7 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2018
    1. Survey the text firstSome studies have shown that the spatial elements of a paper or book play a role in how we remember information in it. Knowing the length of a paper helps you mentally size it up. Try to replicate this in your digital reading by scrolling to the end of a text before you start reading it. Scan for abstracts, section headings, figures or tables in the text and quickly skim a little of the introduction and conclusion. Then, go back and read the text more carefully.
    2. Eliminate distractions and stop multitaskingIn many studies, the difference comes down to the fact that we tend to get more distracted by other things or multitask when we read onscreen. So, one tip is simply to focus only on your reading. Turn off any notification services or go offline and only then start reading.  
    1. But paper has benefits, you protest. You can dog-ear a page, get a mustard stain under a picture, hold your thumb at the start of a chapter and numerous other things that make active reading tolerable. But here’s the rub—those good things are grounded in the physicality of paper, and don’t really translate to today’s digital media. Think about it—many of the best attributes of paper require it being composed of physical pages. So we’re left in a difficult spot: our digital active reading products are inspired by paper, inherit its problems, and avoid its advantages.
    2. So why is active reading so hard on digital devices? Partly it’s the nature of a digital device that invites distraction and, on tablets and PCs, the irritating lighting of an emissive display. But a major component is more about what the devices are capable of and how that matches to what people need when they read. Back in the 90s Kenton O’Hara studied what goes into the active reading process at Xerox’s research labs in the UK. He found many of the usual suspects: annotation like highlighting and margin notes, bookmarking, etc. But he found nuances that are less obvious—having good ways to retrieve notes, support for non-linear reading, viewing different document sections in parallel, diagramming, etc.
    1. Technology companies have been incentivized by consumer’s behavior to optimize products for convenience or cost and typically not comprehension and actionability. The basic structure of what the digital reading experience has turned into isn’t something designed to support deep thought, collaboration, or understanding. It’s designed to get the book or document opened and consumed quickly, and perhaps it supports a couple highlights along the way. This scary picture is what we set out to fix with LiquidText. We took a different approach to designing the reading experience, and grounded our work in real research. And although we didn’t neglect either, we set our sights on a larger prize than just cost or convenience.
  2. Mar 2018
    1. The writing I enjoy doing most, every year, is marginalia: spontaneous bursts of pure, private response to whatever book happens to be in front of me. It’s the most intimate, complete, and honest form of criticism possible — not the big wide-angle aerial shot you get from an official review essay, but a moment-by-moment record of what a book actually feels like to the actively reading brain.
    1. Zu ihrer eigentlichen Bedeutung gelangten die Hypomnemata in der Spätantike. Sie waren für die Stoiker, aber auch für die ersten christlichen Kirchenväter ein unverzichtbares Instrument der Sammlung, Ordnung, Reflexion und Selbstbetrachtung. Die Schrift ersetzte den Blick des Freundes in der Selbstprüfung.