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Teaching myself the Trachtenberg Speed System of Basic Mathematics (archive.org/details/trachtenbe).

It’s something I’ve tried to do since my teens but I always found the working memory required onerous. Now, after maybe 10-15 hours of investment I’ve learned most of the system and am really liking it.

Sometimes it feels like it’s easier to learn some things after one’s brain “ripens”. 😅

@jnm It’s a system developed by Jakow Trachtenberg while he was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp to keep himself occupied.

People tote it as a system for mental math but it would be more accurate to say it develops certain mental operations unique to the system (involving simple, usually single digit, multiplication or addition) that allow you to rapidly add, multiply, divide or square (root) large numbers by hand.

You usually do require something to write on.

@jnm Additionally, it provides really nice error-checking techniques for validating if you got the right answer. For multiplication & division you could quickly learn to error check any calculation even if you hadn’t used the system to work it out. The addition error check is built into the approach.

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