From Rasmapedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

How To Read

Whenever you read a book, you should write notes about it. Mediawiki software is good for that. Keeping track of your notes is important too--- perhaps even more important than writing them up, since though writing them up is a good exercise, if you instantly deleted them, that removes much though not all of their usefulness. Not remembering where they are is the same as having deleted them. No-- I lie. Actually, not remembering where they are is much worse, because not only do you not have them available, but you waste considerable time trying to find them. This would not happen if we were fully rational, but there seems to be a systematic bias towards underestimating the amount of time and effort requried to find something as opposed to re-creating it. This is related to what George Stigler wrote about information--- that it is not a zero-marginal-cost good once produced, and in fact often it is easier to rederive information than to look it up.

[ "How to Mark a Book," ] Mortimer J. Adler, From The Saturday Review of Literature, July 6, 1941).

What To Read

I see that in my reading, I am like a bird who flits from bush to bush eating berries, even if the first bush has the most and best berries. Birds do this for good reasons. Do I? Or should I just read what's best?