Reading tip #1

Occasionally I’ll find myself browsing Bret Victor’s website. I’m usually looking for inspiration and I am always curious to see what he is working on at any given moment.

Here’s some reading advice that stuck with me:

It’s tempting to judge what you read:

I agree with these statements, and I disagree with those.

However, a great thinker who has spent decades on an unusual line of thought cannot induce their context into your head in a few pages. It’s almost certainly the case that you don’t fully understand their statements.

Instead, you can say:

I have now learned that there exists a worldview in which all of these statements are consistent.

And if it feels worthwhile, you can make a genuine effort to understand that entire worldview. You don’t have to adopt it. Just make it available to yourself, so you can make connections to it when it's needed.

Found this on his 2013 links page, where you can also find additional reading tips, great book recommendations, and links about powerful seeing, and powerful representations for scientific thinking, as he puts it.

© 2024 Edmundo Santos
Last updated on