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NYT Programs – Be a Better Reader in 7 Days
August 7, 2019 | NYT | by Tina Jordan.

(1) Choosing The Right Book
start by asking yourself some questions:
* Do you want to read for enjoyment or for knowledge?
* Do you want to stretch yourself in some way?
* Are you looking for escapism? (There’s nothing wrong with that!)
* Do you want to be part of the cultural conversation around the current “it” book?
* Are you curious about a book that has been atop the best-seller list for months?
However you answer these questions, find a book to focus on this week. You don’t need to buy one: Pluck a book from your shelves at home, borrow from a friend, download a book to your phone from participating libraries or simply swing by a Little Free Library on your way home to see what the reading fates have in store for you.

(2) Make a Reading Plan
A good reading plan is a commitment to keep reading a part of your life. How you go about that will depend a lot on your personality, of course. (what are my greatest challenges: Finding time? Turning off the TV?)

A reading plan doesn’t have to include a schedule — although that’s helpful — but it should include a goal or promise to yourself that will keep you motivated. The more specific and detailed your reading goal is, the better your chances are of reaching it: Goal-setting has been linked to higher achievement.

Neuroscience shows that it helps to put your plan in writing. “People who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goal.”

So how are you going to finish that book you picked yesterday? As you make your reading plan, consider these factors:

* Set aside the time. Decide how much time you would like to devote to reading every day — a half-hour? an hour? — and where you could carve out that time: on your commute, during your lunch break, in lieu of watching TV. If you think you simply don’t have the time to read, try reading instead of using social media this week. If you keep a calendar — digital or paper — schedule your reading time like you would anything else.
* Allow yourself to quit a book. Nothing will derail you faster than books that don’t hold your interest. You could commit to reading 50 pages of a book before you make a decision. Or you could simply trust your gut: If you realize in a book’s opening pages that it is absolutely not right for you, then put it down and pick up another one, no guilt included.
* Find a reading buddy. Some people find it easier to commit to a reading challenge when they have a friend doing the same thing. Others incorporate book-reading challenges into family time. Feel free to forward this challenge to a friend and have your friend read the same book alongside you.
* Commit to your plan for this book in writing. And then stick to it.

Make a Life-Changing Goal
A reading plan can be for more than just one book; it can be for the rest of your life. Here are some worthy goals to consider:

Read a certain number of books — per week, per month or per year. You can do it on your own, or you can sign up for a reading challenge at Goodreads, Bookish, BookRiot, Popsugar or Reddit. (The nice thing about the Goodreads challenge is that it’s not tied to a Jan. 1 start date; it’s designed to begin at any point during the year.) Don’t be too ambitious: Start small, with manageable goals, and increase them slowly as you go along.
Commit to variety. You want to look forward to your reading time every day, so don’t make every book you pick up an intellectual challenge. Pick lighter titles some of the time, and mix fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
A Little Motivation
Create a (semi) perfect reading environment. One important step on your road to reading better is to find or create an ideal reading environment. A great chair and good lighting come first, of course, but after that, you have to consider the mood-killers of reading. You know what your biggest distractions are, so be ruthlessly honest with yourself about what you need to do to set yourself up for success. If the lure of your phone will tempt you, stash it where you can’t see it (and mute your notifications so that you can’t hear it, either). If you need to tune out chatter on your morning train or the drone of your roommate’s TV, consider noise-blocking headphones.

Related Reading
Quartz: In the time you spend on social media each year, you could read 200 books
That decision to start reading was one of the most important decisions in my life.

The Atlantic: The Adults Who Treat Reading Like Homework
More and more people are making reading goals that most of them will not meet. Here's why.

(3) Read More Deeply
To read more deeply--at a level that stimulates your imagination, the single most important thing to do is take your time. You can’t read deeply if you’re skimming. Set aside at least 15 minutes today to read your book and try this exercise:

Notice if you start to skim or skip sections. Then, backtrack. It can help to use your finger on the page to underline text as you go.
Keep a dictionary nearby. If you’re uncertain about the definition of any words, stop and look them up.
Actively reread. If something is confusing you, reread it. If it’s an especially knotty passage, try to read it aloud or express it in your own words. And if all else fails, mark the troublesome text in some way, whether you highlight it or affix a sticky note. It’s likely that you'll find clarification later in the book, and this way you will be able to come back to it.
Use a highlighter (or sticky notes). Mark the passages of your book that resonate with you. Perhaps the ideas fascinate you, or perhaps you’re struck by the author’s language. When you finish the book, return to those pages to see if you still feel the same way.
Summarize. At the end of your reading session, sum up, in your own words, what you’ve just read. (There’s a reason your teacher asked you questions after every chapter in high school!)

(4) Read More Critically
When you are reading deeply and critically, you should be thinking more often about the book being read; sharpening your deductive reasoning; teasing out connections between different books, and discovering parallels between books and current events.
* Stop and ask yourself questions. Here are a few to try: “What is the author trying to say?” “What is the point of this chapter?” “Could the author have used better examples to buttress her argument here?” “What techniques is the author using to build so much suspense?
* Consider whether you agree with the book or disagree with it. Try to separate your personal beliefs and biases from the book. What questions do you have about what you’re reading? What issues is the book making you rethink or reconsider?
* Think about what makes good writing. It doesn’t matter what kind of book you’re reading — historical nonfiction, a classic, popular fiction.
* Take it Further: does note-taking point to related reading? A a biography of the novelist whose book I'm reading? a nonfiction book about the time period in which the novel takes place? Get ideas by examining the author’s sources in the bibliography and notes (also check out this https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/15/opinion/sunday/the-joy-of-hate-reading.html).

(5) Explore Different Formats
Variety is the spice of reading, right? There’s a great deal of debate over the “best” way to read a book, but there’s no conclusive scientific evidence about any of it. So mix things up. Perhaps start by trying to read out loud, or by asking someone to read a chapter to you. Or turn from print to audio or digital versions of the same story.

Being open to different formats expands your reading possibilities. Having options means you’ll always have a book at your fingertips. Take a break from your current book format to try one of these options:

* Use your cell phone for good. Get a reading app — like Kindle or Overdrive — and download your book digitally. Now, when you’re stuck with time on your hands, spend that time reading instead of skimming through social media.
* Try an audiobook. The audio version of a book can be just as good as print, unless you’re multitasking.
* Mix & match formats. Sync your devices: Listen to a book for a few chapters, then read it digitally for a while, or vice versa.

(6) Read More Socially
Reading may be a solitary endeavor, but once we’re done with a book, most of us want to do the same thing: talk to other people about what we loved, what we hated, what we didn’t understand. No matter where you are in the book you are currently reading, today’s the day to find a place to talk about it.

There are many ways to do that:

* Join an online book club. Unless you’re reading a currently popular book, it’s unlikely you’ll find a local in-person book club to discuss it. But that shouldn’t deter you. You’ll find literally thousands of book clubs on Goodreads, Facebook and other social media sites.
( Find your author on social media. Stephen King, for example, often talks about what he’s reading and what he recommends on Twitter, and so do many other authors; many of them invite lively discussion of books. If you can, try to find the author of your book on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and see what type of conversation he or she is leading.
* Join a local book club or discussion group about your book. If you don’t know of one, call your local library — they will know about the book groups in your area. Hearing what other people think about a book helps expand your own ideas about it.

(7) Enhance Your Post-Book Experience

Here are some simple steps you can take to stay engaged with books, authors and the subjects you’re learning about.

Start a reading journal or reading log. Seeing a list of what you have read will help you branch out. Some people keep a reading log for years.
Create a future book journal. When you hear about a book that interests you, jot down the title. … [more]
advice  connecting_the_dots  critical_thinking  cultural_conversations  deep_learning  goal-setting  howto  questions  reading  self-betterment  self-improvement 
11 weeks ago by jerryking
How a Former Canadian Spy Helps Wall Street Mavens Think Smarter
Nov. 11, 2018 | The New York Times | By Landon Thomas Jr.

* “Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones,” by James Clear. “
* “The Laws of Human Nature,” an examination of human behavior that draws on examples of historical figures by Robert Greene.
* “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Bets When you Don’t Have All the Cards” by Annie Duke,
* “On Grand Strategy,” an assessment of the decisions of notable historical leaders by the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer John Lewis Gaddis

Shane Parrish has become an unlikely guru for Wall Street. His self-improvement strategies appeal to his overachieving audience in elite finance, Silicon Valley and professional sports.....Shane Parrish is a former cybersecurity expert at Canada’s top intelligence agency and an occasional blogger when he noticed something curious about his modest readership six years ago: 80 percent of his followers worked on Wall Street......The blog was meant to be a method of self-improvement, however, his lonely riffs — on how learning deeply, thinking widely and reading books strategically could improve decision-making skills — had found an eager audience among hedge fund titans and mutual fund executives, many of whom were still licking their wounds after the financial crisis.

His website, Farnam Street, urges visitors to “Upgrade Yourself.” In saying as much, Mr. Parrish is promoting strategies of rigorous self-betterment as opposed to classic self-help fare — which appeals to his overachieving audience in elite finance, Silicon Valley and professional sports. ....Today, Mr. Parrish’s community of striving financiers is clamoring for more of him. That means calling on him to present his thoughts and book ideas to employees and clients; attending his regular reading and think weeks in Hawaii, Paris and the Bahamas; and in some cases hiring him to be their personal decision-making coach......“We are trying to get people to ask themselves better questions and reflect. If you can do that, you will be better able to handle the speed and variety of changing environments.”....Parrish advises investors, to disconnect from the noise and to read deeply......Few Wall Street obsessions surpass the pursuit of an investment edge. In an earlier era, before computers and the internet, this advantage was largely brain power. Today, information is just another commodity. And the edge belongs to algorithms, data sets and funds that track indexes and countless other investment themes.......“It is all about habits,” “Setting goals is easy — but without good habits you are not getting there.”......“Every world-class investor is questioning right now how they can improve,” he said. “So, in a machine-driven age where everything is driven by speed, perhaps the edge is judgment, time and perspective.”
books  Charlie_Munger  coaching  commoditization_of_information  CSE  cyber_security  decision_making  deep_learning  disconnecting  financiers  gurus  habits  investors  judgment  life_long_learning  overachievers  personal_coaching  perspectives  Pulitzer_Prize  questions  reading  reflections  self-betterment  self-improvement  slight_edge  smart_people  Wall_Street  Warren_Buffett 
november 2018 by jerryking
Reading with intention can change your life — Quartz
WRITTEN BY
Jory Mackay
May 03, 2016

Often we're ok with the why of reading, but what about the how? Too often we get through a book, flip the last page, sit back, and think, “What the hell did I just read?” Reading and being able to use what you’ve read are completely different things......
Having a clear question in mind or a topic you’re focusing on can make all the difference in helping you to remember and recall information. While this can be as easy as defining a subject to look into beforehand, if time is no object here’s how to effectively “hack” your brain into being impressed with the subject matter:

Before reading
Ruin the ending. Read reviews and summaries of the work. You’re trying to learn why something happened, so the what is secondary. Frame your reading with knowledge around the subject and perspective of what’s being said and how it relates to the larger topic.

During reading
As you read, have a specific purpose in mind and stick to it. Don’t let your mind be the river that sweeps your thoughts away as you read. Be a ruthless notetaker. Your librarian might kill you for this, but using a technique such as marginalia (writing notes in the margin and marking up key patterns for follow ups), will make you a more active reader and help lock information in your memory.

After reading
Engage with the material. Write a summary or analysis of the main ideas you want to recall or use, research supporting topics and ideas noting how they connect with what you’ve read, and then present, discuss, or write about your final ideas.

Make associations with what you already know
Repeat, revisit, and re-engage
cross-pollination  deep_learning  hacks  high-impact  howto  intentionality  life-changing  note_taking  productivity  purpose  reading  tips 
may 2018 by jerryking
How to Read a Book: The Ultimate Guide by Mortimer Adler
Reading alone isn't enough to improve your knowledge. Learning something insightful requires work. You have to read something above your current level. You need to find writers who are more knowledgeable on a particular subject than yourself. This is how you get smarter.

Reading for understanding narrows the gap between reader and writer.

The Four Levels of Reading
Mortimer Adler literally wrote the book on reading. In his book, How to Read a Book, he identifies four levels of reading:

Elementary
Inspectional
Analytical
Syntopical
The goal of reading determines how you read.

**********************************************
Become a Demanding Reader
Reading is all about asking the right questions in the right order and seeking answers.

There are four main questions you need to ask of every book:

What is this book about?
What is being said in detail and how?
Is this book true in whole or in part?
What of it?

If all of this sounds like hard work, you’re right. Most people won’t do it. That’s what sets you apart.
advice  asking_the_right_questions  books  critical_thinking  deep_learning  effectiveness  efficiencies  GTD  hard_work  howto  intentionality  metacognition  productivity  purpose  reading  smart_people  work_smarter 
may 2018 by jerryking
Nick Bostrom: ‘We are like small children playing with a bomb’
Sunday 12 June 2016 | Technology | The Guardian | by Tim Adams.

Sentient machines are a greater threat to human existence than climate change, according to the Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom.

Bostrom, a 43-year-old Swedish-born philosopher, has lately acquired something of the status of prophet of doom among those currently doing most to shape our civilisation: the tech billionaires of Silicon Valley. His reputation rests primarily on his book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, which was a surprise New York Times bestseller last year and now arrives in paperback, trailing must-read recommendations from Bill Gates and Tesla’s Elon Musk. (In the best kind of literary review, Musk also gave Bostrom’s institute £1m to continue to pursue its inquiries.)
artificial_intelligence  dangers  books  Oxford  risks  machine_learning  deep_learning  catastrophic_risk  existential 
march 2017 by jerryking
Retailers Turn to Silicon Valley to Lure Customers - WSJ
By LAURA STEVENS
Jan. 20, 2017

With online pricing and inventory easily accessible, consumers are increasingly becoming brand and retailer agnostic. So retailers are turning to Silicon Valley for everything from artificial intelligence to data to draw consumers in......Still, it is unclear how willing some retailers are to embrace something that goes beyond algorithmic search recommendations and into true customization, in part because it requires merchants letting go of control over some aspects of the shopping experience,
Amazon  personalization  retailers  deep_learning  e-commerce  Silicon_Valley  Nordstrom  artificial_intelligence  bricks-and-mortar 
january 2017 by jerryking
Universities’ AI Talent Poached by Tech Giants - WSJ
By DANIELA HERNANDEZ and RACHAEL KING
Nov. 24, 2016

Researchers warn that tech companies are draining universities of the scientists responsible for cultivating the next generation of researchers and who contribute to solving pressing problems in fields ranging from astronomy to environmental science to physics.

The share of newly minted U.S. computer-science Ph.D.s taking industry jobs has risen to 57% from 38% over the last decade, according to data from the National Science Foundation. Though the number of Ph.D.s in the field has grown, the proportion staying in academia has hit “a historic low,” according to the Computing Research Association, an industry group.

Such moves could have a long-term impact on the number of graduates available for teaching positions because it takes three to five years to earn a doctorate in computer science. ....The squeeze is especially tight in deep learning, an AI technique that has played a crucial role in moneymaking services like online image search, language translation and ad placement,
Colleges_&_Universities  poaching  Alphabet  Google  Stanford  artificial_intelligence  Facebook  machine_learning  talent_pipelines  research  PhDs  deep_learning  war_for_talent  talent 
november 2016 by jerryking
Artificial Intelligence Swarms Silicon Valley on Wings and Wheels
JULY 17, 2016 | - The New York Times | By JOHN MARKOFF.

Funding in A.I. start-ups has increased more than fourfold to $681 million in 2015, from $145 million in 2011, according to the market research firm CB Insights. The firm estimates that new investments will reach $1.2 billion this year, up 76 percent from last year.
machine_learning  Silicon_Valley  deep_learning  artificial_intelligence  funding  venture_capital  vc 
july 2016 by jerryking
The Sensor-Rich, Data-Scooping Future - NYTimes.com
APRIL 26, 2015 | NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

Sensor-rich lights, to be found eventually in offices and homes, are for a company that will sell knowledge of behavior as much as physical objects....The Internet will be almost fused with the physical world. The way Google now looks at online clicks to figure out what ad to next put in front of you will become the way companies gain once-hidden insights into the patterns of nature and society.

G.E., Google and others expect that knowing and manipulating these patterns is the heart of a new era of global efficiency, centered on machines that learn and predict what is likely to happen next.

“The core thing Google is doing is machine learning,” Eric Schmidt....The great data science companies of our sensor-packed world will have experts in arcane reaches of statistics, computer science, networking, visualization and database systems, among other fields. Graduates in those areas are already in high demand.

Nor is data analysis just a question of computing skills; data access is also critically important. As a general rule, the larger and richer a data set a company has, the better its predictions become. ....an emerging area of computer analysis known as “deep learning” will blow away older fields.

While both Facebook and Google have snapped up deep-learning specialists, Mr. Howard said, “they have far too much invested in traditional computing paradigms. They are the equivalent of Kodak in photography.” Echoing Mr. Chui’s point about specialization, he said he thought the new methods demanded understanding of specific fields to work well.

It is of course possible that both things are true: Big companies like Google and Amazon will have lots of commodity data analysis, and specialists will find niches. That means for most of us, the answer to the future will be in knowing how to ask the right kinds of questions.
sensors  GE  GE_Capital  Quentin_Hardy  data  data_driven  data_scientists  massive_data_sets  machine_learning  automated_reasoning  predictions  predictive_analytics  predictive_modeling  layer_mastery  core_competencies  Enlitic  deep_learning  niches  patterns  analog  insights  latent  hidden  questions  Google  Amazon  aftermath  physical_world  specialization  consumer_behavior  cyberphysical  arcane_knowledge  artificial_intelligence  test_beds 
april 2015 by jerryking
In Praise of Depth - NYTimes.com
January 17, 2014 | NYT | By TONY SCHWARTZ.
We don’t need more bits and bytes of information, or more frequent updates about each other’s modest daily accomplishments. What we need instead is more wisdom, insight, understanding and discernment — less quantity, higher quality; less breadth and more depth....The reality is that we each have limited working memories, meaning we can only retain a certain amount of new information in our minds at any given time. If we’re forever flooding the brain with new facts, other information necessarily gets crowded out before it’s been retained in our long-term memory. If you selectively reduce what you’re taking in, then you can hold on to more of what you really want to remember...Going deeper does mean forgoing immediate gratification more often, taking time to reflect and making more conscious choices. It also requires the capacity to focus in a more absorbed and sustained way, which takes practice and commitment in a world of infinite distractions.
deep_learning  discernment  distractions  focus  immediacy  information_overload  insights  instant_gratification  monotasking  reading  reflections  relevance  thinking_deliberatively  Tony_Schwartz  wisdom  work_life_balance 
january 2014 by jerryking
Unboxed - Yes, People Still Read, but Now It’s Social - NYTimes.com
June 18, 2010 | New York Times | By STEVEN JOHNSON, Nicholas
Carr's new book, “The Shallows,” argues that the compulsive skimming,
linking and multitasking of our screen reading is undermining the deep,
immersive focus that has defined book culture for centuries.
Distractions come with a heavy cost--studies show how multitasking harms
our concentration. But we must also measure what we gain from
multitasking....The problem with Mr. Carr’s model is its unquestioned
reverence for the slow contemplation of deep reading. For society to
advance as it has since Gutenberg, he argues, we need the quiet,
solitary space of the book. Yet many great ideas that have advanced
culture over the past centuries have emerged from a more connective
space, in the collision of different worldviews and sensibilities,
different metaphors and fields of expertise. (Gutenberg himself borrowed
his printing press from the screw presses of Rhineland vintners, as Mr.
Carr notes.)
cognitive_skills  collective_intelligence  collective_wisdom  Communicating_&_Connecting  connected_learning  contemplation  cross-disciplinary  deep_learning  discernment  distractions  focus  Johan_Gutenberg  Kindle  metaphors  multitasking  monotasking  Nicholas_Carr  reading  solitude  Steven_Johnson  sustained_inquiry  thinking  thinking_deliberatively  worldviews 
june 2010 by jerryking

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