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. 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.
Continue reading On the Speed of Accommodating to Potent Ideas: Using one of Ron Burnett’s Knowledge Gems as an Example
Sexual selection is the professional, at sifting between genes.
Geoffrey Miller, The Mating Mind
Have you ever had this awkward experience at a conference cocktail party: a rosy new acquaintance asks you about the morning’s keynote, which you attended with no capture device but yourself? So you couldn’t recall anything about the lecture to convey to your interested, appealing conversant.
This post discusses the problem of taking mental notes. As more than an example, I will use a lecture on Zen and Creativity that my date and I recently attended on July 30. Continue reading Tea, Zen, Creativity and Taking Mental Notes with the Method of Loci
Most of the information we process is digital. While the tools we use for learning are in some respects better than paper, in others they are worse. In this article, I claim that:
- Progress is problem-driven
- Most learning tools are cognitively impotent
- Self-directed learners should use potent cognitive tools and do so in a manner that promotes their learning.
Continue reading Why Use Potent Cognitive Tools —and How