Reading “Intensively” (Vertical Reading) vs. Reading “Extensively” (Horizontal Reading)

“Time feels especially shallow these days, as the wave of one horror barely crests before it’s devoured by the next, as every morning’s shocking headline is old news by the afternoon.”

In today’s fast-paced digital world, making the time to read intensively has been a constant struggle for me. I get distracted easily, my phone is a sure-fire way to get easy, fast, and cheap entertainment. I browse reddit endlessly for hours. It’s hilarious and I laugh a lot when I surf through the content. But what have I gained? How have I improved by reading this content? What I have learned? Nothing substantial. Feels great in the moment, but afterward I’m left looking behind at a gross void of wasted time.

I don’t think I’m alone in this, nor is this a new problem. One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes, “a Classic is something everyone wants to have read, but no one wants to read” hits just a little too close for home for me. Even Twain’s pre-digital age, the world was full of great literature, and few people wanted to put forth the effort to read Moby Dick or Les Miserables. I gaze longingly on this wonderful reading list and cringe with terror. How will I ever begin? How can I understand this stuff? Who will help me?

I guess the journey to a finished book begins with a single page. I need to be patient with my progress.

This musing was brought to you by a recently-published article: Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction by Mairead Small Staid. Written February 8, 2019. Continue reading “Reading “Intensively” (Vertical Reading) vs. Reading “Extensively” (Horizontal Reading)”

Hollowing Out of the Humanities

Another article that I’m taking notes on: Camille Paglia: It’s Time for a New Map of the Gender World. Another reminder that this is not necessarily supposed to make sense to you, but I’m using this as a tool to understand ideas being published elsewhere. Continue reading “Hollowing Out of the Humanities”

In My Opinion…

This is a post idea I’ve had for a while now… I’m trying to feel out where I lie on certain issues. Many issues are complex and require a nuanced position, but I’m going to attempt to simplify some of my thoughts here.  Continue reading “In My Opinion…”

Critical Thinking Crash Course with Peter Boghossian

Being humble about what one claims to know goes a long way. If someone asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, you say “I don’t know.”

I enjoyed this extremely short, well-organized, and dense lecture on critical thinking from Peter Boghossian. I’ve listened to the first part of it many times in order to internalize the content, and I am going to take notes on here so that I can retain and repeat it down the road.

Continue reading “Critical Thinking Crash Course with Peter Boghossian”

Lectures on Personality by Jordan Peterson—#2 Mythological Representations

I’m hopelessly addicted to Jordan Peterson’s lectures. What follows is a distillation of some of the ideas that I’m hearing from him, and I can in no way take credit for any of these ideas. My way of processing information is to listen, take notes, and internalize the content. My goal is to be able to intelligently summarize these ideas for other people in conversation.  Continue reading “Lectures on Personality by Jordan Peterson—#2 Mythological Representations”

Strengthen the Individual

Smash every idea with as much intellectual strength as you can muster.

Jordan Peterson has been taking the internet by storm lately. Yes, he has had a long career as a professor and he’s spent a lot of time reading, thinking and developing his ideas, but it just seems like only lately he’s inserted himself into the limelight, and the internet is just EATING HIM UP–myself included. I find myself utter fascinated by his insights, but they’re so new and far from my usual thoughts, that I find it hard to internalize and summarize his ideas when telling other people about them. Continue reading “Strengthen the Individual”

The 10 Commandments of Epistemology

Be better at having discussions with people that have ideas different from your own.

I’ve made the plunge and I purchased the Atheos app. I highly recommend you do so as well if you are a lover of knowledge and would like to be better at having discussions with people that have ideas that differ from your own. While the app mostly applies to having discussions about religion, I’ve found myself using the method for navigating political/social issues too. In summary, here are the themes, or “10 commandments” of Epistemology. Continue reading “The 10 Commandments of Epistemology”