GoldList Method Explained Part 6 – Bronze, Silver, Gold

We left Part 5 at the point where we have done the first three distillations and obviously the Headlist in our GoldList Book. We might well have run out of double pages in that first book and already our Headlist and the distillations could have stretched into multiple books, and if they have, then still it is all one Headlist, and the second book in the given project (usually a language is a single project unless you have good reasons to make separate projects within one language) starts off with a number like 2,251 and the first distillation might start with a number not a million miles away from 1576, although that one, unlike the H one, doesn’t need to a multiple of 25 or 20 plus one.

Even when you have multiple books with Headlist and  D1, D2 and D3 going through, they are all what we call BRONZE books. You can call these books “Czech Bronze 1”, “Czech Bronze 2” etc.

The terminology “Bronze” means that we are expecting a Silver and a Gold level too. And this of course plays into why all this is called the GoldList Method. Maybe some readers would have liked me to answer that question earlier than now in this explanation, but tis is the point at which it begins to make sense. The “Gold” in the GoldList is what is the most valuable, and the most valuable thing is what has had the most time spent on it.

We know that three quarters of the work is done in the Bronze books. Only about 24% of the lines in the Project are making it through to Silver level and these are the ones which were hardest for you to remember. This is very personal and connected to your own subconscious – someone else working on exactly the same materials might have a different looking Headlist and even if that were similar would have very different Distillations, and of course the closer you get to end the more different they are likely to be. Your Gold is what makes it to the GoldBook and that is less than 6%, and once you get through to D11 less than 2% of the original lines in the Headlist.

You can think of it as panning for gold, in the way they used to do it in the American gold rush, you would chuck out the bits of gravel where you were sure there was no gold. You can also liken it to working as a mental athlete from having a Bronze medal on the project when you complete the D3, a silver medal when completing the D7 and being the absolute champion when you finish D11. So you are working out an algorithm which leads you by way of these lists to your own personal “gold”, the words and phrases which most evaded your memory.

Let’s look again at the numbers, this time concerning ourselves more with the top left part of this already well-worn diagram:

glcamemb This shows a ten thousand word project being worked out through the GLM at what happens to be a strict rate of 70% every time, which we know won’t be the case always in reality, but this is a model.

The colours in the top left part show which distillations belong in the Bronze book – H, D1, D2 and D3 are Bronze. They will take up probably four reasonably thick hardback notebooks. If someone chose thinner writing books it will be more than that. These books will be Bronze 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively, and in the notation we can call them B1, B2, etc.

He or she may have been doing Czech and then wants to start a new project, maybe a new language or a subject, say “Legal cases in UK contract law”(1), and the books used for that project start at B1 again. Once you get used to GoldListing you probably will wish to use it for multiple projects.

Now let us look at another diagram, again courtesy of Excel:


What this means is, that D4 is in the same position as the Headlist was, but in the Silver Book. Likewise D5 is where D1 was, but in the Silver instead of the Bronze book, etc.

So you need a nice book, which will have to last longer and take more handling than the bronze books did, but it has to be like any GoldList book in that it needs to be thick enough to enable enough work to fit in it, and deep enough in terms of lines to enable GoldListing, if only with the 20 line method. This Silver Book doesn’t need to look Silver of course, any more than the Bronze Books needed to look Bronze. By the same token the Gold book, when we get that far, won’t need to look Gold, although if I had a choice Id probably pick that colour.

You do the Fourth Distillation as if it were a new Headlist in the Silver Book

Which means that once again your top-left has a standard number of lines, either the 25 or the 20 that you had at H. If you were using the Semitic Alphabets mirror effect in the Bronze, you’ll probably want to do it in the Silver Book also. But other than that, it will be very similar to doing a Headlist and just like any list in the Bronze level, D5 and the other distillations all have their own internal sequence for numbering.

However, you will want to take maybe just 6 or 7 of the 9 words you had in D3 over to D4. That means that the first double page of the Silver book will probably have roughly what’s left of the first 100 lines, the first four double pages, of the Bronze book.

This is why you my be a little less aggressive doing D4 from D3 than you probably were doing D3 from D2. All through the work in the Bronze book, you have had the benefit of being able, in case of need, to refer back to the Headlist in cse of doubt. Right now you are creating that new Ersatz-Headlist which is really the fourth Distillation, so you may think that things which are useful for reference are worth being taken across even if you think you know most of them. I know some people even take this as an opportunity to run down the Headlist one last time and if there is anything they are completely feeling as if they are looking at for the first time, despite previously having felt they knew them (this won’t happen very often at all, but it can occur, also errors of omission could have occured in the process, where a line got skipped purely by accident) then this is like a final chance to catch these and feed them back in again.

For that reason, results not as aggressive as 30% reduction often happen at D4, and hence one likes to be a bit more aggressive in D3 and then again at D5, which as you knnow by now is the Distillation which in the Silver book is on the top-right corner, exactly where D1 is in the Bronze Book.

I hope I don’t need to repeat at this point that each of these Distillations cannot take place less than two weeks under any circumstances since the previous one was made. As we start to work on D6, on the bottom right, the minimum possible time which has passed since we started the project is how much?

A: 8 weeks
B: 10 weeks
C: 12 weeks
D: 14 weeks?

Hopefully you selected C, but that of course is a theoretical minimum and will be very inconvenient to work to in practice. Given that there is no maximum limit for the fermentation period, it could be (and in my case usually is) that you are over half a year into the project before anything appears at D6 level.

D7 likewise brings you to the end of the Silver Book, at which point you did 7% of the whole work at D4, 5% at D5, 4% at D6 and 3% at D7, so in total this Silver Book contained 19% of the remaining 24% left to do after the Bronze Book.  In other words, 95% of the work is done when you get to the end of the Silver Book.

You can see that if four double pages of Bronze book feed into a single double page of Silver book, then four big Bronze books feed into one Silver book. Or more, if you are getting a better distillation rate, but 70% is perfectly OK.

This means that for your project, you may well not need more than one Silver book, two at most for really big projects. And you don’t need a Gold book for each project (unless you want it) so my general advice is to have a Silver book per language and not mix different languages in that as it will be hard to work on your statistics, but given that Gold Book is just the final 5%, and four or more languages learned to a good level will distil down to one thick book at D 8 level (A thousand double pages will have been distilled to just sixty double pages at this point), I would suggest that you can mix different projects in your Gold Book although preferably not on the same double sides, and then run combined statistics at Gold List level. You know anyway 95% of the stats story and how well you distilled each language just by keeing distinct books for each project at Bronze and Silver levels.

So in the end the collection of GoldList Books you have might look something like this:


Now this guy, let’s call him Kim, that’s a name that has been in the news a lot recently, he has been doing four big projects using the GoldList Method. He has four Bronze Books in each of Spanish (preferably the Mexican variety as he has friends in common), Indonesian (he noticed Malay on a recent trip to Singapore but believes the Indonesian language would give him more punch in the region), Norwegian (in case he has to become an ex-dictator) and botany (in order to learn the correct way to push up daisies, should it come to that).

For each of these Projects he plans to fill the Bronze books (four per project) and Silver books (one per Project) that you see in the diagram, and in addition he has one Gold book, which contains the final 5% of all of these Projects.

We will show you the Practical Example as it actually emerges, through the distillations and into the Silver book, as they appear. Please bear in mind that that is still a live project so it also has to go through the proper fermentation periods.









(1) Using GLM for law students is best for law that won’t change, and of course the facts about cases don’t change. Acts in force do tend to be subject to more chage and always it is good to use the long-term memory for things that have long-term validity.  For things which have only validity for a few years I always suggest not memorising it at all but using the directory or reference work and keeping it at hand, instead of leveraging your long-term memory with information that can become irrelevant.
If you decide to GoldList cases, then a good approach is to make a template for the headlist containing name, date, court, name of judge, some lines for the facts of the case, what point of law is illustrated, what the decision was, and any obiter dicta or other interesting quotes that are associated with the case, and the precedent that was set and if the precedent is still current. You can even make a template for D1, and from D2 you can start just chucking out what is actually remembered.


Anyone wishing to share in the funding of the coming GoldList Method Book and other coming resources can now do so here.



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