1/8 (Tue.) Some Thoughts on the Brain (Host: Sherry)

1/8 (Tue.) Some Thoughts on the Brain (Host: Sherry)

文章Sherry Liao » 週四 1月 03, 2019 5:51 pm

Dear YOYOs,

Scott H Young is one of my favorite bloggers. He is most famous for his MIT challenge, in which he claims to have completed the 4-year MIT curriculum for computer science within a year.

His blog posts cover a variety of topics. Some of them convey unique perspectives that are quite different from what most people hold. This week I chose two articles from his blog for discussion. I bet you will like them. If you don’t think they are inspiring, at least you will find them refreshing.

There are two articles in each session. The first article came from Scott H Young’s blog; the second article came from another source and the viewpoint took a more widely accepted position. Please read the first article. The second one is for your reference.

Session I
Is the Brain Like a Muscle? Lessons from Debunking a Seductive, But Incorrect, Idea
October, 2017 | Scott H Young

Neuroscience: Yes, Brain Training Actually Can Work When Done Correctly
October 7, 2016 | Nicole Gravagna, PhD Neuroscientist, Author of MindSET Your Manners

Questions for Discussion:
Q1: Do you believe that the brain can be trained like muscles to improve cognitive skills such as reasoning, perception, emotion, memory? If so, do you believe that the acquired abilities can be transferred? For example, do you think that the proficiency of a language can help you learn another language? Can this ability be applied to non-verbal areas? Why or why not?
Q2: Is it worthwhile to learn programming in middle school and high school? Shouldn’t every college student learn calculus if it is not for their professional requirements?
Q3: Following the previous question, should every high school and college student receive training in “critical thinking” or logical thinking? Can the abstract subjects that students study at school help them solve real-world problems in the future?
Q4: Do you learn something that you are not planning to use in real life? If so, what are they? Why? Of all the time you spend learning, what percentage would you say is aimed at an immediate practical goal? What percentage is spent learning things that have unknown use?



Session II
Is Rationality Overrated? What an 18th Century Medical Mystery Can Tell Us About the Power of Blind Copying
February, 2016 | Scott H Young
(Further reading: Are Anti-Vaxxers Rational? More Thoughts on the Power of Copying)
February, 2016 | Scott H Young

Huge new study casts doubt on conventional wisdom about fat and carbs
Aug 30, 2017 | PBS News

Questions for Discussion:
Q5: Do you question everything you have read or heard? Do you know people who always act as “devil's advocate” in a group? What do you think of such people and why?
Q6: Suppose you want a healthy diet. Would you continue to observe the latest scientific discoveries and listen to what experts recommend? Or would you take a traditional healthy dietary pattern like a Mediterranean diet or an Okinawa diet? Why?
Q7: When you are not familiar with a certain field, do you think that relying on “conventional wisdom” is a good strategy? Do you agree that for those problems that are too complicated, it's a good strategy to adopt traditional solutions with a history of success without understanding them?
Q8: What do you think about the anti-vaccine movement and climate denialism? Do you think they can be considered irrational, or they are just perceptions or belief of the world from another angle?

********************************************************************************
Agenda:
6:45 ~ 7:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
7:00 ~ 7:10pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
(Session I)
7:10 ~ 7:50pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
7:50 ~ 8:10pm Summarization (20 mins)
8:10 ~ 8:25pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
(Session II)
8:25 ~ 9:05pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
9:05 ~ 9:25pm Summarization (20 mins)
9:25 ~ 9:30pm Concluding Remarks / Announcements
********************************************************************************
聚會日期:列於該貼文主題內
聚會時間:當天請準時於 6:45 pm 到達 ~ 約 9:30 pm 左右結束
星期二聚會地點:丹堤濟南店
地址、電話:台北市濟南路三段25號 地圖 (02) 2740-2350
捷運站:板南線 忠孝新生站 3 號出口
走法:出忠孝新生站 3 號出口後,沿著巷子(忠孝東路三段10巷)走約 2 分鐘,到了濟南路口,左轉走約 2 分鐘即可看到。
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注意事項:
1. 文章是否需要列印請自行斟酌,但與會者請務必自行列印 Questions for discussion。
2. 與會者請先看過影片或閱讀過文章,並仔細想過所有的問題,謝謝合作!

給新朋友的話:
1. 請事先準備 2~3 分鐘的英語自我介紹;會議結束前可能會請你發表 1~2 分鐘的感想。
2. 請事先閱讀文章以及主持人所提的討論問題,並事先寫下自己所欲發表意見的英文。
3. 全程以英語進行,參加者應具備中等英語會話能力,對任一討論問題,能夠以 5 到 10 句英文表達個人見解。
4. 在正式加入之前,可以先來觀摩三次,觀摩者亦須參與討論。正式加入需繳交終身會費 NT$1,000。
Sherry Liao
YOYO member
 
文章: 1404
註冊時間: 週五 12月 07, 2007 12:15 pm

Re: 1/8 (Tue.) Some Thoughts on the Brain (Host: Sherry)

文章Luis Ko » 週二 1月 08, 2019 12:07 am

"All we can show is that the things we’ve tried already don’t work. It may be the case that this next thing will do the work we need, and improve memory, reasoning, perception or some other cognitive faculty generally."

8)
i might be a cynic and, a sceptic as well but, i'm definitely not a bad person!!
Luis Ko
YOYO member
 
文章: 842
註冊時間: 週三 6月 06, 2007 10:18 pm

Re: 1/8 (Tue.) Some Thoughts on the Brain (Host: Sherry)

文章Kat C » 週二 1月 08, 2019 4:52 pm

Hi Sherry, it's a fascinating topic! The latest studies on the human brain continue to surprise and at the same time generate even more questions.

I'm not sure the teaching of "critical thinking" can exist outside of social and cultural contexts. Science and math have numbers to fall back on, but when it comes to social studies, we often ignore the numbers we have collected and opt for reenforcing the prevailing "values." I care about policies so I'll use them as the example - since we learn and teach critical thinking hoping that it helps us and future generations solve the pressing issues.

So for example, many researches and surveys have found that abolition of death penalty, legalization of drugs and prostitution, and humane prison conditions consistently bring down crime rates; But many countries and communities dismiss the findings - based often on persistent societal views, "traditional values" and emotional reactions - and resist the call for policy change.

I'm not saying the consideration of certain aspects of human behavior is less merited, including the traditional and emotional. But we often deliberately exclude certain knowledge, facts, or theories if they are not compatible with our well-entrenched system. They are like the inconvenient truth of climate change. We have to make too many changes if we acknowledge them.

To build a truly rigorous course of social studies, I'd probably advocate for a wide and diverse exposure to our collective human experience, especially on how the major issues have been dealt with - with well-accepted success - in different parts of the world. We teach kids to explore and compare, analyze and debate, and most important, reflect back on our own ways of thinking and doing things, and see if indeed the current state of affairs makes sense, or is actually in need of reform.

But that means we accept that the next generation may very well overhaul our entire worldview and system. That's what critical thinking can logically lead to. If we're not willing to accept the possibility, we may not really mean it when we champion critical thinking. We're telling kids: think critically, think on your own, but be sure not to disagree with us.
頭像
Kat C
Member
 
文章: 338
註冊時間: 週三 9月 08, 2010 10:31 am

Re: 1/8 (Tue.) Some Thoughts on the Brain (Host: Sherry)

文章Kooper » 週日 1月 13, 2019 8:06 pm

Attendees(15): Amy Chen, Anne, Chris, David Jr., Devry, Julian, Liwen, Luis, Morris, Sabrina, Sherry Liao (host), Steve Cheng, Way, Wenhan, Winston
Kooper
YOYO member
 
文章: 2497
註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

Re: 1/8 (Tue.) Some Thoughts on the Brain (Host: Sherry)

文章Sherry Liao » 週二 1月 15, 2019 1:58 pm

Kat C 寫:Hi Sherry, it's a fascinating topic! The latest studies on the human brain continue to surprise and at the same time generate even more questions.

I'm not sure the teaching of "critical thinking" can exist outside of social and cultural contexts. Science and math have numbers to fall back on, but when it comes to social studies, we often ignore the numbers we have collected and opt for reenforcing the prevailing "values." I care about policies so I'll use them as the example - since we learn and teach critical thinking hoping that it helps us and future generations solve the pressing issues.

So for example, many researches and surveys have found that abolition of death penalty, legalization of drugs and prostitution, and humane prison conditions consistently bring down crime rates; But many countries and communities dismiss the findings - based often on persistent societal views, "traditional values" and emotional reactions - and resist the call for policy change.

I'm not saying the consideration of certain aspects of human behavior is less merited, including the traditional and emotional. But we often deliberately exclude certain knowledge, facts, or theories if they are not compatible with our well-entrenched system. They are like the inconvenient truth of climate change. We have to make too many changes if we acknowledge them.

To build a truly rigorous course of social studies, I'd probably advocate for a wide and diverse exposure to our collective human experience, especially on how the major issues have been dealt with - with well-accepted success - in different parts of the world. We teach kids to explore and compare, analyze and debate, and most important, reflect back on our own ways of thinking and doing things, and see if indeed the current state of affairs makes sense, or is actually in need of reform.

But that means we accept that the next generation may very well overhaul our entire worldview and system. That's what critical thinking can logically lead to. If we're not willing to accept the possibility, we may not really mean it when we champion critical thinking. We're telling kids: think critically, think on your own, but be sure not to disagree with us.


Thanks, Kat. That’s an innovative way I never thought of. Interestingly, most of we parents usually think that we should act as a mentor and “guide” our children in all the major aspects of life. We don’t like to show that we are vulnerable and that we make mistakes. We hope we are perfect – at least before them.

I think you are right. Recently I started to think that children are like mirrors. When I observe them carefully, I find their responses honestly and straightforwardly reflect my temperaments, my behaviors, and the unconscious errors I make. Now I learn that they may also reflect back on my ways of thinking. But before I give it a try, I should first learn how to let go of my self-worth. :? :? :lol:
Sherry Liao
YOYO member
 
文章: 1404
註冊時間: 週五 12月 07, 2007 12:15 pm

Re: 1/8 (Tue.) Some Thoughts on the Brain (Host: Sherry)

文章Sherry Liao » 週二 1月 15, 2019 2:01 pm

Luis Ko 寫:"All we can show is that the things we’ve tried already don’t work. It may be the case that this next thing will do the work we need, and improve memory, reasoning, perception or some other cognitive faculty generally."

8)


:mrgreen:
Sherry Liao
YOYO member
 
文章: 1404
註冊時間: 週五 12月 07, 2007 12:15 pm


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