Writing is processing
At a certain point, reading doesn’t increase the consolidation of knowledge: writing does. There’s some research on the benefits of note-taking vs just listening in classes, for example. Note also that it seems physical writing is more beneficial than digital note-taking (similarly as in ear training and the benefits of music interpretation?).
- This might be, in fact, a good point in favor for a physical zettelkasten vs a digital one, like this one (see meta), if it weren’t for the digital advantages of easier portability, backup capacities, text-processing and such.
There is a point at which learning requires conceptualization, in the same way that watching music performances doesn’t give you the implicit knowledge required to play an instrument. That knowledge is implicit and intransferable: transmissionism is not enough in the same way explaining how to ride a bycicle is.
In the same way, programming requires precise highly standarized instruction giving (think of the different programming units, such as loops, functions and lambdas). However: coding also depends on a certain way of thinking, a logic that mimics the computer’s - having access to good documentation only doesn’t make a good coder. The knowledge of how those units integrate (and how they integrate better) is implicit and non-transmitable in a declarative fashion.
- Does this mean programmers tend to make for bad teachers?
- Maybe not, but it might have something to do with how they can make for terrible artificial neuroscientists.
For this reason, at a certain point of comprehension, reading doesn’t do anything to increase knowledge: it’s writing that produces the conceptualization needed to build (lasting?) mental models.
Reading > listening
Because the funnel of information allows for more information to enter processing (of course, depending on your reading speed - though there is of course a comprehension per second bottleneck).