Recent quotes:

Notes to our future selves

In other words, the true purpose of note-taking is transporting states of mind (not just information) through time. This is why pictures, sketches, and diagrams often work better than text. We don’t usually think of them as notes, but songs, smells, and tastes work even better. As HBR puts it: “A visual model becomes one of the most effective tools for minimizing alignment-attrition; a visualization formalizes an emergent idea and solidifies it at a moment in time.” Or as Craig Mod more eloquently says, “To return to a book is to return not just to the text but also to a past self. We are embedded in our libraries. To reread is to remember who we once were, which can be equal parts scary and intoxicating.”

Proposal to enable people to vet information at page level

The list of rebuttals to a given page would need to be constructed by real humans. People are still required to identify whether a page is critical of another or not, and will continue to be required until we are able to create artificial intelligence which can understand the intention of a human author.Each list of rebuttals would be tied to a specific piece of content — usually a specific webpage, but as so often happens, the content of this webpage may be cloned, and all such clones would ideally be collapsed into a single entity within the system, so that any time a rebuttal was added to any of the clones, all other clones would reflect that new addition.The system must also remain completely neutral. All rebutted, corrected, debunked etc content is only in the system because ‘someone’, ‘somewhere’ on the web has created a critical response to it. Just because a page has been critiqued does not necessarily mean it is wrong. It just means someone disagrees with it.

Overcoming screen inferiority in learning and calibration

The present study examined two methods for overcoming screen inferiority in these respects. First, practicing the study-test task allowed overcoming screen inferiority, but only among those who preferred reading from screens. Second, in-depth processing was encouraged by having participants generate keywords at a delay, before monitoring their knowledge and taking the test. This method eliminated screen inferiority even for the first-studied texts, but after practicing it, screen inferiority was re-exposed among those who preferred studying on paper.

Notes and indexes build a scaffolding that holds new ideas in place

You may think note-taking is just for college students, but taking notes preserves the essence and context of what you're taking in. If it's a book, you could organize your thoughts with a commonplace book, which is a book containing excerpts from other books. Although it requires a bit more effort, it could also help you connect and organize your ideas in ways you couldn't with a computer. You could also organize your book's contents and your notes with an idea index.

2010, A Year in Marginalia: Sam Anderson

The writing I enjoy doing most, every year, is marginalia: spontaneous bursts of pure, private response to whatever book happens to be in front of me. It’s the most intimate, complete, and honest form of criticism possible — not the big wide-angle aerial shot you get from an official review essay, but a moment-by-moment record of what a book actually feels like to the actively reading brain. Here are some snapshots, month by month, of my marginalia from 2010.

The Social Reading Checklist |

You should be able to bookmark your place in the book, make notes and select and save text. You should be able to save these marks separate from the book itself. You should be able to share your bookmarks on the web, with social services, via email, and other methods, however you made them, if you want to.

To read a book is to write in it...

a way to not just passively read but to fully enter a text, to collaborate with it, to mingle with an author on some kind of primary textual plane. […]Texts that really grabbed me got full-blown essays (sideways, upside-down, diagonal) in the margins. […] Today I rarely read anything — book, magazine, newspaper — without a writing instrument in hand. Books have become my journals, my critical notebooks, my creative outlets. […]marginalia is — no exaggeration — possibly the most pleasurable thing I do on a daily basis.

Edgar Allan Poe on annotation

“In getting my books,” Edgar Allan Poe wrote in 1844, “I have always been solicitous of an ample margin; this is not so much through any love of the thing in itself, however agreeable, as for the facility it affords me of penciling in suggested thoughts, agreements, and differences of opinion, or brief critical comments in general.”[…]Such readers feel that they aren’t really giving a book their full attention unless they’re hovering over it with a pencil, poised to underline or annotate at the slightest provocation.
Rap Genius, founded by lovers, began as but a woeful ballad to Cam’ron’s eyebrow. But the intervening years have morphed us into soldiers, full of strange oaths, and that is how we stand before you today, ready to pursue our mission of global annotation with renewed vigor.