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December I've read Villehardouin's chronicle of the Fourth Crusade at least two times, maybe three. And yet if I had to write down everything I remember from it, I doubt it would amount to much more than a page. Multiply this times several hundred, and I get an uneasy feeling when I look at my bookshelves.
What use is it to read all these books if I remember so little from them? A few months ago, as I was reading Constance Reid's excellent biography of Hilbert, I figured out if not the answer to this question, at least something that made me feel better about it. Hilbert had no patience with mathematical lectures which filled the students with facts but did not teach them how to frame a problem and solve it.
He often used to tell them that "a perfect formulation of a problem is already half its solution. But how had I come to believe in this idea in the first place? A combination of my own experience and other things I'd read. None of which I could at that moment remember! And eventually I'd forget that Hilbert had confirmed it too.
But my increased belief in the importance of this idea would remain something I'd learned from this book, even after I'd forgotten I'd learned it.
Reading and experience train your model of the world. And even if you forget the experience or what you read, its effect on your model of the world persists. Your mind is like a compiled program you've lost the source of.
It works, but you don't know why.
The place to look for what I learned from Villehardouin's chronicle is not what I remember from it, but my mental models of the crusades, Venice, medieval culture, siege warfare, and so on. Which doesn't mean I couldn't have read more attentively, but at least the harvest of reading is not so miserably small as it might seem.
This is one of those things that seem obvious in retrospect. But it was a surprise to me and presumably would be to anyone else who felt uneasy about apparently forgetting so much they'd read. Realizing it does more than make you feel a little better about forgetting, though.
There are specific implications. For example, reading and experience are usually "compiled" at the time they happen, using the state of your brain at that time. The same book would get compiled differently at different points in your life.
Which means it is very much worth reading important books multiple times. I always used to feel some misgivings about rereading books. I unconsciously lumped reading together with work like carpentry, where having to do something again is a sign you did it wrong the first time.The Church was established in , during an era of great racial division in the United States.
At the time, many people of African descent lived in slavery, and racial distinctions and prejudice were not just common but customary among white Americans. KUMEYAAY INDIAN HISTORY research essay facts about Native American precontact prehistoric historical San Diego County in Southwestewrn Southern California Mexico.
Introduction There are no precise, reliable statistics on the amount of computer crime and the economic loss to victims, partly because many of these crimes are apparently not detected by victims, many of these crimes are never reported to authorities, and partly because the losses are often difficult to .
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One of the twentieth century’s greatest philosophers presents the results of his lifetime study of man’s cultural achievements. An Essay on Man is an original synthesis of contemporary knowledge, a unique interpretation of the intellectual crisis of our time, and a brilliant vindication of man’s ability to resolve human problems by the courageous use of his mind. AP Biology Fall Essay Review 8. A biologist tested the effects of different NaCl concentrations on diffusion rate. In the experiment, four solutions of NaCl (0%, . Introduction Though perhaps best known throughout the world for his science fiction, Isaac Asimov was also regarded as one of the great explainers of science.
Aristotle: Poetics. The Poetics of Aristotle ( B.C.E.) is a much-disdained book. So unpoetic a soul as Aristotle's has no business speaking about such a topic, much less telling poets how to .
Into The Wild Essay. The Silent Fire ODAP and the death of Christ o pher McCandless I first became awar e of the Chris McCandless story in , when Jon Krakauer’s book Into the Wild was being offered as an example of contemporary narrative nonfiction in a literature course at the university where I worked at that time.
The book had been placed on Reserve in the Library, and I can remember.