Friday, June 04, 2004

Patterns And Education

If we look at learning, brainpower, in another way, it might help us to break out of patterns that we seem to follow year after year.

Steven Johnson in his book Emergence says, “. . .unlike most computers, the brain is a massively parallel system, with 100 billion neurons all working away at the same time. That parallelism allows the brain to perform amazing feats of pattern recognition, feats that continue to confound digital computers—such as remembering faces or creating metaphors. Because each individual neuron is so slow, Kursweil explains, ‘we don’t have time . . . to think too many new thoughts when we are pressed to make a decision. The human brain relies on precomputing its analyses and storing them for future reference. We then use our pattern-recognition capability to recognize a situation as compatible to one we have thought about and then draw upon our previously considered conclusions.’ “

Education is a process that adds and teaches students how to continue adding to the patterns their brain recognizes. Education doesn’t have to be in some school, college or university. Education is the process of adding new and varying patterns to your memory increasing your abilities to “analyze” or spot similar patterns. Education should never stop. You are your own best teacher. Next best are those with whom you travel. Never stop.

1 comment:

J Michael said...

I couldn't agree more. Like the muscles in your arms, your brain must be worked, exercised to keep it viable and useful and enjoyable. You must also use it with caution. It has limitations and biases, so build it up and stretch it out for maximum effectiveness and longevity.