Cruel Logic by Brian Godawa (To End All Wars):
If you’re like me, your reading list is too long. As a result, you never get started making a dent in it. Today, I got started.
About a year ago I started working through a book called Breakthrough Rapid Reading. (It’s the best speed-reading book I’ve found.) Not long after, work got crazy, and I dropped it and never came back. But this morning, I grabbed it and brought it in with me to work. I came in, sat down, and started going at it. No fancy hand movements, just “reading” as fast as I could.
I finished the whole book — over 200 pages — in under an hour. Don’t misunderstand, I didn’t come close to doing a good job of reading it properly. But here’s the catch: now I know what’s in it. I can go back and re-read it, speeding up and slowing down as necessary. It’s better to read something really fast twice (or more!) than read it once slowly.
Here are some of the things I picked up:
1. The importance of drills: Practice reading every day. Stretch yourself. Read at rates beyond your current ability, even though it means your comprehension will suffer. It’s OK — it’s only practice. You won’t read like that when it’s “for real.”
2. Know why you’re reading: You might just be “reading” something to decide if it’s worth reading again. Some books and articles aren’t worth your time. Also, you might have only a passing interest in the material, so a quick reading might be sufficient. If you’re going to spend a lot of time really tearing into something, make sure it’s worth the time and effort.
3. Recall and record what you’ve read immediately after putting the book down. Post a quick summary on your blog, for example. This stamps it on your mind and gives you a tool for returning to the material later.
4. Relax. This is supposed to be fun. It’s not about getting the technique right. It’s about enriching your life. The end is more important than the means.
I think I have a fairly strong command of the English language, but I cannot come up with an adequate adjective to describe the colossally embarrassing and inappropriate quality of Pat Robertson’s comments today.
I don’t know why I still get exercised when Pat Robertson says something like this. By now I should know enough to treat it like a flatulent outburst: you have to stop long enough to recognize the fact that, yes, something unpleasant just took place, but then politely go about your business and pretend that nothing happened.
One of my mentors-at-a-distance, Greg Koukl, often observes that the content of the gospel is offensive all by itself, but that offense must be preserved if one is to be faithful. So if you’re going to offend someone in the name of Jesus Christ, take a cue from Brit Hume and cause an uproar over the reality of forgiveness (which implies the offensive reality of guilt):
Why is the Gospel—the “Good News”—so offensive? I think it’s because the Gospel is only good news once you understand the bad news. For most folks, the bad news—that we stand before God guilty and justly condemned—is on par with the repellent ramblings of a washed-up televangelist. The difference is that the news of our guilt is credible. Fortunately, the good news of the Gospel is just as credible and powerful in its announcement of forgiveness and hope.
It can even redeem Pat Robertson.
Posterous has a good thing going on, but not good enough. I’m moving this show back to WordPress, but I’m not hosting it myself anymore…