Reading contributes more to human excellence than any other form of knowledge acquisition. Reading comes so naturally to experts that they don’t tend to think much about the process. Yet reading is one of the most sophisticated mental activities.
Continue reading Are we Doomed to Read with Information Technology?
This is a copy of my review of Nicholas Carr’s book _The shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brains (Kindle Edi.). I posted the original this morning on GoodReads.com
Nicholas Carr’s book The shallows is an entertaining book that raises flags about the impact that technology is having on our reading habits. He essentially claims that we (more specifically, our brains) are becoming superficial processors of information because of technology. In carefully reading the book, I found that he supported his thesis through insinuation and rhetoric rather than from premises to the clear conclusion you’d expect from the subtitle of his book.
There are plenty of good things to say about this book. However, I will focus on its significant problems so that we can address them.
Continue reading A Proactive Review of Nicholas Carr’s Defeatist Book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
This is a review of Mortimer Adler’s w tow to Read a Book that I posted this morning on GoodReads.com
I have delved into Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book several times since the 1980’s. The book addresses major problems all readers face. Even if one doesn’t adopt the strategies it proposes, it’s useful to think about these problems.
Continue reading Review of Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book — 42 years later
In my previous blog post, I introduced the challenges we face in taking notes with technology.
Today, I have added to Cognitive Productivity: Using Knowledge to Become Profoundly Effective a free OmniOutliner “meta-doc template” for taking notes about information that really matters to you. It may be a particularly high quality e-book, a potent TED talk, a very important lecture, an appealing podcast, or something else. If you don’t take notes about the content, then you have to rely on your memory. And we know that memories fade! If you do take notes about the content, you might as well take them in a systematic way such that you can easily find the information later when you need it.
Continue reading An OmniOutliner Meta-doc Template for Taking Notes
Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer recently published a peer reviewed article in Psychological Science provocatively titled “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking”. Their claim would herald a significant discovery if it were true. For there are many important reasons to believe using a laptop, at least in certain ways, can increase cognitive productivity: Delving, assessing, comprehending, understanding, knowledge building, retention, learning, mastery and even mental development (deep learning). We need not retreat to the to lab refute their titular conclusion. This post, I believe, does the trick.
Continue reading Cognitively Potent Software Is Mightier than the Pen in the Hands of Able, Motivated Knowledge Builders: Response to Mueller & Oppenheimer (2014)
Spritz, new reading technology, is about to hit the Android market. It’s been called “speed-reading” technology; however, it’s sufficiently different from other approaches that this categorization can be misleading.
Can this app help with CogZest’s mission, which is to boost cognitive productivity with cognitive science and technology? Continue reading Spritz Text Streaming, “Speed Reading” and Cognitive Productivity
The Kindle® app is fine for superficial reading. And Amazon® has gradually been improving it… But when you want to delve into a book to solve problems, build knowledge or develop yourself, the Kindle app is very disappointing.
The following critique of the Kindle ebook App (on iOS® and Mac®) indicates how an ebook reader app could help us delve knowledge. Understanding this can help you overcome Kindle’s limitations. It can help you build your reading skills—even if you are already an “expert”. Many of my proposals are derived from cognitive science.
Continue reading What’s Wrong with the Kindle App: A Knowledge Delver’s Perspective
One of the biggest challenges we face in learning from text is that we process it in a dry, cognitive way. In other words, information processing (from knowledge resources) is highly cerebral. It involves language, reasoning, and relatively simple perception. Yet somehow we need to “compile” such very abstract information into low-level perception and motivation, so that we can use it to act. More generally, we need to program and connect very disparate areas of our mind.
Continue reading From Reading to Changing How We Perceive, Think, Feel and Act
Most of the information we process is digital. While the tools we use for learning are in some respects better than paper, in others they are worse. In this article, I claim that:
- Progress is problem-driven
- Most learning tools are cognitively impotent
- Self-directed learners should use potent cognitive tools and do so in a manner that promotes their learning.
Continue reading Why Use Potent Cognitive Tools —and How