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Technologies Negative Impact on Memory and the Inevitability of Singularity.

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posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 08:49 AM
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Hello, I thought I would share my essay I wrote for a basic English 1A class at a community college for which I received a B. This site was the main catalyst on the chosen topic so I thought it was only right to share.

Collective Conscience

The rate at which technological advancements have been made these last 100 years makes one wonder what the next 100 has in store. Every year some new piece of technology comes out and people not only want it but think they have to have it. It is incorporated into our lives and becomes what is normal until something new and improved is out. This has been seen with television, computers, cellphones and Internet. Every year people become more dependent on technology and technology less dependent on people. What was originally meant to aid and entertain is negatively affecting memory and causing people to forget how to think for them-selves. Eventually we will reach a point where the integration of the human mind will be linked with technology creating a new technological evolution and this is called Singularity.

These technological tools in our arsenal are becoming so futuristic they look even better then predictions made in past movies about what the future has in store. Movies like Star Trek with automatic doors and touch-screen devices before they existed in reality. Makes one think when warp speed or teleportation is going to come into fruition. Streaming movies and television shows, video games, variety of editing software, instant access to almost anything you can think of all from one handheld touchscreen device. Bookstores and video stores are becoming few and far between, CD sections of stores are gradually thinning out eventually disappearing because it can all be done right from home. People organize their life on and with the use of technology: friends, contacts, phone numbers, pictures, videos, and text. Reliability of technology to organize life results in relaxation on the persons mind (Leadbeater). The mind much like muscles needs to be worked out or it will get weak. When you rely solely on one thing for too long you become dependent. Think before there were calculators how much better majority of people were with quick math problems in their heads. Now shift to today’s world and imagine going into a retail store and taking away all the employees registers and calculators leaving only a money tray and pen. Some would quit and others scared because the lack of ability they have from relying solely on machines. When tools of ease are absent then the mind relaxes less and remembers more (Married to Google).

“According to a Ball State University study, most Americans spent at least 8.5 hours per day looking at screens” (Greenblatt). For some face time with a screen is more than face time with other people. It has become expected to have certain gadgets. When someone gives their phone number it is hardly ever questioned if it’s a house line and is assumed to be cellular. If it wasn’t its likely they would have said so since it is now out of the ordinary to provide landlines. Computers have become the external hard-drives for the brain (Married to Google). Like a computer the brain will only use the resources required for the task at hand so instead of remember the information stored on the external hard-drive it remembers a summary and its location(Liu). Without the external hard drive connected then the information cannot be opened.

Betsy Sparrow an assistant professor of psychology at Columbia and her team of scientists staged four different experiments to prove the affect of technology on the way people think. According to the authors, “The subjects were significantly more likely to remember information if they thought they would not be able to find it later” (Cohen). Is this the result of de-evolution, the dumbing down of the human race or is the brain simply adapting to the inevitable? Sparrow states, “Human memory is adapting to new communication technology”(Cohen). People are drawn to technology and have adapted to it so well with such incredible speed. We have easy access to almost any information we need. Scientist often looks towards science-fiction films to get ideas and form theories. It is almost like the brain already knows what the future holds, able to come up with ideas that are only limited by information and ability. It would be impossible for the brain to contain it all so it remembers where instead of what. This allows the mind to be freed up and focus on the big picture leaving all the tedious work to computers. We are becoming a collective conscience.

Google no longer just a search engine but also making its way into the dictionary as an informal verb meaning to search something using the Internet. Information itself no longer needs to be remembered only the location of the information needs to be. “..students are more likely to recall facts they believe will be on a test”(Cohen). No need to remember the information if it is not on the test or you can easily look it up. Same idea applies to everyday life as well. Best friends phone number? Don’t need to remember it, instead vocally tell the phone to call them. Parents Birthday? No need to worry, a reminder is set in the phones organizer along with due dates, appointments and more. Doing research or shopping? No need to get up just Google it. Syncing people’s digitally organized life between all platforms allows for access and notifications of the stored information within them at all times. The device essentially becomes part of the people themselves destroying their own ability to organize and recall thought independently. The next logical step will be to integrate the mind and technology no longer needing a device but becoming the device.




posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 08:49 AM
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The next step of human evolution will not be natural. It will be manufactured. Technology is even more advanced than people think; it is limited to the public knowledge because of laws and money. Why release the best possible technology when things can be gradually improved over time getting the consumer to purchase it once a year. Google already has a car that can drive it-self around without a human counterpart, however implementing this to the public would need a revitalization of all the laws of the road. Nanorobots or pieces of microscopic technology already exist in the development stage largely for medical use (Reynolds). Robots are already creating other robots a size beyond what the eye can see. One common between all science, technology and anything else is math. Mathematics can be used to explain anything and everything even itself, and is the only true definitive in a world of questions.

Math is a discovery and not an invention, and is quoted by Galileo to be “ the language of God”(Lamb) which raises the biggest question. To prove something correct whether it is theory or reaction math is implemented. If math has always been then everything that is, was and will be has also already been. Singularity has already happened; people are part of a system to calculate probability for something that can only be fathomed with a new outlook, an outlook of 1’s and 0’s thru the integration of technology. It is illogical to continue making machines more capable while the majority of people become less. Instead make people see the world like a machine; fewer machines would take jobs of engineers and programmers. The smarter the machine the dumber the person, if there are less jobs then less people are studying for them, less money circulating, Focusing on combining both will develop the ability of both and not the dominance of one.

Curiosity is a common trait among most people. From children to adults questions flood our minds. It is obvious that as advance a race humans are on earth there is more to the universe than the human mind and senses can comprehend. People think themselves more intellectual and intelligent than what they actually are. Should another intelligent race come to Earth having judged based solely on writings and philosophies they would be in for a big surprise when they actually meet. Technology was created to achieve things a human could not, and will eventually know things humans cannot understand. This is the point of singularity, when people either create a self-aware machine or integrate their own mind with machine ascending the human race to a new level of consciousness.

edit on 30-6-2012 by g0dhims3lf because: paragraph separation.



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 09:13 AM
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Here's a little something that goes to reiterate your point..


"Facebook users average 3.74 degrees of separation"
www.bbc.co.uk...

On our way to 'becoming one' it appears that the internet is the tool for doing so. This would imply that defending the freedoms of the internet, to be one of the most important issues facing the emerging New World.

It was previously stated that there is six degrees of separation, implying that on average the approximate steps of introduction is only 6, in regards to becoming acquaintances of one another.

6 Degrees of Separation
en.wikipedia.org...

It's no secret that Microsoft and the release of Ineternet Explorer has had a significant role in this developement. It seems that this has been partially their aim, and want to see a better future of humanity, using the internet and computers as being a tool for doing so. I could go on forever about the flow of information, and what it means in regards to helping this process of evolving to 'oneness' but it should be self evident.

Interestingly enough, check out what the logos and slogans of Microsoft have been over the past.

"Microsoft "blibbet" logo, filed August 26, 1982 at the USPTO and used until 1987"

"Microsoft "Pac-Man" logo, designed by Scott Baker and used since 1987, with the 1994–2002 slogan "Where do you want to go today?""

"Microsoft logo as of 2006–2011, with the slogan "Your potential. Our passion.""

"Logo by Microsoft with the slogan"Be What's Next." 2011–present"
en.wikipedia.org...

I apologize for not outlining in further detail, in regards to providing evidence in proving my point. I will be back later in the evening to address them individually.


This is from...
"Facebook users average 3.74 degrees of separation", Internet becoming 1
www.abovetopsecret.com...

You're not the only one that sees this



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 09:21 AM
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Also...

There is a list of articles and studies that can be found in the thread

I Need Some Answers, Sun, NMR, Gene Expression, Light, Behavioural Psychology, Circadian Rhythm, Etc
www.abovetopsecret.com...

A couple relating to the OP, and can correlate with a manufactured evolution based on such things as the internet and different mediums for social interaction through technology

How Social Interaction and Teamwork Led to Human Intelligence
www.sciencedaily.com...




ScienceDaily (Apr. 19, 2012) — Scientists have discovered proof that the evolution of intelligence and larger brain sizes can be driven by cooperation and teamwork, shedding new light on the origins of what it means to be human. The study appears online in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B and was led by scientists at Trinity College Dublin: PhD student, Luke McNally and Assistant Professor Dr Andrew Jackson at the School of Natural Sciences in collaboration with Dr Sam Brown of the University of Edinburgh.



Technology, and improved means of interaction will inevitably result in our evolution. Crazy I tell yah!



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 09:27 AM
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reply to post by g0dhims3lf
 


The singularity means god eater burst right?>



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 09:31 AM
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I know why you got a "B".



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 09:37 AM
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reply to post by aaaiii
 


me too it is written right on my paper



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 10:02 AM
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reply to post by g0dhims3lf
 


Very awesome topic. I have written papers on similar things at my college that I was thinking about sharing on here, as well. I saved your paper to my ATS folder. Nice work.

Here is what I think: humans are integrating their mind with the internet, creating a new, cultural entity that is able to calculate, share information between individuals and and make progress at a never before seen rate. You are right, it is like a collective consciousness.

I still store information in my brain, as a matter of fact, more so... playing games like Starcraft II requires a lot of memorization and very specific strategies and build orders that can only be found through word of mouth. In this way, it is more like ancient communication than modern communication. You can find build orders online, but there is no way you will be able to implement them correctly unless you talk to a pro or watch YouTube videos by pros.
edit on 30-6-2012 by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 10:52 AM
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reply to post by g0dhims3lf
 



What was originally meant to aid and entertain is negatively affecting memory and causing people to forget how to think for them-selves.
I have to strongly disagree. The worste part of school was having to learn redundant nonsense... like the entire multiplication table up to 12x12. My memory space could be better used to store more relevant information, like the most important equations and algorithms. There's no need to make the students do 1000 different long division problems and teach them the same basic stuff for years on end. This lecture really explains how I feel: Conrad Wolfram: Teaching kids real math with computers.

Computers can let us take math to the next level. All engineers, programmers, and scientists use computers to carry out their calculations... would you call them stupid lazy fools who can't be bothered doing it by hand on paper? Of course you wouldn't, because the calculations they are computing are extremely complicated and the hard part is really understanding math well enough to make the computer do the calculations properly. What we should be doing is teaching them to handle complex real world problems by using computers. Making them memorize entire multiplication tables is completely useless when such calculations can be done in fractions of a second using a computer.

I hardly know any of the multiplication table yet I can code complex programs in several different programming languages and carry out complex mathematical computations using my knowledge of math. It's high time that humans learn computers are simply better than us at some things, and we should use them for what they are good for. We should avoid wasting our time and effort cramming our childrens heads full of useless knowledge which becomes redundant the moment they leave school. Not once since I left school have I wished that I had of payed more attention when we were memorizing the multiplication tables. Even calculating the change of a purchase is typically a case of simple addition or subtraction, which can be done quickly in my head.

In fact the same thing applies when it comes to search engines like Google and information hubs like Wikipedia. I will remember the most important things I find but I don't need to remember absolutely everything I ever read... but it is super handy if I can remember where the information is or how to find it in case I need it later. It requires a lot less memory space to remember the location or method for finding the location of the information rather than remembering all the information. Just as I don't need to remember the entire multiplication table if I know the method for finding the result on a computer. It saves me memory space and allows me to remember more important things.

Trying to use our old education techniques in a world where those techniques are redundant is completely useless and that is why kids are getting stupid. We fail to engage them because we'd rather carve multiplication tables into their head rather than give them complex stimulating problems which make full use of the technology we have. We'd rather them complete stupid calculations by hand over and over again as if that's some how going to be useful later in life when we all know they are just going to use a computer to do those calculation in the future. They know it too so they don't pay attention and they get bored of the nonsense we are teaching them.

If we allowed them to make full use of our technology to carry out complex calculations like we do in the real world they will be more motivated and stimulated because we are living in a technological age and our children are more engaged when problems involve the use of technology. But instead we'd rather them complete 1000 simple hand calculations for years on end and they never really learn the nature of complex real world problems because all their memory space is wasted on redundant ridiculous knowledge which we deem to be useful and wise simply for historical reasons which are now vastly outdated.



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 

You make some very good points here.

But what if learning math is best learned by hand? What if we learn slower if a calculator does it? How can we know how it works if the calculator does it for us? How do we even know when to use it - like in our line of work - in a program if we don't know how it works?

I'll admit that at some (early) point doing it by hand is ineffective and slower and using a calculator or a program is much more cost effective. But in the (very) early stages when we're learning I'm not sure.... Our brain (in evolutionary terms) still acts like it did 1000's of years ago. So it expects repetition and as the OP says, we're more likely to learn something if we think we cannot find it later.

I only ever went up to college algebra. I did some precalculus in HS. I HEAVILY regret not going up to trigonemtry because it significantly helps you whne your programs need high level math. And in a ever complex world, high level math is becoming increasingly common in professional fields. Honestly, the advantage of computers is that they're so good at those things. And if we use them right then they can do things with machines that once were only done by humans or animals.

I don't agree with the OP though. I believe that as old(er) things slip out of our mind new(er) things will take their place. We're doing increasingly high-level things that were never done in the past.

We used to be dependent on tools like shovels and axes and so on. We were dependent on clothes and shelter to keep us warm. We were dependent on bows and spears and traps and other weapons for hunting. All of these technologies and others like them will improve with time. I don't see any benefit to going back to living in caves. We will always be dependent on other things because we have a brain. We don't need wings because we can make helicopters and airplanes. We don't need gils and fins because we can wear scuba gear and make submarines. We don't need the speed of a cheetah because we can make cars, motorbikes, and other motorized vehicles. We don't need need the eyesight of a eagle because we have binoculars and night vision goggles and other vision-enhancing technologies. We don't need the claws of a tiger or cat to kill prey because we have guns and traps and bows. It goes on and on. We will always make technologies and be reliant on them precisely because they're separate from us and by being separate they free us to be more flexible in how we use our brains to perform the desired goals - like flight, hunting, space travel, etc. In effect, we're like a key that molds itself to the lock. This increases our overall survivability and adaptability.
edit on 30-6-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 11:33 AM
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reply to post by jonnywhite
 



But what if learning math is best learned by hand? What if we learn slower if a calculator does it?

Well I can tell you that I never learnt math quicker than when I started to use it in programming. My math ability increased dramatically when I started to compute complex math problems using computers because I needed to really understand the mathematical processes properly or my code wouldn't work. Of course we should teach them how to do math by hand so that they can do it when they need to, but in my opinion we should shift a lot more focus onto teaching them how to handle complex problems by using computers. Knowing how to do some relatively simple computations by hand is good and all, but it's more important to know how to handle complex problems by using a computer. By teaching them how to handle these more complex problems they actually get a better understanding of mathematics compared to simply doing endless hand calculations.

It's also important to understand that you don't need to know exactly how a computer works in order to carry out complex tasks on the computer. Professional racing car drivers can get the best performance out of their cars but they don't necessarily need to know the engineering used to design the car. It's the same thing with math. I don't need to understand the underlying mechanisms and number theories associated with many of the problems I am faced with solving. What is more important is that I can get the best performance out of my mathematical computations. It isn't completely necessary that I understand the engineering behind the math used to solve those problems. Most scientists and engineers are not professional mathematicians or number theorists. They know how to solve complex problems using math but aren't necessarily experts on the nature and engineering behind numbers.


How can we know how it works if the calculator can do it for us? How do we even know when to use it in a program if we don't know how it works?

You misunderstand what I'm saying. It's important that we do have reasonable knowledge of the inner workings of how calculations are done. But as I just explained we need to put more focus into the methods for solving problems rather than the technical details behind those methods. When we can use computers to calculate complex problems the need to know the mechanics behind those calculations is reduced, and we can focus more on the mechanics of using computers to help us solve our complex problems. Sure they should know how to do division by hand but there is no need to make them believe is critical to know how to do it by hand and there's absolutely no reason teach redundant knowledge such as forcing students to memorize entire multiplication tables. That isn't the mechanics behind anything, it's just simple redundant knowledge which is easily replaced by a calculator.


We don't need gils and fins because we can wear scuba gear and make submarines. We don't need the speed of a cheetah because we can make cars, motorbikes, and other motorized vehicles. We don't need need the eyesight of a eagle because we have binoculars and night vision goggles and other vision-enhancing technologies. We don't need the claws of a tiger or cat to kill prey because we have guns and traps and bows.

Exactly... and we don't need brains capable of remember everything we read or even remembering entire multiplication tables because we have computers and the internet which makes that information readily accessible when ever we need it. We don't need to have brains capable of doing ridiculously long or complex hand calculations because we have computers which can do the same thing in fractions of a second. And that's a good thing because it frees up our brain and gives us more space to remember other important things. There is a ridiculous amount of knowledge in this world, no one could ever learn it all. We need to make sure we are using out memory space in the most efficient ways so that we can remember as much relevant information as possible. Technology allows us to make more efficient use of our memory by making a lot of information quickly available. That doesn't make us stupider, it gives us room to remember a vast scope of information and often makes us better at what we do. A hand calculation is neither as quick or as flawless as a computer calculation.
edit on 30/6/2012 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 

I too program a lot. I got a 2 year degree in it and have done it a lot as a hobby. I do not do it professionally. I understand what you mean when you say that you learned a lot about math when programming. I too have used some math in my code. However, I tend to avoid 3d programming because of its prerequisite for higher-level maths. But I see math being increasingly used in all professional fields. I mean, I have to grab my head and scream when I consider the immensity of this. The medical fields, robotics, space travel and exploration, manufacturing, genetics, architecture, military defense systems, training simulations used by police and military, on and on and on and on. I do not kid you!!! Every field out there uses this in some way and it's exponentially growing!

And what about artificial intelligence? We already use offshoots of this in many areas. I remember reading about elevators in a skyscraper that used a version of a neural net. I know that machines have software which use fuzzy logic. This has all been around for many decades and is just the beginning of artificial intelligence. However, most of the forms of AI we have are still limited to certain things because, no matter how much we hate to say it, the human brain is still better at being a jack-of-all-trades. But machines couple with AI can work 24 hours a day with no complaints.

I don't fear AI because I think humans don't give themselves enough credit. I think that humans will also continue to use technology to improve themselves to ensure that they stay competitive. But if you don't try to stay competitive, you're like a cave man trying to survive in todays world. What can a cave man do? Manual labor, maybe. He can use a club. He knows how to survive on his own and live in a cave. These skills were more useful when clubs and caves were more practical. But the world probably only has a 200-400 million carrying capacity for cave men living on spears and caves. There just aren't enough animals. Cave man would have to learn how to farm if cave man wanted to have a larger population on earth. But cave man would have to come through US too - modern man. So there'd probably only be small isolated communities of cave man sort of like Amish communities.

Oh wait... we already have cave man: monkeys. How well off are they?

Not being mean to cave man. I love cave man. But cave man needs to smarten up... Unfortunately, I'm all too much like cave man. Maybe this is why I feel for cave man. I'm frail like him.

Bigfoot would be a good candidate for cave man too if he were real.
edit on 30-6-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by g0dhims3lf
Instead make people see the world like a machine; fewer machines would take jobs of engineers and programmers.

And see here's the problem with the OP's argument. This is what I have been talking about. In this sentence the OP is saying we should be making people more like "machines"... such that we won't need machines to aid us. He's advocating the type of mind-set I am arguing against. He's essentially saying we should make people capable of instantly recalling the entire multiplication table just as a computer would... that we should make people capable of doing any calculation by hand extremely quickly just as a computer could. His defition of smart and stupid is completely wrong. He fails to comes to terms with the fact that computers will always be better than us as some things and that it is simply inevitable that computers will replace many of our jobs. We need to accept our place in this world of ever growing technological development and use computers to their full capabilities instead of trying to make our students capable of doing what computers do, because it is completely futile. When we learn to accept and utilize computers to their full potential instead of trying to beat them will be the day we truly begin excelling as a species.
edit on 30/6/2012 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 12:02 PM
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i dont think tech has had a bad impact on peoples memory its just changed how we use our memory.

so instead of remembering a certain fact i remember the best way to look up that fact, which frees up more memory for other things



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 12:06 PM
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reply to post by jonnywhite
 



But I see math being increasingly used in all professional fields. I mean, I have to grab my head and scream when I consider the immensity of this. The medical fields, robotics, space travel and exploration, manufacturing, genetics, architecture, military defense systems, training simulations used by police and military, on and on and on and on.

Indeed... and the most important thing to note about such professional fields is that all of them use computers to carry out their simulations or genetic analysis or their medical research and so forth. None of the fields you mentioned carry out their complex calculations by hand, they do them on computers and they get a much more precise answer much quicker then they would have had they attempted to do it by hand. They know they aren't any match for a computer when it comes to these hard labor calculations, and they don't pretend to be. But it's not like they feel stupid just because they use a computer to do it. They understand the clear benefits and advantages involved and they solve the problem in the most efficient way they know how, which is to use a computer... there is absolutely nothing wrong with it and it does not make us stupider, it actually gives us the ability to solve much more complex problems much more quickly than normal. Technology actually increases our abilities and makes us better at many things... in fact it's easy to argue computers are the single most important factor contributing to our sudden quantum leap in scientific understanding over the last 50 years.
edit on 30/6/2012 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


right on sister......

im assuming your a woman because of your avatar



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 01:35 PM
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I think you meant to use the word "consciousness" not "conscience". Regardless, I disagree with the basic premise of this.

Sure, I don't remember phone numbers. But that memory has now been allocated to the recall of other things, like web addresses, passwords, etc.

It is absolutely true that technology is making the need of things stored in our memory 20 years ago a thing of the past. But technology has also given us so much more to remember.



posted on Jun, 30 2012 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 

Well I Think you re-enforced what I was trying to say. Redundant information is only redundant until needed again. If the external storage with he location of the information is no longer available then remembering the locations will not matter.



Computers can let us take math to the next level. All engineers, programmers, and scientists use computers to carry out their calculations... would you call them stupid lazy fools who can't be bothered doing it by hand on paper?


I agree, just I believe it will take us to the next level. The group you listed also describes a minority of the population. Unfortunately most work jobs that deal with basic math in which all those multiplication tables come in handy. LIke me for instance I work a part-time job while going to school that requires me to count out a drawer and lottery at the end of the night. I use the basic multiplication increments daily. The calculation examples were only used to support the idea of dependency on technology which your post also supports.




Trying to use our old education techniques in a world where those techniques are redundant is completely useless and that is why kids are getting stupid


Not true, as with anything it still comes down to individual choice. Most only choose to use technology in mindless entertaining ways.



posted on Jul, 1 2012 @ 11:17 AM
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reply to post by g0dhims3lf
 

I often do basic algebra type problems. Every day. I keep a calculator nearby to do the division or multiplication. I don't do more complex equations though - like to solve for something. But if I did I'd want to use software because it requires a lot of time. We KNOW that supercomputers can do X amount of formulas per day and that it does it so well that it can do in a day what all the worlds scientists could do in years (I think i've heard 100's or 1000's of years).

See, if all you're doing is standard arithmetic and you're doing it a LOT then I can see you justifying NOT using a calculator. Because honestly if you can do it in your head faster then there's no use for a calculator. For example, I've memorized single digit multiplication so I don't need to use a calculator for that and it's much quicker. But when dealing with multiple digits, I start using a calculator. This is mostly true for adding except I can do more digits. Overall, you need to understand that the average person isn't doing high-level mathematics - as in, they're sticking to arithmetic. So the average person might benefit from memorizing more tables or better methods to multiply or divide.

You would think that our mind is capable of complex mathematics. But maybe that's not how neurons work? I wonder if they'll ever be able to burn a "calculator" program into our brain? I watched a vid on youtube years ago that was taken from a news program about a study on chimpanzees. In the researchy, they discovered that chimps have better photographic short-term memory than humans do. They were able to complete the short-term memory tests with much more accuracy. Humans, it seems, have good long-term memory and this is what leads to our complex language and skills.

EDIT: Here is a youtube vid about that research study:
A link to a news article is linked to the video by the submitter:
news.bbc.co.uk...

My own short-term memory is fairly crappy. Sometimes I'll attempt to visualize an addition or multiplication problem and it works for single digits and rarely for double, but my mind falls far short of acting like a piece of paper would. My mind doesn't hold onto the ink/lead, lol!! So it looks like whatever I can use to speed it up can't depend on short-term memory. It has to be a method. And maybe if I were trained every day 3 hours per day I might be able to improve at it.

EDIT: I'd like to comment that humans seem to memorize better when a story is attached to whatever they're trying to memorize. People who've won memory championships use special tricks like this and it enables them to remember more. However, even the best of them are severely limited. Even myself in my best behavior, I had to associate things in what I was memorizing what other things. But it's still slow as molasses. You can beat this thing all around the bush however you want, but our short-term memory still stinks even with all of the tricks out there. It comes down to method, and there're only so many methods out there that can turn a human into a calculator.

Anyway, I think your intent is noble. You have some fair points to make. But you're glossing over the points the other guy was making about computers. I think you're doing this because manual calculations are easier for your particular job. Or maybe you're a savant. It's like an average person who rarely touches math in their life judging the importance of computers in mathematics - like how is their opinion even relevant? But then again, I somewhat agree that doing calculations by hand has some benefit. More importantly, I have a book called How Children Fail by John Holt. I also recently got How Children Learn by the same author. The books hint that, at least in the 1950's and 60's (when the books were published), children were mostly memorizing the math and not understanding it and thus not being effective. He believed there was not a fundamental understanding of math.

Is good book:
How Children Fail: en.wikipedia.org...
How Children Learn: en.wikipedia.org...

This is a quote from the How Children Fail link (not sure if I agree or not with this summary:

..........
When children are very young, they have natural curiosity about the world, trying diligently to figure out what is real. As they become “producers”, rather than “thinkers”, they fall away from exploration and start fishing for the right answers with little thought. They believe they must always be right, so they quickly forget mistakes and how these mistakes were made. They believe that the only good response from the teacher is “yes”, and that a “no” is defeat.

They fear wrong answers and shy away from challenges because they may not have the right answer. This fear, which rules them in the school setting, does their thinking and learning a great disservice. A teacher’s job is to help them overcome their fears of failure and explore the problem for real learning. So often, teachers are doing the opposite — building children’s fears up to monumental proportions. Children need to see that failure is honorable, and that it helps them construct meaning. It should not be seen as humiliating, but as a step to real learning. Being afraid of mistakes, they never try to understand their own mistakes and cannot and will not try to understand when their thinking is faulty. Adding to children’s fear in school is corporal punishment and humiliation, both of which can scare children into right/wrong thinking and away from their natural exploratory thinking.
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Best way to summarize the book is to read it.
edit on 1-7-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 1 2012 @ 11:55 AM
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My boss spent two weeks trying to build a budget. I got tired of waiting on him, so last Tuesday at 4pm I started doing it myself. I was done with the 2013 budget/2012 stub year budget in before 5:15pm.

The difference? I can use Excel. My boss can't. He thinks i know magic.




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