49 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. Active reading to the extreme!

      What a clever innovation building on the ideas of the art of memory and Raymond Llull's combinatoric arts!

      Does this hit all of the areas of Bloom's Taxonomy? I suspect that it does.

      How could it be tied more directly into an active reading, annotating, and note taking practice?

    1. The student doesn’t have a strong preference for any of these archetypes. Their notes serve a clear purpose that’s often based on a short-term priority (e.g, writing a paper or passing a test), with the goal to “get it done” as simply as possible.

      The typical student note taking method of transcribing, using (or often not using at all), and keeping notes is doomed to failure.

      Many students make the mistake of not making their own actual notes. By this I don't mean they're not writing information down. In fact many are writing information down, but we can't really call these notes. Notes by definition ought to transform something seen or heard into one's own words. Without the transformation, these students think that they're taking notes, but in reality they're focusing their efforts on being transcriptionists. They're attempting to capture something for later consumption. This is a deadly trap! By only transcribing, they're not taking advantage of transforming information by putting ideas down in their own words to test their understanding. Often worse, even if they do transcribe notes, they don't revisit them. If they do revisit them, they're simply re-reading them and not actively working with them. Only re-reading them will lead to the illusion that they're learning something when in fact they're falling into the mere-exposure effect.

      Students who are acting as transcriptionists would be better off simply reading a textbook and taking notes directly from that.

      A note that isn't revisited or revised, may as well be a note not taken. If we were to consider a spectrum of useful, valuable, and worthwhile notes, these notes would be at the lowest end of the spectrum.

      link to: https://hypothes.is/a/QgkL6IkIEeym7OeN9v9New

  2. Apr 2022
    1. We have to endlessly scroll and parse a ton of images and headlines before we can find something interesting to read.

      The randomness of interesting tidbits in a social media scroll help to put us in a state of flow. We get small hits of dopamine from finding interesting posts to fill in the gaps of the boring bits in between and suddenly find we've lost the day. As a result an endless scroll of varying quality might have the effect of making one feel productive when in fact a reasonably large proportion of your time is spent on useless and uninteresting content.

      This effect may be put even further out when it's done algorithmically and the dopamine hits become more frequent. Potentially worse than this, the depth of the insight found in most social feeds is very shallow and rarely ever deep. One is almost never invited to delve further to find new insights.


      How might a social media stream of content be leveraged to help people read more interesting and complex content? Could putting Jacques Derrida's texts into a social media-like framing create this? Then one could reply to the text by sentence or paragraph with their own notes. This is similar to the user interface of Hypothes.is, but Hypothes.is has a more traditional reading interface compared to the social media space. What if one interspersed multiple authors in short threads? What other methods might work to "trick" the human mind into having more fun and finding flow in their deeper and more engaged reading states?

      Link this to the idea of fun in Sönke Ahrens' How to Take Smart Notes.

    2. …and they are typically sorted: chronologically: newest items are displayed firstthrough data: most popular, trending, votesalgorithmically: the system determines what you see through your consumption patterns and what it wants you to seeby curation: humans determine what you seeby taxonomy: content is displayed within buckets of categories, like Wikipedia Most media entities employ a combination of the above.

      For reading richer, denser texts what is the best way of ordering and sorting it?

      Algorithmically sorting with a pseudo-chronological sort is the best method for social media content, but what is the most efficient method for journal articles? for books?

    1. solo thinking isrooted in our lifelong experience of social interaction; linguists and cognitivescientists theorize that the constant patter we carry on in our heads is a kind ofinternalized conversation. Our brains evolved to think with people: to teachthem, to argue with them, to exchange stories with them. Human thought isexquisitely sensitive to context, and one of the most powerful contexts of all isthe presence of other people. As a consequence, when we think socially, wethink differently—and often better—than when we think non-socially.

      People have evolved as social animals and this extends to thinking and interacting. We think better when we think socially (in groups) as opposed to thinking alone.

      This in part may be why solo reading and annotating improves one's thinking because it is a form of social annotation between the lone annotator and the author. Actual social annotation amongst groups may add additonal power to this method.

      I personally annotate alone, though I typically do so in a publicly discoverable fashion within Hypothes.is. While the audience of my annotations may be exceedingly low, there is at least a perceived public for my output. Thus my thinking, though done alone, is accelerated and improved by the potential social context in which it's done. (Hello, dear reader! 🥰) I can artificially take advantage of the social learning effects even if the social circle may mathematically approach the limit of an audience of one (me).

    1. The Jesuit Francesco Sac-chini, in contrast, commended the interruption in reading that resulted fromstopping to copy a passage into one’s notebook: it slowed down reading and aidedretention.44
    2. The first manual solely devoted to excerpting, or note-taking fromreading, was composed for students in the advanced or rhetoric class at Jesuitcolleges by Francesco Sacchini (1570–1625), professor of rhetoric at the CollegioRomano. De ratione libros cum profectu legendi libellus (A Little Book on Howto Read with Profit) was published in 1614 and in a further six editions, followedby a translation into French in 1786 (for the use of Calvinists, judging from thededication to a pastor in Geneva) and into German in 1832.34

      Footnote:

      Sacchini (1614)—further references to “Sacchini” will be to this edition; warm thanks to Helmut Zedelmaier for sharing with me his photocopy of this edition. Further editions include: Sammieli (Saint-Mihiel, Lorraine), 1615; Ingolstadt 1616; Bordeaux 1617; Dillingen 1621; Leipzig 1711 and 1738; and Venetiis Britonum (Vannes, Brittany), 1866. It was translated into French (Sacchini [1786]) and German, Über die Lektüre, ihren Nutzen und die Vortheile sie gehörig anzuwenden, nach dem Lateini- Notes to Pages 70–72 283 schen des Sacchini teutsch bearbeitet und mit einem Anhange begleitet von Herrmann Walchner (Karlsruhe, 1832). I am grateful to Helmut Zedelmaier for the information about the German edition, which I have not seen. Sacchini’s De ratione . . . legendi was a source for Rainierio Carsughi, Ars bene scribendi (Rome, 1709), as discussed in Haskell (2003), 260. For the full range of Jesuit practices of note-taking (including notes taken under dictation) see Nelles (2007)—I am grateful to Paul Nelles for helpful conversations over the years. On Sacchini, see also Dainville (1978), 224–27.

  3. Mar 2022
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I44oMVd4Cw

      Become a Better Reader in 8 Minutes - Write down basic Impressions - Write actionable takeaways - Limit it to 10 items to create a level of selection - Create a list of favorite quotes - Bonus section: Catch all for other important tidbits. Also good for important questions.

      This is useful for its brevity and actionability, but it's also glossing over so much more that could be valuable. It specifically is leaving out methods and means of actively reusing all these written notes. No mention of reviews of the material or spaced repetition.

      Saw this via YouTube algorithm.

    1. sometimes it's 00:55:43 not the actual information bit but in a combined order that this is what it's all about and that often makes a difference between yeah you understand it and 00:56:00 you really understand it and um so maybe that's a good reminder that when we write it's it's not so much about new information and yeah don't have to 00:56:15 be too worried about not having the new information but about making this difference to really understanding it as something that 00:56:28 a significant or makes a difference

      For overall understanding and creating new writing output from it, the immediate focus shouldn't be about revealing new information or simple facts so much as it's about being able to place that new information into your own context. Once this has been done then the focus can shift to later being able to potentially use that new knowledge and understanding in other novel and enlightening contexts to create new insights.

    2. what i don't really do 00:48:10 is having a checklist like going through possible biases i don't feel that's very helpful i think it's important to keep them in mind but i think it's more about detecting okay 00:48:25 what kind of question is [Music] the author trying to answer

      Understanding the sorts of questions an author is looking at and attempting to answer are often more important than going through a checklist of biases which may come into play.

    3. give the text your reading the opportunity to tell you something new and something 00:49:02 you have not expected so i'm worried a little bit of having fixed [Music] categories to look through 00:49:16 text because it might turn every text into something that is um already fitting your categories instead of expanding them 00:49:26 or adding to them

      Coming to a text with too rigid a set of questions or preconceived categories may cause you to be blinded by what you expect to get out of it rather than allowing the text to surprise you with new and interesting insights you may not have anticipated.

    4. it is a tool for productivity um but i think it's a technology that forces you to [Music] engage more deeply with 00:29:06 the text you're reading

      The zettelkasten is a tool for thought that forces you to engage more deeply with what you're reading.

    1. Put Eidsheim 2015 and O'Callaghan 2007 in dialogue with each other.

      Brandon Lewis seems to be talking about actively taking two papers and placing them "in dialogue with each other" potentially by reading, annotating, and writing about them with himself as an intermediary.

    1. Research shows that people who are asked to write on complex topics,instead of being allowed to talk and gesture about them, end up reasoning lessastutely and drawing fewer inferences.

      Should active reading, thinking, and annotating also include making gestures as a means of providing more clear reasoning, and drawing better inferences from one's material?

      Would gestural movements with a hand or physical writing be helpful in annotation over digital annotation using typing as an input? Is this related to the anecdotal evidence/research of handwriting being a better method of note taking over typing?

      Could products like Hypothes.is or Diigo benefit from the use of digital pens on screens as a means of improving learning over using a mouse and a keyboard to highlight and annotate?

    1. Take Smart Notes

      It's important to be able to understand an idea within it's given text fully, but good readers are able to take the idea and place it into other contexts, to extend it, connect it to ideas beyond the text, and ask additional questions that the original author may not have considered or even thought possible.

    1. Even though your highlights from books typically include a page or "location" number, this context is largely meaningless unless you happen to be writing a paper requiring proper citations.

      Page numbers are terrible for anything other than looking up a location or citing where a quote is from, it provides little meaningful organizational context.

  4. Feb 2022
    1. In the early chapters Ahrens outlines the general form and method for taking notes for a zettelkasten, though he's not overly descriptive of the method and provides no direct examples.

      In the middle chapters he talks broadly about learning research and how the zettelkasten method dovetails with these methods.

      He does this almost as if he's a good teacher showing the student an outline of what to do and why, but leaving it up to them to actually do the work and experimentation to come up with their own specific methods of use to best suit their purposes. This allows them to do the work themselves so that they have a better chance of following a simple, but easy set of rules, but in a way that will allow them to potentially more quickly become an expert at the practice.

      “The one who does the work does the learning,” writes Doyle (2008, 63) [Section 10.5]

      In some sense, he's actively practicing what he preaches as a teaching device within his own book!

      I think that this point may be actively missed by those readers who aren't actively engaging with and converting his ideas into their own and doing the work which he's actively suggesting.

    2. We face here the same choice between methods that make us feellike we learned something and methods that truly do make us learnsomething.

      What methods of studying actually make us learn something versus make us feel as if we've learned something?

      Active reading, progressive summarization may be on this list while highlighting and underlining might not. Or perhaps there's a spectrum of poor to good, and if this is the case, what does it look like? Is it the same for everyone or are factors like neurodivergence part of the equation which might change this spectrum of learning methods and techniques?

    3. Reading with a pen in yourhand is the small-scale equivalent of a lecture.

      Active reading with a pen in your hand and the creation of smart notes is a small-scale equivalent of a full introductory lecture from the perspective of Richard Feynman's technique for testing understanding.

      Active reading is roughly equivalent to the idea of reading with a pen in your hand or showing evidence of a mind at play.

    4. Taking smart notes is the deliberate practice ofthese skills. Mere reading, underlining sentences and hoping toremember the content is not.

      Some of the lighter and more passive (and common) forms of reading, highlighting, underlining sentences and hoping to understand or even remember the content and contexts is far less valuable than active reading, progressive summarization, comparing and contrasting, and extracting smart or permanent notes from one's texts.

    5. Notes build up while you think, read, understand and generateideas, because you have to have a pen in your hand if you want tothink, read, understand and generate ideas properly anyway

      An active reader is always thinking, writing, and annotating. The notes from this process can and could easily be used to facilitate writing and generating new material showing new contexts and new modes of thought.

    1. I would advise you to read with a pen in your hand, and enter in a little book short hints of what you find that is curious or that may be useful; for this will be the best method of imprinting such particulars in your memory, where they will be ready either for practice on some future occasion if they are matters of utility, or at least to adorn and improve your conversation if they are rather points of curiosity.

      Benjamin Franklin letter to Miss Stevenson, Wanstead. Craven-street, May 16, 1760.

      Franklin doesn't use the word commonplace book here, but is actively recommending the creation and use of one. He's also encouraging the practice of annotation, though in commonplace form rather than within the book itself.

    1. It matters less what you read, he told me, emphasizing each word, than how you take notes.

      I appreciate how he puts some priority in note taking, but it does matter what your read.

      Better:

      It matters both what you read and how you take notes.

  5. Jan 2022
    1. An incredibly short, but dense essay on annotating books, but one which doesn't go into the same sort of detail as he gets in his book length treatment in How to Read a Book.

      Missing here is the social aspect of annotating a book. In fact, he actively recommends against loaning one's annotated books for fear of losing the details and value in them.

    2. Most of us have been taken in by the notion that speed of reading is a measure of our intelligence. T

      Where did the idea of speed reading being a measure of our intelligence stem?

      Certainly in a world of information overload there is the perception that greater consumption is better, but lack of comprehension and memory are the enemies.

      Comprehension and the ability to remember the books we read should be of the utmost importance.

    3. reading, if it is active, is thinking, and thinking tends to express itself in words, spoken or written.

      Nice to see him pay some homage to orality here.

    4. You know you have to read "between the lines" to get the most out of anything. I want to persuade you to do something equally important in the course of your reading. I want to persuade you to write between the lines. Unless you do, you are not likely to do the most efficient kind of reading.

      -Mortimer J. Adler

  6. Dec 2021
    1. Discussion is led by an instructor, but the instructor’s job is not to give the students a more informed understanding of the texts, or to train them in methods of interpretation, which is what would happen in a typical literature- or philosophy-department course. The instructor’s job is to help the students relate the texts to their own lives.

      The format of many "great books" courses is to help students relate the texts to their own lives, not to have a better understanding of the books or to hone methods of interpreting them.

      This isn't too dissimilar to the way that many Protestants are taught to apply the Bible to their daily lives.

      Are students mis-applying the great books because they don't understand their original ideas and context the way many religious people do with the Bible?

  7. Nov 2021
    1. Karnofsky suggests that the cost/benefit ratio of how we typically think of reading may not be as simple as we intuitively expect i.e. we think that 'more time' = 'more understanding'.

      If you're simply reading to inform yourself about a topic, it may be worth reading a couple of book reviews, and listening to an interview or two, rather than invest the significant amount of time necessary to really engage with the book.

      A few hours of skimming and reviews/interviews may get you to 25% understanding and retention, which in many cases may be more than enough for your needs of being basically informed on the topic. Compared to the 50 - 100 hours necessary for a deep, analytical engagement with the text, that would only get you to 50% understanding and retention.

      That being said, if your goal is to develop expertise, both Karnofsky and Adler ('How to read a book') suggest that you need a deep engagement with multiple texts.

  8. Sep 2021
    1. https://fs.blog/2021/08/remember-books/

      A solid overview of how to read. Not as long or as in-depth as Mortimer J. Adler, but hits all of the high points in an absorbable manner.

      Definitely worth re-reading...

    2. The goal is not to read as many books as possible. The goal is to gain as much wisdom as you can.
    3. Using models while reading can also help you get more out of the book. Here are some examples of paths they might lead you down: Confirmation bias: Which parts of this book am I ignoring? Does this book confirm my opinions? (Okay, but does it actually affirm your beliefs or are you just seeing what you want to see? If you cannot think of a single point in the book that you disagreed with, confirmation bias is likely distorting your reasoning.) Bayesian updating: What opinions should I change in light of this book? How can I update my worldview using the information in it? Keep in mind the words of John Maynard Keynes: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” Incentives: What motivates the characters or the author? What are they seeking? What is their purpose? Here’s how Kurt Vonnegut described the importance of incentives in books: “When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away—even if it’s only a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the meaninglessness of modern life still have to drink water from time to time.” Availability bias: Are the books I have recently read affecting how I perceive this one? How are my immediate past experiences shaping my reading? Am I assigning undue importance to parts of this book because they are salient and memorable? Social proof: How is social proof—the number of copies sold, bestseller status, the opinions of others—affecting my perception of this book? Is the author using social proof to manipulate readers? It is not unusual for authors to buy their way onto bestseller lists, providing social proof that then leads to substantial sales. As a result, mediocre books can end up becoming popular. It’s a classic case of the emperor having no clothes, which smart readers know to look out for. Survivorship bias: Is this (nonfiction) book a representation of reality or is the author failing to account for base rates? Survivorship bias is abundant in business, self-help, and biographical books. A particular case of a successful individual or business might be held as the rule, rather than the exception. Utility: If a book offers advice, does it have practical applications? At what point do diminishing returns set in?

      This is a good list of questions to put into a template to ask both while and after reading a book.

      What other regularly recurring questions might go into such a list?

  9. Aug 2021
    1. The first step in translating experience, either of other men's writing, or of your own life, into the intellectual sphere, is to give it form. Merely to name an item of experience often invites you to explain it; the mere taking of a note from a book is often a prod to reflection. At the same time, of course, the taking of a note is a great aid in comprehending what you are reading.

      on the purpose of taking notes, annotating one's reading, or commonplacing

      highlight is a quote from

      C. Wright Mills' profound "Appendix: On Intellectual Craftsmanship," as found in his book on The Sociological Imagination.[16]

    2. Reading should never be merely passive and consist in the mere absorption or copying of information. It should be critical and engage the material reflectively, being guided by questions such as "Why is this important?" "How does this fit in?" "Is it true?" "Why is the author saying what she is saying?" etc.
    1. William Poole, “The Genres of Milton’sCommonplace Book,” inThe Oxford Handbook of Milton, ed. NicholasMcDowell and Nigel Smith (2009), pp.367–81, argues that since Milton’scommonplace book was an exercise in moral philosophy (the discipline towhich his headings of ethics, economics, and politics correspond), it wascompiled for action.

      John Milton's commonplace book was an exercise in moral philosophy and it was compiled for action, not just a collection.

  10. Jul 2021
    1. Reading and listening are thought of as receiving communication from someone who is actively engaged in giving or sending it. The mistake here is to suppose that re­ceiving communication is like receiving a blow or a legacy or a judgment from the court. On the contrary, the reader or listener is much more like the catcher in a game of baseball. Catching the ball is just as much an activity as pitching or hitting it. The pitcher or batter is the sender in the sense that his activity initiates the motion of the ball. The catcher or fielder is the receiver in the sense that his activity terminates it. Both are active, though the activities are different.

      Reading is a receptive active undertaking in the same way as a catcher receiving a pitch in baseball.

    2. One reader is better than another in proportion as he is capable of a greater range of activity in reading and exerts more effort. He is better if he demands more of himself and of the text before him.
    3. the more active the reading the better.

      How much more active can it be than also actively annotating and note taking?

    4. One of the reasons for this situation is that the very media we have mentioned are so designed as to make thinking seem unnecessary (though this is only an appearance). The packag­ing of intellectual positions and views is one of the most active enterprises of some of the best minds of our day. The viewer of television, the listener to radio, the reader of magazines, is presented with a whole complex of elements-all the way from ingenious rhetoric to carefully selected data and statistics-to make it easy for him to "make up his own mind" with the mini­mum of difficulty and effort. But the packaging is often done so effectively that the viewer, listener, or reader does not make up his own mind at all. Instead, he inserts a packaged opinion into his mind, somewhat like inserting a cassette into a cassette player. He then pushes a button and "plays back" the opinion whenever it seems appropriate to do so. He has performed ac­ceptably without having had to think.

      This is an incredibly important fact. It's gone even further with additional advances in advertising and social media not to mention the slow drip mental programming provided by algorithmic feeds which tend to polarize their readers.

      People simply aren't actively reading their content, comparing, contrasting, or even fact checking it.

      I suspect that this book could use an additional overhaul to cover many of these aspects.

  11. Mar 2021
  12. Feb 2021
    1. I try to keep a note of what I read, which I probably would not do if I was not writing a blog

      I've recently shifted into a frame of mind where I think that, if I'm reading something (something that isn't obviously news or entertainment), I should be making notes. If I'm not making notes, then I'm probably wasting my time reading that particular piece of content.

  13. Jan 2021
    1. Introduce students to the “explode to explain” strategy. When students “explode to explain,” they closely read a key sentence or two in a source, annotate, and practice explaining what they are thinking and learning.

      This is a specific strategy to include in an active reading session.

  14. Oct 2020
    1. If you’d like to differentiate between the various functions a paragraph in a text can have, look out for signal words. For example, the following literal devices may indicate that the function is to build a mental model: schema, allegory, analogy, hypothesis, metaphor, representation, simile, theory. Put a corresponding “model” mark next to these.
  15. Dec 2015
    1. slow readers down

      Does the slow reading movement parallel the slow food one? In some ways, there might be a point against “consumption” in both cases. Or, at least, utilitarianism.

  16. Nov 2015