25 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Martin Rees: We'll Never Hit Barriers To Scientific Under...

We humans haven't changed much since our remote ancestors roamed the African savannah. Our brains evolved to cope with the human-scale environment. So it is surely remarkable that we can make sense of phenomena that confound everyday intuition: in particular, the minuscule atoms we're made of, and the vast cosmos that surrounds us. Nonetheless—and here I'm sticking my neck out—maybe some aspects of reality are intrinsically beyond us, in that their comprehension would require some post-h...
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23 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Why Do We Like Certain Tunes or Understand Certain Senten...

Contrast two answers to the question, Why do we like certain tunes? Because they have certain structural features.Because they resemble other tunes we like.   The first answer has to do with the laws and rules that make tunes pleasant. In language, we know some laws for sentences; that is, we know the forms sentences must have to be syntactically acceptable, if not the things they must have to make them sensible or even pleasant to the ear. As to melody, it seems that we only know som...
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23 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 A Sonata as Teacher

Music makes things in our minds, but afterward most of them fade away. What remains? In one old story about Mozart, the wonder child hears a lengthy contrapuntal mass and then writes down the entire score. I do not believe such tales, for history documents so few of them that they seem to be mere legend, though by that argument Mozart also would seem to be legend. Most people do not even remember the themes of an evening's concert. Yet, when the tunes are played again, they are recognized. So...
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13 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Thinking Means Understanding in More Than One Way

Thus, your knowledge is represented in various forms that are stored in different regions of the brain, to be used by different processes. What are those representations like? In the brain, we do not yet know. However, in the field of Artificial Intelligence, researchers have found several useful ways to represent knowledge, each better suited to some purposes than to others. The most popular ones use collections of "If-Then" rules. Other systems use structures called 'frames'--which resemble...
Folksonomies: cognition understanding
Folksonomies: cognition understanding
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27 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Universe as a Game Where the Rules are Hidden

‘I talked to a woman of the Kaminari once,’ he says, ‘before the Spike. Don’t give me such a look, it wasn’t like that, we were just friends. But one night on Ganymede, we got philosophical. The Universe is a game, she said. It makes us into players. We can’t see the moves that are not allowed. Like in chess. There is perfect freedom in the black and white, except that the rules make invisible walls. Two squares forward, one left. One left, whole row forward and backward, one righ...
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09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 What We Don't Get About Science

The whole point of science is that most of it is uncertain. That's why science is exciting--because we don't know. Science is all about things we don't understand. The public, of course, imagines science is just a set of facts. But it's not. Science is a process of exploring, which is always partial. We explore, and we find out things that we understand. We find out things we thought we understood were wrong. That's how it makes progress.
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22 APR 2014 by ideonexus

 The Six Facets of Understanding

Explanation: Sophisticated and apt theories and illustrations, which provide knowledgeable and justified accounts of events, actions, and ideas. Why is that so? What explains such events? What accounts for such action? How can we prove it? To what action is this connected? How does this work? Interpretation: The act of finding meaning, significance, sense, or value in human experience, data, and texts; to tell a good story, prove a powerful metaphor, or sharpen ideas through an editorial. ...
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Aspects of understanding a concept rather than just knowing about it.

22 APR 2014 by ideonexus

 Knowledge VS Understanding

Knowledge understanding The facts The meaning of the facts A body of coherent facts The “theory” that provides coherence and meaning to those facts Verifiable claims Fallible, in-process theories Rightor wrong A matter of degree or sophistication I know something to be true I understand why it is, what makes it knowledge I respond on cue with what I know I judge when to and when not to use what I know  
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03 MAR 2014 by ideonexus

 Why Carl Sagan Could Explain Things So Well

The adult Sagan always sounded like the smartest person in the room, but in the papers we encounter this interesting note in a 1981 file, right after “Cosmos” hit it big: “I think I’m able to explain things because understanding wasn’t entirely easy for me. Some things that the most brilliant students were able to see instantly I had to work to understand. I can remember what I had to do to figure it out. The very brilliant ones figure it out so fast they never see the mechanics of ...
Folksonomies: understanding explanation
Folksonomies: understanding explanation
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Because understanding did not come easy for him.

22 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Science is Culture, Not Just Methods

The fruitful pursuit of scientific truth and its application, once discovered, is not just a matter of talented individuals well trained in foreign universities and supplied with the equipment they desire. These are very important, but the cultivation of science is a collective undertaking [written as 'understanding'! and success in it depends on an appropriate social structurc. This social structure is the scientific community and its specialised institutions.
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The research and application are important, but the communal nature of discovery and understanding are crucial.