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Future Imperative

What if technology were being developed that could enhance your mind or body to extraordinary or even superhuman levels -- and some of these tools were already here? Wouldn't you be curious?

Actually, some are here. But human enhancement is an incredibly broad and compartmentalized field. We’re often unaware of what’s right next door. This site reviews resources and ideas from across the field and makes it easy for readers to find exactly the information they're most interested in.

Name:

The future is coming fast, and it's no longer possible to ignore how rapidly the world is changing. As the old order changes -- or more frequently crumbles altogether -- I offer a perspective on how we can transform ourselves in turn... for the better. Nothing on this site is intended as legal, financial or medical advice. Indeed, much of what I discuss amounts to possibilities rather than certainties, in an ever-changing present and an ever-uncertain future.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Speed Reading Ultrasimplified -- AL, Easy, Self

*
Speed reading is potentially a huge opportunity for self-enhancement. The rate at which you read forms a bottleneck in the speed with which you can gather new information from written material, which means that a much faster reading style could not only make it easier for you to learn new skills and broaden your mind, but also to save time. For a busy student or employee, being able to make it through textbooks or manuals in a fraction of the time (especially with increased comprehension) is clearly valuable. An hour here, an hour there -- when you're pressed for time, it all matters.

I have two suggestions for people who would like to see a substantial increase in their normal reading speed (especially the speed with which they read non-fiction, books for school, etc). Paul Scheele's Double Your Reading Speed in Ten Minutes is an extremely fast method for improving your overall reading speed. I actually had to use it twice to double my speed, because I first tried it in a room full of boisterous teenagers.

Second, there's an interesting accelerated reading tip out there from Dr. Win Wenger that involves using his Image Streaming technique (described in full, with backup procedures in case you have trouble getting your imagery going, here, and with a boiled down version of the technique, with my review, here). Essentially, with Image Streaming you close your eyes and describe aloud whatever pops intoyour mind's eye in all five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch) as quickly as you can to an external listener -- either a tape recorder or (preferably) a live listener other than yourself.

The basic application of Image Streaming to accelerated reading is simple. "Before you even go in to reading the journal article, manuscript, text chapter or whatever, ask your Image Streaming faculties to show you an image which 'somehow will make everything in this paper come together for me and make sense to me.' Look in and see what that image is. Whether you immediately understand that image's meaning, just hang it on the back walls of your mind and plow into that reading. You will discover, with some amazement the first few times you achieve this effect, that everything in that paper does come together and make sense for you -- in less than a third of the time it'd ordinarily take you to work through that reading! -- And with many times the meaningful understanding that you would have otherwise experienced from that reading!"

I personally have found this technique to be very effective in increasing both my reading speed and understanding. If you are unfamiliar with Image Streaming, you may want to practice it so that you have a good handle on that skill before you try to apply it to your reading. Dr. Wenger suggests testing the method by Image Streaming for 10 minutes a day for ten days (preferably with a live partner), and then deciding, on the basis of whatever gains in mental clarity you've noticed by that time, whether you wish to continue using the technique. I would imagine developing at least that much facility with Image Streaming before using it to enhance your reading would be advisable. Just a suggestion.


Future Imperative

26 Comments:

Blogger DS said...

Hi,

You've laid out the technique so crisply. I'll try it out.

Thanks.

November 07, 2005 12:59 AM  
Anonymous speed reading said...

A great post indeed... struck a chord with me :) speed reading

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