This is a conversation with Allison Andrade, an undergraduate student at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. She was one of several cohorts of students taught to use Progressive Summarization by a professor, Wes Daniels (who has written about that experience here).

In this wide-ranging conversation we talk about:

  • My background in religion and how it has influenced my work
  • Examples of states of flow in religious experience, drawing on ideas and terminology from the book Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal (affiliate link; my members-only summary here)
  • The importance of making “ecstasis” more accessible to more people, by making it available within societal conventions
  • Progressive Summarization as an intentional way of planning and writing papers in discrete chunks
  • The power of small intermediate packets to provide a consistent pace of positive reinforcement in difficult endeavors
  • How she organizes her notes for writing research papers that span many topics
  • How Progressive Summarization is taught and used in a college-level course, including crowdsourcing the summarization and interpretation of classroom texts
  • The value of reflective written documents in tracking one’s learning and recontextualizing personal growth
  • The role of mind-altering substances and religious rituals in “depatterning” believers

You can read more about Allison’s research in her paper: The Intersection of Quaker Practice and Productivity.



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