Why books don't work

I very much enjoyed this longer essay from Andy Matuschak on people truly learn. He makes the case that lectures do not work for the transfer of knowledge. Lectures, as a medium, have no carefully-considered cognitive model at their foundation. Yet if we were aliens observing typical lectures from afar, we might notice the implicit model they appear to share: “the lecturer says words describing an idea; the class hears the words and maybe scribbles in a notebook; then the class understands the idea.” In learning sciences, we call this model “transmissionism.” It’s the notion that knowledge can be…

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Why you should quit reading paper books

Ok, this title had me disagreeing right from the start. But although I love paper books, I also understand and appreciate some of the benefits of digital books. As such, I was curious to hear what the author had to say. And whether he could change my mind. Nope. Not even close. Yes, the ability to add highlights to books I read on a Kindle (or in the Kindle app) are nice to have. But due to the closed nature of the Amazon e-book ecosystem, I would never recommend anyone rely solely on Kindle for storing their reading notes. The…

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Random House

In a similar vein to the previous post, Random House recently launched an update to their site. It's responsive and the type is well set. Ordering books online can be a risky proposition. But the Random House site gives each book a thorough summary. It's the most pleasurable experience I've had previewing potential books to purchase (apart from Amazon reviews, natch). Whether you're looking for a new book or not, the site itself is worth a look. Source…

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