The Ultimate Guide to Reading for Understanding and Information: Connecting the Worlds of Literature and NFTs


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 12, 2023

5 min read


The Ultimate Guide to Reading for Understanding and Information: Connecting the Worlds of Literature and NFTs

Reading is a fundamental skill that allows us to acquire knowledge, expand our perspectives, and engage in meaningful conversations. However, there are different approaches to reading, each serving a unique purpose. In Mortimer Adler's book, "How to Read a Book," he outlines four levels of reading: Elementary Reading, Inspectional Reading, Analytical Reading, and Syntopical Reading.

Elementary Reading is the foundation of reading. It involves understanding the basic meaning of the text and grasping its surface-level ideas. This type of reading is often done when we read for information. We quickly scan through articles, blog posts, and news pieces to gather facts and stay updated. It's like skimming the surface of a body of water, just dipping our toes in.

Inspectional Reading, on the other hand, goes a step further. It allows us to evaluate the merits of a deeper reading experience. This type of reading is like diving into the water, immersing ourselves in the author's blueprint. Skimming helps us reach a decision point: Does this book or article deserve more of our time and attention? If not, we put it down without feeling guilty. Francis Bacon once remarked, "some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." In a world filled with an overwhelming amount of content, learning to inspect and prioritize our reading material is crucial.

Analytical Reading takes us deeper into the realms of comprehension and critical thinking. It involves a thorough reading of the text, dissecting its arguments, and engaging in a conversation with the author. Marginalia becomes our tool for conversing with the author, marking our differences or agreements. This level of reading helps us develop our own opinions and insights. As Edgar Allen Poe wisely said, "Marking a book is literally an experience of your differences or agreements with the author. It is the highest respect you can pay him." By actively engaging with the text, we challenge ourselves and expand our intellectual capacity.

Syntopical Reading is the pinnacle of reading. It involves reading multiple books on the same subject and comparing and contrasting their ideas, vocabulary, and arguments. This level of reading goes beyond understanding a single book; it aims to gain a comprehensive understanding of the subject as a whole. It is akin to swimming in the vast sea of knowledge, exploring different perspectives, and developing a deep fluency in the subject matter.

Now, let's dive into a seemingly unrelated topic: NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). NFTs have gained significant attention in recent times, with many people investing millions in these digital assets. But what exactly are NFTs, and why are people so drawn to them?

NFTs, in essence, can be anything digital, from art to music to even AI-generated content. However, the current excitement revolves around the sale of digital art. The unique aspect of NFTs is the ability to attach royalties to them. If an NFT is sold or changes hands, the original creator receives a percentage of the sale. This provides a potential revenue stream for artists as their work gains popularity and value.

Just as reading for understanding and information serve different purposes, NFTs serve different purposes for different people. Some see them as a way to financially support artists they admire. By purchasing an NFT, they directly contribute to the artist's income. Others view NFTs as the future of fine art collecting, a playground for the mega-rich. However, it's essential to note that NFTs extend beyond art; they can be applied to various digital assets and even real-world objects.

For instance, Nike has patented a method called CryptoKicks, which uses NFTs to verify the authenticity of sneakers. This blending of the physical and digital worlds adds a layer of security and trust to real-world objects.

While NFTs offer exciting opportunities, it's also important to acknowledge their limitations. Bit rot, the deterioration of digital files over time, is a real concern. File formats become obsolete, images lose their quality, and websites may go down. Additionally, the reliance on digital wallets introduces the risk of forgetting passwords or losing access to funds.

However, even physical art in museums is not immune to fragility. Paintings can fade, sculptures can weather, and artifacts can be damaged or lost. The impermanence of physical art reminds us that preservation and conservation efforts are crucial in both the digital and physical realms.

In conclusion, reading and NFTs may seem like disparate topics, but they share common threads. Both require active engagement, critical thinking, and the ability to navigate through vast amounts of information. By honing our reading skills, we can discern valuable content and cultivate our own insights. Similarly, by understanding the potential of NFTs and their applications, we can explore new ways of supporting artists and appreciating digital assets.

To harness the power of reading and navigate the world of NFTs effectively, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Embrace the different levels of reading: Start by identifying your reading goals. Are you reading for information or understanding? Apply the appropriate reading level to each situation. Skim through articles and books to gather information quickly, but also engage in deep analytical reading to develop a thorough understanding of complex subjects.
  • 2. Cultivate a curious mindset: Approach both reading and NFTs with a sense of curiosity. Ask questions, seek answers, and explore different perspectives. Curiosity fuels intellectual growth and allows us to make informed decisions.
  • 3. Support artists and creators: Whether through traditional art purchases or NFTs, consider supporting artists whose work resonates with you. By financially supporting creators, we contribute to the growth and development of the artistic community.

In the ever-evolving landscape of literature and digital innovations, the ability to read critically and navigate emerging technologies like NFTs is crucial. By combining these skills, we can broaden our horizons, support artists, and engage in meaningful conversations that shape our understanding of the world. So dive into the depths of literature and explore the vast potential of NFTs – the journey awaits.

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