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Speed reading – Pros and Cons

Most of the people have to work in domains where knowledge is power. You know something and you leverage it to gain something else.
You surely know one of those infoholics, who would be so happy to show anyone they know something the others don’t. They trade info, like they would trade baseball cards. Spot them, and become one of them.

Once you’re in that group… how do you acquire knowledge?
1) Either you know the right people and you have access to confidential information
2) Either you don’t.

If it is 1), then you are really wasting your time reading my blog. I mean, you should spend more time with your connections, or your girlfriend or boyfriend, or anything else. You are wasting time here. Switch your computer off and go get a life. Hop hop hop.

You’re still there?
Well for those who are reading the blog at work, do you think your boss would be happy to know that? Because I am going to tell! I can see when you are connecting from work!

For those who really don’t have a life, welcome home.
Now that we are amongst the happy few…
Let’s consider how you can acquire information from data everyone has access to.
How do you do that?
Read everything! Read it all! Your brain will get the most important details and you will extract the interesting information from all those sources. That’s multi-layered intelligence.

You don’t have time for that?
Have you tried speed reading? You should.
Remember when you learnt how to read at school? Letter by letter, you had a word and then a sentence, reading it out-loud.
If you still have that habit, then your reading is SLOW. (S-L-O-W) or sssssssllllllllllllllllooooooooooowwwwwww.
You are limited by your subconscious voice. You should not be reading the words. You should be recognizing them. Even more, you should be recognizing the sentences.
When you see a tree, you know it is a tree. You don’t have to look at each part seperately to eventually conclude it is a tree.
Going to speed-reading is hard. You should never look back to a word you’ve already seen, because your brain has recorded it, but because it is not the way you’re used to reading, you won’t feel safe until you read it a second time. WRONG!
Never look back. Like a porcupine you ran over with your car, don’t look back. You know it’s happened anyway.
But be sure you see everygroup of word and that you don’t miss any of them, and that your inner voice stays quiet. (you can say one-two-one-two while you read).
So speed reading is great and it is a very disturbing process, and does not work with new complicated litterature. Other tricks are involved, I might talk about that in a future post.

Let’s end with Woody Allen’s thought about speed reading:
“I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.”

Thank you Woody.

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3 Comments to "Speed reading – Pros and Cons"

  1. François's Gravatar François
    October 21, 2007 - 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I can’t do it -_-. Am i going to die in after suffering an unbearable pain ? I hope not.
    Seriously, I read something about that on S&V 2 or 3 weeks ago, and i was like “oh my ogd i’m a slow reader, fuck you all, I’m a fucking laming slow reader. Mom why did you do that to me” and five minutes later I get over it an lived my life.

    What about the ones who write on their blog during working hours.

  2. Vinh's Gravatar Vinh
    October 21, 2007 - 8:09 pm | Permalink

    People should not write blog during their working hours.
    They should do like I do. Write them during the night, and publish them during the day.
    Francois, there’s no pain being a slow reader, it means that you are reading more attentively and that you are more likely to remember what you’ve read. Speed reading is only for massive volume of text.

  3. François's Gravatar François
    October 21, 2007 - 9:48 pm | Permalink

    you’re about the slow they don’t have a better comprehension of the text.

    In the article i read, the expert said that people who use the oral language when they read tend to have a worse understanding of the text because they use more of they to just read and not on understand what they read. Worse because you take a longer time to read a text, there is more chance for you to forget the beginning of the text you was reading.

    I tell you slow reading, I’m talking about people who read in their head as they read aloud, is crap. And yes there is people who are natural born reader, not like me, who can read just by recognizing word and idea.

    I’m fucking doomed

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