Thanks for the positive feedback and good question. I think everyone’s memory what we read fades over time and it’s largely unavoidable to a certain extent. So I take a lot of notes. This helps anchor things in my mind and makes refreshing later an easier task.
I hadn’t previously heard of Elon Musk’s method, but it’s intriguing to think about. He sort of frames knowledge as anchoring his first-principles in the trunk with different applications and permutations branching out of it.
I like this idea, but I think in application it’s much more difficult. It’s too simplistic to say that we can just anchor first-principles within the trunk of a tree. It also implies that this knowledge is beyond future revision, which I fundamentally disagree with.
Personally speaking, I retain knowledge best by applying it. So after everything I read, I try to make at least one change because of it. I also take a lot of notes on the reasons and the impacts. This creates, for me at least, more lasting memories of the lessons and ideas that I come across.
Hope this helps. And thanks again for reading!