Archive for July 8, 2013

Not clear that we can learn anything about learning from neuroscience yet

I like David Brooks’s opinion pieces quite a bit, and particularly his pieces where he draws on research.  The piece linked below touches on an issue that I’ve been wondering about. All this neuroscience data about what part of the brain lights up when — what does it really tell us about how the mind works? Does it actually tell us anything about learning? Brooks’ opinion: Not yet.

These two forms of extremism are refuted by the same reality. The brain is not the mind. It is probably impossible to look at a map of brain activity and predict or even understand the emotions, reactions, hopes and desires of the mind.

via Beyond the Brain – NYTimes.com.

July 8, 2013 at 1:08 am 2 comments

A few words on Doug Engelbart

Doug Engelbart, visionary whose inventions led to the modern mouse, hypertext, computer-supported collaborative work, died on July 2 at age 88.  Bret Victor wrote a wonderful piece about how statements about Doug’s inventions (like I just made) miss the point about what he was really trying to do.  Recommended, and linked below.

If you truly want to understand NLS, you have to forget today. Forget everything you think you know about computers. Forget that you think you know what a computer is. Go back to 1962. And then read his intent.

The least important question you can ask about Engelbart is, “What did he build?” By asking that question, you put yourself in a position to admire him, to stand in awe of his achievements, to worship him as a hero. But worship isn’t useful to anyone. Not you, not him.

The most important question you can ask about Engelbart is, “What world was he trying to create?” By asking that question, you put yourself in a position to create that world yourself.

via A few words on Doug Engelbart.

July 8, 2013 at 1:05 am 2 comments


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