Only a tiny bit of newness

Frequently bumping into "walls" in efforts to get people going on what I believe are important projects for mankind, a thought keeps coming up. Something like, "people can cope with only a tiny bit of newness at any given time; all else is rote."

It has been a very long time since I encountered someone else's idea that really got me to be hungrily pouring through everything the person described about their concept. And things that are not of that category, I can cope with only a small bit of new data, fitting it into my ongoing world picture.

I too have that same problem that I "accuse" other people of having when I can't get them to comprehend my KESTS to GEO concept, for example. If they would even make some statement about why they think it would not work, at least I would know they heard the concept; but they don't give such "reasons" either. A few comments that they do give to me, indicate they confuse it with some pre-existing concept they already know something about; the anchored earth tether space elevator is one such thing people confuse with KESTS to GEO, shown when they say "where would you get material strong enough", which is a tether main question, but is precisely the first advantage of KESTS to GEO over the tether concept, in that instead of extreme strength of materials, it uses centrifugally expressing stored kinetic energy within itself to support its weight in the Earth's gravitational field. Such a technique has its own unique set of questions to be answered, implied in its description.

So, perhaps designing information transfer systems to provide only "tiny bits of newness", might enable maximizing data transfer such as in educational systems. (Note that electronic systems, such as computer hard disks' sectors write and verify read, and internet packets send and verify back before sending a new packet of data, already do this kind of thing.) Some feedback loop that would verify that the previous "tiny bit of newness" had been functionally integrated into the recipient's world comprehension model, then would offer another "tiny bit of newness"for assimilation.

There have long been schooling techniques like this, but don't seem to be used much. Even when I was in college mid-1950's, there were paper versions of "teaching machines" where data was presented, then a question to be answered indicating integration of the key concepts of that data, and loop repeated until the correct answer was given; then a next statement was provided, and so on.

With computer assisted techniques available to the everyday person nowadays, there may be ways to integrate this. A pair of windows on screen, one with a detailed flow of data, linked to a lateral window which does the feedback loop process to enable the reader to have fully comprehended all that is in the compact version of the data. Grinding away at it. After going the long way through the process, one could later just look at the summary detailed data version to refresh memory.

So, the "tiny bit of newness" of this blog entry might be stated as "If a person can assimilate only a tiny bit of newness at any given moment, then life needs to be designed to accomodate that."

by Jim Cline on 20060810.


Long ago and far away in the land of Blahz 2

Long ago and far away in the land of Blahz, educators had their territories, some taught language, some taught math, some taught politics, for examples. Each had their domains, and lines could not be crossed in fairness. The pursuit of knowledge was zealous, and each domain taught the best of knowledge that they could find.

And the crops of students would be produced, filled with knowledge provided them from each of the educator's domains. Students going forth to conquer the world, or at least enough of it to live abundantly. Some would team up toward some common wealth to share among themselves. One such team decided to acquire the government, using the principles so well sought out by the educators, and taught well by the educators to their students, each domain separately. Having been taught the principles of military science to conquer nations, and principles of spin and use of rumor made and spread with military strategy timing, they soon were voted in the government power, just as they had been unwittingly taught to do. A bit surprised they had actually done it, they now needed to use their incredible powers of control, to have more sport, and shift more wealth into their hands as a byproduct.

Among the rest of the population, however, there were a few people who realized what had gone wrong, that there was no Department of Wisdom among the educational domains, territories. So wisdom was not among the skills of the students. Perhaps the educators mistook sheer knowledge as being equivalent to wisdom, even knowledge strictly divided up among educational territories of reading, writing, and arithmetic, each field not knowing each other.

However, there was the big problem of the team which had taken over the country's government using the finest skills taught them. And the team realized that could happen, and did indeed like ruler-ship and the rights and privileges it endowed, and chose to never leave their high positions. So they used the skills of rumor and spin-mastering, and sent out upon the land an edict to seek out and stop the bad people, in particular some who were too smart for their own good, and beginning to wonder about the ways their leadership had found their way to the top, yet ruled without wisdom, only cunning.

So 32 million dollars was given out to the people who had been security guards, to form organizations to protect the nation from the few bad people lurking to destroy mindlessly, they were told. And a few actors demonstrated the violence, the public not knowing it was staged. A few people had been secretly labeled targets for these new internal watchdogs, and given instructions to get dirt on their quarry or put the dirt on the quarry themselves, just so it could not be traced back. And they upped the stakes from 32 million dollars to 32 billion dollars, sat back while the former security guards now masters of the grassroots, not known for thinking on their own beyond assigned tasks, got busy. Then after they had bought fine homes and committed to big payments, the word came down from on high that 32 billion had been given them, but they had done a sloppy job. No details, but the targeted people came to mind, people who they had found were not bad people at all. But a job is a job, and who are they to decide; 32 billion dollars speaks loudly, very loudly, it was enough to have built a fleet of four new Space Shuttles and operated them; but instead was given to the security guard originated folk who were now among the wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. The pressure was on.

Some of the targeted "bad" people were those who were trying to get a "Department of Wisdom" established in the educational system, to balance the expanded existing departments of reading, writing and arithmetic. They were proclaimed "bad" because they did not define "wisdom" as being the maintenance of the current rulers of the country as being the ultimate goodness. They reasoned that such an attitude completely lacked wisdom, because it clearly was not good for the health.