Saturday, August 8, 2009

People With Lots Of Working Memory Are Not Easily Distracted:

A working hypothesis is that it's a signal v noise problem in learning. It's only secondarily about "content."
"'Our attention is the continual interplay between what our goals are and what the environment is trying to dictate to us,' Vogel said. 'Often, to be able to complete complex and important goal-directed behavior, we need to be able to ignore salient but irrelevant things, such as advertisements flashing around an article you are trying to read on a computer screen. We found that some people are really good at overriding attention capture, and other people have a difficult time unhooking from it and are really susceptible to irrelevant stimuli.'

Vogel theorizes that people who are good at staying on focus have a good gatekeeper, much like a bouncer or ticket-taker hired to allow only approved people into a nightclub or concert. Understanding how to improve the gatekeeper component, he said, could lead to therapies that help easily distracted people better process what information is allowed in initially, rather than attempting to teach people how to force more information into their memory banks."

Read more @People With Lots Of Working Memory Are Not Easily Distracted:

Friday, August 7, 2009

How to get Boys in High School "Motivated" to get that A

Being a grown up boy, I can only speak from experience for boys. But I'm pretty sure Video 2 works for everyone. Including teachers.

The point of video 1: ". . . maybe by being an A student baby, I could win your love for me."

The point for video 2: The more you know about how world works, the more you can enjoy the magic of being alive.

Video 1.

Video 2.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What's the Matter with Memory?

The point is how can you trust your memories?

The full program is over an hour. You can watch it at

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The quantum theory of reincarnation by Roger Ebert

The point is that this is food for thought.

iShift from the Institute of Noetic Sciences
If you thought Roger Ebert was only interested in movies, read "The quantum theory of reincarnation," the latest essay on his award-winning online journal. In it the renowned film critic offers both wide-eyed wonder and speculative rumination on the phenomenon of quantum entanglement, its possible implications, and the role of string theory and ether and of consciousness as "gravitational." A lively series of postings follows. Also featured on the page are a handful of YouTube videos, including the animated double-slit experiment featured in the movie What the Bleep Do We Know!?.

you can read more here

"The God Effect" by Brian Clegg

The point is that the leading edge of science is going in some very strange directions. You can see the 25 books that Clegg has written here. The other point is that he is trained in applying mathematics to warfare. Warfare is about making decisions that have predictable consequences. Some think it is life at its most clear and most dangerous.

Biography at Amazon

Brian has written a number of popular science books, including The Global Warming Survival Kit, The God Effect, on the most remarkable phenomenon of the quantum world (St Martins Press) and The Man Who Stopped Time on the motion picture pioneer Eadweard Muybridge (Joseph Henry Press/NAS). Other titles include A Brief History of Infinity (Constable & Robinson) which was launched with a sell-out lecture at the Royal Institution in London, and reached #1 position on Amazon in the general Popular Science category and topped the Amazon popular maths list for over 10 weeks.

Along with further appearances at the RI he has spoken at venues from Oxford and Cambridge Universities to Cheltenham Festival of Science, has contributed to radio and TV programmes, and is a popular speaker at schools. Brian is also editor of the successful book review site and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Brian has Masters degrees from Cambridge University in Natural Sciences and from Lancaster University in Operational Research, a discipline originally developed during the Second World War to apply the power of mathematics to warfare.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sometimes you can't see what's happening, becuase it's happening too fast

If Mozart Increases Spatial Intelligence for some, What does Hip Hop do?

To be clear, there is no assertion that hip hop doesn't increase some kind of intelligence. The question is only what kind?

from Miller-McCune Online Magazine:
"Researchers from the University of London have tested a thesis that may explain why studies of this phenomenon have produced such inconsistent results. In a study just published in the journal Psychology of Music, they conclude that listening to Mozart can indeed spark a certain type of intelligence, but the effect is limited to non-musicians. The reason, it appears, has to do with the different ways musicians and non-musicians process music in the brain.

The term “Mozart effect” can be traced back to a 1993 study, in which a research team led by Frances Rauscher reported that a group of college students outperformed their peers on a test measuring a specific kind of spatial intelligence after listening to one of the Austrian composer’s works: The Sonata for Two Pianos, K. 448.

The test subjects were asked to mentally unfold a piece of paper that had been folded over several times and then cut. Those who listened to Mozart were able to identify the correct shape of the unfolded paper more quickly than those who had sat in silence for 10 minutes, or those who had listened to a tape of relaxing sounds.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Unlearning 101: Education

Unlearning 101: Education:
St. Louis's Gateway Arch is one of the world's largest optical illusions. It appears to be much taller Gateway-arch than it is wide. The reality is that it is as high as it is wide. The problem is that the illusion can't be overcome just by taking another look -- only an objective measurement will do.

The relationship to unlearning is this: You can't simply rely on what you see to be the sole determinent of truth. In many cases only objective measurement will do.

For example, as I explained in this video, people often "see" patterns when none exist. Alternatively, we tend to view people based more on their surroundings and Gateway2environment than on who they truly are.

If you want to unlearn, my recommendation is to recall the old phrase: "Trust but verify."

"We are so good at seeing patterns that often we see them where none exist." Anonymous

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Invisible Ink? What Rorschach Tests Really Tell Us

The point is that you think what you think becasue you see what what see. My bet is that the problem is not the test. The problem is how you set the norms that say "normal" vs "pathological."
"Proponents of the CS claimed that it also provided a wealth of information for non-patient adults and children. However, critics of this system argue that the norms established by CS are out of date and based on small sample sizes. Furthermore, the CS norms are not representative of the population and actually classify a portion of normal subjects as having pathological tendencies. Many studies have also called into question the scoring reliability of the CS; that is, a number of experiments have shown that two practitioners will score one subject very differently using the CS method. The authors observe that 'disagreements can have particularly serious implications if the test results are used to reach important clinical or legal recommendations.'

read more at Invisible Ink? What Rorschach Tests Really Tell Us:

Today’s Parents 'Not To Blame' For Teenage Problem Behavior

The point is
Differences in the monitoring of teenage children, according to family type and income, have narrowed. For example in 1994, 14–15 year olds from single parent families were more likely to be out late without their parents knowing where compared with two parent families, but by 2005 this difference had disappeared.
. . .
A team led by Professor Frances Gardner from the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Oxford found no evidence of a general decline in parenting. Their findings show that differences in parenting according to family structure and income have narrowed over the last 25 years. However, the task of parenting is changing and could be getting increasingly stressful, particularly for some groups.
. . .

The research highlights a different set of challenges for parents compared with 25 years ago. Young people now are reliant on their parents for longer, with higher proportions of 20–24 year olds living with their parents. Many more remain in some kind of education or training into their late teens. In addition, the development of new technology, such as mobile phones and the Internet, has created new monitoring challenges for parents.

'Today’s parents have had to develop skills that are significantly different and arguably more complex than 25 years ago, and this could be increasing the stress involved in parenting,’ Professor Gardner said.

read more at Today’s Parents 'Not To Blame' For Teenage Problem Behavior: "


The point is that looking at twitter should help understand how communication works for people and for birds.

Twitter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications. While the service costs nothing to use, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees.

Since its creation in 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Twitter has gained notability and popularity worldwide. It is sometimes described as the "SMS of the Internet"[3] since the use of Twitter's application programming interface for sending and receiving short text messages by other applications often eclipses the direct use of Twitter.

Twitter is ranked as one of the 50 most popular websites worldwide by Alexa's web traffic analysis.[4] Although estimates of the number of daily users vary because the company does not release the number of active accounts, a February 2009 blog entry ranked Twitter as the third most used social network[5] based on their count of 6 million unique monthly visitors and 55 million monthly visits.[5] In March 2009, a blog ranked Twitter as the fastest-growing site in the Member Communities category for February 2009. Twitter had a monthly growth of 1,382 percent, Zimbio of 240 percent, followed by Facebook with an increase of 228 percent.[6] However, only 40 percent of Twitter's users are retained.[7]