The Fundamental Truths of Learning - Revising and Expounding

Hi! Been a minute.
Memorization is the internment of information in our long term memories. Assuming we all agree on that, it is not unfair to say that all learning in general is “memorization”, except that our understanding of Memorization as it pertains to this website means methods which significantly expedite this process. Shortcuts, if you will.

The whole point of the above paragraph is to justify my reason for making this post.
My PURPOSE for making this post: I am identifying the fundamental truths, or most basic, always-true principles of learning. I would like you to tell me if any of the following statements are untrue, and if so, why? I would also like you to add any basic, undeniable principles which are escaping me right now, if you would be so kind.
The statements:

1: Information sticks after repeated exposure.
2: Information may stick after very little exposure if that information induced a very strong emotional response or came with an otherwise very memorable or unique experience.
3: The more information is connected together, the easier it is to remember.
4: The longer something is not thought about, the harder it is to remember.
5: Using the imagination or mental imagery assists in the comprehension of information.
6: Visual information is easier to remember than some(all?) kinds of information.
7: The way information is perceived can be affected by pre-existing beliefs and interpretations of previous information.

Remember: Information is anything at all that the brain can perceive and evaluate in any way, shape, or form, including the 5 senses,


Remember: Basic principles or fundamental truths are information which cannot be further dug under- information that is the foundation on which all other proceeding information on the topic relies on; the core, the center, the foundation, the roots, the springboard, the engine, the base, the lifeblood, the essence, the spirit, the soul, the deoxyribonucleic acid, the bones, the particles.

Thank you in advance for lending all of your considerable collective and individual intellect to this fun project. The information I do or don’t gather will go toward building a large tower of awesome, indestructible, logical framework on which we can hang all of our learning with infallible confidence. It will be delicious– yes, indubitably and magically so!

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Could you elaborate on that please… you could (maybe) infer that all memorization is learning but not that all learning is memorization.

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Everything that can stay in your head longer than a few minutes is most likely in your long term memory. You may not have internalized this information and be able to use it intuitively, but you are still able to access it in your head and make decisions based on it. If you memorize a large passage of text but don’t understand it, even THEN you are still able to see it in your memory, think about, and perhaps come to a conclusion on it later. I suppose I’m defining learning as memory, which actually may be inaccurate. Thank you for pointing that out.

It doesn’t really.
Assuming you repeat a string 100x in a row and then repeat a bunch of random strings you can still forget what you have repeated 100x.

This doesn’t quite work because you can think of an extremely long sentence and say " there are more things present to connect with eachother" but this doesn’t on its own give you more recollection than a shorter sentence would. It’s still kind of true but not so simple as any and all information.

This is subjective sometimes it gets easier to remember something after a while, e.g tip of tongue or even having the memory settle somewhat. Similarly some memories last longer than others. So I would say that “after a point” the longer something is not thought about the harder it is to remember is more true. Especially when this point depends on the memory itself.

Comprehension also has miscomprehension. Miscomprehension makes comprehension more difficult. Comprehension can exist without imagery.

Logical verbal statements are easier for me to remember than a string of images. Visual associations are easier for me to remember than visual information on its own. So given this is universal “some” is more true.

If we are going by that analogue then none of these are truths yet.


Wow! Thank you for responding. I really appreciate you taking the time to discuss this. Having made these statements, how would now then reform what I have said, or what would you define yourself as fundamental truths?

@Nagime an excellent post…

Would you like to contribute?

Rather than specific reformation I would state a more broad case.


The first thing is the implication. Namely, using these fundamental truths you should be able to prove something is 100% true given your fundamental truths are true too.

This mainly comes down to defining everything and keeping attention to the fact that what you are saying has very large complications. For example if

Is true, this means that on this spot you would be able to blink 500x to photograph a page of text. The reason for this is due to some general parts. For example you are awake most of the time so you should have repeated exposure to your eyes. However, because you can remember other things and struggle with recalling photographically each and everything you have seen, this suggests that your eyes don’t get any exposure or the exposure is not repeated. Obviously as you are seeing it’s assumed you get exposure, so this suggests that you should blink more often to repeat the exposure or that you can never remember anything with your eyes without being able to shut them off. You could assume sleep does this but it doesn’t quite translate given you can remember some things that you are seeing.

In the case of wrong truths

It’s of course important to correct fundamental truths which are wrong. It’s likely going to occur often that one piece of evidence breaks a large chunk of truth because the truth is false. Correcting it however, is relatively easy too. Ideally, you only need to propose something that fits with the current truths and the new evidence.
It’s going to be quite often that you would have some fundamental truth that works up until it does not (the point at which it is proven wrong).

Regarding reasoning and details

Additionally, you would want to go as far down as possible, but many things are still not solved in neuroscience so you would essentially be solving things that haven’t been solved using yourself and perhaps the experience of others as a kind of data input.

How you reason about it, is somewhat free, you can even decide to do it entirely visually because neurons would have very much observable properties and interactions.

When you model it visually, there is more leeway with the precision of your terminology. Take for example the statement “neurons that fire together wire together”
Has a lot of extraordinary implications but because you express this visually you limit what implications this statement can actually have. Ordinarily this can imply that any 2 neurons anywhere in your brain firing together will start causing them to wire together. Just to express that detail and clarification is important. It doesn’t even negate that someone else’s neurons can fire together with yours to wire the two anywhere in the universe. We generally use common sense to avoid theories about how neurons across the universe must be wiring together, but truth that relies on undefined common sense is not really proven at all. This is particularly the case when you describe what you call ‘fundamental truths’. So to some extent you will need to start making glossary if you avoid defining fundamental truths with the intention of modelling them against physical properties.

Visually however, you pretty much indicate that these neurons have to be in a certain proximity and exert a precise effect and etc, even while you are saying ‘neurons that fire together wire together’.

Given I have tried this before I am somewhat hesitant to contribute directly. It’s more likely that I would bring in too much bias having already made such a structure for my own use. However, I do suggest either defining most terms you are using in some kind of short glossary or alternatively using them to explain a visual model of how it should actually function.

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Thank you for the feedback! I am grateful.

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I don’t quite understand the basis of your answers, @Nagime… Are they personal opinions or are they based on facts? (It was clear when you wrote “for me”, but, in the other cases?)
Because if we add the “tend” modifier, at least several of the statements are long established facts by psychology (in particular by cognitive psychology).
For example,
1: information TENDS TO stick with repeated exposures
2: Information TENDS TO stick after very little exposure if that information induced a very strong emotional response or came with an otherwise very memorable or unique experience.
Even though it is indeed inaccurate (at least from the point of view of pedagogy and cognitive psychology) to define learning as [only] memory, or to equate learning and memory, it is the main reform that I would propose to the statements themselves…

They are more based on the concept of fundamental truth. So they are not really opinions but facts under that context, rather than based on facts. That said they are also supported by some evidence, I didn’t exactly make such statements out of thin air, but:

is indeed a very large difference, but this wasn’t quite the point. It’s not so much about disproving the statements as it is to highlight some principles.

For starters when something is a fundamental truth as much as we are all different people it is supposed to apply to all of us such that when any one person says ‘this doesn’t apply to me’ either the truth statement is wrong or they are misinterpreting their results/methodology.

What I was more trying to highlight is that it’s not quite so straightforward that you can say one thing and have everyone know exactly what you mean or that these statements are really precise enough to explain themselves without any kind of loophole.

Long established facts by psychology are often not sufficient for fundamental truth.

However, the larger issue with these statements is that they are not fundamental enough, ‘why does it not always stick or not stick at all when doing this’. You have more statements that this depends on (hence not fundamental enough).

Oh, I thought that @MagicallyDelicious had not proposed these “fundamental truths, or most basic, always-true principles of learning” in a literal way, that is, with the intention of establishing them in a mathematically axiomatic or philosophically logical/valid way, which is the point of view of your criticisms/observations.
I interpreted that he did not intend to establish those principles in order to, for example, arrive at a “General Treatise on Learning” (a sort of “Mathematical Principle” of learning) but he wanted to establish what we could call “some basic principles by which we can learn better”, with the more limited and practical purpose of making them useful to those who frequent this website (context that he mentioned in his first paragraph, and that surely confused me).
OK, then.