My daily readings 09/27/2012

  • tags: programming learning education

      • Here’s a trick question: How do we get people to understand programming?

          

        Khan Academy recently launched an online environment for learning to program. It offers a set of tutorials based on the JavaScript and Processing languages, and features a “live coding” environment, where the program’s output updates as the programmer types.

          

        Because my work was cited as an inspiration for the Khan system, I felt I should respond with two thoughts about learning:

          

        • Programming is a way of thinking, not a rote skill. Learning about “for” loops is not learning to program, any more than learning about pencils is learning to draw.
        • People understand what they can see. If a programmer cannot see what a program is doing, she can’t understand it.
  • tags: Thinking

    • I have been having this problem since childhood. I came to know that i have ADHD not by a doctor but by reading the book “driven to distractions”. I have always had problem understanding the things in one shot no matter how simple are they especially when they involve numbers.
      I cannot read faster and I miserad the words even though i am reading it slowly. I cannot speak fast and sometimes I am short of words or use wrong words because i dont recall what word to use for that thing.

      I tried medication but that didnt work for me as was having side effects. My wife no more wants me to try medication. I am not too anxious and can manage my day and appointments without problem. Its just that I have problem understanding things and this is causing a problem at work. I am the last go to person in my team in case of problem. I try to do meditation in the morning but unable to keep it up.
      I would like to overcome these problems (think clearly and read faster). I am taking some herbal medication for memory and calmness and some diet suppliements.
      Any tips for overcoming my problem would be greatly appreciated.

  • tags: Education intelligence children

    • The danger here is that you can only talk conclusively about what you can measure, and imagination, which seems to me the most important component of genius, is intrinsically hard to measure. If g is in practice dominated by another quality i that no one can measure, then whatever we say about g is beside the point.

    • I think the bigger danger is perpetuating the typical American cultural belief that people are with smart or stupid. Contrast actual American achievement with eastern cultures where they consider intelligence to be more of a skill that can be refined through practice.

      The author is rebutting feel-good pop psychology, which I suppose needs to be done for balance, but you can’t argue with the achievement gap, and there are solid studies showing that praising kids for “working hard” leads to better achievement than praising them for “being smart.”

    • Oh, I completely agree. And not just that it’s good to act as if effort were what mattered. I think both imagination and intelligence can be learned.
      • How to learn intelligence? How to learn imagination?
    • I agree that some forms of intelligence must be able to be learned, in the sense that it may involve employing the right algorithm (NlogN rather than N^N). There must be a software component involved that can be updated and accelerated through experience. In fact, that seems to be what experience is.
    • eastern cultures where they consider intelligence to be more of a skill that can be refined through practice

      Which cultures are you referring to? I’m Chinese-American, and the impression I got from my parents is that they believe everything is genetically determined.

    • Alan Kay’s version is punchier: “Point of view is worth 80 IQ points.” (Wikiquote says this is from “talk at Creative Think seminar, 20 July 1982” and links to Andy Hertzfeld’s notes at http://folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story… for evidence.)
    • Sweat. Sweat is worth 80 IQ points. Hard, disciplined labor.

      Yeah, maybe the guy with the big swinging “g.” has it easier. Mommy & daddy gave him his 80 free extra IQ points.

      My extra 80 points came from severe intellectual self-flagellation. So I think big swinging “g.” is a wimp, because he never made anything of himself.

      —–

    • Sweat is worth a lot more than that. It’s not additive; it’s multiplicative.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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