Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  .This section is about learning.  ---  1/24/2006

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  (1) Find and pick the right books (current, complete, etc.).  Take good notes.  Memorize them.  (2) Figure out for all subjects areas the problems, views, and arguments.  Especially your problems.  Get the logical outline right.  (3) Do it on your own.  Do it fast.  Do it your whole life.  Apply it to your whole life.  ---  06/30/1993

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  (1) Learning defined as a change in behavior caused by an external stimulus.  (2) Learning defined as problem solving (figuring out).  (3) Learning defined as information gathering (finding out).  ---  6/8/2005

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  (1) Learning how to learn.  Learning what to learn.  (2) Speed, direction, and distance.  (3) Styles of learning.  (4) Staying current.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  (1) Physical gathering of information, and then (2) putting information in head.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  (1) Self directed and self taught vs. directed by others and taught by others.  (2) Good vs. crappy job of education.  Good = complete, current, simple to complex, broad to deep, quick and lasting.  (3) Education by experience vs. through reading or hearing.  I look forward to the day we are able to learn in our sleep, or zap it all in at birth.  ---  07/30/1993

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  (1) What know, and not.  (2) How know, how find out.  (3) Why know it: best reasons to, and reasons you do.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  (1) What to learn?  Learn what you don't know yet.  Learn about what your problem areas are in life.  (2) How to learn?  First by books.  Then by virtual reality training.  Then by real life practice.  (3) Lets say you forgot everything that you know, or lets say you were an alien visiting earth, what knowledge would you boot up with?  What would you learn first?  ---  6/20/1999

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  A lot vs. a little.  Truth vs. lies.  Unconscious vs. conscious.  Sooner vs. later.  Useful vs. not.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  After a certain point (age) we are responsible for the construction of our own minds.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Animal learning.  Birds learn to press a button for a reward.  Rats learn to run a maze to get a reward.  Chimpanzees learn to use symbols.  Humans learn language.  ---  11/20/2004

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Animal learning.  Some animals have no ability to learn; they are entirely pre-programmed.  The simplest and fewest types of learning occur in the simplest animals capable of learning.  The most complex types and the most numerous types of learning occur in the most complex animals capable of learning.  ---  6/11/2002

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Anything not instinct (nature) is learned (nurture).  ---  11/20/2004

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Coping vs. learning, what's the difference?  When we adapt to poor situations by devolving then that is not a good thing.  ---  5/27/2002

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Depth first learning versus breadth first learning.  Consider a grid that is ten squares wide and ten squares high, with a total of 100 squares, each column represents a subject area of knowledge to be learned, each square representing a learning module.  Consider two learners, one a depth-first learner, the other a breadth-first learner.  The two learners learn at the same rate, that being one square per unit of time.  The depth-first learner starts at the beginning of one column and works down, completing one column before moving to the next column.  The breadth-first learner learns the first square in every column, then the second square in every column, and so on.  The point is, when half the total time has elapsed, the depth-first learner will have learned five out of ten subjects, while the breadth-first learner will have learned fifty percent of all subjects.  ---  2/4/2006

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Desire for learning.  (1) Won't listen, won't ask questions, won't explore on own vs. (2) Will listen, will ask questions, will explore on own (books, people, world).  (3) Resources committed to learning (time, energy, money, materials).  Causes and effect of above views on individual.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Difficulty of ideas vs. number of ideas.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Four types of learning.  (1) Learning by being shown by an instructor.  (2) Learning by being told by an instructor.  (3) Learning by reading a book on your own.  (4) Learning by figuring out on your own without a book.  ---  11/20/2004

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  How many times and ways you need to explain an idea to someone before they "get it".  ---  10/25/1993

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  How much time to spend on each: (1) Books vs. your notes.  (2) Old vs. new materials.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Ideal.  Fast, true, important, long retention, complete.  Learn faster, more complete, remember longer.  Learn much, fast.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Ideals: efficient, effective, productive.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  If you understand a new piece of information the first time that you hear it, is that really learning?  It can only be considered learning if you define learning as simply the act of acquiring new information.  On the other hand, if you do not understand something the first time you hear it, and understand it only after hearing it ten times, then that seems more like learning.  This is learning defined as the effort required to overcome befuddlement.  ---  4/25/2002

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Improving learning.  More time, more selective, more efficient.  Better goals, do it faster, better schedule.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Inobvious to obvious.  Learning involves going from "this is impossible" to "this is easy".  When something goes from being inobvious to obvious.  ---  06/01/1994

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Inobvious to obvious.  When the foreign, strange, and alien becomes intuitive, second nature, and obvious.  ---  07/30/1993

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Inobvious to obvious.  Why does something remain inobvious to someone for years, only to become completely and plainly obvious one morning?  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Learning and application of learning.  Work hard at both, one without other is useless.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Learning and teaching.  The view that children learn on their own.  Children discover.  Children teach themselves.  Children are learning machines.  Humans are learning machines.  What if no one went to school?  What would happen?  Like, for example, in prehistoric times.  Even in prehistoric times people were showing each other how to do stuff.  Even in prehistoric times people were arguing for and against various viewspoints.  There was never a time when learning and teaching in humans did not take place.  ---  4/3/2005

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Learning curves: learning speeds up with familiarity.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Learning for mental health.  Ignorance causes anxiety, which causes pathological psychology, which causes mistakes.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Learning ideas vs. developing mental skills and abilities (ex. learning how to learn).  ---  03/30/1993

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Learning requires thinking.  One view holds that most people don't want to learn.  Most people find learning difficult.  Most people don't enjoy learning.  Most people don't see the importance of learning, and thus don't value learning.  (Since learning requires thinking, one can easily replace the word "learning" with the word "thinking" in the above paragraph.)  ---  6/15/2004

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Learning style is connected to thinking style and personality.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Learning to solve a short term problem vs. learning for life long knowledge.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Learning tools.  (1) A list of concepts.  (2) An alphabetical list of concepts.  (3) An alphabetical list of concepts with their associated subject areas.  ---  2/18/2006

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Learning tools.  (1) Glossary.  An alphabetical list of concepts with their associated subject areas and a brief definition.  (2) Outline format.  Concepts arranged in logical order.  (3) Timeline.  Concepts arranged in chronological order.  A history of the subject area.  ---  2/18/2006

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Learning tools.  (1) Reading.  (2) Writing.  (3) Brainstorming.  (4) Study, review, repetition.  ---  2/18/2006

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Learning tools.  (1) Table of contents.  (5) To Do list.  (4) Questions list.  (2) Glossary.  Concepts arranged in alphabetical order.  Plus the subject area of each term.  Plus a brief description of the term.  (3) Bibliographys.  Books.  Web sites.  Music.  Movies.  (6) Database format.  Searchable.  Sortable.  ( ) Index.  ---  2/18/2006

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Learning.  (1) When you have to learn something (forced).  (2) When you think you should learn something (desperate).  (3) When you want to learn something (interest).  (4) When learning provides deep psychological meaning, pleasure, and solace.  Number four is the place to be.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Learning.  When the new becomes familiar, and the familiar becomes instinct.  ---  2/4/1994

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Levels of learning.  (1) Can give a kick ass lecture on it (logical, history, important).  (2) Can transfer knowledge to other areas.  (3) Can figure it out yourself.  Through intuition vs. through reason.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Levels of learning.  (1) Recognize it if see it.  Understand it if shown how it works.  (2) Memorize and recall it.  Repeat without understanding vs. repeat with understanding.  (3) Understand it on your own.  But still unable to say it in words vs. able to say it in words.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Lifelong learning.  What is required is not just lifelong learning in one's career area, or even in the practical areas that will help you live your life, but also in all subject areas.  And this lifelong learning in all subject areas must involve lifelong thinking, not just lifelong reading.  This is a high standard, but one we all must aspire to, or risk wasting our potential and our lives.  If we help each other, and use high-tech learning (ex. everyone writing and developing ideas on laptop computers), we can come close to the ideal.  ---  12/30/1996

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Mind as filter.  What you do not have the concepts for you don't see, you are blind to, you don't understand, and does not exist for you.  Learning makes things exist for you, makes things come to be.  To learn is to develop concepts and relationships between concepts.  We learn by learning words?  Do all concepts have names to us?  What about the stuff we know, that we don't know we know?  ---  3/11/2000

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  No one can change no one.  No one owes no one nothing.  We learn everything ourselves.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  One could argue that humans are innately curious, innately creative, and that learning takes place naturally without us even trying.  Humans are learning animals.  The goal then becomes making sure we don't impair or destroy the desire to learn that we are all born with.  An opposite view holds that humans are inherently lazy, inherently apathetic, must be taught to learn and must be exhorted to learn.  I do not agree with this second view.  ---  11/25/2001

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Polar attitudes on learning.  (1) It is not important vs. it is important.  (2) I hate it vs. I love it.  (3) The more I learn the better vs. the less I learn the better.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Problem: You read a good book, learn a lot from the book, and then after a few years you forget everything you learned from the book.  Solution: write a summary of the book.  Outline the main parts of the book.  Give a summary for the entire book and give a summary for each chapter in the book.  Answer questions like, "How good is this book?  Why is it a good book?  What is the author saying?  What is the author's argument(s)?  What are some counter-arguments to the author's argument?  How strong is the author's argument?  What are the weaknesses of the author's argument?  What is new, original and good in this book?"  ---  7/31/2006

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Problems.  Too little, too late.  Learning lies, or unimportant subjects.  Unmotivated, no urgency, reluctant (fear).  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Social learning: pick up from society.  (1) Negative effects: pick up more bad than good.  (2) Positive effects: pick up more good than bad.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Steps in learning.  (1) A list of words.  (2) Attaching definitions to the words.  (3) Elucidating the relationship between related words.  For example, concepts that are synonyms, antonyms, or cause and effect.  ---  2/15/2005

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Study in head in free time.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Study: is like watching a boring rerun.  Look for new details.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Studying = reorganizing and memorizing.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Studying.  (1) What is studying?  What to study?  (2) Why study?  Why is studying important?  (3) How important is studying?  (4) How to study?  Principles of, techniques for, styles of.  Problems and ideals approach.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Studying.  Cramming vs. studying bit by bit.  Pros and cons of each.  Cramming saves time and energy.  But you forget it faster.  Studying bit by bit reduces stress levels, increases odds of good grade, but can be boring and distasteful.  ---  02/24/1994

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Studying.  If you were on a desert island, you would read your school textbooks with glee.  Why can't you otherwise?  Try to get into that state of mind when studying for school.  ---  12/30/1995

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Studying.  Need both attitudes.  (1) This work I am studying is important, I need to know it, and society needs to know it.  (2) It is interesting and fascinating.  ---  10/05/1994

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Studying.  Overstudying.  (1) You can get so sick of looking at it that you don't want to see it again, even if it means "F" on test.  (2) You can get so stressed out and demoralized that you do poorly on the test.  (3) Sick of school.  How to avoid it.  What are the causes and symptoms.  ---  06/20/1994

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Studying.  Reviewing is easier and quicker than learning.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Teaching.  You have learned something well when you are able to teach it.  ---  8/4/2006

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Techniques.  (1) How to learn: best ways for individual  (2) Think it, write it, study it, practice it.  (3) Information: gather, verify, organize, prioritize, memorize, store.  (4) Logical outlines: organize, prioritize, keywords.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Techniques.  Best way to learn is to work on and study outlines of found and figured knowledge.  (1) Outline by structure.  (2) Outline by importance, by perspective.  (3) Answers all x in general questions.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Techniques.  Finding and picking best books.  Learning by using quote books, college texts, dictionaries and encyclopedias, bibliographies, general reference works, current stuff.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Techniques.  Finding best people.  Finding best books: Important, true, condensed, organized.  Reading best, and outlining best (book notes).  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Techniques.  Gain the books, gain understanding, gain memory.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Techniques.  Learning from observation vs. experience.  Somethings are better or worse to learn each way.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Techniques.  Notes outlines: (A) Logical.  (B) Importance.  (C) Historical.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  The big hope of learning: how quickly the intimidating becomes easy as cake.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  The big problem is immediate access to good books, at their level, on their current interests.  Computers could supply this.  It would allow self teaching (pick own direction and speed).  It could answer questions (ex. Clarify or expand paragraph x).  It could speed note taking (print out sentences or paragraphs x, y, z.  Or printout a summary.).  ---  07/27/1993

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Three types of learning:  (1) Fact learning.  (2) Concept learning.  (3) Skill learning.  ---  3/11/2000

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  To learn you must think.  You think because it happened to you, you saw it, you heard about it, or you set up a hypothetical.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Two important topics in learning.  (1) Attitudes, both good and bad, toward learning, knowledge and information.  (A) Low value placed on learning and knowledge.  Bad.   (B) High value placed on learning and knowledge.  Good.  (2) Tools, both good and bad, for learning, knowledge and information.  ---  2/22/2006

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Two problems of learning.  (1) Memorizing without understanding.  When a person memorizes without understanding then the person has information but does not know why the information is useful.  (2) Understanding without memorizing.  When a person understands without memorizing then the person may forget the information soon thereafter.  ---  8/4/2006

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Two problems.  Having no ideas.  Having wrong ideas or suboptimal ideas.  ---  5/1/2005

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Types of learning.  (1) Learning a behavior.  (2) Learning information, whether figured out or found out.  ---  11/20/2004

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Types of learning.  (1) Passive: natural, unconscious, without consciously trying.  Active: conscious.  (2) Informal: conscious trying on own.  Formal: in school, being taught by someone.  (3) Abstract theory vs. practical techniques.  (4) Experience 1st hand.  Observe 1st hand.  2nd hand sources.  (5) Find out vs. figure out.  (6) Theory and facts.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Types of learning.  (1)(A) Learning simple behaviors: single step.  (B) Learning complex behaviors: many steps.  (2)(A) Learning simple ideas: single step.  (B) Learning complex ideas: many steps.  ---  11/20/2004

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Types of learning.  Conscious, intentional learning.  Unconscious, unintentional learning.  ---  1/2/2005

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Types of learning.  Learning alone versus learning in a group.  ---  3/15/2007

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Types of learning.  Learning by reading versus learning by doing.  ---  3/15/2007

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Views on learning.  (1) I want to learn, in and of itself.  (2) I want the "A+".  (3) I don't want to learn or get the "A".  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Ways of learning  (1) Textbooks.  (2) Encyclopedias.  (3) Quote books.  (4) Bookstore books.  ---  04/30/1993

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  What is learning?  (1) Learning defined as acquiring a habit of mind or action.  (2) Learning defined as thinking.  Thinking defined as creating new thoughts.  Figuring out.  (3) Learning defined as absorbing information, either critically or uncritically.  Finding out.  ---  12/6/2005

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  What is learning?  (1) Learning defined as adaptation.  Humans adapt to their environment.  Humans adapt their environment to themselves.  (2) Learning defined as information processing.  Humans are information processing beings.  All animals are information processors.  Learning as gathering information about one's environment.  (3) Learning defined as problem solving to satisfy needs.  (4) One view is that humans are always learning.  Humans are naturally curious.  We learn more outside of school than inside school.  ---  1/2/2005

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  What is learning?  Forming a new idea in mind (concept or concept relationship).  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  What is learning?  The acquisition of knowledge.  The acquisition of skills, mental skills and physical skills.  ---  11/20/2004

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  What know, and what don't know.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  What to learn: subjects, views, arguments, evidences.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  What to learn?  (1) What to memorize from: data, notes, and why?  (2) What should average individual, or above average individual have memorized, and understand?  (3) Big questions: what books to read, in what order, and why.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  What to learn?  Big questions.  (1) How much to learn about what by (A) Find out by experience: to self vs. seeing others.  (B) Find out by: books, people.  (C) Figure out by thinking on it.  (2) How much time to spend thinking, learning, and studying.  (3) How much time to spend goofing off, working, anything.  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  What to learn?  Given current brain state, brain capacity, and brain ability to learn, then what should you learn next and why?  And at what point will the rate you learn (put in) be less than, equal to, or exceed the rate you forget (put out).  ---  12/30/1992

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  Why do people stop thinking?  Because to think is to learn.  Why do people stop learning?  Because to learn is to be a student.  And to be a student is to admit to a type of subservience.  Many people think that being an adult means being all powerful.  And to them this means not learning and thus not thinking.  ---  3/16/2000

Psychology, thinking, learning.  ---  You are always learning, and you are always teaching.  ---  12/30/1992

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.