Web Excursions 2021-09-04

How to Remember What You Read

  • Active reading is thoughtfully engaging with a book at all steps in the reading process.

    • From deciding to read right through to reflection afterwards, you have a plan for how you are going to ingest and learn what’s in the book.

  • One of the reasons that we read books is because they offer a rich tapestry of details, allowing us to see the world of the author and go on their journey with them.

    • the plot of every book ever can be boiled down to ‘someone is looking for something.

  • Bayesian updating: What opinions should I change in light of this book? How can I update my worldview using the information in it?

  • When it comes to reading, you don’t need to finish what you start.

    • As a general rule, people who love reading never, ever finish a crappy book.

  • If you are unsure how to simplify your thoughts,

    • imagine that someone has tapped you on the shoulder and asked you to explain the chapter you just finished reading.

    • They have never read this book and lack any idea of the subject matter.

    • How would you explain it to them?

  • Apply the Feynman technique

    • choose a concept, teach it to someone unfamiliar with the subject,

    • identify gaps in your understanding and go back to the source material, and

    • review and simplify.

  • Books don’t enter our lives against a blank slate.

    • Each time we pick up a book, the content has to compete with what we already think we know

  • Go crazy with marginalia

  • Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive:

    • In the quiet spaces opened up by the prolonged, undistracted reading of a book,

      • people made their own associations,

      • drew their own inferences and analogies,

      • fostered their own ideas.

    • They thought deeply as they read deeply.

  • Availability bias

    • Are the books I have recently read affecting how I perceive this one?

    • How are my immediate past experiences shaping my reading?

    • Am I assigning undue importance to parts of this book because they are salient and memorable?

  • Having a framework of deliberately constructed concepts enables us to better understand and synthesize books

    • by allowing us to make connections to what we already know.

    • Knowledge sticks in our memories easier if it attaches to something we already understand.

  • Blank Sheet Method

    1. Before you start reading a new book, take out a blank sheet of paper.

    2. Write down what you know about the book/subject you’re about to read — a mind map if you will.

    3. After you finish a reading session, spend a few minutes adding to the map with a different color.

    4. Before you start your next reading session, review the page.

    5. When you’re done reading, put these ‘blank sheets’ into a binder that you periodically review.

How to study effectively | Psyche Guides

  • research from psychology indicates that our ability to accurately monitor and evaluate our level of knowledge or skill (referred to as metacognitive ability) is often flawed.

  • These flaws tend to give us an inflated perception of our knowledge and understanding,

    • encouraging us to persevere with ineffective methods of studying that quietly, but persistently, undermine our efforts to learn.

  • It’s easy to demonstrate this by examining some preferred study practices and considering the misconceptions about learning that they reflect

  • thinking of memory as if it worked like a recalcitrant camera is misleading and really unhelpful when you’re studying.

    • especially for topics that are similar in nature and might otherwise be easily conflated.

    • Using our memory effectively is

      • less about maximising exposure to a new source

      • than figuring out how to use our prior knowledge, experience and expectation filters to integrate that source with what we already know

    • it’s the thinking behind what is being highlighted – why the highlighted information is significant – that counts

  • both success and failure to retrieve information are helpful for your memory.

    • Both outcomes serve to calibrate confidence in your perception of your knowledge

  • In terms of the number of sessions you use, too few is more of a problem than too many.

  • Focus on constructing your own understanding of a topic, not reproducing someone else’s

  • You can use an approach called elaborative interrogation to systematically incorporate the process of questioning into your reading.

    • This technique involves annotating your sources with questions that require an explanatory response from you

  • The testing effect: Testing is not just a way of measuring learning; it can also be a powerful mechanism of learning.

  • The read, recite, review (3R) approach.

  • studying (and learning generally) is a bit like visiting the gym: if you want the best results, you have to sweat a bit.

  • Research indicates that interleaving seems to bias your attention towards looking for differences between topics.

    • Therefore, it’s most effective when you’re studying topics that are similar (and require more effort to distinguish from each other).

    • It’s also effective under conditions where you have discretion about assigning information to a category

  • Space out your study sessions

    • In terms of the length of intervals between your sessions, research indicates that longer intervals tend to be associated (up to a point) with better retention.

    • However, since studying often takes place in a limited timeframe, you should prioritise the number of sessions over getting the longest possible inter-session intervals

  • On the rare occasions where a study has shown highlighting to have a positive effect on learning

  • blocking seems to focus your attention on looking for similarities between topics.

    • Therefore, it’s best used for topics that can be easily distinguished and/or when category membership has been predetermined

  • Make retrieval practice an integral part of your studying

  • Don’t just highlight material, think about it

    • Phrasing your questions so they begin with ‘why’ or ‘how’ will help you do this, as will thinking about concrete examples of more abstract concept

  • Alternate between studying similar topics

  • the benefits of retrieval practice are not simply limited to facts; they also extend to concepts and the transfer of knowledge from one domain to another.

Software Piracy and IP Management Practices: Strategic Responses to Product-Market Imitation by Wendy A. Bradley, Julian Kolev :: SSRN

  • Question: How do firms’ IP strategies respond to sudden increases in product-market imitation?

    • Methodology:

      • Using a 2001 technological shock that enabled rising software piracy,

      • we implement an instrumental-variables estimator

      • to compare a treatment group of at-risk-of-piracy firms

      • with matched not-at-risk control firms.

    • Findings:

      • Rising piracy increases subsequent R&D spending, copyrights, trademarks, and patents for large, incumbent software firms.

      • Copyright and trademark filings precede those of patents

      • Firms with large patent portfolios disproportionately increase copyrights and trademarks following the shock.

    • Conclusions:

      • Piracy and similar competitive shocks push firms to innovate to stay ahead of imitator products

      • this effect is moderated by their existing patent portfolios.

    • Limitations: Our findings have implications for managers seeking to capture value from IP in knowledge-based industries.