On the Speed of Accommodating to Potent Ideas: Using one of Ron Burnett’s Knowledge Gems as an Example

A quick note about the speed and some characteristics of mental change in adults, using an example from Ron Burnett. Accommodation can happen quickly when the right conditions are in place.[1] Accommodation is the crown jewels of mental development, including many important forms of learning and knowledge building. It is what happens to your mind as it grasps a new concept, theory or set of concepts and can now see the world in a new way, in its terms. In Cognitive Productivity, I likened this to acquiring a new perceptual modality.

Most previous thinkers on the subject emphasized the purely “cognitive” aspects of accommodation. What strikes me however are the affective dimensions of many forms of accommodation. I.e., in accommodation one doesn’t simply perceive and think differently, but one’s value system changes. Information is now pertinent that didn’t use to be pertinent. Information gets internally connected in a valenced fashion in one’s mind/brain. One of my most important theoretical and practical concerns is to understand accommodation.

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Gratitude for an Excellent Web Developer/IT Service Provider

CogZest’s mission is “To help you use knowledge to become more effective.” We study, develop and celebrate expertise. I like working with great minds. (Who wouldn’t?) It improves my understanding of expertise and improves the quality of my work.

So, it’s a pleasure to reflect on the IT and web development services Jeff Rivett has provided to CogSci Apps Corp. and CogZest.
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Canada 300 BC and the Passing of Dr. Adam Chowaniec: Developing the Knowledge Economy

At first, I assumed the invitation from Canada 300 was spam. It said I had been nominated as one of only 25 community leaders in Vancouver to participate in an in-depth, national conversation on the future of Canada. But then I received an email confirming it was legitimate. And the National Post published an article by Tamara Sestanj on it. So, intrigued (as I remain), I reviewed the documentation.

Through an innovative use of arts and technology, we want to capture the promise of what Canada will be seven generations from now.

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Lovers, Intellectual Loneliness, and an Enigma

CogZest is for and about beautiful, passionate minds. So, it’s natural for me to respond to The Imitation Game.

The film received mixed reviews. Many of those knowledgeable about Turing and the Enigma project were disappointed by the film’s lack of fidelity, particularly given how fascinating these subjects are in reality. I did not expect to see a documentary, nor something outside Hollywood’s style, so I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve used the divertissement’s themes as a cognitive springboard rather than a trampoline to which I frequently return for inspiration, let alone factual information.

It being Valentine’s day (and given that I am nursing an R&D project dealing with romantic love), it seems appropriate to launch into the theme of intellectual loneliness, companionship and romantic love, to which The Imitation Game alluded.

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Meta-painting & Science of the Human Mind: An Epistolary Response to Lam Wong’s 21 Elements

Preface

A version of this essay will appear in the second edition of Lam Wong’s 21 Elements book. The book is based on his September 2014 exhibition, about which I have recently blogged. For reasons that will become obvious, I’ve written this document as a letter to a fictional friend.

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University Teaching Requires Lovingly Opposing the Student: Claude Lamontagne’s Rationalist Reflexions

I have uploaded a timeless address given by Claude Lamontagne,  Professor of Psychology, on the occasion of him receiving the 2001 University of Ottawa Teaching Award.

I’ve uploaded this address this evening in order to share the gem, and so that I can link to it in an essay I am writing on Lam Wong’s recent 21 Elements exhibition of paintings on “Relation, Perception and Meaning”. (The essay will be in the next edition of Wong’s book, 21 Elements.) It is fitting that Lamontagne’s paper should itself be so beautifully artistic!   Professor of Psychology, on the occasion of him receiving the 2001 University of Ottawa Teaching Award.

Lamontagne’s address is “University Teaching: A critical Rationalist’s Reflexions”.

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Exhibition of Lam Wong’s Paintings on Relation, Perception and Meaning (Sept. 2- 27, 2014, New Westminster)

If you love visual art and are around Metro-Vancouver this month, then consider attending the exhibition of Lam Wong’s paintings on “Relation, perception and meaning”. It runs from Sept 2 to Sept 27 at the Arts Council Gallery of New Westminster in Queen’s Park (closed Mondays).

You can tell from the title of this exhibition that Lam Wong’s interests overlap with those of cognitive scientists.

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Knowledge Gems from an Expert Author Educed by an Expert Host: Alice Munro Interviewed by Peter Gzowski (1996)

In 1996, acclaimed CBC host Peter Gzowski interviewed Alice Munro, well before she won a Nobel prize in literature. Here are a few knowledge gems from Rewind with Michael Enright, today’s republication of this fabulous interview:

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Nelson Mandela Missed the Time to Think that Prison Provided

Today, I added an opening quotation to a chapter in Cognitive Productivity that deals with challenges knowledge workers face in their quest to use knowledge to become profoundly effective. <1> The section in question deals with demands on our time. A distinctive feature of humans is the amount and kinds of mental processing that can take place between stimulus (information) and response. But how can we produce great cognitive products if we don’t sufficiently exploit our own mental abilities? This means we need to disconnect ourselves from the Internet firehose several times a week and create quiet time for ourselves… time to integrate what we have read, select problems of understanding to address, and provide solutions to them in the form of knowledge that will guide subsequent action.

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