being a bad when you combine it with spaced-repetition. So how to proper engage with tsumegos to understand them instead of just remember them?


These days there is a plethora of problems at almost every level of difficulty. With many problems at the same level, they will contain repetitions of ideas couched in slightly different shapes. For instance, I remember a problem where the key play was a throw-in that allowed the opponent to make an eye, but removed a liberty, and that allowed the Golden Cock tesuji to work. The throw-in to take away a liberty in conjunction with the Golden Cock occurs in Hashimoto's problem above. In the main line, however, White does not capture the throw-in stone but ataris the stones forming the Golden Cock's leg. That allows Black to use the throw-in stone to take away White's eye. Hashimoto's problem is more difficult than the one I remember, but the same theme is repeated. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Follow the wise old men - and solve problems faster
Post #44 Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:32 pm 
Lives with ko

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I have been keeping a log of positions/problems that I should return to. I was using GOWrite to reproduce the problems and sequences on the computer but for many reasons I found this to not work for me. I ended up just inputting the positions as Unicode text using ┼○●●┼┨. This format has the limitation that I can only setup the baseline stones and input numbers/letters that are not circled. This turned out to be a good limitation because it obscures the solution a bit, requiring more mental effort to play it out. This reminded me of "Go Wisdom" format which is very similar. I searched for "go wisdom" and ended up here.

Very interesting discussion. I'm happy I found it because I have also been looking for a good way to consolidate "correct" and "mistake" sequences. Listing the moves in multiple sequences takes less space than showing multiple board positions. Thanks to this post and to Kobayashi Tetsujiro for providing a simple and easy solution. Writing the solution becomes more tedious but I suppose it helps with learning as well.

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