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LCWO Discussion Forum [Atom LCWO Forum Feed]

This is a simple discussion forum for LCWO users. Feel free to use it for any kind of discussion related to this website.

Thread: Learn faster - Lessen boredom!

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Posted: 2019-10-22 08:04
I don't know if you have read the late Mr. George Pierpont's book "The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy". You can purchase a new revision 5 or download revision 3 at this web address... http://www.n9bor.us/index.php/morse-code/the-art-skill-of-radio-telegraphy . Both contain the complete writing of George Pierpont and revision 5 offers added information and photos if you desire a hard copy.

There is excellent information in the pages of Mr. Pierpont's writing and some which can be improved upon. When I think of this manuscript I also think of Einstein's quote on INSANITY, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”. This could not be closer to the truth yet many of us do this very thing each day of our lives. The question is why do we do this along with how does this relate to learning Morse Code?

What is happening when we study every day? Do we sit and continue doing the same thing over and over expecting different results? Do we listen to the same lesson over and over expecting gain recognition of characters and speed? Is that the way to learn to decode William Morse's set of codes we can communicate with? Are we challenging our minds in a way that reactivates our thought process?

I think there is a better way than what has been told to us in the Pierpont book and many other places. If we believe Einstein, who is far more intelligent than most of us, there is a reason to not do the same thing over and over while we are learning. When we spend countless amounts of time without different results we become frustrated and often walk away from our desires. We become bored, frustrated and feel our efforts are somewhat useless. This must be changed.

To change the lessons so we are subjecting our efforts to differences in our practice sessions we have several things available to us in LCWO. There are the speed variables for "wpm" which can be changed. We can also omit letters we feel we understand from our practice by using the LCWO "Code Groups" and setting the characters to practice in the "Change CW Settings" area. In addition there are parameters which allow us to change the practice code groups length or make them variable. Even changing the audio frequency or making it variable is available. I am a strong believer that we should be doing all of these things for one simple reason. It keeps us from doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. It stops the insanity and keeps us focusing on learning the characters sound so we can immediately respond to it.

Our minds like to do things the same way over and over. It is comfortable for us, so comfortable it becomes boring, it keeps us from having to mentally challenge our thought patterns. When we make changes causing us to think differently in small ways it will unlock our mental ability to use our minds better which will cause us to alter slightly the way we respond. Our objective is the same, learning characters by the sound of the code we hear, and these simple changes will increase our focus to learn the sounds better and faster.

Mr. Pierpont did not include this in his book but that does no invalidate the usefulness of the simple and frequent changes to our daily learning process, Try this out, give it some time and see if your learning will not improve along with helping you stop those thoughts of giving up. Einstein also told us something else, he said "Everyone is a Genius". Einstein was a smart man and if he had that kind of confidence in humanity we would be foolish to consider questioning it. :-)

Best of 73s de N9ZN - Tampa, Florida U.S.A.

Posted: 2019-10-22 18:24
We've all heard Albert Einstein's famous line: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." As it turns out, insanity might be crediting that quote to Einstein over and over again. He never said it.

All those gambling people should be insane.

Repetition is the key to success, because your brain has to be rewired in order to finally decode Morse code as if it is spoken text.

Posted: 2019-10-23 01:31
Repetition without change is absolutely the key to boredom and deciding to quit.


ASK ANYONE HERE IF THEY ARE EXCITED BY REPETITION? If they do tell you YES are you gullible enough to believe it?

Instead of trying to erase something beneficial and encouraging why don't you try giving it a chance for yourself. Not once was it suggested people should not practice. They need the practice to learn. What they don't need is the same routine done exactly the same way, the routine that leads to boredom and defeat.

Instead of your simple comment enlighten all of us on why rote repetition is essential without a change of any kind to the way you study the character you need to learn. The important thing is the CHARACTERS being studied and change enhances our ability to study.

I will stand 100% over behind my suggestion as an improvement to the lesson presentations and the alertness of the taker as a result of those small changes made to an otherwise dull mundane routine.

As far as Einstein goes I certainly do not fact check everything that is published and neither do you. I also offer no apology for crediting the quote to Einstein. If Einstein did not say that he certainly should have because it is true.

I have already learned the Morse Code well and have taken the time to forget it. The evidence of it resides with the license class of my ticket. The old "like riding a bike" equation can not be applied to sending or decoding Morse Code. The code will not come bouncing back without constant use as the old bike rider found 20 years later when he hopped on a bike once again.

IF you look you will realize all that was said is practice but change it up so you don't give up and simply quit. The change also lets our mind out of the prison rote repetition puts it in. Change allows us to creatively think again. Change forces a different thought process each time it occurs.

What is WRONG with those ideas? Why so resistant to the small changes nearly everyone here makes? I would make a small bet that even you have made changes to your daily routine. I also would bet those changes are documented in these threads if we take time to ferret them out. No one cares about that though, what they care about is learning to decode code.

Your analogy of gambling also missed the mark. The only thing repetitious about gambling is betting and even that is not done in the exact same amount. Depending on the game bets are also declined. Frequently those who studied particular games are well adept at never losing to the house or other players at the end of the day. Out of over a half dozen weekends in Las Vegas and Reno I only missed paying for my weekend once from playing card games and that time I eventually got lucky and made up from wagering coupons (casino money) collected on the streets. That was a new experience but profitable. :-)

Your turn... I can't wait to hear the explanation you have to offer.

Posted: 2019-10-23 04:15
Variety and alternate copy is why I created "cwpt" posted about previously, to give all of us more options to generate practice text which can be used with LCWO or ebook2cw. Look at the readme (not just my index page)and you will see much more than code groups or limited canned lists for practice.

73 wa2nfn

Posted: 2019-10-23 12:50
I have a planned amount of time available for exercising Morse code on this website and I don't want to bent it to discussions on a forum. I restrict myself to saying what is my opinion. Readers can decide for themselve.

My point is that every sportsman and Morse code student needs PERSEVERANCE.

When you start a learning process, just know that perseverance is needed and will be used and exercised by NOT quiting.

The slowly gaining of average result(s) with the accidential peaking to a lever never reached before are the stimulating and boring-fighting events. NOT trying this a few days and that a few days till you are bored again and finally quitting because you are even too bored to look for other at the start less boring learning methods.

gd luck

Posted: 2019-11-13 16:24
When learning becomes boring, I do not need to be entertained by some variety in the routines. I need to see success.

I consider it useless, to change something, just to be entertained by the variety. Better is, to change the arrangement and the elements of the learning process itself, to make it working well.

The Question, what will make it working well, cannot be answered in a general way. It makes sens, to be more specific. It is necessary to take into account, what exactly the goals, what the personal ressources and the nature of the individual information processing of the student are.

With this information we can begin to analyse. Which subskills are missing? Which habits have to be broken? Which subskills can be trained together (and when). Which subskills have to be isolated, to execise without beeing hindered by the absence of another subskill. Finally we decide how to learn and exercise.

Fortunately we have already many answers and many well working procedures here on this site, but when one gets stucked, it can be useful to get specific and look at the details individually.

73 Jo

Posted: 2020-09-08 16:33
Actually Monty is completely right! And his ideas have been also proven by the current neuro-science of learning.

You see the notion of "repetition is the key to success" is not completely right. This is an outdated concept based on a flawed view of how the brain creates new structures dating back to 1900 - Pawlov.

What neuro-science has found out since then is that its not only the amount of repetition, that counts. Of course you have to put you time in ans practise. But that only helps up to a point.

Indeed it was discovered that the effectiveness of each repetition decreases asymptotically. So the first repetitions do have an effect, but if you do 50 instead of 100 or 1000 repetitions doesn't make a big difference. And thats the reason why we get stuck at some point.

Instead, what causes permanent changes is:meaningful repetition. That is repetitions where we are completly aware and focused.

The problem: The more we practise, the more we get used to the stimulus. In other words, we're bored. And boredom is the opposite of attention. So boring repetitions get you no where.

So when your stuck and don't seem to move, more repetitions won't help. What helps then is mixing things up.

This is exactly whyt Monty said. The scientific term for it is "contextual interference". Look it up - its widely used in music and sports nowadays.

Posted: 2020-09-08 20:56
Let me guess: contextual interference means for CW to listen to actual signals from real CW operators on the bands?


Posted: 2020-09-08 22:10
It can be seen that people will not shy away from the opportunity to disagree, even if a suggestion is made that is as modest as---
"Vary your routine rather than quit."
I agree with you Monty Howard.
Besides which, all practice is ...repetition. Somehow, people can overlook that. All transmitted codes are not identical to a single code that is used for practice. Copying code involves ...variation.
It is a little troubling to see people advocate any form of study which deprives a student of basic control in a voluntary activity. I think this is indeed discouraging to students who receive the message that there is only "one way".

Posted: 2020-09-09 19:56
I earned my General Class license back in 1957 and upgraded to Advanced in the early '70s. About that time I earned a certificate for 15WPM from ARRL. That was the last time I used code. Well, I thought I'd pick it up again for fun only to find out that it isn't there anymore! So I listen to the 13 WPM broadcasts from W1AW and have little trouble catching the characters. Trouble is: my mind gets involved with what is being sent so I miss several characters in the meantime! Any suggestions???

Posted: 2020-09-10 17:12
I am a newbie to the site but really enjoying the discussion. Einstein was correct, all of you are correct. repetition is desirable only if you are progressing steadily. To me the key is practicing correctly. If you get caught at the same speed making the same mistakes you are practicing the mistakes as well and need to change tactic, speed, spacing, characters etc. which this site easily allows. Everyone learns different so it stands to reason they may need to be taught differently. One size fits all is not for everyone.

As an example, I was progressing rapidly until I got to the punctuation lessons. One was ok two was hard three was next to impossible for me. I was missing alphabet, numbers and punctuation. Why? Age I suppose. So I dropped all the punctuation and added the rest of the alphabet and numbers. I finished quickly taking out the punctuation. Why? not sure. But that is me. How often do you use aLL of the punctuation in cw anyway and wouldn't you get the meaning without them?

Now I'm adding the punctuation one at a time after being solid with the alphabet and numbers. Of course, for me, after finishing the lessons, variation will be great in any fashion.

Posted: 2020-09-29 15:58
So I tried the plain text training. I don't know if I am learning faster. But I am having more fun doing it.

Posted: 2020-11-13 07:06
The book "Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning" is just about this. Really a great book if you are interested about how to learn more effective.

Massed practice is not an effective way of learning for the long term. You should randomize practice. So don't try to learn the 'h' and '5' a week long. Practice them more, but also learn other characters in between. Also listen to words and sentences when you have learned some characters. Maybe try to participate in slow speed contest. No one on air is going to send you only the 'h' and 's'.

“Practice like you play, because you will play like you practice.”

Posted: 2020-11-19 13:08
...the usefulness of the simple and frequent changes to our daily learning process...

I really like this advice, and am already using it, trying different things, and finding what makes the most progress at the moment.

To me, learning CW code is like digging a hole in the ground. I use different tools, a shovel, a pick, a spade, and even my bare hands. Sometimes one tool works at the moment, sometimes another.

And when you run into a rock, don't attack a rock directly. Dig where it's softest. Eventually, with enough digging around softer soil, that rock gets removed.

Posted: 2020-11-19 14:45
Be careful . When you think to learn a lesson from a guy that has a lot of talk how to do something (learaning CW) but failed early and quit definitely.

Posted: 2020-11-21 15:08

Be careful . When you think to learn a lesson from a guy that has a lot of talk how to do something (learaning CW) but failed early and quit definitely.

I don't know exactly who you mean. Any information on the Internet should be treated with caution, especially if the origin of the information is unknown, not proven, or from people who do not disclose their identity. Furthermore, I check whether the source has competence in his field or is just copying from other sources, etc.


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