Weekend Reading: Readwise with Roam, WWI Naval Intelligence, and Interaction Density

April 4, 2020 • #

📖 Readwise2Roam

I’m liking so far the process of manually typing notes in Roam from highlights in my books. Something about it feels more efficient and leaves me with more meaningful, succinct notes. This could come in handy, though, if I want to pull all highlights directly from Readwise (which I’m still loving, use it every day).

How computational power—or its absence—shaped World War naval battles

How the battlecruiser in the early 20th century gave the British a birds-eye view of their fleet before the days of aerial photography, radar, or satellites:

To achieve his vision of a centrally controlled battlecruiser force, Fisher needed a clear picture of the threats. So he set up a top-secret room in the Admiralty building where intelligence reports and shipping news from all over the world were aggregated onto large maps that showed the positions of every friendly and known enemy ship.

This was known as the Admiralty plot. Unlike the displays you might see in a modern military headquarters (which may be updated every few minutes or seconds), these paper maps had a “refresh rate” of hours or even days. But they were nonetheless revolutionary, because for the first time in history a centralized commander could look at a representation of the world naval situation, with every friendly force and known enemy force tracked all around the world in nearly real time. The British leadership could then issue commands accordingly.

📲 Interaction Density

This is one of the best arguments to describe why “pro” users on multitouch devices have so much frustration trying to achieve the same levels of productivity they can on a desktop. Even with quality applications, for certain types of work, an iPad can feel like you’re handcuffed.