Speed-reading (was: Psychedelic singularities)

Kennita Watson (kwatson@netcom.com)
Mon, 16 Dec 1996 05:17:59 -0800

J.D. wrote:
>> When I was in 8th grade about 40 years ago I had a teacher
>obsessed with speed reading. He had a slide projector device that forced
>you to read groups of words at a glance and then automatically began
>increasing the size the groups of words and decreasing the flash time.
> As I recall, I went from reading 250 words per minute to over 500
>at that time, but haven't been tested since. Some students broke 1000 wpm
>as I recall. Testing followed reading to ensure comprehension.

About 25 yrs ago, I was exposed to a machine called "Tach-X" that displayed
a line at a time and covered up the words sequentially. I got up to about
550 by the end of the term (the only term, damn the public schools). I've
often wanted such a machine since. Hm -- the only reference to an actual
speed reading machine on AltaVista is to one at the Mark Twain Learning
Center in Clayton, MO.

I've seen recent demonstrations of by-hand speed-reading methods that
have convinced me that a book can be gulped down at the rate of
a page every second or two by an accomplished speed-reader. I've
resisted learning such techniques because I like to experience the sound
and rhythm of the language as I read. Now I realize that I can have two
reading modes -- slow and fast. Heck, if I can touch-type both QWERTY and
Dvorak, I can do that. Oh boy, another project!


Kennita Watson | The bond that links your true family is not one of blood,
kwatson@netcom.com| but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do
| members of the same family grow up under the same roof.
| -- Richard Bach, _Illusions_