woah [...]

this is a cool site~

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Help:: Getting Started / Day One [...]

Most people find that using Wikity to bookmark is a good place to start. The following video shows how you can bookmark with Wikity.

Note that in the video the bookmark says ‘Bkmrk’ but in recent versions says ‘Wik-it’. The editor has also been upgraded

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Getting Started: Day One [...]

Most people find that using Wikity to bookmark is a good place to start. The following video shows how you can bookmark with Wikity.

Note that in the video the bookmark says ‘Bkmrk’ but in recent versions says ‘Wik-it’. The editor has also been upgraded

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Settings:: Footer [...]

Original content licensed CC-BY-SA. Articles may contain material under different licenses, check the links, history, and other attribution.

Site proudly powered by WordPress.

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Settings:: Publishing [...]

These settings are used by Wikity to determine privacy and publishing schedule.
Please note that putting “Open” to “No” is an experimental feature, providing “good enough” privacy but not great privacy.


OPEN: Yes
RSS DELAY: 5 days

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The Problem with Asynchronish Environments [...]

Samuel Hulick identifies Slack as a platform that is neither asynchronous or synchronous. It’s asynchronish. He argues the results of this are not pretty:

At first I thought this sounded delightful — it would be the best of both worlds! I was always free to drop someone a line, and if they were feeling chatty, a full-fledged conversation could simply spring up, with no need to switch platforms.

After getting to know you better, though, I’ve found that your “asynchronish” side is less impressive than I first thought. It leads to everyone having half-conversations all day long, with people frequently rotating through one slow-drip discussion after another, never needing to officially check out because “hey! it’s asynchronous!”

In an asynchronish environment, you’re always checked in, and discussions never end.

Twitter Screenshot

But you can check out when you need to, right? Hulick argues that this is not possible, because decisions that impact you can be made at anytime:

This is awesome for speeding up the tempo of company directives, but it also places a ton of pressure on everyone involved to maintain even MORE Slack omnipresence; if any discussion might lead to a decision being made, that provides a whole lot of incentive to be available for as many discussions as possible.

As such, Slack gives power to the people who can afford to stay on Slack and takes power away from those can’t.

Hulick suggests some changes that could mitigate the issue (autoresponders, Do Not Disturb statuses, etc), but there may be a flaw in the very heart of the asynchronish model.


Amber Case argues that technology should interrupt us only when there is action needed. See Tea Kettle Tech

These issues fall into an area of psychology called human factors. Here is a textbook treatment of Human Factors Psychology and Workplace Design.

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Twitter Is a Community with No Community Tools [...]

A thought to get down here: Twitter is in many ways a community, the way a BBS is a community. But the loosely coupled nature of the community means that Twitter has no way to protect itself from the effects of scale. If there is a summary for the Tragedy of Twitter, this is it.

Facebook is different than Twitter, both because it is less of a community in itself: it is more a home for different communities, There’s not really a Facebook identity the way there is a Twitter or Tumblr identity.


For a story of a facebook group implosion, see Death of the Longest Shortest Time Mamas

In some ways, Twitter is like the Communitree BBS that Shirky mentions in Own Worst Enemy

Here are some suggestions on Reducing Abuse on Twitter, which involve giving the community some tools, albeit on an individual basis.

Researchers have found that Anger Spreads Fastest through Twitter-like networks.

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The Three Strikes Memo [...]

The Federal Three Strikes law was underused by federal prosecutors in the first years after its enactment. This led to the 1995 Three Strikes Memo, encouraging prosecutors to make better use of the law in their existing cases.

This provision should play a key role in every district’s anti-violent crime strategy. To help us make the most effective use possible of this potential tool, please ensure that state and local prosecutors are aware of the federal “Three Strikes” provision and your willingness to coordinate prosecutive decisions in cases that are “Three Strikes”-eligible. You should have in place a referral mechanism, perhaps through your violent crime working group, to ensure that appropriate “Three Strikes” cases are presented to you for potential prosecution.

In determining whether to bring prosecutions under this statute, you should be guided by the Principles of Federal Prosecution. Trial of an eligible defendant under “Three Strikes will often provide a more effective punishment than a prosecution under,other federal statutes. For the state prosecutor, “Three Strikes” provides a vehicle to take the most dangerous offenders out of the community and keep them out. This is particularly important in states where prison overcrowding results in early release even for violent criminals. (Source)

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Policy Through Bridge Height [...]

Robert Caro discusses his shock at understanding how seemingly neutral infrastructure decisions were being used to enforce segregation. Here he discusses Robert Moses, a mayor who built racism into the city’s architecture. The example: he built 180 or so bridges too low for buses to pass under, effectively keeping black users of public transport out of broad swaths of the city.

I remember his aide, Sid Shapiro, who I spent a lot of time getting to talk to me, he finally talked to me. And he had this quote that I’ve never forgotten. He said Moses didn’t want poor people, particularly poor people of color, to use Jones Beach, so they had legislation passed forbidding the use of buses on parkways.

Then he had this quote, and I can still he him saying it to me. “Legislation can always be changed. It’s very hard to tear down a bridge once it’s up.” So he built 180 or 170 bridges too low for buses.

We used Jones Beach a lot, because I used to work the night shift for the first couple of years, so I’d sleep til 12 and then we’d go down and spend a lot of afternoons at the beach. It never occurred to me that there weren’t any black people at the beach.

So Ina and I went to the main parking lot, that huge 10,000-car lot. We stood there with steno pads, and we had three columns: Whites, Blacks, Others. And I still remember that first column—there were a few Others, and almost no Blacks. The Whites would be go on to the next page. I said, God, this is what Robert Moses did. This is how you can shape a metropolis for generations.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg also discussed Sexist Architecture.

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Suicide Rates Fall in Russia [...]

> New figures show that the number of suicides in Russia has dropped to its lowest level in 50 years. Such low levels were last seen at the end of Nikita Khrushchev’s rule and in Leonid Brezhnev’s first years in power

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How Virtual Reality Limits Imagination [...]

Immersive virtual experiences are immersive precisely because they do not display “overt assemblage”. The design is covert, hidden. While this creates engagement and fluidity, it also puts the structure of the information (and its attendant conclusions) beyond the reach of the player.

From a description of the early 2000 edutainment piece The Lost Museum:

That was our intention. We quickly learned, however, that we had fallen
into a pattern that is seemingly intrinsic to the spatial interactive game
approach. Instead of expanding the historical imagination of users and
promoting their active inquiry, we had actually limited the choices open to
them, in particular curtailing their ability to make informational linkages
and to draw their own conclusions. In short, the narrative outcomes were
preordained, confirming only the predominance of designers over users—
as demonstrated by ‘test’ audiences of teachers and students who gleefully
clicked on different 3-D exhibits but professed utter bewilderment about
the significance of what they found. (On the coercive power of the multimedia
designer, see Cubitt 2000, pp. 167–168.)

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Cordless Phones Kill Privacy [...]

From Popular Communications, June 1991:

On April 20th, The Press Democrat, of Santa Rosa, Calif., reported that a scanner owner had contacted the police in the community of Rohnert Park to say that he was overhearing cordless phone conversations concerning sales of illegal drugs. The monitor, code named Zorro by the police, turned over thirteen tapes of such conversations made over a two month period.

Police took along a marijuana-sniffing cocker spaniel when they showed up at the suspect’s home with a warrant one morning. Identifying themselves, they broke down the door and found a man and a woman, each with a loaded gun. They also found a large amount of cash, some cocaine, marijuana, marijuana plants, and assorted marijuana cultivating paraphernalia. (Source)

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There Is No Dark Side of the Moon, Really [...]

The Moon has a far side (a side that is always facing away from earth) but has no dark side. As the moon passes between us and the sun the far side is bright side. As the Moon goes around the other side, the near side is the bright side (and we see it in the sky).

As the far side has generally been more exposed to objects from deep space it is also the more rugged of the two sides.

The title of this post is from the end of the Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon. At the end of it, the doorman to Abbey Road studios says “There is no dark side of the moon, really. As a matter of fact it is all dark.” He’s talking about the lack of an atmosphere, presumably. But what a great way to end that album.

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Conversational Gapping [...]

The typical gap between speech turns in conversation is just 200ms. The small gap is possible because we construct our response while the other person is speaking.

When we talk we take turns, where the “right” to speak flips back and forth between partners. This conversational pitter-patter is so familiar and seemingly unremarkable that we rarely remark on it. But consider the timing: On average, each turn lasts for around 2 seconds, and the typical gap between them is just 200 milliseconds—barely enough time to utter a syllable. That figure is nigh-universal. It exists across cultures, with only slight variations. It’s even there in sign-language conversations.

“It’s the minimum human response time to anything,“ says Stephen Levinson from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. It’s the time that runners take to respond to a starting pistol—and that’s just a simple signal. If you gave them a two-way choice—say, run on green but stay on red—they’d take longer to pick the right response. Conversations have a far greater number of possible responses, which ought to saddle us with lengthy gaps between turns. Those don’t exist because we build our responses during our partner’s turn. We listen to their words while simultaneously crafting our own, so that when our opportunity comes, we seize it as quickly as it’s physically possible to. (Source)


Implications here for interface design. Think about related issues — Calm Tech, etc.

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Overconfidence by Gender and Major [...]

Some people are overconfident about the the truth of what they think, some are underconfident. Unsurprisingly, this varies by gender and major, with women being (on the whole) less confident than men and people in the humanities being less sure than those in areas like political science, law, and economics.

(Source)

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A Curriculum of Comma Splices [...]

David Wiley believes if you run the logic of the microcredential to ground you get to a place where higher ordered qualities are valued.

Gardner Campbell replies that in composition, CBE has been a failure, because you end up with a curriculum about comma splices. Measure precisely and you will begin to value the things that can be precisely measured.

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Internet of Broken Things [...]

Phrase coined by Ward Cunningham in 2014 denoting the coming disaster of Internet of Things incompatibility, bugginess, and security issues. The problem? We don’t own the pieces we think we do. The smart device is built on a substrate of constantly shifting licenses, end-user agreements, APIs, and marketing agreements.

This is how the internet of things will work. All the things will be interesting. We will think we own them because we will have bought them. But we won’t own all the pieces that give them utility.

The pieces will include some service that promised to provide value unless you read the fine print. Companies will be bought and sold. Databases will accumulate mistakes. Things will stop working. The compounding of complexity will make it in no ones interest to go fix the thing, even if it is just one line missing.

I’ve been asked why I run wires throughout my house to connect together sensors. Wouldn’t radio be better? Yes, but those sensors (and radios) still need power. I’d rather do without the weak link of anything that needs routine attention, even if just once a year.


See also Trash Crash

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Lewy Body Dementia [...]

Lewy body dementia, the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, causes a progressive decline in mental abilities. (html)

(source)
(source)

People with Lewy body disease have Lewy bodies in the mid-brain region (like those with Parkinson’s disease) and in the cortex of the brain. It’s believed that they usually also have the “plaques and tangles” of the brain that characterize Alzheimer’s disease. Conversely, it’s believed that many people with Alzheimer’s disease also have cortical Lewy bodies. Because of the overlap, it’s likely that many people with Lewy body disease are misdiagnosed (at least initially) as having either Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. A big factor in the misdiagnosis might be that Lewy body disease is relatively unknown. (html)

The incidence of the disease is largely unknown. Studies have pointed to over a hundred new cases per 100,000 for those over 65 to estimates less than five new cases per 100,000 over 65 a year.

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Clara Peeters [...]

Clara Peeters was the earliest significant woman painter of the Dutch Golden Age. From Wikipedia:

Clara Peeters (probably Antwerp 1594 – possibly after 1657) was a still-life painter who came from Antwerp and trained in the tradition of Flemish Baroque painting, but probably made her career mostly in the new Dutch Republic, as part of Dutch Golden Age painting. From dates on her paintings, she was fully active between 1607 and 1621, but after that the picture is less clear, though works were produced until the mid-1630s. Many aspects of her life and work remain very unclear, especially outside the period 1607 to 1621, when she was between 13/14 and 28 years old according to the usual dating.[1] As Seymour Slive puts it “Not a single uncontested document has surfaced about her life but there is reason to believe she was active in both Flanders and Holland.”[2]

From Britannica:

As the only Flemish artist who exclusively painted still-lifes in the 17th century, she was also one of the first known artists to incorporate self-portraiture into still-life paintings.

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Equality of Inputs vs. Corruption [...]

One way to attack campaign finance is to argue it results in corruption. This is an argument about outputs, and it ends up being a complex and slippery argument to prove or measure. An alternate way is to take an “equality of inputs” approach:

Equality of inputs is a measurable standard, particularly if we measure it in terms of money contributed. By contrast, corruption is ultimately impossible to prove because it requires agreement on what the political system would produce absent some said corruption. If you can find me a universal definition of the public interest measured in policy outcomes, please send it. I’ve never seen one. All I’ve seen is vehement disagreement over the public interest.

Equality of inputs is an interesting approach to some issues in education as well.

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Matrix Torrent Survives 12 Years [...]

> A fan-created ASCII version of the 1999 sci-fi classic The Matrix is the oldest known torrent that’s still active. Created more than 12 years ago, the file has outlived many blockbuster movies and is still downloaded a few times a week, even though the site from where it originated has disappeared. (Source)

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The Laptop Is Over, 1985 Edition [...]

From the New York Times, December 1985, a screed against portable technology:

WHATEVER happened to the laptop computer? Two years ago, on my flight to Las Vegas for Comdex, the annual microcomputer trade show, every second or third passenger pulled out a portable, ostensibly to work, but more likely to demonstrate an ability to keep up with the latest fad. Last year, only a couple of these computers could be seen on the fold-down trays. This year, every one of them had been replaced by the more traditional mixed drink or beer.

The author goes on to note that:

But the real future of the laptop computer will remain in the specialized niche markets. Because no matter how inexpensive the machines become, and no matter how sophisticated their software, I still can’t imagine the average user taking one along when going fishing. (Source)


Gradually, then Suddenly describes the pattern whereby many inventions get slow starts in a market, only to see growth explode when the environment, infrastructure and capabilities improve.

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Lust for Life Rhythm [...]

The rhythm of the Iggy Pop song “Lust for Life” came from a beep pattern from Armed Forces Radio. The New York Times explains:

Mr. Pop and Mr. Bowie, seated on the floor — they had decided chairs were not natural — were waiting for the Armed Forces Network telecast of “Starsky & Hutch.” The network started shows with a call signal that, Mr. Pop said, went “beep beep beep, beep beep beep beep, beep beep beep,” the rhythm, which is also like a Motown beat, that was the foundation for “Lust for Life.” Mr. Pop recalled, “He wrote the [chord] progression on ukulele, and he said, ‘Call it “Lust for Life,” write something up.’” (Source)

A much older Iggy Pop lip syncs the song below:

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Wikipedia Is Way Too Small [...]

Just covering astronomy, for example, would require 25 million articles, according to the estimates, and this is growing all the time.

Source: Wikipedia’s 5 million articles still cover less than 5 per cent of all human knowledge – Telegraph

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ECO, the Game [...]

ECO is a game where you build a world and observe ecosystem effects. (website)

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Chopra’s Wikipedia Article [...]

Deepak Chopra’s Wikipedia article calls into question the credentials of a figure believed by many to be a new age charlatan. It is a good example of why articles on persons are necessarily contentious — there are important issues at stake here, and it is not for the person in question to resolve them.  (post)

 

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Help:: Making Bullet Points [...]

To make bullet points, start each bulleted item with an asterisk and a space, like this:


* This is the first item
* This is the second item

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Help:: What Do I Write About? (#1) [...]

There are many ways to use Wikity, but this is the most common:

  • Research something you don’t know about.
  • Learn things
  • Write a short article on the subject, capturing what you learned.

Did you ever wonder where people got the idea to steam milk in coffee and call it a cappuccino? Research it. Summarize it in an article called Birth of Cappuccino.

Did someone mention an artist you never heard of? Find out who they are. Write something.

The biggest misconception of new Wikity users is that you should write on things you know about. NO! (is that forceful enough?). Be curious. Learn new things. Share your learning.

Become a person who wonders things on a daily basis. Move from wondering to thinking “I should write a Wikity article on that.” If there’s already an article in Wikipedia, write a better one, a shorter one, a longer one, a more opinionated one, a less opinionated one, a less biased one, a more appropriate one for a class.

When you are done, look for other things in Wikity your article connects to and link them.

The Wikity model is Wonder Things > Research Things > Share What You Found > Connect It To Other Things.

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Help:: Adding Images [...]

Wikity pulls images from online locations and makes a copy of the image for you. To pull an image into your site, just use the Markdown syntax for images:

![Picture of a boat](http://marwahaha.wikity.cc/files/2016/01/myboat.jpg "This is a boat!")

If you leave the quotes empty, like this, Wikity will automatically create an image credit as the hover text.

Note that image syntax is identical to link syntax, but has an exclamation point in front of it.

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Help:: Creating Footnotes [...]

To create a footnote write the footnote at the bottom of the page, and add a "link target" with a unique name preceded by a hash ('#') and enclosed in square brackets, like this:

1.  See also Miller, Jane. *Thoughts on Leaving*, p. 23

Then link in text like this:

Miller also noted the discrepancy.[1](#millerp2)

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Help:: Making External Links [...]

To link to an external site, place your link word in brackets, followed by the link in parentheses like this:

Go to this [awesome site](http://example.com).

Important: Do not put a space in between the bracket and parentheses.

To create a hover text item, follow the link with the text in quotes, e.g. [awesome site](http://example.com "More info here.")

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Help:: Creating Blockquotes [...]

To blockquote text, start on a new line and put an angle bracket ('>') in front of your paragraph, like this:

> This is my blockquote

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Help:: Making Wiki Links [...]

Link to another page in your wiki (or someone else's Wikity wiki) by using double bracket syntax, like this.

Because you are linking to a page name, it often makes sense to link to the capitalized page name like this: The Empty Boat.

Page names and links are the same in wiki, so choose names wisely.

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Help:: Making Text Italic [...]

You can italicize text by putting an underline on each side, like _this_.

It _works with phrases_ too.

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Help:: Making Text Bold [...]

You can bold text by putting two asterisks around the text, like **this**.

It **works with phrases** too.

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Footnotes in Wikity [...]

Wikity is designed for education, and we often need footnotes in educational settings. We’ve come up with a simple syntax that should support a number of footnote styles.

To footnote something, first make a Notes or Works Cited section:

1. [ #exampletarget] This is a footnote.

Note that the target looks like a link without a URL. There should be no space between the ‘[‘ and the ‘#’.

Then add a footnote in-text. For numeric footnotes, the footnote must match both the number of the footnote and the name of the target.

This is an example of a sentence with a footnote.[1](#exampletarget)

Here is how that looks in practice:

This is an example of a sentence with a footnote.[1]

  1. This is a footnote.

You can use this same technique to do other styles of reference:

This is an example of a sentence with a parenthetical reference. (Brewer, p. 38)

  1. Brewer, Don. This is a footnote. Routledge, 2008.

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Deliberate Practice as Reverse Scaffolding [...]

Scaffolding is the practice of handling the hard bits of an assignment for a student so that they can complete an authentic task by doing the somewhat easier bits. Interestingly, you see this process in reverse as people reach elite levels of performance, in a method called Deliberate Practice.

It’s difficult to say if this pattern undermines the claims of scaffolding. It could.

On the other hand, this could just be part of a natural progression:

Level Method
Novice Scaffolding
Emerging Competence Authentic Task
Mastery Reverse Scaffolding

More on Deliberate Practice.

Another theory is the impact of Deliberate Practice is due to differentiated approaches that help to form novel connections. Marking More Effective Than Full Practice might support this.

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Deliberate Practice [...]

Deliberate Practice is a term from Eric Ericsson describing practice that is not mere repetition of a task, but rather focused intently on the parts of a task which need attention. According to Ericsson’s research, many people treat practice as a rehearsal of the target activity, but elite performers break down the activity into logical parts and spend time targeting problem areas.

As an example, you might consider a violin player. A violin player who practices in a normal way might play a piece they need to master 20 times in the space of two hours. An elite performer might use deliberate practice: playing problem phrases, playing it faster than normal, slower than normal, playing every other note, playing it backwards — anything to keep the level of difficulty high.


In effect, Deliberate Practice is a sort of reverse scaffolding. See Deliberate Practice as Reverse Scaffolding

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Marking More Effective Than Full Practice [...]

In an experiment in teaching dance it was found that dancers learned better through practicing a simplified version of a routine than the full routine.

The procedure was this. All three groups were taught a phrase by a choreographer. After learning the phrase during a ten-minute period, each dancer was graded individually on how accurately they performed the phrase. Next, each group practised the phrase for ten minutes, using their assigned method: the three conditions of practicing full out, marking, or mental simulation. At the end of that practice period each dancer was graded again, and we calculated how much each had improved. The size of this improvement showed the benefit of practicing in a certain condition. Each group then changed its practice condition and was taught a new phrase. Accordingly, if group one marked when practising phrase one, they now practised phrase two by dancing it full out, and then later they would practice phrase three by mentally simulating the phrase.

When setting up the experiment we were hoping to find that marking was a more effective method of practice than mentally simulating a phrase while lying on the floor. That was certainly true, we did find that both marking and full out practice were better than mental simulation. But far more interestingly, and to our absolute surprise, marking was better than full out performance by a small but significant amount in most dimensions of assessment.


There is some relation here to Deliberate Practice

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