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 Thinking about Thinking

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PostSubject: Thinking about Thinking   Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:11 pm

Thinking about thinking and how thinking works. No matter how we approach it, how people think is an extremely complicated thing. While the thinking chapter covered a lot of things I found to be very interesting, there are a few things I would like to focus on.

One of the few things that we have discovered that seems to be a fast rule is that most of our thoughts and problem solving process seems to be a bottom up process. While this illustrates how interesting the thought process is, it also means that we really don’t know a lot about how the bottom layers work.

In addition to this, because many of bottom layers are a bit obscured by the final product, we often don’t realize how many smaller steps are going into simple steps in our everyday lives. One of the most entertaining (in my opinion) illustrations of this would be in the sandwich problem. Most people, when they are ready to put the two halves of the sandwich together do not specify that the it must be bread - filling - filling - bread. This gives the person/robot you are giving the instructions to a few unforeseen options. These include

  • Bread - filling - bread -filling

  • Filling - bread - bread -filling

  • Filling -bread- filling bread

Though to us it is ‘obvious’ what order we want all of these elements in, that is only because we know what a sandwich is supposed to look like. Everyone enjoys a bit of slapstick, but we are simply assuming that we really did want a traditional sandwich today. This is just one of the few things that could go wrong in using some of the instructions given.

This long and complicated thought process is also an invisible and important part of our problem solving skills. Even something as ‘simple’ as creating the sandwich of choice will be a multi-part problem. Getting the bread is more than getting the bread, first we navigate a plastic bag with a twist tie or other clasp. Then the decision of to use the heal or not (I do, but only with the end heal) and how to pull out the bread.

Spreading on your filling is not as simple as one would expect, as instructing your new person requires you to tell them how to open up the jar. Is it a twist open or pop open? Twist left or right? With no instructions it becomes a matter of chance either way. For each top you twist, it is only a 25% chance to get it right both times. There is a lot to think about when doing anything and it is much more complicated than most of us realize

Another example of a more complicated problem is creating a good cosplay. We are all wonderful nerds and enjoy a good cosplay, however quite a bit of work and planning goes into creating a good cosplay. One example that we are all likely to be doing some time soon would bee Time Lord robes. Even if we won’t ever be needing these for GT related events it may be nice to be able to wear them to a convention or two.  Although creating these robes may seem simple at first, there are enough layers to keep a person busy for a while. In addition this there are a variety of ways to approach the outfit. What layers do you want to fill out and what do you want to be an illusion. Collar or no Collar and most importantly which era to focus on. Classic or NuWho? All of these things and more are important to keep in mind when designing a cosplay, or any other outfit.

With all of these small steps that go into seemingly simple tasks are examples of executive functioning. This ability can be impacted by several things, and when neurodiversity impacts it, this often makes tasks more difficult. Understanding how the thought process and problem solving works on every day tasks we face every day is one step in understanding how things like executive dysfunction impacts lives and things we can do to help ourselves and others.

Before I move over to the assignment of the week, is there anything else you would like to focus on either from these two chapters, thoughts you had while reading them? As always I enjoy hearing back from you and value your opinions on the reading. I will ensure to post next week's reading on the assignment’s thread on Wednesday, Aug 9th by 5PM. I will see you all then.

Assignment of the Week :  Looking Over Thinking

Candidate Sapphire made a very good point when responding to the reading.
I'm not certain how I feel about the chapters we read. The problem solving chapter was certainly interesting in laying out the ways we problem-solve and why some are better than others. However, the thinking chapter talks about hollistic and analytic thinking, which to me is reminiscent of the established belief people hold that there are 'creative' and 'intellectual' thinkers -- if someone does badly in a test, they are immediately marked as 'creative'. This is something I despise as a concept, especially as schooling only requires one or two specific kinds of analytic thinking whereas there are hundreds of different ways it can be applied, whereas the chapter we read on thinking styles make it sound as if schooling/being taught traditionally is the only way to improve analytic thinking; something I fundamentally disagree with.

It is extremely true and unfortunate that not only do many people assume that there are only a few ways to think, but that some of them are objectively better than others. This reminds me of how people often believe that ‘intelligence’ is a solid thing that we can measure, when in reality we haven’t even been able to create a coherent working definition for this phenomenon. Why do you all think this is, and what would you like to have people understand about it?
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Join date : 2017-07-11
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PostSubject: Re: Thinking about Thinking   Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:51 am

Intelligence has been defined in many ways; some see it as an education-based thing and others see it as individual talents. Some see it as a fixed, "natural" phenomena whereas others believe it can be learned. I think the fact that so little is known about it is precisely why definitions are so confused and contradictory -- with no solid definition, people have their own individual ideas of what intelligence means to them.

I think the idea of intelligence is largely constructed as a way of measuring a person's usefulness in certain areas of life. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing: with some way of measuring ability we can easily pick people who are right for the jobs that keep society turning. Even in GT, the elections that choose our council members can be considered measures of a person's intelligence in the areas of leadership and organisation, etc, if one was to believe in the individual talent definition of intelligence.
On the same vein, however, the definition seems to have been twisted by some to take "intelligence" as only meaning general educational worth. If you don't do well in a specific area (especially in schools), you aren't intelligent.

I'd like people to understand that intelligence is a multi-faceted (and, in many cases, subjective) thing and that intelligence or lack thereof does not determine the entire worth of a person, nor does it give someone the right to decide how other people should be treated.

Counciller-Healer Sapphire "Zomo" Balmore

Zomamɑnowɛb'ɪkɛskələslungbɑrotadanas || Adoptive cousin of the Prydonian Chapter || Houses Aesculus and Lungbarrow || they/them ||
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PostSubject: Re: Thinking about Thinking   Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:01 pm

[size=31]We have been focusing on problem solving skills over the past two weeks, and have even briefly discussed the concept of intelligence.[/size]

[size=31]All of this falls under the blanket of cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychology’s covers quite a bit of territory, most mental processes fall under this umbrella.[/size]

[size=31]One of the most interesting part of cognitive psychology native you have to be to actually study. One of my personal favorites interdisciplinary on servers that occurs in this field when you are able to combine it with computer science and programming. However with the AI and VI we are learning more and more about how we think as we as we create more and more complicated program that simulate the same thought patterns.[/size]

[size=31]Top down vs Bottom up processing[/size]

[size=31]One of the greatest questions is doobie process thoughts from the top down or the bottom up. Are we piecing together the smallest bits of information that we see, or are we actually dissecting larger concepts into more basic components? There are a variety of optical illusions in this chapter that explore how we perceive what we see. What do you all think these Illusions, and how do you think you process information?[/size]

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