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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Default Reading faster - an interesting tool.

    Go here: http://www.spreeder.com/app.php

    Copy and paste the following into the box and click "spreed".

    Don't read the following quote in depth, just briefly skim over it (spend no more than 10 seconds).

    EDIT: The original passage I posted is a bit hard to read, a few things are going on there at once. (quoted below)

    This is much more straight-forward, try it:


    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration and the auto industry are locked in negotiations over new vehicle mileage and emissions standards that will have a profound effect on the cars Americans drive and the health of the auto industry over the next decade and beyond.

    Depending on the stringency of the standard, the deal could also reduce global warming emissions by millions of tons a year and cut oil imports by billions of barrels over the life of the program, cornerstones of President Obama’s energy policy.

    The administration is proposing regulations that will require new American cars and trucks to attain an average of as much as 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025, roughly double the current level. That would require increases in fuel efficiency of nearly 5 percent a year from 2017 to 2025.

    The standard would put domestic vehicle fuel efficiency on a par with that in Europe, China and Japan, saving consumers billions of dollars at the pump and creating for the first time a truly global automobile market.

    The automakers say the standard is technically achievable. But they warn that it will cost billions of dollars to develop the vehicles, and they express doubt that consumers will accept the smaller, lighter — and in some cases, more expensive — cars that result.

    “We can build these vehicles,” said Gloria Bergquist, vice president for public affairs at the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the leading industry lobby in Washington. “The question is, will consumers buy them?”

    The talks have heated up and will continue through the summer, with the proposed new standard expected in September and completed early next year after public hearings.

    The auto companies are asking the government to phase in the standard gradually, to allow credits for using certain technologies and fuels and to include a review period that could lower the target if it proves too costly, industry and government officials said. They are also seeking assurances that the government will help build the charging stations needed for electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, which will help to meet the new standard.

    A senior administration official, insisting on anonymity because the negotiations were continuing, said the 56.2 m.p.g. goal represented the government’s opening bid, and might not be the final figure. The official said there was still some disagreement within the government, and the final outlines are far from certain.
    Orig. passage, for reference.
    World Bank Is Opening Its Treasure Chest of Data
    By STEPHANIE STROM
    WASHINGTON

    THE Piper PA-31 Navajo took off into the sultry Miami morning and streaked southward toward the Caribbean. High over Haiti, the cameras inside began to snap.

    Behind this reconnaissance mission was, of all things, a financial institution: the World Bank, symbol of globalization and, to many, the hubris of wealthy nations.

    But this was hardly some clandestine operation. On the contrary, the aerial photographs taken that January morning in 2010, shortly after a powerful earthquake leveled much of Port-au-Prince, were soon uploaded to the Web for all to see, along with an invitation to help World Bank specialists assess the damage and figure out how to aid Haiti.

    The appeal marked a radical departure for the often close-to-the-vest World Bank, which, like its brother, the International Monetary Fund, has been called everything from arrogant to inept. The World Bank, you see, wants the world to know that it is finally opening up, albeit slowly and, at times, a bit painfully.

    The I.M.F. has grabbed the hot headlines lately, having become a tabloid fixture after its leader, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was accused of sexually assaulting a housekeeper in a Midtown Manhattan hotel. That allegation began unraveling on Friday, when prosecutors themselves questioned the victim’s credibility. Not that Mr. Strauss-Kahn is going back to his old job; last week, the fund named Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister, as its next leader.

    But while the I.M.F. is busy with scandal and the debt crisis now shaking Europe, officials at the World Bank’s headquarters here are confronting some existential questions, including the big one: What exactly are we doing here?

    The World Bank’s traditional role has been to finance specific projects that foster economic development, whereas the I.M.F.’s goal is to safeguard the global monetary system. But many people, particularly in the developing world, have long questioned whether the economic prescriptions that these two lofty institutions hand down from Washington — essentially: liberalize, privatize and deregulate — have done anything but advance the interests of wealthy nations like the United States. That the I.M.F. is now championing deeply unpopular austerity measures for Greece, where street protests continued last week, only sharpens that point.
    ...
    Under settings set it at 500 WPM, and under advanced settings check "Slight pause at end of sentences and paragraphs."

    Suppress the urge to "sub-vocalize" - don't say the words in your head, just stay focused.

    Tell me what you think. How was your comprehension?

    I could go into the details behind this but I'm just putting this out here for people to check out for the moment.

    full NYT article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/bu...ref=technology
    Last edited by Bamboo; 07-04-2011 at 09:14 AM.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  2. #2
    a scream in a vortex nanook's Avatar
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    something about hawai, banks and scandals.
    thats three words more than what i would ususally take with me from the economy section of any paper.

    (but i can read at 500 wpm in my mother tongue and with more human topics)

  3. #3
    Senior Member InTheFlesh's Avatar
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    I had about 70%-80% comprehension, I'd say.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    I personally understood it fairly well, but had to go back and read the names again. The names were the most difficult aspect of this whole thing for me.

    Also, I had to go back and re-read this sentence slower: "The World Bank’s traditional role has been to finance specific projects that foster economic development, whereas the I.M.F.’s goal is to safeguard the global monetary system."
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    something about hawai, banks and scandals.
    thats three words more than what i would ususally take with me from the economy section of any paper.

    (but i can read at 500 wpm in my mother tongue and with more human topics)
    two out of three!
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  6. #6
    Klingon Warrior Princess Patches's Avatar
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    I actually found it very hard to do that one word at a time like that. But my parents used to send me to these summer boarding schools that had enrichment classes for stuff like this. I was taught to speed-read at a pretty young age. We were taught not to subvocalize, but we were also taught to clump up groups of words into "chunks" and read them all at once... Not a single word at a time. I had a lot of difficulty with comprehension with the one-word format.
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman

    ~

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    You might also consider trying this passage, it has a different style.

    Each passerby had a quick choice to make, one familiar to commuters in any urban area where the occasional street performer is part of the cityscape: Do you stop and listen? Do you hurry past with a blend of guilt and irritation, aware of your cupidity but annoyed by the unbidden demand on your time and your wallet? Do you throw in a buck, just to be polite? Does your decision change if he's really bad? What if he's really good? Do you have time for beauty? Shouldn't you? What's the moral mathematics of the moment?

    On that Friday in January, those private questions would be answered in an unusually public way. No one knew it, but the fiddler standing against a bare wall outside the Metro in an indoor arcade at the top of the escalators was one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made. His performance was arranged by The Washington Post as an experiment in context, perception and priorities -- as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?

    The musician did not play popular tunes whose familiarity alone might have drawn interest. That was not the test. These were masterpieces that have endured for centuries on their brilliance alone, soaring music befitting the grandeur of cathedrals and concert halls.

    The acoustics proved surprisingly kind. Though the arcade is of utilitarian design, a buffer between the Metro escalator and the outdoors, it somehow caught the sound and bounced it back round and resonant. The violin is an instrument that is said to be much like the human voice, and in this musician's masterly hands, it sobbed and laughed and sang -- ecstatic, sorrowful, importuning, adoring, flirtatious, castigating, playful, romancing, merry, triumphal, sumptuous.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...040401721.html
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patches View Post
    I actually found it very hard to do that one word at a time like that. But my parents used to send me to these summer boarding schools that had enrichment classes for stuff like this. I was taught to speed-read at a pretty young age. We were taught not to subvocalize, but we were also taught to clump up groups of words into "chunks" and read them all at once... Not a single word at a time. I had a lot of difficulty with comprehension with the one-word format.
    Interesting. I'm quite new to this. As a few of these programs point out, most people read nearly the same way they did when they were first taught - one word at a time, practically sounding it out. I jump and skim a bit.

    Chunking sounds more organic. With the settings adjusted do you think this could a useful tool for teaching people how to read without subvocalizing?

    With a little effort I can read regular text in naturally selected chunks, but with the text flashing it holds the pace and keeps me from regressing into old ways.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    I think this is best used as a tool to teach people how to read regular text without subvocalization, rather than as a designated method in itself.


    It would make an interesting mobile app for a small cell phone screen.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

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