18 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Habituation and Novelty

Beginning in infancy and throughout the life span, humans are motivated by newness, change, and excitement. Habituation, the tendency to lose interest in a repeated event and gain interest in a new one, is one of the most fundamental human reflexes. If the thermostat were to suddenly turn the air conditioning on, you would hear the loud humming sound begin, but within minutes you couldn’t even hear it if you tried. Habituation, a fundamental property of the nervous system, provides mechanis...
Folksonomies: education learning novelty
Folksonomies: education learning novelty
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17 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 The Collector's Fallacy

There’s a tendency in all of us to gather useful stuff and feel good about it. To collect is a reward in itself. As knowledge workers, we’re inclined to look for the next groundbreaking thought, for intellectual stimulation: we pile up promising books and articles, and we store half the internet as bookmarks, just so we get the feeling of being on the cutting edge. Let’s call this “The Collector’s Fallacy”. Why fallacy? Because ‘to know about something’ isn’t the same as ...
Folksonomies: knowledge reasearch
Folksonomies: knowledge reasearch
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31 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Static Culture

The fantasies of Wells and Huxley were based on the same idea, that a species adapting itself too perfectly to a static ecological niche is doomed to stagnation and ultimate extinction. Their nightmares describe a possible future for our species, if we succeed in building around ourselves a protective cocoon that shields us from the winds of change while our mental faculties dwindle. A future of senile dementia is as possible for the species as it is for the individual. And yet, when I compa...
Folksonomies: culture cultural change
Folksonomies: culture cultural change
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13 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 With Obtuse Spelling Rules, Pronunciation Becomes Reliant...

Since our current orthografy bears no real relation to the present pronunciation, but is at best an imperfect attempt to represent that of the Elizabethan period, English pronunciation has become almost entirely a matter of oral tradition as unsafe a gide in regard to correctness in speech as it is in regard to correctness in history. We learn to talk, and continue to talk, entirely "by ear," and with the same tendency to uncertainty and variation as do those who play music by ear. The...
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26 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Confirmation Bias

Numerous studies have demonstrated that people generally give an excessive amount of value to confirmatory information, that is, to positive or supportive data. The "most likely reason for the excessive influence of confirmatory information is that it is easier to deal with cognitively" (Gilovich 1993). It is much easier to see how a piece of data supports a position than it is to see how it might count against the position. Consider a typical ESP experiment or a seemingly clairvoyant dream: ...
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11 FEB 2014 by ideonexus

 The Curse of the Gifted

When you were in college, did you ever meet bright kids who graduated top of their class in high-school and then floundered freshman year in college because they had never learned how to study? It's a common trap. A friend of mine calls it "the curse of the gifted" -- a tendency to lean on your native ability too much, because you've always been rewarded for doing that and self-discipline would take actual work. You are a brilliant implementor, more able than me and possibly (I say this a...
Folksonomies: gifted talent education
Folksonomies: gifted talent education
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Because some people grew on their own talent, they never learned to appreciate the reasons for overhead.

Eric S. Raymond writing to Linus Torvalds.

30 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Life is "Enclaves" in a Whirlpool of Chaos

THE FOLLOWING IS QUOTED FROM BERGAN EVANS ON NORBERT WEINER, NUCLEAR PHYSICIST The second concept Wiener has to establish is that of entropy. Probability is a mathematical concept, coming from statistics. Entropy comes from physics. It is the assertion-- established logically and experimentally-- that the universe, by its nature, is "running down", moving toward a state of inert uniformity devoid of form, matter, hierarchy or differentiation. That is, in any given situation, less organizat...
Folksonomies: life entropy thermodynamics
Folksonomies: life entropy thermodynamics
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Life swirls in the opposite direction of increasing entropy in the Universe.

26 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Cognitive Rigidity

Experience may blind us from recognizing obvious solutions to problems. Research shows that physicians and health care professionals are likely to overlook the correct diagnosis in cases which do not match their experience [1]. Similar findings have been reported concerning difficulties in reframing clinical situations as experienced by healthcare professionals [2], [3], and difficulties of managers and decision makers in replacing existing procedures with new, improved and simpler ones [4]. ...
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When experience blinds us to possibilities it hurts our professional abilities and can even lead to cognitive pathologies.

26 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Cognitive Rigidity

Two experiments examined the relation between mindfulness practice and cognitive rigidity by using a variation of the Einstellung water jar task. Participants were required to use three hypothetical jars to obtain a specific amount of water. Initial problems were solvable by the same complex formula, but in later problems (“critical” or “trap” problems) solving was possible by an additional much simpler formula. A rigidity score was compiled through perseverance of the complex formula...
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Demonstrated using tests with "traps" that can only be overcome with novel thinking.

26 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Definition of Meditation

The Buddhist meditative exercise has its roots in the metaphysical tenet of “emptiness,” particularly emphasized by the Zen schools [3]. According to this view, reality is originally devoid of ontological properties and it is only via an incessant and largely unconscious habit of emotional self-reference and categorization that a conceptual structure is created and ultimately reified; a process necessary for daily life, but that also tends to condition the individual into predefined patte...
Folksonomies: meditation
Folksonomies: meditation
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The human brain naturally categorizes things, but things are not naturally categorized. Meditation is the exercise of not thinking in order to free the mind of categorization and self-reference.