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robertogreco : reasoning   25

Harvard EdCast: Lifelong Kindergarten | Harvard Graduate School of Education
"The concept of kindergarten — as a place for young children to learn by interacting with materials and people around them — has existed for over 200 years, but never has the approach been so suited to the way the world works as it is today, says Mitchel Resnick, the LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab.

“That approach to kindergarten is really aligned with the needs of today’s society," says Resnick, citing the need to adapt to the speed at which things change in the world. "As kids in the traditional kindergarten were playfully designing and creating things, they were developing as creative thinkers…. That’s exactly what we need.”

Being given the room to explore, experiment, and express oneself is vital to becoming a creative thinker — and to the learning process as a whole — says Resnick, author of Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play. If people aren't encouraged in their creativity at an early age, and if this isn't nutured throughout their schooling, then they aren't as prepared to deal with the unexpected when it arises.

“We’re trying to spread that approach to learners of all ages," says Resnick, who also leads the Lifelong Kindergarten research group at MIT. "We want to take what’s worked best in kindergarten and here at the Media Lab and provide opportunities for all kids of all ages to be able to explore and experiment and express themselves in that same spirit.”

In this edition of the Harvard EdCast, Resnick talks about the importance of nurturing creativity in learning and explains why kindergarten is the greatest invention of the last millennium."

[See also:
"Mitchel Resnick - MIT Media Lab: Lifelong Kindergarten" (2014)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRxD-pe3PN0

"Helping Kids Develop as Creative Thinkers" (2017)
https://vimeo.com/244986026 ]
mitchresnick  lifelongkindergarten  mitmedialab  2017  interviews  kindergarten  play  projects  projectbasedlearning  passion  collaboration  experimentation  creativity  medialab  scratch  making  pbl  teaching  sfsh  learning  howweteach  howwelearn  risks  risktaking  education  schools  lcproject  openstudioproject  curiosity  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  mindstorms  writing  coding  programming  leaning  creating  lego  reasoning 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Is the U.S. Education System Producing a Society of “Smart Fools”? - Scientific American
[had me until he says more (a new kind of) testing is the answer to the problem]

"At last weekend’s annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) in Boston, Cornell University psychologist Robert Sternberg sounded an alarm about the influence of standardized tests on American society. Sternberg, who has studied intelligence and intelligence testing for decades, is well known for his “triarchic theory of intelligence,” which identifies three kinds of smarts: the analytic type reflected in IQ scores; practical intelligence, which is more relevant for real-life problem solving; and creativity. Sternberg offered his views in a lecture associated with receiving a William James Fellow Award from the APS for his lifetime contributions to psychology. He explained his concerns to Scientific American.

[An edited transcript of the interview follows.]

In your talk, you said that IQ tests and college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT are essentially selecting and rewarding “smart fools”—people who have a certain kind of intelligence but not the kind that can help our society make progress against our biggest challenges. What are these tests getting wrong?

Tests like the SAT, ACT, the GRE—what I call the alphabet tests—are reasonably good measures of academic kinds of knowledge, plus general intelligence and related skills. They are highly correlated with IQ tests and they predict a lot of things in life: academic performance to some extent, salary, level of job you will reach to a minor extent—but they are very limited. What I suggested in my talk today is that they may actually be hurting us. Our overemphasis on narrow academic skills—the kinds that get you high grades in school—can be a bad thing for several reasons. You end up with people who are good at taking tests and fiddling with phones and computers, and those are good skills but they are not tantamount to the skills we need to make the world a better place.

What evidence do you see of this harm?

IQ rose 30 points in the 20th century around the world, and in the U.S. that increase is continuing. That’s huge; that’s two standard deviations, which is like the difference between an average IQ of 100 and a gifted IQ of 130. We should be happy about this but the question I ask is: If you look at the problems we have in the world today—climate change, income disparities in this country that probably rival or exceed those of the gilded age, pollution, violence, a political situation that many of us never could have imaged—one wonders, what about all those IQ points? Why aren’t they helping?

What I argue is that intelligence that’s not modulated and moderated by creativity, common sense and wisdom is not such a positive thing to have. What it leads to is people who are very good at advancing themselves, often at other people’s expense. We may not just be selecting the wrong people, we may be developing an incomplete set of skills—and we need to look at things that will make the world a better place.

Do we know how to cultivate wisdom?

Yes we do. A whole bunch of my colleagues and I study wisdom. Wisdom is about using your abilities and knowledge not just for your own selfish ends and for people like you. It’s about using them to help achieve a common good by balancing your own interests with other people’s and with high-order interests through the infusion of positive ethical values.

You know, it’s easy to think of smart people but it’s really hard to think of wise people. I think a reason is that we don’t try to develop wisdom in our schools. And we don’t test for it, so there’s no incentive for schools to pay attention.

Can we test for wisdom and can we teach it?

You learn wisdom through role-modeling. You can start learning that when you are six or seven. But if you start learning what our schools are teaching, which is how to prepare for the next statewide mastery tests, it crowds out of the curriculum the things that used to be essential. If you look at the old McGuffey Readers, they were as much about teaching good values and good ethics and good citizenship as about teaching reading. It’s not so much about teaching what to do but how to reason ethically; to go through an ethical problem and ask: How do I arrive at the right solution?

I don’t always think about putting ethics and reasoning together. What do you mean by that?

Basically, ethical reasoning involves eight steps: seeing that there’s a problem to deal with (say, you see your roommate cheat on an assignment); identifying it as an ethical problem; seeing it as a large enough problem to be worth your attention (it’s not like he’s just one mile over the speed limit); seeing it as personally relevant; thinking about what ethical rules apply; thinking about how to apply them; thinking what are the consequences of acting ethically—because people who act ethically usually don’t get rewarded; and, finally, acting. What I’ve argued is ethical reasoning is really hard. Most people don’t make it through all eight steps.

If ethical reasoning is inherently hard, is there really less of it and less wisdom now than in the past?

We have a guy [representative-elect Greg Gianforte of Montana] who allegedly assaulted a reporter and just got elected to the U.S. House of Representatives—and that’s after a 30-point average increase in IQ. We had violence in campaign rallies. Not only do we not encourage creativity, common sense and wisdom, I think a lot of us don’t even value them anymore. They’re so distant from what’s being taught in schools. Even in a lot of religious institutions we’ve seen a lot of ethical and legal problems arise. So if you’re not learning these skills in school or through religion or your parents, where are you going to learn them? We get people who view the world as being about people like themselves. We get this kind of tribalism.

So where do you see the possibility of pushing back?

If we start testing for these broader kinds of skills, schools will start to teach to them, because they teach to the test. My colleagues and I developed assessments for creativity, common sense and wisdom. We did this with the Rainbow Project, which was sort of experimental when I was at Yale. And then at Tufts, when I was dean of arts and sciences, we started Kaleidoscope, which has been used with tens of thousands of kids for admission to Tufts. They are still using it. But it’s very hard to get institutions to change. It’s not a quick fix. Once you have a system in place, the people who benefit from it rise to the top and then they work very hard to keep it.

Looking at the broader types of admission tests you helped implement—like Kaleidoscope at Tufts, the Rainbow Project at Yale, or Panorama at Oklahoma State, is there any evidence that kids selected for having these broader skills are in any way different from those who just score high on the SAT?

The newly selected kids were different. I think the folks in admissions would say so, at least when we started. We admitted kids who would not have gotten in under the old system—maybe they didn’t quite have the test scores or grades. When I talk about this, I give examples, such as those who wrote really creative essays.

Has there been any longitudinal follow-up of these kids?

We followed them through the first year of college. With Rainbow we doubled prediction [accuracy] for academic performance, and with Kaleidoscope we could predict the quality of extracurricular performance, which the SAT doesn’t do.

Do you think the emphasis on narrow measures like the SAT or GRE is hurting the STEM fields in particular?

I think it is. I think it’s hurting everything. We get scientists who are very good forward incrementers—they are good at doing the next step but they are not the people who change the field. They are not redirectors or reinitiators, who start a field over. And those are the people we need.

Are you hopeful about change?

If one could convince even a few universities and schools to try to follow a different direction, others might follow. If you start encouraging a creative attitude, to defy the crowd and to defy the zeitgeist, and if you teach people to think for themselves and how what they do affects others, I think it’s a no-lose proposition. And these things can be taught and they can be tested."
education  science  social  wisdom  iq  meritocracy  intelligence  2017  psychology  claudiawallis  robertsternberg  performance  creativity  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  openstudioproject  sfsh  tcsnmy  rainbowproject  power  ethics  reasoning  values  learning  selfishness  gildedage  inequality  climatechange  pollution  violence  testing  standardizedtesting  standardization  sat  gre  act  knowledge  teachingtothetest 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Research study: To do better in school, log out of Facebook (FB) and play videogames — Quartz
"Pokémon Go might offer more than mindless entertainment.

Since the dawn of videogames, parents across the world have complained that their kids spend too much time playing online contests like Nintendo’s recent hit and other best-selling games such as Grand Theft Auto, Mario Kart, and Call of Duty. Yet according to new research, gamers actually do better in school.

This isn’t proof that playing videogames causes academic success, but it sets up a strong link. Alberto Posso, a business professor at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, looked at data from national surveys on 12,000 Australian high school students, studying how their academic scores connected with their personal interests and activities. His report—published in the International Journal of Communication—shows that the teens who made a near-daily habit of playing videogames scored roughly 15 points higher than average on math, reading, and science tests.

“Videogames potentially allow students to apply and sharpen skills learned in school,” Posso wrote. Gamers solve puzzles, often using deductive reasoning, science knowledge, or math, and they have to be completely focused on the task at hand.

No surprise, then, that Posso’s study also found students who heavily used social media, which requires only minimal focus and promotes superficial thinking, tended to score 4% lower than their peers. The more time kids spent on sites like Twitter and Facebook, the bigger the drop in their scores—a conclusion that echoes that of many prior studies on social media and academic performance.

The evidence on videogames isn’t conclusive. It may be that kids who are naturally gifted at math and reasoning also gravitate toward gaming; gamers might also have other shared interests that contribute to their sharpness in school.

Still, between time spent online on Minecraft or Facebook, parents might want to consider being more lenient on the former."
games  gming  videogames  school  education  learning  facebook  2016  albertoposso  socialmedia  minecraft  gaming  reasoning  math  mathematics 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Peter Worley on Should children do philosophy?, Aeon...
"There is a story told about Socrates that just before he drank the poisonous hemlock he had been sentenced to drink by the citizens of Athens, following a charge of teaching false gods and corrupting the young men of Athens, he heard someone playing a tune on a flute. Socrates said to the player, ‘Can you teach me that tune?’ His friends said, ‘What use will learning that tune be, you are about to die?’ Socrates said, ‘No use, it’s just a beautiful tune.’ So, my first argument is non-instrumental. Anyone, including children, should engage in philosophy for the same reason that they do music, because it is good to do, in and of itself.

Just this morning I saw some 7-year-olds grappling with the question of whether or not it is possible to do nothing, this led to someone saying that you can do nothing only if you are dead; someone else said, ‘but when you are dead you are doing something: you’re being dead.’ Others disagreed: ‘But, when you’re dead you’re not being dead, you just are dead.’ This led to a discussion about the difference between the two ideas. Later, they were trying to establish whether statues do anything. ‘If a statue falls,’ said one child, ‘then it’s falling, which is doing something’, ‘but,’ objected another, ‘the statue is only falling because someone has pushed it, the statue isn’t doing anything, it is having something done to it.’ Finally, someone said that statues are made of rocks, but rocks don’t do anything. Then, one girl said, ‘Rocks do do something; they’re being a rock.’ Like Spinoza’s conatus or Schopenhauer’s will to life this 7-year-old was understanding being as a positive, active force against nothingness or non-existence.

I did very little in this session, my job was to provide a catalyst (I set the task to do nothing!) then I asked some simple questions at salient points such as ‘So did X do nothing?’ (After one of the children had made an attempt) or ‘So, is it possible to do nothing?’ or later, ‘If something moves does that mean that it is doing something?’ What I do is provide the conditions for a group of children (or adults) to see philosophical problems for themselves and then to afford them the opportunity to explore those problems and how they might solve them together. I help them to follow the dialectical demands and implications of their own ideas and explorations.

Apart from the fact that witnessing this is like hearing a beautiful tune, many readers may want more reasons why doing philosophy is something children should do. Just this month, some very positive research came out showing the benefits of doing philosophy with children, but this research focused on the non-philosophical benefits such as reading and maths scores. I would like to add to these findings by making an a priori, reasoned argument, from problems the children encounter in their everyday lives, for why children should do philosophy.

If children encounter puzzles and problems that have a philosophical basis then children need a systematic way of approaching and tackling them. Puzzles and problems that have a philosophical basis are those where a tension or conflict arises between the concepts we have and our experience of the world. For instance, a child may have a conceptual intuition that time is constant, but then experience time seeming to fluctuate (‘Time flies when you’re having fun!’) Another example might be: ‘I am always the same person, but I change physically and in terms of my personality, so I can’t be the same person, can I?’ These are real problems for children, but unless they are given the opportunity to stop, reflect on, and explore these puzzles and problems, they are unlikely to go any further with them. So, because children do, in fact, encounter philosophical puzzles and problems, I argue that they should be given an opportunity to explore them, but also be given a systematic method for doing so. Philosophy provides such a method. In short, I capture this with 4 Rs. Philosophy is…

- Responsive

- Reflective

- Reasoned

- Re-evaluative

So, when children encounter, as I argue they do, philosophical puzzles and problems they should be given the opportunity to respond to the problem and perhaps to acknowledge that there is one, to reflect on the nature of the problem or to reflect on the central concepts by asking and exploring questions such as, ‘What is time?’ or ‘What is change?’ Then they can try to order their thoughts and ideas in a process of rational thought using reasoned arguments, and finally they should be invited to evaluate and re-evaluate their answers in light of those and other reasons given by themselves or their peers. The important thing to understand here is that, when it is done well, philosophy - as much with children as with adults - is not simply a sharing exercise in which opinions are offered, it is an evaluative process based on the quality of reasons given. According to this picture of philosophy, one answers according to the demands of reason.

In addition to this, puzzles and problems of a non-philosophical nature (e.g. a maths or science one) share structural qualities with puzzles and problems of a philosophical nature (this is one possible reason the research yielded good results with maths), and so, by doing philosophy one is practising the sort of thinking that will also be needed in other subjects, when problem-solving for instance. But, because philosophy is dedicated to conceptual thinking, one does not need to know a body of knowledge to begin philosophising. All children need is a brain, ears and a mouth, something to think about (and perhaps a good facilitator!) in order to start practising good thinking - indispensible for all learning and all subjects.

And the reason this should be begun when children are young? For the same reason that children start doing maths or music when they are young, so that they can learn, as a disposition, to be proficient with maths, music and good thinking. And what could be more important to a learner than proficiency in good thinking?"
via:anne  education  schools  teaching  pedagogy  curriculum  philosophy  cv  2015  peterworley  thinking  reflection  classideas  reasoning  problemsolving  criticalthinking 
july 2015 by robertogreco
The Humane Representation of Thought on Vimeo
"Closing keynote at the UIST and SPLASH conferences, October 2014.
Preface: http://worrydream.com/TheHumaneRepresentationOfThought/note.html

References to baby-steps towards some of the concepts mentioned:

Dynamic reality (physical responsiveness):
- The primary work here is Hiroshi Ishii's "Radical Atoms": http://tangible.media.mit.edu/project/inform/
- but also relevant are the "Soft Robotics" projects at Harvard: http://softroboticstoolkit.com
- and at Otherlab: http://youtube.com/watch?v=gyMowPAJwqo
- and some of the more avant-garde corners of material science and 3D printing

Dynamic conversations and presentations:
- Ken Perlin's "Chalktalk" changes daily; here's a recent demo: http://bit.ly/1x5eCOX

Context-sensitive reading material:
- http://worrydream.com/MagicInk/

"Explore-the-model" reading material:
- http://worrydream.com/ExplorableExplanations/
- http://worrydream.com/LadderOfAbstraction/
- http://ncase.me/polygons/
- http://redblobgames.com/pathfinding/a-star/introduction.html
- http://earthprimer.com/

Evidence-backed models:
- http://worrydream.com/TenBrighterIdeas/

Direct-manipulation dynamic authoring:
- http://worrydream.com/StopDrawingDeadFish/
- http://worrydream.com/DrawingDynamicVisualizationsTalk/
- http://tobyschachman.com/Shadershop/

Modes of understanding:
- Jerome Bruner: http://amazon.com/dp/0674897013
- Howard Gardner: http://amazon.com/dp/0465024335
- Kieran Egan: http://amazon.com/dp/0226190390

Embodied thinking:
- Edwin Hutchins: http://amazon.com/dp/0262581469
- Andy Clark: http://amazon.com/dp/0262531569
- George Lakoff: http://amazon.com/dp/0465037712
- JJ Gibson: http://amazon.com/dp/0898599598
- among others: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embodied_cognition

I don't know what this is all about:
- http://worrydream.com/ABriefRantOnTheFutureOfInteractionDesign/
- http://worrydream.com/ABriefRantOnTheFutureOfInteractionDesign/responses.html

---

Abstract:

New representations of thought — written language, mathematical notation, information graphics, etc — have been responsible for some of the most significant leaps in the progress of civilization, by expanding humanity’s collectively-thinkable territory.

But at debilitating cost. These representations, having been invented for static media such as paper, tap into a small subset of human capabilities and neglect the rest. Knowledge work means sitting at a desk, interpreting and manipulating symbols. The human body is reduced to an eye staring at tiny rectangles and fingers on a pen or keyboard.

Like any severely unbalanced way of living, this is crippling to mind and body. But it is also enormously wasteful of the vast human potential. Human beings naturally have many powerful modes of thinking and understanding.

Most are incompatible with static media. In a culture that has contorted itself around the limitations of marks on paper, these modes are undeveloped, unrecognized, or scorned.

We are now seeing the start of a dynamic medium. To a large extent, people today are using this medium merely to emulate and extend static representations from the era of paper, and to further constrain the ways in which the human body can interact with external representations of thought.

But the dynamic medium offers the opportunity to deliberately invent a humane and empowering form of knowledge work. We can design dynamic representations which draw on the entire range of human capabilities — all senses, all forms of movement, all forms of understanding — instead of straining a few and atrophying the rest.

This talk suggests how each of the human activities in which thought is externalized (conversing, presenting, reading, writing, etc) can be redesigned around such representations.

---

Art by David Hellman.
Bret Victor -- http://worrydream.com "

[Some notes from Boris Anthony:

"Those of you who know my "book hack", Bret talks about exactly what motivates my explorations starting at 20:45 in https://vimeo.com/115154289 "
https://twitter.com/Bopuc/status/574339495274876928

"From a different angle, btwn 20:00-29:00 Bret explains how "IoT" is totally changing everything
https://vimeo.com/115154289
@timoreilly @moia"
https://twitter.com/Bopuc/status/574341875836043265 ]
bretvictor  towatch  interactiondesign  davidhellman  hiroshiishii  softrobotics  robots  robotics  kenperlin  jeromebruner  howardgardner  kieranegan  edwinhutchins  andyclark  jjgibson  embodiedcognition  cognition  writing  math  mathematics  infographic  visualization  communication  graphics  graphicdesign  design  representation  humans  understanding  howwelearn  howwethink  media  digital  dynamism  movement  conversation  presentation  reading  howweread  howwewrite  chalktalk  otherlab  3dprinting  3d  materials  physical  tangibility  depth  learning  canon  ui  informationdesign  infographics  maps  mapping  data  thinking  thoughts  numbers  algebra  arithmetic  notation  williamplayfair  cartography  gestures  placevalue  periodictable  michaelfaraday  jamesclerkmaxell  ideas  print  printing  leibniz  humanism  humanerepresentation  icons  visual  aural  kinesthetic  spatial  tactile  symbols  iot  internetofthings  programming  computers  screens  computation  computing  coding  modeling  exploration  via:robertogreco  reasoning  rhetoric  gerrysussman  environments  scale  virtualization 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Steven Shapin reviews ‘The Pseudoscience Wars’ by Michael Gordin · LRB 8 November 2012
"If pseudosciences are not scientific, neither are they anti-scientific. They flatter science by elaborate rituals of imitation, rejecting many of the facts, theories and presumptions of orthodoxy while embracing what are celebrated as the essential characteristics of science. That is at once a basis for the wide cultural appeal of pseudoscience and an extreme difficulty for those wanting to show what’s wrong with it. Velikovsky advertised his work as, so to speak, more royalist than the king. Did authentic science have masses of references and citations? There they were in Worlds in Collision. Was science meant to aim at the greatest possible explanatory scope, trawling as many disciplines as necessary in search of unified understanding? What in orthodoxy could rival Velikovsky’s integrative vision? Authentic science made specific predictions of what further observation and experiment would show. Velikovsky did too. Was science ideally open to all claimants, subjecting itself to…"
hyperscience  parapsychology  unorthodox  orthodoxy  predictions  logic  reasoning  haroldurey  hermankahn  stanleykubrick  counterculture  hope  fear  alfredkazin  psychoanalytictheory  darwin  uniformitarianism  massivechange  change  catastrophism  worldsincollision  mythology  astronomy  coldwar  1950  fringe  immanuelvalikovsky  books  2012  pseudoscience  science  michaelgordin  stevenshapin  charlesdarwin 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Snark and bile and something worse « Snarkmarket
[Why Robin is such a class act…]

"When people complain about the relentless snark and bile of the internet, I never get it. Maybe I’ve just feathered too comfortable a nest for myself in Reader, on Twitter, and here on the Sesame Street of Snarkmarket. Whatever the case, the complaint just never rings true. It never corresponds to my actual experience of the internet.

Tonight, it does…

[Jim Romenesko issue of attribution on his Poynter Institute blog]

But even so, I’d like to think I’m arguing something general and reasonable here. Simply put, it’s this:

YES to public reasoning rooted in real values.
NO to cruelty. NEVER to cruelty."
cruelty  robinsloan  2011  levelheadedness  conversation  snarkmarket  poynterinstitute  jimromenesko  choiresicha  juliemoos  disagreement  behavior  reasoning  publicreasoning  attribution  thoughtfulness  journalism  discourse  argument 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Love and Anarchy - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"The tale is told as a tribute to the emblematic boldness with which she defended her right—everyone’s right—to pleasure, but it could just as easily have concentrated on the startling extremity with which she balked at restraint and the swiftly felt hot defiance boiling up inside her.

‘Felt’ is the operative word. She always claimed that the ideas of anarchism were of secondary use if grasped only with one’s reasoning intelligence; it was necessary to ‘feel them in every fiber like a flame, a consuming fever, an elemental passion.’ This, in essence, was the core of Goldman’s radicalism: an impassioned faith, lodged in the nervous system, that feelings are everything. Radical politics for her was, in fact, the history of one’s own hurt—thwarted, humiliated feelings at the hands of institutionalized authority."

[via: http://www.designculturelab.org/2011/10/26/emma-goldman-will-always-be-my-hero/ ]
emmagoldman  anarchism  anarchy  2011  radicalism  feelings  intelligence  reasoning  meaning  pleasure  purpose  courage 
october 2011 by robertogreco
The Reason We Reason | Wired Science | Wired.com
"Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade… The idea here is that the confirmation bias is not a flaw of reasoning, it’s actually a feature…"

"Needless to say, this new theory paints a rather bleak portrait of human nature. We like to think of ourselves as rational creatures, blessed with this Promethean gift of being able to decipher the world and uncover all sorts of hidden truths. But Mercier and Sperber argue that reason has little to do with reality, which is why I’m still convinced that those NBA players are streaky when they’re really just lucky. Instead, the function of reasoning is rooted in communication, in the act of trying to persuade other people that what we believe is true. We are social animals all the way down."
jonahlehrer  2011  science  brain  reasoning  bias  human  humans  social  socialanimals  confirmationbias  argument  reason  communication  truth  rationality 
may 2011 by robertogreco
We Are All Talk Radio Hosts | Wired Science | Wired.com
"These studies represent important reevaluation of human reasoning process. Instead of celebrating our analytical powers, these experiments document our foibles & flaws…explore why human reason can so often lead us to believe blatantly irrational things, or why it’s reliably associated w/ mistakes like cognitive dissonance or confirmation bias. And this leads me to a wonderful new paper by Hugo Mercier & Dan Sperber that summons a wide range of evidence to argue that human reason has nothing to do with finding the truth, or locating the best alternative. Instead, it’s all about argumentation.<br />
<br />
…my new metaphor for human reason: our rational faculty isn’t a scientist – it’s a talk radio host. That voice in your head spewing out eloquent reasons to do this or that doesn’t actually know what’s going on, & it’s not particularly adept at getting you nearer to reality. Instead, it only cares about finding reasons that sound good, even if the reasons are actually irrelevant or false."
psychology  ambiguity  arguments  behavior  decisionmaking  rationality  reasoning  neuroscience  brain  choice  science  philosophy  arguing  jonahlehrer 
august 2010 by robertogreco
A Lesson In Life From Michael J. Fox : NPR
"As an exercise, I recently picked up a course catalogue from Hunter College, part of the City University of New York. Reading through the curriculum, I recognized how my life experiences could fit into a prescribed outline for an undergraduate education: the one I had supposedly missed out on. Laying out a series of typical college courses, as described in the catalogue, can help make a case that I have, to some extent, fulfilled the requirements for each particular course while having absolutely no idea I was doing it.
michaeljfox  unschooling  deschooling  learning  education  dropouts  memoirs  books  adolescence  teens  decisionmaking  reasoning  brain  development 
april 2010 by robertogreco
For Heidi Hass Gable & Alec Courosa: A Shout in the Dark - braddo's posterous
"A couple years ago I presented a paper at conference on the humanities at Columbia University calling for the reanimation of the teaching of metaphysics in grade schools. Metaphysics is something of a dirty word, so let’s substitute philosophy. But the idea is that if, even in principle, the web makes all information available to anyone, anywhere, anytime, we are left to ask what should we do with all that data. Google wants to index all the information in the world. What happens when we have perfect knowledge of the facts? Now, unless we are considering trivial decisions, such as what pizzeria should we go to for dinner, the moment we utter the word “should” we enter into a moral or ethical discussion. Yes, students stepping into the data stream need to know how to filter and evaluate information, but they also need to know what to do with it once they’ve qualified it. They need teaching in both practical reasoning and ethics."

[via: http://www.ovenell-carter.com/2010/01/04/predictions-for-k12-education-in-2010/ ]
education  teaching  metaphysics  philosophy  ethics  reason  religion  tcsnmy  reasoning  informationage  knowledge 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Snarkmarket: Stumbling Away from the Story - "In general, we’re finding that the way people use the web is less narrative and more random than we ever expected. It’s probabilistic."
"Sometimes I think events today more closely resemble a giant wall of sticky notes. Draw lines, make clusters, add more facts as you find them; do your best to hold it all in your head. But it doesn’t all add up. There are contradictions. But hey, that’s the world — and maybe we need better tools to understand it that way. We argue: Stories are those tools. It’s stories that allows us to understand these things at all...Our brains are wired for narrative. But I don’t buy it. Our brains are constantly changing, and I think the internet is a bellwether: We are not using the web in a narrative way. We’re using it in some weird, new way that we don’t have good words for yet. It’s all juxtaposition and feeds and filters, searching and stumbling and sharing. And importantly, it’s starting to make sense. It’s not gut-churning chaos out here, unmoored from the safe haven of story. It’s actually getting kinda comfortable." [Now at: http://snarkmarket.com/2009/2479 sans my comment]
via:migurski  comments  society  culture  internet  thinking  psychology  brain  narrative  storytelling  evolution  web  chaostoorder  reasoning  writing  google  news  history  future  change  journalism  snarkmarket 
january 2009 by robertogreco
In Defense of Teasing - NYTimes.com [via: http://joannejacobs.com/2008/12/08/teasing-is-educational/]
"Our rush to banish teasing from social life has its origins in legitimate concerns about bullies on the playground and at work. We must remember, though, that teasing, like so many things, gets better with age. Starting at around 11 or 12, children become much more sophisticated in their ability to hold contradictory propositions about the world — they move from Manichaean either-or, black-or-white reasoning to a more ironic, complex understanding. As a result, as any chagrined parent will tell you, they add irony and sarcasm to their social repertory. And it is at this age that you begin to see a precipitous drop in the reported incidences of bullying. As children learn the subtleties of teasing, their teasing is less often experienced as damaging."
teasing  children  learning  relationships  schools  policy  psychology  bullying  tcsnmy  sarcasm  irony  complexity  reasoning  nicknames  social  society  parenting  teaching 
december 2008 by robertogreco
notes on rhetoric
"In negotiating the so-called 'blogosphere' you will need to be aware of certain obligatory rhetorical tools with which to rebut opponents. The following are a few I have noted at random, and can be used in comments boxes or when critiquing a publication:"

[alt: http://notesonrhetoric.blogspot.com/2005/03/notes-on-rhetoric.html ]
via:grahamje  blogging  blogosphere  humor  language  writing  words  philosophy  discourse  reasoning  argument  rhetoric  blogs  culture  commenting  logic 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Crows use causal reasoning - Boing Boing
"The use of causal reasoning to solve problems was previously thought to be something only humans can do. But new research suggests that crows are capable of it too. University of Auckland cognitive scientist Alex Taylor and his colleagues devised an experiment to test New Caledonian crows' causal reasoning. Turns out, they were able to succeed where even chimps fail."
crows  animals  intelligence  reasoning  behavior  nature  birds 
september 2008 by robertogreco
/Message: The New Literacy and The Enemies Of The Future [see also: http://weblogg-ed.com/2008/kids-prefer-reading-online/]
"We are moving away from sustained, linear, focused concentration as our principal mode of reasoning. Note the implicit and unstated message: reasoning should principally be a solitary pursuit, not a social one."
literacy  internet  attention  reading  gamechanging  children  youth  teens  web  online  social  concentration  collaborative  culture  interactive  learning  reasoning  stoweboyd  via:hrheingold  technology  generations  cognition  teaching  im  facebook  education  lcproject 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Yingzi: If English was written like Chinese
"The English spelling system is such a pain, we'd might as well switch to hanzi-- Chinese characters. How should we go about it?"
analogy  asia  china  chinese  culture  design  dialect  english  writing  languages  linguistics  symbols  tutorial  pictograms  humor  characters  words  radicals  reasoning  via:mattwebb 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Changing minds and persuasion -- How we change what others think, believe, feel and do
"ChangingMinds.org, the largest site in the world on all aspects of how we change what others think, believe, feel and do. There are already over 2200 pages here, with much more to come!"
activism  advice  thinking  psychology  teaching  storytelling  sociology  social  skeptics  influence  cognition  communication  brain  change  creativity  criticalthinking  development  education  gtd  ideas  management  leadership  politics  power  reasoning  relationships  persuasion  people  mind  business  marketing 
july 2007 by robertogreco
List of cognitive biases - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Cognitive bias is distortion in the way humans perceive reality (see also cognitive distortion). See also the list of thinking-related topic lists. Some of these have been verified empirically in the field of psychology, others are considered general cat
advertising  brain  bias  branding  cognition  criticalthinking  decisionmaking  decisions  definitions  design  development  economics  fallacies  human  intelligence  knowledge  learning  logic  mind  research  neuroscience  sociology  perception  reasoning  reason  philosophy  perspective  thought  thinking  writing  words  language 
may 2007 by robertogreco
26 Reasons What You Think is Right is Wrong
"A cognitive bias is something that our minds commonly do to distort our own view of reality. Here are the 26 most studied and widely accepted cognitive biases."
advertising  brain  bias  branding  cognition  criticalthinking  decisionmaking  decisions  definitions  design  development  economics  fallacies  human  intelligence  knowledge  learning  logic  mind  research  neuroscience  sociology  perception  reasoning  reason  philosophy  perspective  thought  thinking  writing  words  language 
may 2007 by robertogreco

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