Interview about Benefitting from Information Prosperity

Frieda Werden did a great job of interviewing me today on CJSF. We discussed the importance of benefitting from a wealth of information; the difficulties we face in doing so; and what we can do about them.

In sum, we talked about

  • The problems and opportunities we face in using knowledge to solve important problems and develop ourselves.
  • What it means to be a cognitive scientist.
  • That “affective” processes (motivation, emotions, moods) can be understood as information processes. (In fact, that’s what I did for my Ph.D. thesis and beyond.)
  • The relevance of cognitive science to understanding ourselves.
  • That most of us are “knowledge workers” even if we don’t do it for a living. So the book, Cognitive Productivity, is relevant to anyone who finds themselves using information and wanting to benefit from it.
  • That just as the human body has important components (e.g., the heart, lungs and pancreas), the human mind has components (e.g., motive generators, interrupt filters, long-term working memory.)
  • That it’s important to know about the components of the mind, because they are what has to change as we learn.
  • That just as computers have software, the human mind has “mindware”.
  • That learning is a matter of “mindware development”.
  • That our conceptions of knowledge and our minds needs to be updated if we are to better utilize knowledge.
  • The concept of effectance: i.e., our motivation to become more effective.
  • The Learning Kit project with Prof. Phil Winne at Simon Fraser University (StatStudy, gStudy and nStudy).
  • That cognitive science can be used to solve all kinds of practical problems: e.g., to help us better process information and even to get to sleep faster.
  • My book, Cognitive Productivity.
  • How to assess potential knowledge resources so that we can optimally focus our limited time and attentional capacities.
  • CogZest (e.g., its faculty development services and upcoming software products).
  • Leanpub (an innovative bookstore), whose books are not stuck in “information jails” like Kindle books. (E.g., you can’t copy text out of Kindle books to use in your own personal documents for learning and mastering what you’re reading! But you can with Leanpub PDFs!)

I greatly appreciated being asked the kinds of probing and open-ended questions Frieda asked me today.

Note added 2013-12-11. These interviews were available on line at CJSF . The links to the MP3s are now broken. I have emailed CJSF about this.

Published by

Luc P. Beaudoin

Head of CogZest. Author of Cognitive Productivity books. Co-founder of CogSci Apps Corp. Adjunct Professor of Education, Simon Fraser University. Why, Where, and What I Write. See About Me for more information.

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