The Reading Machine Revisited
It’s easy to fixate on the cognitive events that constitute the act of reading, the silent process happening inside our head as our eyes scan the words and our mind makes sense of them—or whatever it is that it does—but there’s another way of looking at this phenomenon. It can be observed from the outside, as a behavioural phenomenon—a theory of reading without a theory of mind
Trained on my library of articles on Instapaper, the Amamnuensis will select articles from my Twitter feed and my Feedly feed. These are in turn saved to Instapaper. Depending on level of confidence, some are marked as favourites . Even more assortative links are shared on Twitter. The Amanuensis highlights interesting passages. The Amanuensis is trained on the books I’ve read. The Amanuensis...
The Reading Machine
At one point in the distant future, long after our sun has faded and its planets have passed, Pantography will produce the text, “in a village in la mancha, the name of which i cannot quite recalk”. One hour later, right on schedule, it will come out with a line that is indistinguishable from the opening words of the Penguin edition . If, upon seeing it, you were to hurry off to...
Packing My Library
I am packing my library. Tomorrow morning, these books will be packed inside ten cardboard boxes, loaded onto a van, and shipped to another country. Were it not for these several hundred books, the question of moving would be trivial: a couple of suitcases would carry all my clothes, and everything else I possess would happily fit into a large box. The rest—all the other things that are...
Pantography tweets a message every hour. Each one is consecutive: the first was ‘0’ and the last will consist of 140 zeds. Between these two extremes, every possible message will have been tweeted: a description of every feeling you’ve ever had, anything you’ve ever overheard or will overhear, any headline that has ever caught, or could ever catch, your...
Esoteric Translation: 1. The Oneiromantic Method
Ensure that the source text is in a language you do not understand. Go to bed early. Under moderate light, start reading the source text. Be sure to follow every word of the text; do not read it as a series of letters but allow your mind to parse the text as it would with a language you understand. Persevere until your eyes begin to feel heavy and your brain feels as though it is rubbing...