3. Today's link
In an age of information overload, is there a quicker way to digest everything?
Humans are inundated with more online information now than ever, but there are a few ways to take it in without taking it all in.Speed reading is defined as reading up to three times faster than normal — without losing any comprehension. The scientific community mostly agrees that speed reading at perfect comprehension is impossible; most people are incapable of glossing over words so quickly without missing important information. In fact, when someone thinks they are speed reading, they’re probably just skimming.That doesn’t mean you can’t try to speed read the Internet, according to experts who offered some tips.Only skim what you know.When a college-educated person reads text, they read at a speed of about 200 to 400 words per minute. There is huge variation in there, and it all depends on how closely a person is sticking to the text. By that count, a typical news article takes approximately five minutes. When a person speed reads, however, they cut that time in half.“There’s a tradeoff between speed and accuracy,” said Elizabeth Schotter, assistant professor in cognition and neuroscience at the University of South Florida. “As you go faster you aren’t going to be able to get as detailed information out of the text. You want to develop more effective skimming techniques like reading just the parts of a story that you need.”Think of skimming as a way of sampling.Skimming can serve as an exercise in efficiency and prioritization: Is what you’re reading actually worth your time? According to Marcel Just, director of the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging at Carnegie Mellon, “Sometimes you’re really familiar with something and you can reconstruct the text after skimming. Speed reading isn’t a good method for expanding your knowledge base, but it is a good way to quickly determine what some piece of writing is about and whether it’s worthwhile to go read it in detail or not.”
Does Your Career Entail Reading A Large Volume Of Not Very Interesting Material? Here's a Simple Hack To Speed The Job AlongThat was the counsel of one of my mentors, many years ago. I've mentioned it a couple times.*
In one of her recent posts on her personal blog the FT's Izabella Kaminska commented en passant on keeping up with the flow of information. It can seem overwhelming at times but it's pretty much the essence of the Information Age.
The thing to do is avoid wasting the time you have and that means employing a range of hacks: From paying people to pre-screen what you focus on to constantly asking yourself if the task at hand is the highest value use of your time. It's not easy and it does take some effort because the tendency of the universe is towards entropy and people are lazy but it does not kill one to absorb large amounts of information and convert the info into knowledge and hopefully wisdom.
So You've Rewired Your Brain To The Point You Can't Read A Book. Idiot