If we read and forget something, was it a waste of time?

Paul Graham talks about rereading books, and how each time something else can be gained because our own life experiences are continually evolving, and reading helps to change the structure of our mental models. Even if we don’t remember the details, reading can change our world view, and by revisiting previous thoughts, we approach the same material in different ways.

That said, does this idea conflict with the idea that we should take copious notes to hone our own mental models? Does the action of deliberate reflection do more to solidify our mental models? If we do that, when does it make sense to reread things?

Manfred Kuehn

“What makes my approach different from that of most others I read is that I take notes of the papers and books I read, and do not keep the original PDFs of secondary sources, but just refer to my notes. I rarely consult secondary sources again. If I have to do so, it means that I did not do the job right the first time.”

Link to original

Many people have discussed the lasting impact of our education, long after we’ve forgotten the details of what we’ve learned:

E.D. Battle

”The formative education gives to us that which remains after we have forgotten all that we have learned in the schools.”

Quotology: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/09/07/forgotten/

Link to original