SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS OR THE TRUTH
What follows is part of the letter I am thinking about sending to my daughter because she will not sit and listen to my rambling lectures -- come to think of it she never would.
This discussion is not directly related to intelligence (smartness), but rather to how different brains learn by either searching for answers or the truth. I am sure many will respond by saying " there is no difference -- searching for answers is the same as searching for the truth". Most academic education is directed at stimulating one to look for and remember answers. Students that do this successfully will be rewarded with a very good academic record, Masters Degree & or a Ph.D. Students are evaluated by performance on some kind of "test" that has correct and incorrect answers. With the possible exception of math, and some science disciplines these answers are predetermined and the student learns the "correct" answers through reading, listening to lectures etc. If the student has the correct answer and can remember it and even better refer to a source, that is all that is required to be successful. Is that the same as finding the Truth -- Hell No!
In the early 1400s the correct answer to the question "Is the world flat" would have been yes. Even now, is there Global Warming Caused by Man and (CO2) emissions. Yes, because " It is the consensus of most of the top climate scientists that global warming is caused by CO2 emissions."
How the Brain Remembers: Take this with a grain of salt, it is a possible answer, not necessarily the truth -- I think I learned the from a PBS program.
Every memory we have is triggered by one brain cell that acts like a file name for the particular memory. More interesting is how different conditions can affect this brain cell at the time the memory is formed. Supposedly subjects were given numbers to remember under normal conditions and again with their hand in ice water. According to the study they remembered better when the memory was created while there had was in ice water, It is assumed that adrenaline released at the time the memory is formed increased the strength of the memory and ability to recall. This is a possible explanation of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome many Phobias etc.
Is it possible that the genetic make up of our brain determines what we remember and how we learn?
A passive mind vs. an active mind. Want to make a chocolate cake - get a good recipe and follow it to the letter. Want to put a child's Christmas toy together. First carefully unpack it read and study the directions an follow them precisely. Or want to make a chocolate cake - learn what are some of the basic ingredients and start making it. Want to put a child's Christmas toy together. First, rip open the box look at the parts, figure what is supposed to do and put it together. The first two are a passive mind and the second two examples are an active mind. Yes the first cake made by the passive mind will probably be much better and Christmas gift will be put together correctly and much faster by the passive mind. But on the other hand the 50th chocolate cake make by the person with the active mind may be far superior after 49 failures. The toy put together by the person with passive mind will be put together correctly and much faster than the toy eventually put together by the person with the active mind. However: several years later the person with the active mind may have a bunch of spare parts (junk) no instructions, and be able to assemble these parts (or junk) into a product he definitely wants or needs, assisted by the memory of the mistakes he made when trying to assemble the Christmas gift. A passive mind wants to be told what to do. An active mind wants the joy and excitement of making a lot of mistakes and learning from them. With the active mind I think it is possible that the "excitement" of making mistakes is what stimulates the neuron to solidify the memory of how to do a certain class of things. A passive mine is satisfied and stops after getting "the answer" , but an active mind never stops searching for the Truth. Individuals with a passive mind are easy to control while people with an active mind are pretty much uncontrollable.
Do not confuse my description of an active and passive mind with a creative or non creative mind. A person can have a passive mind can still be very "smart" and creative. My definition of and active mind only implies that one is primarily interested in the truth -- how the world really is and functions. It is not necessary to have this passion to be creative. Artists, creative writers, journalists etc. do not have to be interested in how the world "really is" to be creative.
It appears that the majority of people have predominately a passive mind and therefore are easier to control. Most pure scientists have an active mind, but many medical practitioners have predominately a passive mind. This may not be a bad thing -- because as the health delivery system deteriorates, more and more of the medical treatment decisions will have to be made by computers - that do passive processing (looking for answers rather than the truth) much better than people.
Positive reinforcement causes more of whatever is reinforced. This applies to children, horses, dogs, cats, chickens and probably ameba. Positive reinforcement applies equally to desired or undesired behavior. This brings us to the Welfare System, Socialism, and Communism. Enough said!
What ever one does well, he or she will like doing.
When I was young I started talking at an early age, I talked a lot and loud - I was probably rewarded for this because I never shut up to this day. I was considered "smart" until I started school and then that all that changed.
I caution my smart friends that they read to much and reading will destroy the mind.
THE END Now I can go out and play with the horses and chickens and try to figure out how to fix a water leak under frozen ground between the pump and the house?
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