Here is one of the programming ideas that I am thinking about currently. John and I have talked about it a couple of times and John ran out a simple hypercard idea as a start. Here is the feelings and thoughts that got the program idea started.
When I was about 15 years old, I used to read at about 500 to 1000 words per minute. I remember back then that when I was reading, I didn't really read the words most of the time, but rather, I seemed to be sort of absorbing the ideas presented but without consciously reading individual words. Reading seemed to be an all-absorbing pastime.
Then I went to college and my reading slowed way down. Now it seems almost impossible to avoid reading as a series of individual words. My reading speed is down to about 250 to 400 words/min. I look back on those times when I read swiftly and was fully absorbed in the process with regret and nostalgia. I would like to be able to get that speed and feeling back again.
Thus the idea of a program that returns me to the old speed. I have tried to speed up my reading, but it doesn't seem to happen. There is too much conscious effort, followed by restlessness and finally by giving up the effort without any appreciable change of reading speed.
The idea of the program was a simple one or two line field that displays text from some piece of writing and a comfortable reading speed, but which is slowly and almost imperceptively speeded up, such that a person doesn't have to force himself to consciously go faster. This, combined with text from a lot of easy reading novels, would slowly allow one to gradually speed up his/her reading speed without conscious and distracting effort.
The first program attempt displayed a line of script, ranging from 3 to 8 words wide, displayed for a time of one quarter of a second to about one second (the reader sets the number of words and the time that the sentance shows). When I got some script into the field and tried reading, the broken sentences were too distracting to allow smooth reading. The program is now being modified to display a full sentence or clause, based on paragraph or comma. We will see if this reads any better.
Do any of you have any ideas about a display techinques, suitable of being put in a hypercard program that could help speed up reading?