19 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Accelerating Knowledge

The rate at which man has been storing up useful knowledge about himself and the universe has been spiraling upward for 10,000 years. The rate took a sharp upward leap with the invention of writing, but even so it remained painfully slow over centuries of time. The next great leap forward in knowledge—acquisition did not occur until the invention of movable type in the fifteenth century by Gutenberg and others. Prior to 1500, by the most optimistic estimates, Europe was producing books at a...
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Toffler describes and quantifies the increasing production of information in human civilization and its implications.

24 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 The Word Explosion in Infants

Babies first bridge the gap between sounds and meaning as early as nine or ten months of age. They learn the names of family members and pets, the meaning of no! and perhaps a few general labels like shoe and cookie. By his first birthday, the average child understands around seventy words, mostly nouns like people's names and terms for objects, but also certain social expressions, like hi and bye-bye. Of course, he cannot say nearly that many. The median number of words spoken by a one-year-...
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When children learn about four-dozen words, they suddenly begin to learn many more at an accelerated pace.

21 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 Practice Walking Helps Infants Walk Earlier

In fact, contrary to all of the early anecdotes claiming that practice has no effect on the onset of walking, one carefully controlled study has shown that special exercise can indeed accelerate it. In this study, a group of newborns were given just ten minutes per day of "practice walking." Every day between one and nine weeks of age, the baby would be held upright by a parent, with his feet on a table, and allowed to exercise his stepping reflex. Two additional groups of babies received, re...
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By having the parent hold the infant upright on a table to practice walk for just 10 minutes a day, they are able to accelerate the child's acquisition of this skill; however, infant walkers are found to be detrimental to this purpose for the lack of feedback they provide.