30 November 2007

Reading to Maximise IQ and EF: Million Book Project

The Million Book Project, an international venture led by Carnegie Mellon University in the United States, Zhejiang University in China, the Indian Institute of Science in India and the Library at Alexandria in Egypt, has completed the digitization of more than 1.5 million books, which are now available online.
A recent US National Endowment for the Arts report claims that American teens are not reading--which might explain why US children score 15 internationally in reading.
Some of the findings include that, on average, Americans ages 15 to 24 spend two hours a day watching television and seven minutes reading. Also, less than one-third of 13-year-olds read something every day, which is a 14 percent drop from 20 years ago. And, looking at 17-year-olds, the percentage of non-readers jumped from 9 percent in 1984 to 19 percent in 2004.

...Compared to the rest of the world, American 15-year-olds rank 15th in average reading scores, behind such countries as Poland, Korea, France and Canada. The entire report can be found online.

If you stop hitting yourself on the head, the pain from the hitting will eventually go away. Likewise if children learn to read habitually, the knowledge deficit from not reading will be removed.

Librarians of the US have stated that they stand ready to assist the children of America. But for those who are too lazy to go to the library, the "Million Book Project" has now made over 1.5 million books available online--to children of the world, wherever they live.
“Anyone who can get on the Internet now has access to a collection of books the size of a large university library,” said Raj Reddy, professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon. “This project brings us closer to the ideal of the Universal Library: making all published works available to anyone, anytime, in any language. The economic barriers to the distribution of knowledge are falling,” said Reddy, who has spearheaded the Million Book Project.

...The collection includes a large number of rare and orphan books. More than 20 languages are represented among the 1.5 million books, a little more than 1 percent of all of the world’s books.

Many of the books, particularly those in Chinese and English, have been digitized — their text converted by optical character recognition methods into computer readable text. That allows these books to be searched and, eventually, reformatted for access by PDAs and other devices.

As digital book readers get better, accessing and reading these free online books wirelessly will be effortless. The combination of "One Laptop per Child" with such mega-book digital archives may likewise prove a boon for childhood reading.

Try one of these: Here is a search engine to find free ebooks online. Try the Universal Digital Library link for instant access to 1.5 million books. Consult the alfin2100 sidebar under e-books. Checkout this list of free online books. Go to your local community or academic library and consult a librarian.

There is really no excuse for not reading. I recently listened to an NPR "Talk of the Nation" discussing the NEA report. One retired woman claimed she did not have time to read, because of "global warming!" Nope. No excuse.

If executive function and IQ are not being developed to the fullest, we can correctly blame government schools and the PC multicult approach to education--which automatically trims 1 SD from a person's IQ. But with all the free online courses, books, and information available online, the only person to blame is the parent who sends the child to government school--AND DOES NOT take the responsibility to supplement the child's education with readily available materials.

Hattip: Kurzweilai.net

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Blogger Towards infinity said...

The Surgeon General has shown that
random acts of thinking may cause
increased brain activity,
and creativity.
If you experience any of the
following symptoms:
out-of-the-box ideas,
goose bumps,
thoughts of changing the world
or yourself,
then please continue what you were doing.
Otherwise, see your doctor.
This has been a message from the Institute
for the Preservation of Non-Conformist

Friday, 30 November, 2007  
Blogger al fin said...

Right. Non-conformism is very un-PC. Be very careful what you think, and particularly careful of what you say.

Just ask James Watson, Larry Summers, etc. etc.

Saturday, 01 December, 2007  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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