About Me

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Deep South, United States
Consultant, inventor, mentor, chess coach,. Current projects involve No Till Farming and staving off blindness due to cataracts among other projects. I also do confidential ghost writing (without taking any published credit. My current blindness makes me put this on hold for a while. I should have one eye working again in about four months. Fact, fiction, all subjects considered. I have heard My daughter Jennifer is alive. I would love it if she were to contact me here. I understand she would like to know me. I have sent a message by circuitous route. I can only hope. My posted Email works as well. We have four decades to catch up on.

This blog has been up for more than a year. The intent was to generate dialogues about serious problems and ideas. It has been almost exclusively a monologue. I have not been looking for large numbers of participants.

I would be quite happy with a few dozen imaginative, creative, thoughtful and inventive people who wish to address serious problems and issues. If anyone has any ideas about how to attract such a talented group I will certainly pay attention. I am not as computer conversant as I would wish. Anyone who could help in this regard would find me receptive to sharing my skills in other areas.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Adamlp How and Why To Learn

You posted a question about how I go about learning. I have thought some about learning and thinking, but never in the terms you posed. Let me give you an example. I really don't know what I am doing on this blog. I read your comment and published it, but did not have a clue what essay you were posting to. A computer conversant person would have found it without searching for more than minutes. I searched through All of the comments and never did find it. Yet I didn't want to leave a valid question unanswered if I could help it. It is not in my nature.

Since I could not find the question attached to any of my posts, the only way to address it in a way you are likely to find is to title a post with your name. Particularly since you have no blog, nor an Email address in your profile. The point is, where there is a will there is a way. How does one prioritize what one learns? Learn what is most important to you first. If you don't know, figure it out.

In typical schooling, you are pretty much fed what the school administration wants you to learn in the order they want you to learn it. There are many problems with this. It is more akin to conditioning than to education.

There is no real direct motivation. Real learning is goal oriented. It is problem solving. It is finding out, or working out, what you need to know because you need to know it. That differs from our standard institutional education which is all about learning things because others require it of you so that you will obtain some sort of advantage from complying with the requirements set out for you by the educational authorities.

A diploma. An acceptable grade. An opportunity to get a better paying job. This is all nonsense! But it is nonsense which governs most of the people in school, and which has more to do with conforming to requirements, being conditioned in doing what you are told. Being a suitable and obedient industrial employee.

You learn really important stuff, like how not to be tardy and how to get your homework in on schedule. You have undoubtedly been "schooled" in this way. Otherwise, you would know these things by instinct. I was fortunate. I was a feral child with very little institutional education. Therefore my criterion was curiosity and solving specific needs.

Many of my students come to chess class more to learn other things than to learn chess.

For true learning to occur, the actual ideas you are working on must be exciting. Otherwise, why bother? So you can get some kind of diploma? What nonsense! You learn because you really want to know something! You want to solve a problem.

Not because it was assigned to you. Not because someone requires it of you. You are having trouble even setting your priorities, largely because they are not your priorities. You have accepted as priorities what you think others expect you to learn. Stop it. Learn what excites you. what presses your buttons.


Okay, that"s enough for tonight. Future questions will not get lost if You include the title of the original post in your opening line or post on this thread. Or go ahead and post to this thread. It has your name on it. The fact that I never did find your post after I published it could mean that I screwed up, and didn't publish it as I thought I did, or that there was some kind of Blogger delay that I did not anticipate, or something else happened that I don't understand.

So I found another way to get the job done. That is learning See what I mean? I don't neet the Computer Professor to send me a DVD to make it simple. I'll work it out.

1 comment:

adamlp said...

Thank you for your reply to my comment about learning.

I completely agree with you that, in many ways, typical schooling is more akin to conditioning than education. I would also propose that typical schooling is often a way to dodge the prerequisite capacity of indivudal thought in order to attain recognition as "intelligent" or "educated".
Sadly, there appear to be many people enrolled in university with little conception of true education, much less an interest in it. Aside from mundane (but sometimes necessary) considerations (such as financial aid/future employment) grades are meaningless.
From an objective view however, I would greatly prefer to pay for my education through proficiency in arbitrarily selected subjects than through many other means. Fortunately for me,the requisite courses for my chosen field all seem to be extremely interesting to me.

Also, posting that question was an act of spontaneity. It was unrelated to any previous posts or comments. I sometimes find myself impulsively hacking out messages on the internet. Discursive rambling is a habit I have developed through using an instant messenger as my primary form of communication for several years.

Thanks again for responding to such a vague, unprovoked question.

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