Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read

[Great overview](https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/01/what-was-this-article-about-again/551603/) of the “[forgetting curve](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forgetting_curve)”, the way that we immediately forget almost all the information we take in:

> For many, the experience of consuming culture is like filling up a bathtub, soaking in it, and then watching the water run down the drain. It might leave a film in the tub, but the rest is gone.

That describes many of my reading experiences quite well; sometimes I feel like [the characters in this Portlandia skit](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JLWQEuz2gA). The key to avoiding this is recalling and re-encountering the information again:

> If you want to remember the things you watch and read, space them out…Memories get reinforced the more you recall them, Horvath says. If you read a book all in one stretch—on an airplane, say—you’re just holding the story in your working memory that whole time. “You’re never actually reaccessing it,” he says.

The most well-known technique for recalling information systematically is [spaced repetition](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaced_repetition):

> Spaced repetition is a learning technique that incorporates increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material in order to exploit the psychological spacing effect.

This website has always served as my [outboard brain](http://archive.oreilly.com/pub/a/javascript/2002/01/01/cory.html), but I don’t re-encounter my own thoughts on a regular basis. I’ve tried a few times to set up a system to send me random past posts; worth getting that going.