digital garden of reflections, hopes and fears


rapid serial visual presentation

rapid serial visual presentation

Reading this way is a skill which needs a small up front investment, but the pay off is immense. The trick is to not try, just relax and pay attention and let the words speak to you as if they are being narrated to you inside your head.

Because there are no constant micro-interruptions from page scrolling, ads, or even from your eyes own saccades, I find that my attention to the text is much, much better, and I need to stop to ponder something I can just tap the screen to pause it.

I also find that I am far, far more likely to finish an article/paper/chapter via Glance than via my browser. These days it's pretty rare that I'll actually finish an article online, but with Glance I'll almost always read the entire thing from start to finish.

I really, really recommend this skill, especially if you have a lot of time to kill on a mass-transit commute, or if you just want to read more.

Problem with serial presentation is of course, you cannot skip words or process words in parallel. I suspect when you attain 1,300wpm, you are focusing your eyes on half a page or perhaps the entire page, and only skimming sentences and absorbing key words and ideas, rather than processing each word one at a time.

spent the same time on, for example, "inconvenience" and "cat". It also didn't really worked with prepositions. Pauses on commas and periods were weird as well. That's just something you could work on. Then there's contextual complexity (that you probably talk about), where sentence could be complicated even if it contains only simple words.

sourcecode reader.cpp

$ c++ reader.cpp
# To use:
$ ./a.out N < text

N is the number of milliseconds delay between words. It will then do the RSVP thing. It should compile with no problem on Mac or Linux. If a word (which is really just a string of non-whitespace surround by white space) ends with a period or comma, the delay is doubled for that word.

There's a commented out check that sets a minimum line length. If you compile that check it can put more than one word on a line to make the line at least a minimum length.

PS: this aligns the words on their centers. To change it to left aligning them change where it sets the variable "pad" to use a small integer instead of basing it on the length of the word. If it is the same for all words, it becomes an indent for left alignment instead of a pad for centering.


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