[ lifehack.org ] How to Read 10X Faster and Retain More

[ mukeshbalani.com ] “You heard it here first…if you haven’t already heard it elsewhere”…

How to Read 10X Faster and Retain More

Reading is a profound human ability, and its one that doesn’t receive enough attention these days. We expect everything to come to us quickly, and information is no exception. At this point, most people are scrolling and surfing instead of actually reading. According to a study by the Pew Research Center,[1] around 26% of adults in America didn’t pick up a book at all in 2016.

When we mindlessly scroll, we aren’t learning in the same way that we do when we read. Avid readers experience decreased anxiety when they get lost in a book, and reading builds empathy.[2] There are plenty of reasons to crack open a book on a frequent basis, if you want to know more you can readReading With Purpose Can Change Your Life.

Reading doesn’t have to be a slow process. If you think that reading is too time consuming, you might want to give speed reading a try.

You can read 6 times more books if you know how to speed read

When you speed read, you can take in significantly more information than the average person. A recent study suggests that the average adult can read about 300 words per minute. Proficient speed readers can read around 1,500 words per minute.[3] For those of you keeping score at home, the speed reader is able to consume five times as many words as the average adult. There are a few anomalous individuals who can read even more.

To put that into perspective, let’s say that the average book is around 100,000 words long. The average adult reader will spend approximately 5.5 hours reading a book of that length. A speed reader can complete the same task in about 50 minutes. This opens up significant possibilities for the speed readers to take in a book every day with a commitment of less than an hour, or 7 books per week. The average reader will only be able to enjoy 1.27 books per week if they read for an hour per day. At the end of the year, the speed reader could read over 365 books, while the average adult will complete 66.18.

These are the techniques that fast track your reading

Speed reading does take some practice, but you can start reaping the benefits of this reading method almost immediately.

1. The table of contents should be the first thing you read

We skip over the table of contents far too often when starting to read a book–especially if we intend to read the book in its entirety. The table of contents is a reader’s roadmap through the book. Since speed readers aren’t fixated on absorbing every word, knowing the big ideas of each chapter primes their brains to take in the information.

You wouldn’t head on a road trip without consulting a map. Reading aimlessly makes as much sense as driving without reading road signs. Sure, you can get through a book without looking at the table of contents, but you’re more likely to lose focus or waste time wondering about structural questions that could be answered with a quick look at the front matter.

If you need to know specific information from the book, the table of contents can tell you which chapters are relevant. This lets you skip over parts that aren’t pertinent to your research.

In some cases, the table of contents doesn’t offer much detail, or the author might use it to entice you to read more. Taking a quick look at the first chapter or two can offer you insight into how the author structures their work if the table of contents fails to give you clues.

2. Always read with an intention

After you identify the subject of the chapter, you’ll need to keep a question in the back of your mind. Asking, “What is the author trying to tell me?” is a great way to frame your thoughts. Your brain will work to figure out the answer to this question as you read.

When you read with a purpose in mind, you’ll be able to process relevant information and filter out extraneous material.

3. Identify the author’s point of view and read just enough references to understand

Books generally contain references to other academic works to support their standpoint. By taking a look at what the author chooses to cite, you can learn a bit more about how he or she will formulate their key points. This information can guide your thinking as you speed read.

Glancing at the references doesn’t mean that you need to stop to read through every note or source. References that merely reaffirm what the author says will quickly become monotonous to read. You just want to get the general idea. After you have enough information to make sense of the material you won’t gain anything extra by continuing to consume the same information.

Think about reading the way you think about eating. Just because the buffet is full of all sorts of delicious options doesn’t mean that you have to eat all of it. Just like you stop eating when you are full, you can move on from the references after you have enough information to understand the concept.

4. Never read aloud (or in your head)

Reading aloud is great for developing fluency in emerging readers, but it is a surefire way to slow you down. When kids read passages out loud in school, it’s for a specific purpose, but it’s unnecessary in the context of speed reading.

When we read passages out loud, our brain has to work a bit harder than when we read silently. The act of reading uses the same parts of your brain whether you read the information aloud or reading it silently.[4] The major difference between silent reading and reading aloud is that the act of speaking requires your brain to take an extra step.

Brocas’ Area is the part of the brain associated with turning the thoughts in your head into meaningful expression through speech. Wernicke’s Area is responsible for comprehension.[5] If you can minimize sub-vocalization and reading aloud, then you can eliminate the extra step of having to read and comprehend speech in Wernicke’s Area and then vocalize it in Broca’s Area.

When we read aloud, our brain not only sees the words on the page, but it also goes through the trouble of hearing the words and producing speech. We really don’t need to vocalize what we are reading to understand it. The extra steps can slow us down significantly.

You might have noticed that sometimes when you read aloud, you might have trouble comprehending what you just read. It may even be necessary to re-read the same sentence so that you can confirm that what you saw and spoke are in true alignment.

When you apply the third technique in this list, it becomes even more impractical to read out loud. That method requires you to consider chunks of information larger than sentences. When you are working through books paragraph by paragraph to identify the author’s perspective, having to go line by line to produce speech is a waste of time.

Speed reading is like enjoying the garden view instead on focusing on every single petal

When we read at a leisurely pace, it gives us a chance to appreciate words in a different way. Think of reading line by line like stopping to appreciate a beautiful flower garden with a magnifying glass or spending thirty minutes examining a piece of artwork three inches in front of your face. You might think that you need to look that closely, and you may see some incredible things, but you’re missing the totality of the scene.

Speed reading gives you the opportunity to look at the big picture so that you can see how many kinds of flowers there are or how different brush strokes combine to make a cohesive image. When look at the big picture, you can extract more meaning from what you see.

Instead of wasting time focusing on the petals of a single type of flower, you can enjoy the whole garden. Applying speed reading comprehension techniques makes it possible for you to extract more of the big ideas from the things that you read. You not only get more information from every book that you read, but you get to enjoy more books along the way, too.


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[ gsmarena.com ] Google Play Services now boasts 5 billion installs

[ mukeshbalani.com ] “You heard it here first…if you haven’t already heard it elsewhere”…

Google Play Services now boasts 5 billion installs

Google Play Services come pre-installed on just about every Android phone (well, except those sold in China). They are an essential mix of high and low-level stuff, everything from contact syncing to geo-positioning goes through these Services.

Play Services became the first mobile “app” (if you can call them that) to reach 5 billion installs. That’s 5 with nine zeroes. Granted, a good chunk of those are probably on devices no longer used, but as we said, there are also Androids not included in this count.

Whichever way you look at it, it is an impressive number. And in a sense,…


[ futurism.com ] Analyst Questions Elon Musk’s 10-Year EV Prediction. Is it Achievable?

[ mukeshbalani.com ] “You heard it here first…if you haven’t already heard it elsewhere”…

Analyst Questions Elon Musk’s 10-Year EV Prediction. Is it Achievable?

Musk’s Prophecies

A few days ago we saw the keys to the first 30 Tesla Model 3 vehicles — the car billed as the future of transport — handed over to consumers at a swanky event. The last few years have been momentous ones for Musk’s vehicular aspirations: he has galvanized other car companies into going electric, his cars are breaking records, and he has overtaken industry giants like Ford in market value.

But, behind the grand designs, consumer interest, and seductive new cars is a real world question of how to reify his zero-emission transport dreams. Writing in the MIT technology review, James Temple has given a three part argument discussing Musk’s recent prediction that “in 10 years, more than a half of new vehicle production is electric in the United States.”

An Awful Lot of Batteries

Temple’s first is an argument of scale. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates, if half the vehicle demand in 2027 is for electric vehicles, this would come to around 9.1 million vehicles in America alone. In order to supply this demand, 546 gigawatt-hours’ worth of battery packs would have to be created annually if every vehicle ran on the 60 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery packs that the Model 3 uses.

The Tesla Revolution [INFOGRAPHIC]
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The final and maximum capacity of the gigafatory will be 150 gigawatt-hours, meaning that four will have to made to meet demand. Given that the first one took six years to construct, the idea that four more will be created in the next decade is ludicrously optimistic.

A Matter of Taste

Second, Temple argues that the introduction of electric cars will be hampered by consumer tastes and the simple economics of supply and demand. Jeremy Michalek, director of the Vehicle Electrification Group at Carnegie Mellon University, explained incisively to MIT that electric vehicles are “more expensive, they don’t drive as far, and it takes time to recharge.” Although the electric car has enthusiasts, “for mainstream consumers it’s still just an inferior product.”

While estimates vary, Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that it won’t be until 2025 that electric vehicles achieve price and quality parity, which will provide a practical and economic reason for people to buy them rather than the current ideological one. Given that this is eight years away, and not everyone will want a new car at this point, Musk’s prediction of a decade again seems highly optimistic.

Polluting to Go Green

Finally, Temple picks up on the irony embedded in the introduction of electric vehicles — that they require emission-belching machines to introduce. Electric cars are often billed as better for the environment, but in order for them to be adopted, charging stations need to be a lot more common. Because there are no electric construction vehicles yet, creating the infrastructure is, in part, counterintuitive to the eventual aim.

The post Analyst Questions Elon Musk’s 10-Year EV Prediction. Is it Achievable? appeared first on Futurism.


[ mukeshbalani.com ] The Inside Story Of SoundCloud’s Collapse

[ mukeshbalani.com ] “You heard it here first…if you haven’t already heard it elsewhere”…

The Inside Story Of SoundCloud’s Collapse

If you want an example of when SoundCloud’s mission to be a free-for-all music sharing venue collided with its desire to go mainstream, the time it accidentally banned Justin Bieber is a pretty good place to start.


[ futurism.com ] Australia Plans to Set the Record for Electric Vehicle Highways

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Australia Plans to Set the Record for Electric Vehicle Highways

Electrical vehicles (EVs) are the next evolution in personal transportation. A large-scale shift toward the technology has the potential to significantly reduce the environmental impact of simply getting around, leaving our reliance on gas powered vehicles behind.

However, given that the technology is in its relative infancy, the lack of established infrastructure to support a major shift to EVs remains a significant roadblock to adoption. EVs are limited by their range, and while developing the technology does continue to lengthen the range, many models are best suited for shorter trips.

Image credit: Phillip Capper/Flickr
Image credit: Phillip Capper/Flickr

In order to combat the range obstacle and begin establishing the infrastructure necessary for supporting an expansion of EV usage, Australia is setting up “EV highways,” equipped with numerous fast-charging stations along the way. The project, dubbed the Electric Super Highway, is planned to be a series of charging stations located across 18 cities and towns, spreading across nearly 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) of road from the Gold Coast in the south to Cairns in the north. And, according to the (aptly named) state’s acting roads minister, Steven Miles, “They will be available for use at no cost for the initial phase of the super highway so we can encourage as many people as possible to start using them.” The government claims that this sets a new record for length of electric highway in one state.

The post Australia Plans to Set the Record for Electric Vehicle Highways appeared first on Futurism.


[ singularityhub.com ] The Era of Human Gene Editing Is Here—What Happens Next Is Critical

[ mukeshbalani.com ] “You heard it here first…if you haven’t already heard it elsewhere”…

The Era of Human Gene Editing Is Here—What Happens Next Is Critical

Scientists in Portland, Ore., just succeeded in creating the first genetically modified human embryo in the United States, according to Technology Review. A team led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health & Science University is reported to “have broken new ground both in the number of embryos experimented upon and by demonstrating that it is possible to safely and efficiently correct defective genes that cause inherited diseases.”

The U.S. team’s results follow two trials—one last year and one in April—by researchers in China who injected genetically modified cells into cancer patients. The research teams used CRISPR, a new gene-editing system derived from bacteria that enables scientists to edit the DNA of living organisms.

The era of human gene editing has begun.

In the short term, scientists are planning clinical trials to use CRISPR to edit human genes linked to cystic fibrosis and other fatal hereditary conditions. But supporters of synthetic biology talk up huge potential long-term benefits. We could, they claim, potentially edit genes and build new ones to eradicate all hereditary diseases. With genetic alterations, we might be able to withstand anthrax attacks or epidemics of pneumonic plague. We might revive extinct species such as the woolly mammoth. We might design plants that are far more nutritious, hardy, and delicious than what we have now.

But developments in gene editing are also highlighting a desperate need for ethical and legal guidelines to regulate in vitro genetic editing—and raising concerns about a future in which the well-off could pay for CRISPR to perfect their offspring. We will soon be faced with very difficult decisions about when and how to use this breakthrough medical technology. For example, if your unborn child were going to have a debilitating disease that you could fix by taking a pill to edit their genome, would you take the pill? How about adding some bonus intelligence? Greater height or strength? Where would you draw the line?

CRISPR’s potential for misuse by changing inherited human traits has prompted some genetic researchers to call for a global moratorium on using the technique to modify human embryos. Such use is a criminal offense in 29 countries, and the United States bans the use of federal funds to modify embryos.

Still, CRISPR’s seductiveness is beginning to overtake the calls for caution.

In February, an advisory body from the National Academy of Sciences announced the academy’s support for using CRISPR to edit the genes of embryos to remove DNA sequences that doctors say cause serious heritable diseases. The recommendation came with significant caveats and suggested limiting the use of CRISPR to specific embryonic problems. That said, the recommendation is clearly an endorsement of CRISPR as a research tool that is likely to become a clinical treatment—a step from which there will be no turning back.

CRISPR’s combination of usability, low cost, and power is both tantalizing and frightening, with the potential to someday enable anyone to edit a living creature on the cheap in their basements. So, although scientists might use CRISPR to eradicate malaria by making the mosquitoes that carry it infertile, bioterrorists could use it to create horrific pathogens that could kill tens of millions of people.

With the source code of life now so easy to hack, and biologists and the medical world ready to embrace its possibilities, how do we ensure the responsible use of CRISPR?

There’s a line that “A Prairie Home Companion” host Garrison Keillor uses when describing the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, where “all the children are above average.” Will we enter a time when those who can afford a better genome will live far longer, healthier lives than those who cannot? Should the U.S. government subsidize genetic improvements to ensure a level playing field when the rich have access to the best genetics that money can buy and the rest of society does not? And what if CRISPR introduces traits into the human germ line with unforeseen consequences—perhaps higher rates of cardiac arrest or schizophrenia?

Barriers to mass use of CRISPR are already falling. Dog breeders looking to improve breeds suffering from debilitating maladies are actively pursuing gene hacking. A former NASA fellow in synthetic biology now sells functional bacterial engineering CRISPR kits for $150 from his online store. It’s not hard to imagine a future in which the big drugstore chains carry CRISPR kits for home testing and genetic engineering.

The release of genetically modified organisms into the wild in the past few years has raised considerable ethical and scientific questions. The potential consequences of releasing genetically crippled mosquitoes in the southern United States to reduce transmission of tropical viruses, for instance, drew a firestorm of concern over the effects on humans and the environment.

So, while the prospect of altering the genes of people—modern-day eugenics—has caused a schism in the science community, research with precisely that aim is happening all over the world.

We have arrived at a Rubicon. Humans are on the verge of finally being able to modify their own evolution. The question is whether they can use this newfound superpower in a responsible way that will benefit the planet and its people. And a decision so momentous cannot be left to the doctors, the experts, or the bureaucrats.

Failing to figure out how to ensure that everyone will benefit from this breakthrough risks the creation of a genetic underclass who must struggle to compete with the genetically modified offspring of the rich. And failing to monitor and contain how we use it may spell global catastrophe. It’s up to us collectively to get this right.

This article was originally published by The Washington Post. Read the original article.

Stock Media provided by Skripko / Pond5


[ futurism.com ] Japan Has Sent an Autonomous Drone Assistant to the International Space Station

[ mukeshbalani.com ] “You heard it here first…if you haven’t already heard it elsewhere”…

Japan Has Sent an Autonomous Drone Assistant to the International Space Station

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has sent a crew member to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a SpaceX launched rocked. The “Int-Ball,” is a spherical camera droid that takes full advantage of the gravity deficiency on the space station to zip around unencumbered by wheels or arms attached to heavy machinery.

The robot has big, blue, owl-like eyes, making it reminiscent of the top portion of the Eve robot from Disney’s Wall-E. Int-Ball’s purpose is to provide crew members with a means of sending pictures and video back to Earth so experts on the ground can better assist with repairs and other tasks.

Before Int-Ball’s arrival, the crew members needed to handle a camera to send this media back to Earth. The droid, which can be controlled remotely or autonomously, gives crew members back their full functionality by taking the camera out of their hands.

JAXA has released video of Int-Ball in action.

JAXA is committed to continuing improvements on Int-Ball’s capabilities and functionality. Experiments like this will likely help space agencies and private companies to innovate new ways of incorporating both remote controlled and autonomous robots into their missions. Replacing astronauts with robots will help to further drive down the dwindling costs of space exploration and travel while allowing for exploration in ways that  are beyond human capability.

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