The Secret Algorithm Behind Learning: Simplify, Organize, and Transmit

Esteban Tala

Hatched by Esteban Tala

Jan 31, 2024

3 min read


The Secret Algorithm Behind Learning: Simplify, Organize, and Transmit


Learning is a complex process that requires deep understanding and effective communication. In order to truly grasp a concept, it is essential to simplify it and explain it in the simplest terms possible. This article explores a secret algorithm for learning by incorporating the ideas of teaching it to a child, organizing and simplifying the information, and transmitting it to someone else to test one's understanding.

Step 1: Teach it to a child

To truly understand a subject, it is important to be able to explain it to someone with limited knowledge. Imagine teaching the concept to an 8-year-old child who has a basic understanding of language and attention span. By using common words and explaining the ideas from start to finish, you challenge yourself to comprehend the concept at a deeper level. This exercise also helps in simplifying relationships and connections between ideas. If you struggle during this process, it indicates areas where you have knowledge gaps. Embrace this tension as an opportunity to learn and revisit the source material to fill those gaps.

Step 2: Identify the boundaries of your understanding

By teaching a concept to a child, you uncover the limits of your own knowledge. This awareness of your competence allows you to identify potential mistakes and increase your chances of success when applying your knowledge. Understanding the boundaries of your understanding is crucial in developing a strong foundation for further learning.

Step 3: Organize and Simplify

After teaching the concept to a child and relearning the material, you now have a set of handcrafted notes. Review these notes and ensure that you haven't borrowed any jargon from the source material. Organize the information into a simple story that flows logically. It is important to read these notes out loud to evaluate their simplicity. If the explanation sounds confusing or complicated, it indicates areas that still need work. By simplifying the information, you enhance your understanding and ability to convey it to others effectively.

Step 4 (optional): Transmit

To truly test your understanding, transmit your knowledge to someone else. Find someone who knows little about the subject or even an actual 8-year-old child. The ultimate test of your knowledge lies in your capacity to convey it to another person. By explaining the concept to someone else, you solidify your understanding and identify any areas where you might still have gaps.


Learning is a continuous process that requires effort and dedication. By following the secret algorithm of simplifying, organizing, and transmitting knowledge, you can enhance your understanding and become a more effective learner. Remember to embrace the tension of knowledge gaps as opportunities for growth. Here are three actionable pieces of advice to incorporate into your learning process:

  • 1. Teach it to a child: Challenge yourself to explain complex concepts in simple language to deepen your understanding.
  • 2. Identify the boundaries of your understanding: Recognize your limits and work on filling knowledge gaps to increase your chances of success.
  • 3. Transmit your knowledge: Test your understanding by explaining the concept to someone else, ensuring that you can effectively convey the information.

By following these steps and continuously seeking to improve your understanding, you can unlock the secret algorithm behind learning and embark on a journey of lifelong knowledge acquisition.

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