thought not static

where one think leads to another

Archive for the ‘learning’ Category

the short lived lives of intelligent beings

Posted by thoughtnotstatic on 7 May 2008

Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.
Friedrich von Schiller

“You do not usually get something for nothing. Now a new study reveals that the evolution of an improved learning ability could come at a particularly high price: an earlier death.” So begins the article “Critical Thinking” which appeared in April 24 2008 print edition of The Economist. This article, along with a more in-depth story the May 6 New York Times, cite recent research that shows while learning is a common ability in the animal kingdom, it is not necessarily an advantageous ability.

In the results of experiments with fruit flies, for example, researchers found “that their fast-learning flies live on average 15 percent shorter lives” while “flies that have undergone selection for long life were up to 40 percent worse at learning than ordinary flies.”

Scientist speculate one reason for this may be in that learning is not free – biologically, it takes tremendous energy – and that this may, in fact, divert or take energy away from other biological functions necessary for survival…

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it’s all guinea pig, all the time

Posted by thoughtnotstatic on 7 March 2008

guinea pigDuring a recent conversation about event design with my friend, Kathia, one topic that came up was the notion of balancing “pushing the envelope” with the notion of keeping a familiarity and meeting expectations among the participants, at least until a field of trust and engagement is established. While we didn’t couch it in these exact terms, this was the gist.

The more I think about it, the more I think designing to the expectations and familiarity of the participants lacks power and handicaps, rather than helps, a facilitator’s ability to unleash group genius, breakthrough thinking, and shifts of mind…

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critical competencies: (green) economics

Posted by thoughtnotstatic on 25 February 2008

Tom Prugh of the Worldwatch Institute has contributed a gem of a blog over at WorldChanging, touching on 7 “reforms that would make economics truer, greener, and more sustainable.” These are a part of the first chapter of the Worldwatch Institute’s “State of the World 2008: Innovations for a Sustainable Economy”.

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