IIBB: June 17, 2006

sun18jun2006—24w169d46%— 03h06m00s—0utc

“I can’t believe THAT!” said Alice.

“Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”

Alice laughed. “There’s not use trying,” she said: “one CAN’T believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Lewis Carroll, Through the looking glass

Impossible Ideas Before Breakfast

Reading processors

Trying out some information-design ideas inspired by Doug Engelbart,

I’m just so much interested in.. the kind of capabilities this perceptual machine we have in our brain. Like one thing I really, really want to try that I never had the resources, and part of it was that I didn’t understand grammar well enough, I’d like a parsing processor going that parses your sentences, and then it gives you the option of having the different parts of speech in different color or different brightness. And I’m just intuitively certain that if you started reading that way that this machinery would start adapting to it and pretty soon you’d be reading faster with more comprehension than if you had monocolored, monosized, etc. Things as they’re now. That’s the kind of thing that the computer aids can really really help you. So tell me if anybody can try it. Let me try it.

, (and the koan “what is to reading what a word-processor is to writing?”) I came up with two text-transformations: parts-of-speech coloring,

and spacing (pdf),

What do you think about them? Did they help you? Did they confuse you? Assuming that a “reading-processor” could apply such transformations instantly and perfectly (there’s a leap of faith) to whatever you read, would you use them?

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