Welcome to aha.betterexplained.com, a forum to share the Aha! moments that get ideas to click. Here’s how it works:
##1. Discuss a Topic That Needs Insight
- Let’s stick to math/science/programming topics for now
- Use a general Wikipedia-style title to start, such as
Laplace Transform. If a topic gets huge, we can create a subtopic like
Laplace Transform: Geometric Intuition.
- Share any resources that helped: links/videos that worked, analogies, or conceptual questions. (i.e., “I can’t figure out how to think about problem XYZ”, not “Help me solve this homework problem.”)
##2. Highlight Aha! Moments
As the discussion evolves, we’ll notice the insights, analogies and other conceptual building blocks that help. (For example, “Think of a matrix as a mini-spreadsheet”).
These key insights can be summarized at the top of the post. Ideally they are “tweet-able” and short.
##3. Contribute an Article
After a discussion gets a critical mass of Aha! moments, it can be spun into a lesson.
- I (Kalid) will write new posts on BetterExplained.com based on the discussions
- Anyone can create new articles (on this forum in the
Articlecategory, or on your blog), and these will be linked from the main discussions as well
The forum content is under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY-SA 3.0, same as Wikipedia), and belongs to everyone: re-use and re-mix as much as you like.
Q: How is this different from Wikipedia?
A few ways:
- The goal is discovering helpful insights, not creating an end-to-end reference.
- Wikis grow endlessly, and have an intimidating amount of detail (look up a math concept on Wikipedia sometime). Here, the goal is an intuitive summary of a concept.
- Everyone keeps their own voice. Wikis merge contributions into a generic voice, but here we link to fleshed-out articles from authors.
This forum is a farmer’s market where everyone brings their favorite ingredients. Individual chefs can take their favorites and create a meal they like.
More isn’t better: what’s the smallest set of insights that leads to a deep understanding?
Q: How do I write posts?
This forum uses Markdown, a form of text with formatting shortcuts (tutorial).
Adding images: click this icon in the toolbar: . Add images from the web, your computer (drag & drop), or even copy-paste into the editor.
Diagrams are very helpful for conveying understanding. I like PowerPoint on the desktop, and drawing online with SketchPad (see the diagram article at the top).
Write equations with LaTeX between two dollar signs, so
$$a^2 + b^2 = c^2$$becomes
$$ a^2 + b^2 = c^2$$
Inline equations are possible with a single dollar sign, as long as there are spaces on each side. For example:
$x^2$will become $x^2$ but
$3.14 + $2.97won’t trigger because there is a 2 right next to the last dollar sign.