"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
1 Syntopic reading using Anki3 Syntopic reading using AnkiSyntopic reading using AnkiPart I: How to remember almost anything: the Anki systemAugmenting Long-term Memory2020-09-24Journal
You may wonder why I don't just focus on only the most important papers. Part of the reason is mundane: it can be hard to tell what the most important papers are. Shallow reads of many papers can help you figure out what the key papers are, without spending too much time doing deeper reads of papers that turn out not to be so important. But there's also a culture that one imbibes reading the bread-and-butter papers of a field: a sense for what routine progress looks like, for the praxis of the field. That's valuable too, especially for building up an overall picture of where the field is at, and to stimulate questions on my own part. Indeed, while I don't recommend spending a large fraction of your time reading bad papers, it's certainly possible to have a good conversation with a bad paper. Stimulus is found in unexpected places.