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Explorable Explanations

Explorable Explanations
Bret Victor / March 10, 2011 What does it mean to be an active reader? An active reader asks questions, considers alternatives, questions assumptions, and even questions the trustworthiness of the author. An active reader tries to generalize specific examples, and devise specific examples for generalities. An active reader doesn't passively sponge up information, but uses the author's argument as a springboard for critical thought and deep understanding. Do our reading environments encourage active reading? Explorable Explanations is my umbrella project for ideas that enable and encourage truly active reading. This essay presents examples of few initial ideas: A reactive document allows the reader to play with the author's assumptions and analyses, and see the consquences. An explorable example makes the abstract concrete, and allows the reader to develop an intuition for how a system works. 1. Ten Brighter Ideas was my early prototype of a reactive document. drag The way it is now: Analysis:

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