Using the Feynman method to learn, create content or products, and become an expert

Do a quick Google of “The Feynman Technique” and you’ll come upon a plethora of results explaining how Dr. Richard Feynman became such a celebrated physicist and professor (aside from having a charismatic personality that still captures people’s imaginations).

In a nutshell, the Feynman technique (or method, rather; a technique generally uses a tool!) is what the character Niels Bohr, in Michael Freyn’s play Copenhagen, repeatedly exhorts Werner Heisenberg to do: explain things in such a way that Margrethe, Bohr’s wife, would understand. If you hang out with physicists, you’re going to understand a thing or two, but unless you’re a physicist yourself, you won’t understand everything – and it doesn’t help when you’re talked down to (or not at all).

  1. Choose anything you want to know. Write it on paper.
  2. Teach it to a child, from start to finish.
  3. Circle the gaps of things you can’t explain, don’t know, or questions that arise. Go to the source material and find an explanation. Create a new page for them.
  4. Review the subject and simplify it.

It makes so much sense that within two weeks of finding out about it, I published my first Feynman project. It’s on a topic I knew well from a past life; having done an Amazon search for available books on the topic, I thought it worthy to share my thoughts and experience.

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