Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Excellent Speed Reading App

Amongst the many things necessary for a successful hunt is detailed background information. Unfortunately the taxonomical notes, regional analysis, individual histories, techniques, research notes, etc. can be quite extensive and force a hunter to dedicate hours to reading documents that may or may not be useful.

Unfortunately a lack of information will more often than not prove more fatal than not. Not properly reading a document linking the weather conditions with a Snow Maiden's hunting habits may result in a cooling body where once a warm blooded hunter rested.

Yet the very quantity of information can often overwhelm DPRCD field operatives, especially the young and impatient.

That's where an app such as Spreeder comes in. To see the benefits first hand copy the rest of this article below this paragraph, go to the spreeder link and paste it into the text box. Then click the spreed button. For the best use go to settings and adjust it to the fastest you feel comfortable with. (This author feels comfortable all the way up to 600 words per minute, after that point I begin missing words, I have been playing around with the app for about a week now.) You can also adjust the chunk size (How much is displayed on the screen at one time.)

One of the largest impediments to reading is the micro movements of the eyes themselves. While you have read this word and are ready for the next one the eye will jump around the paragraph moving backwards and forwards every now and them. This is known in academia as "regression"; a person won't notice these jumps and the brain will appear to continue reading normally. However while you might be ready for the next paragraph your eyes have jumped backwards and gone back over the sentence you just read, even worse sometimes it will jump back two or three lines and reread them.

One of the techniques that speed readers use is to take the finger and move it along and under the words as you read them. This helpful pointer focuses the eyes on only the word being read rather than what is coming before or after. Using this a person can increase the number of words per minute as it prevents regression.

Now the normal range for college-level educated readers is between 200 to 400 words per minute. Using speed reading techniques it was found that a person can improve their performance to 600 words per minute. The only issue is the faster a person reads the less comprehension is found. Anything above 700 words is considered skimming as you begin skipping over words and sentences to get the gist but not the information.

Certain speed readers claim to be able to achieve over 1,000 words per minute, but the studies show that this causes a loss of comprehension.

There are two settings which I find help. To speed up the process you can go to advanced settings and have it get rid of filler words such as "the, an, a, etc". I have yet to lose comprehension from the loss of these words and depending on what you are reading it can cut a significant number of words out of the sentence. If you were reading normally in paragraph form these lost words would be glaring omissions, but speed reading your brain will either automatically add them or adjust without them.

The second setting that I take advantage of is the pausing after sentences, the extra moment of pause that it gives to the punctuations allows for better comprehension.

If you have a digital reading list this program definitely helps you get through it. An important note however. You will not be achieving the much talked about 1,000 words per minute due to an important distinction. Those people who claim to be doing over 1,000 words per minute are not reading, they are skimming. Instead of reading all the words they will take just enough to get the general gist of a paragraph or page and move on. The studies done into this generally show that once you go above the hundreds to thousands comprehension drops off quickly.

A good example of this would be the following paragraph.
"We went out hunting werewolves in the Rhine forest today October 15th, 2012. The pack which we had been hunting for the last five days continued to elude us. They had attacked a small child in berlin the month before and we were going to ensure that they would not have another chance. On the fourth day of the hunt we picked up the trail of a different pack and stalked them to their lair. We eliminated them without incident and headed home successful."

While speed reading you were able to get the important details from this story. The 10,000 words per minute skimmers however would pick up that the team were hunting werewolves and that they were successful. They would not be able to recall details such as when, where, why. Most importantly they would miss that the operatives eliminated a different pack than the one they were hunting.