You know the saying all great truths are simple and that applies to this “ogre” if I might call it that.
Now, why it hasn’t been discovered or appreciated more lies in the fact that the mental capacity of our minds has been greatly underestimated.
Yes! – Your mental capacity far exceeds anything you envisioned or have been led to believe.
Wasn’t it Einstein who said we use only 10%! – I never quite liked this one, even so, I felt most agreeable with it.
However, the 10% is anything but minor. Our mind makes it look so easy to move a car or write a message but there are so many calculations occurring in split seconds that it will baffle your mind when we look this over.
The business of living is far far more complex than you and I generally consider. No matter what artificial intelligence (AI) can do, it is nothing in comparison to the ability of your mind to live.
Let me illustrate this right from the start and slip in theory and conclusions as we go along.
We will use the word FRUIT, you have heard of “fruit” and it is my estimation especially if you grew up in a fruit loving family that you had in excess of 10,000 individual experiences connected with the word “fruit.”
Whether you ate one or heard the word or spoke about a fruit or watched or read something that contains the word or an example or symbol of a fruit, it is all recorded in your mental library or mental memory banks or maybe you if you prefer mental hard drive.
All of it; just one word has this many associations and there are some words where this goes into the millions!
Furthermore, it is all cross-indexed and even if you watched a violent movie which showed an apple or had a store sign with a “fruit” in it, it will be part of the index just as “he is a fruit-head” or “what a fruit basket!” will be in there too. The connections are vast, unbelievably vast.
When I mentioned the word fruit you will have scanned through your entire memory banks or library and compared in what way it is similar and different to the way I used it here.
If the probability is high, for example, it fits the description of “fruit that can be eaten and is sweet” it will end the scan and use the explanation it has for it.
However, if it doesn’t fit it will continue to scan and if it doesn’t find a conclusive answer it goes blank! – well, it doesn’t compute!
A bit like a blue screen which recovers in seconds.
Did you ever go blank when you read something or someone said something?
Let’s appreciate this, every word I used here, I guess about 300 so far undergoes the same computing process.
It scans possibly millions of past connections and experience to estimate the right meanings of each word.
Let me amplify this by showing you a different way, so you can evaluate the above.
If you were told as a child that the definition of a fruit is “produce that contains seeds, can be eaten and can be sweet”, you do not need to scan your entire mental hard drive unless someone used the word in the wrong or maybe sarcastic manner!
When you know the definition you also can critique and evaluate the truth of something.
Example: Someone writes: “Tomato is not a fruit.” In the first scenario, he will scan for Fruits and Tomatoes to see if this matches his past knowledge.
If there is no other instant contradicting or flagging it with a “maybe”, he will file it as a “true fact.”
The truth is that the tomato is a fruit and if as in the above case we do not teach definitions we can’t evaluate and not even create new data.
If I showed you a picture book with 10,000 fruits and various scenarios, you would still not be able to figure out the definition of the word fruit.
The only way to know is to look it up in a dictionary.
Memorization is in effect storing a book or data to a mental book or hard drive and thus it has only been transferred it but has not been understood.
Why or how does this affect L&D?
All application depends on understanding. Period. People who can do or achieve understand the subject matter they are acting in.
You can know the entirety of a subject matter by memorizing it and you still won’t be able to do a thing.
Now, the big problem in L&D is that the ogre is created in our early years of school.
We teach kids to memorize and thus show them not to understand just collect data; to pass a test.
This very bad habit is very difficult to drive out of people, esp. well-educated people. They have a hard time thinking; yes, they were taught not to.
They were taught that memorizing is the first step and you will think later. Nope, memorization leads to no thinking.
There is, of course, a bit more to this but for a workable solution the above works like a treat.
You have a department or individual who is producing poorly or makes many mistakes. Find the key words and define them all and make them learn them all.
How do you learn these words? – you should get them to make examples. You should ask these two questions: How is not this way? And then how is it this way?
For example, Definition of Learning: acquiring data to gain a skill or an ability to do something…. How is the definition that way and how is the definition NOT that way?
If you have problems with a text try it out, look up the definitions and you soon will find your ability to do and your ability to judge rather than take everything literally will go up!