Thoughts on reading

 

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On reading

The web is an excellent resource- we are literally in a sea of information. It would be impossible to cover the entire scope of what’s published (especially books). There have been some “intelligent layers” of services that purport to use AI (!) to solve whatever you are reading and generate highlights.

These services are backed by “research”- papers you wouldn’t understand but still niche enough to try to convince you to pony up the money. They give you the illusion of learning without really making any appreciable dent. It is because good readers are better writers. Unless you concretise your thought processes into blogs (for example), all random highlights on your Kindle won’t do you any good.

The usual suspects are easy to find. Most users head for Atlantic or New York Times for getting their “news” fix, but the long forms seem to drag on forever. Sometimes, I have to sit through an article that reads like a bad copy of a rejected English literature essay. I am a man of action and moment. I need to have a quick takeaway from the article. I am not interested in the structure unless it appeals to my senses.

The pandemic and resulting quarantine has given me an excellent opportunity to fix my constant drive for productivity and efficiency. I prefer to consume content that I can blog about, and that enriches me personally as a professional. This post isn’t about recommendations, but I generally steer away from fancy newsletters (once that have started charging you from Substack).

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Use reading to boost your productivity, instead!

Twitter lists can be a good source of real-time reading. Still, it suffers from the problems that I have been consistent in highlighting- it is notoriously ineffi iscient despite whatever the social marketers claim or whatever the “benefits” of Twitter maybe.

Reading, therefore, is a class act. Find material that satisfies your innate curiosity. Something that adds value to your thought process and one which helps you to connect the dots to see the bigger picture.