From: Marieke Willis (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Jan 28 2006 - 11:06:04 MST
--- H C <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> >From: "Herb Martin" <HerbM@LearnQuick.Com>
> >Reply-To: email@example.com
> >To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> >Subject: RE: Self Improvement
> >Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2006 09:12:38 -0600
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of H
> > > > > Modality level: reading, speed reading (how effective is
> > > > > anybody?),
> > > >
> > > >Extremely -- 2500 WPM is easily reproducible, while
> > > >some claim 25,000+ but I haven't personally achieved
> > > >that.
> > >
> > > Haha.
> > >
> > > Honestly. How much are you really accomplishing here?
> >About 10 times more per unit of time that I did
> >before learning the skill.
> >Most educated people read at 200-450 WPM.
> >2500 WPM with similar comprehension is attainable
> >through moderate but serious practice.
> >For many people, comprehension improves, but my
> >(typical) comprehension rates had always been
> >95-100% in 'normal' reading so I typically lose
> >a few percentage points down to 90%+.
> >Even if someone loses comprehension, then reading
> >'three times' still gives a 3 to 1 increase and
> >this is almost certainly at increased comprehension.
> Somehow reading at speeds like this gives the impression to me of
> blindly integrating a lot of base level data. That just isn't enough
> Imagine attempting to read a math textbook, over a section you have
> previous knowledge about, at 2500 WPM.
> It just doesn't make sense to me. You aren't really comprehending in
> a "more
> optimal" way, because integrating base level data just isn't nearly
> important as appying more complex constructions of this base level
> data. You
> would be better off spending your time going slowly and
> updating/adding/subtracting hypotheses on all the levels of
> abstraction for
> every piece of information you are getting.
> Does that makes sense?
To me it does, I was going to say a similar thing. As far as most texts
are concerned, I'll believe that speedreading is possible without a
real loss of understanding, but there are cases in which it's not going
to work, mainly in the type of books that are likely to be most
relevant. Like the math book you mentioned. One might want to think of
examples of the concepts that are presented in the book, to see if one
understands. That's not going to happen if one reads at 2500+ wpm.
Also, books full with jargon that's new to one are going to be
pointless if read at 2500+ wpm. I'm thinking of my neuroanatomy book
here, for example. You can't understand the later chapters if you don't
memorize a lot of the jargon in the first 2 chapters (and the first two
chapters cover almost all what was covered in a one-semester
introductory neuroscience course, so that's quite a bit). Someone
educated but without prior knowledge of neuroscience will be able to
make sense of the book, and learn from it, but probably not at more
than 100 wpm, and quite possibly at less than that even.
I think that the first step to being more efficient in one's
information intake is to be selective in what one reads.
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