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More About Reading

Last week I wrote about why I thought Tiago Forte’s ChatGPT book processing system missed a crucial step in gaining knowledge. Then this week I found and started listening to The Informed Life podcast, and specifically the episode on reading with Karl Fast.

What jumped out to me specifically was Karl’s assertion that to read a book and gain knowledge from it you need at least an hour or two after you’re done the reading step to really dig in and take notes on the book. This supports my point from last week, it’s not about speed and “productivity”, it’s about taking the time required to understand and get good information about your resources.

When you are always looking for ways to “speed up” so you can get more done, you’re focusing on quantity over quality. As with many things, you do need some form of quantity to be able to get any semblance of quality, but if all you aim for is how many books you read in a year, you’re measuring the wrong thing.

I’ve said many times this year, that I’m far behind my regular reading schedule. I’ve read for more fiction than non-fiction. I don’t feel bad about either of those two statements though because my goal is not to read as much as possible, it’s to get information relevant to my interests and to have that information help inform my opinions so I can be a better person.

When you’re taking advice from anyone purporting to help you with your thinking you should be asking yourself, are they merely trying to show you a system to get more done, or are they showing you how to think better? Are they showing you how to slow down and ask good questions so that the things you do have time to access are milked for all the worth they have to you?

More Time To Think Updates

This week I processed my notes from The Reading Mind which produced two ideas to flesh out for the book. First, writing is thinking, which I also explored in last weeks note about writing book reviews. Writing also gives a record of what you used to think so you can see how far you’ve come.

Second, you must access information that you don’t quite understand. Much like working out, you must push yourself to exercise your brain and expand that which you understand. Reading “easy” stuff for pleasure is of course acceptable, but if you want to deeply understand topics and become a deep thinker, you’re also going to have to push your brain by reading hard stuff, sometimes more than once.

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Something Interesting

Dropping fares on public transit didn’t have the ridership increase expected. The conclusions about what did increase ridership at the end are interesting, if unsurprising.

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