37: Mattias Ribbing - Speed Up Learning, Think Pictorially, and the Future School System


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Grandmaster of Memory Mattias Ribbing joins us today. He is an author, educator, and 3-time Swedish champion of memory sport. He’s also become a Grandmaster of Memory internationally. Mattias sits down for a conversation about mnemonics, biohacking, self-improvement, minimalism, and his thoughts on improving the school system.

The first half of the episode is about learning and the human brain:

  • How to think in pictures (the way the brain processes information fastest)
  • The benefits of thinking pictorially (“give your brain folders”)
  • How to learn a new area fast
  • What to do when studying and feeling confused
  • How to go from big picture to granular details
  • How to become fluent in languages—and why we teach languages inefficiently in school

Here are the questions asked during the second half, about the school system:

  • Are we being dumbed down?
  • What does the new school system look like?
  • Should we improve upon the existing one by making modifications, or should we do away with it and create a new one from scratch?
  • What makes Mattias optimistic about the future?
  • Which skills will become more valuable (or hard to replace) in the future?

Please enjoy this conversation with Mattias.

Also, watch his TED talk about memory techniques here.


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47 episodes