16 July 2009

Down the River

Today, I read an interesting article regarding the affect of technology on humans ability to critically think. It was an interesting read. No conclusions were drawn in the article about the positive or negative affects, but there were some things that got me thinking about myself, and my approach to doing things and how I have gotten by over the years in this world.

The Article
You can read my notes about this article on my wiki. The jest of the article related to how humans have the ability to think out side of the box, and that we cherish it. The article goes into some information regarding how the reading of literature over the years has declined and the explosion of visual media. There is also some discussion related to the act of reading and building an imagination, increasing thinking, and building vocabulary. Also, the explosion of visual media has lead to decline in the reflection and analysis of the content. The end of the article ends with this quote:
"With out CT, we create trivia. We dismantle scientific models and replace them with trendy or wishful ones that are neither transferable or testable."

Staying a Float
As everyone knows, when you are working on your education the material that you learned yesterday is needed today. Today's material will be need tomorrow. Now if you take that idea and stretch it over many different classes, over many different years, you get a cohesive education. As my education has progressed, I have noticed that in previous classes I was just staying a float, and not really absorbing the material in the manner that I needed to use it down the line for future classes and activities. Now, 4 years into college and it is starting to come back to bit me in very subtle ways. It has also become harder to stay float at this point. I have also noticed that I have started to lose my ability to solve problems in an easy effective manner.

Some of this I can contribute to the topic that is discussed in the article mentioned above. Technology and critical thinking. Upon further pondering of this topic manner, I have come to the conclusion that it does affect the critical thinking skills of people. It can affect people in different ways. Some people it as increased their ability to critically think. If you take for example the people behind the development of new technologies that we use on a day to day basis. But there is also there is also technologies that haven't helped with the increase of critical thinking skills. For example, there is a wealth of information online that has enabled people to just pull up the answer with out having to think about it.

Some might argue that because the Internet contains so much information, that people can use it to solve the simple tasks of life, and then move on to bigger and better things. But the question that I pose to those people is are you able to complete the simple tasks? I feel that if you aren't able to complete the simple tasks, then you really shouldn't be moving on to larger tasks.

Things to fix
Given all of this, I have pondered several area that I can work on to hopefully increase my ability to complete tasks, along with hopefully work on my critical thinking skills.

  • Doing one thing at a time - While multitasking can be good, it does provide for a certain lack of depth when working on something. It can probably be said that when you are working a series of small simple tasks, multitasking can probably help with the management of the task. But when a larger task comes a long, need to set a side time to work on them.

  • Reading - Something that I have never really been good at is the whole reading thing. It has always seemed like, while not pointless or meaningless, I could be doing something more exciting with my time. Something that would see more productive. I'm a slow reader. I will admit it. But something that I need to work on it actually reading. Besides that attempt to read for fun, there will also be a collection of papers that I'm going to read and keep notes on using the wiki.

These are things that I hope will help me to "catch" up over time, and become better in my field if any thing. Does any one have a good discreet math book for dummies book that I may barrow?

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