A lot of very salient thinking on books, metacognition, double-loop learning and the deliberate design of new forms by Andy Matuschak in “Why Books Don’t Work”.

I acknowledged earlier that of course, some people do absorb knowledge from books. Indeed, those are the people who really do think about what they’re reading. The process is often invisible. These readers’ inner monologues have sounds like: “This idea reminds me of…,” “This point conflicts with…,” “I don’t really understand how…,” etc. If they take some notes, they’re not simply transcribing the author’s words: they’re summarizing, synthesizing, analyzing.

I’ve been thinking of doing a talk about how to get the most out of your reading both quantitatively and qualitatively. Many people do not even know how much is possible, let alone that they would have an inkling of how to get there. I think anybody can easily get to at least a doubling of reading quantity and conceptual retention.

Readers must decide which exercises to do and when. Readers must run their own feedback loops: did they clearly understand the ideas involved in the exercise? If not, what should they do next? What should students do if they’re completely stuck? Some issues are subtler. For example, textbook exercises are often designed to yield both a solution to that specific problem and also broader insights about the subject. Will readers notice if they solved a problem but missed the insights it was supposed to reveal?

Work in new aesthetic and educational forms along with opening up systems to allow people to make their own rules for going through them, is all of the stuff we had been occupied with in Hubbub as well.

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