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Monday, April 15, 2013

An Interesting Mind

I really feel that I have an interesting mind. Yet I feel that it is only interesting when I can follow through major research projects and organize and discipline my ideas. So maybe other people have minds as interesting, in theory, but it never comes out because they never have a chance (or the ability) to develop ideas in that next step. A lot of people's minds are simply not that interesting, and this is mysterious to me.

There are several types of people: those who can find interesting material, but can never quite do anything with it. Those who follow dull paradigms set by other people.

7 comments:

profacero said...

It's having cognition. It has been explained to me that not everyone does. You know those MDs who are very intelligent and capable but seem like mere technicians? Little cognition is the problem, an MD tells me.

Jonathan said...

In other words, knowing how to think. How can we teach that?

profacero said...

Oh, it is why they make you take math and do proofs, and why they have you compose original sentences in foreign languages. It is why all those well formed homework assignments and essay questions were created. It is why after a certain point you are supposed to come up with your own paper topic but run the thesis by the instructor. It's why you go to class and have some fancy person teaching who is lecturing out of current research and working their ideas out. Probably in a foreign language, too, so you listen and put things together. It is why you are supposed to go to those guest lectures and try to come up with an interesting question.

profacero said...

...oh, and it is why you are supposed to read slightly above level. All sorts of things like this -- the entire educational edifice was created to develop cognition even if the current educrats have created this straw man vision of things wherein up until now, everything was an informative lecture that you memorized.

profacero said...

And, it is why the students typically cannot understand me. I assume they have some kind of cognition and are striving toward it. If you have cognition you can understand some smart person's dissertation on a topic you do not know ... even ask them a useful question, does this lead to [x]? If not you will either say oh, I do not know this material or you will say the student's ground breaking idea in formation is just "disorganized".

Jonathan said...

Yes, I understand all this, but don't you have to already be thinking in order to have these things help you? The normal things to keep myself sharp I understand, like trying to read novels in Italian which I have never studied. Can you teach a plodding graduate student to have "it." I've thought I had students with it, but sometimes they had enthusiasm that misled me.

profacero said...

That seems to be the thing. I am told many just do not have cognition. I don't know.