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The Science of Skillhacking

I study the process of learning, combining the latest findings from behavioral economics, neuroscience and psychology. 

I call this "skillhacking," and this blog will teach you how to use it.

You'll find useful tips that apply to anything you might want to learn. The blog is also full of anecdotes, experiments and personal journies of my own skillhacking successes and failures.

Read on to learn why I started skillhacking, how it can help you and examples of where I've used it.

Why I Started Skillhacking

My name is Zane. I've spent the last 10 years trying to understand human learning. I've studied the use of educational software to improve knowledge retention, using advanced techniques like spaced repition algorithms.

It all started in college. I studied video game design, but was disappointed with the idea that video games were "just for fun." I wanted to figure out how to use the amazing power of games for good: to help people learn more. So I picked up some classes in neuroscience, developmental psychology, etc. and learned everything I could about optimizing the actual process of learning.

When I moved to China in 2007, I had the opportunity to test many of these ideas on myself. I needed to learn Mandarin Chinese to get by, and I started using educational software to help me learn faster. I realized that there were some techniques that worked great in theory, but not all of them really held up in the real world.

From 2010-2013, I traveled to dozens of countries and learned everything I could, recording my findings and speaking with others about the process of learning. Today, I use this blog as my experimental playground to test new ideas and share them with you.

Skillhacking can be used by students, hobbyists or just anybody who wants to learn something new.

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Skillhacking for Students, Hobbyists and Beyond

When you're studying for a test, picking up a new hobby or just trying to understand something new, it's hard to know how to fit all that information into your head. 

Students: Do you feel like you're bad at memorization? Or it's just boring?

When you study for a test, there are ways to make yourself retain more information. Much research has been done on special software and algorithms to retain information, for example. Other emerging research is showing the importance of certain special habits in the learning process. Each of these things can have an impact on how much information you retain.

Hobbyists: Learning to draw? A musical instrument?

The goal of a hobby is to have fun and to enjoy the process, of course, but it can be frustrating if progress comes too slowly. The right tools make all the difference when learning something new.

How do you evaluate the tools, though? How do you set up a practice regimine?

Skillhacking can help.

Beyond: Have you ever heard "an old dog can't learn new tricks?"

Recent science is showing that this idea might just be totally wrong. 

Skillhacking is for everyone. No matter if you're young or old, you can use the material on this site to help you learn more, faster.