Monday 2012-01-09

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning by Andrew Hunt

Hunt provides a good introduction to managing a brain: its pitfalls, debugging, process improvement. He does not cover food / drugs, which has changed in the last 20-30 years as much as behavioral economics (which he does include).

The only major issue I found was that Hunt's reading methodology (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review) emphasizes rote memorization, when they (and we) actually want understanding.

Similar to them, I scan the material for the rough distribution of content, then re-read with the scope in mind and questions like:

  1. does any of it clash with what you already know?
  2. what are they missing?
  3. when it provides an algorithm:
    1. make up a problem and solve it
    2. can you use this in some other discipline's problems?
  4. where does it fit into your existing tree?
  5. does the update cause you to re-evaluate previous subtrees?
  6. what's interesting about this? there *must* be something...
  7. could you automate this?

For history/language, reading relevant criticism works well. And for every book you read, blog your evaluation of it.

The most important part of reading is weeding. Bad knowledge pervades the world's reading material....