My Admission: I'm Illiterate
As Parag and Ayesha wrote yesterday, if today you cannot program computers, it is as though you have the skill to read, but not to write. For this reason, kids are learning programming basics early in their lives using new programs. But what about reading?
I began to learn today that electronic books sales are years behind online music vendors. I gave various e-book sites some titles and authors I have had in the back of my mind, but found only self-published accounts of this and that (all priced as though they were actual books). I had no idea so many people were self-publishing!
As Steven Pinker said late last week in his New York Times Op-Ed, "Knowledge is increasing exponentially; human brainpower and waking hours are not." And this, he says, accounts for the rise of new media and will account for its beneficial permanence in our lives. So just as we may imbue ‘literacy’ with a figurative but still very significant meaning, in this case the ability to program computers, what other bedrocks of our culture might we reinterpret? Learning? Knowledge itself?
If so, it would not be a new event: the definition of a word is often closely related to its history, and history is the course of change. Spiritual seekers and mystics are the most ready to perform" transvaluations of values," to use Nietzsche's phrase. Every intellectual and cultural revolution has given new meaning to these still timeless concepts: learning and knowledge.
Once, the human mind was relied on to carry with it some summation called knowledge, with immediate reference to a library of books organized by numerical classification system. Could it be that today’s "readers" and "writers" will be more conduits of knowledge than knowers themselves? Will experts be so called by virtue of their ability to organize and navigate the exponentially growing field of recorded information? If without programming, we are no longer able to write, then in what sense can we meaningfully read without first understanding how to navigate the vast stores of information available at our caprice?
The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think
The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.
The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.
- The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
- Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
- The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.
When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.
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