Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Evolution of Education and Intelligence

It’s a shame to see such wise people, who know so much, about so little. (PhDs)
Before there were mechanical computers, the term was applied to people. Yes, some people were referred to as computers. These were the men and women who wrote the algorithms and long numerical tables before digital computers did all that. So, we can draw a link from these old school people computers and our specialists of today. The latter are so intelligent, yet their range of it is limited. This farsightedness is partially to blame for our ever increasing destructive ecological impact on the earth. For example, when an economist is told to decide how to decrease a companies costs, his choice, whatever it may be, only sees as far as the repercussions in fiat currency. To conceive other view points is out of the question (“I’m not a ecologist/biologist.”) He is blocked from the bigger picture.
The idea could be for multiple specialists to work together on a problem. But individual limited range is still an issue. In nature, a specialists species is less likely to survive then a generalists one. The same is true on our level. A group of generalists, who all can multilateral think, can accomplish more then a group of single track minded specialists.
Many argue that it is impossible for one to know such a broad range of topics. And maybe that is true if we say it is deep as well as broad. What specialists know now is narrow deep knowledge. A generalists would know broad shallow knowledge. But one many ask: how could shallow knowledge be good knowledge? At the least its deep and narrow which means we get a good understanding/grip of it. Yea that is true, deep means good understanding. But just like the computers replaced people with deep mathematical skill and knowledge, computers again will attain this deep knowledge of everything we can record. Freeing us from the daunting task of memorizing deep knowledge, and giving us the power to apply it quicker and progress faster.
It’s a false to think that many children have low potential for learning. Their minds are sponges that just need to absorb. Our problem is that we have been teaching from an inherited outdated system. We need to revolutionize our school system and model it according to the knowledge we gather on how the brain works. This along with the increasing capacity of computer to store information, humans could have not only broad knowledge, but ever increasing depth as well. Our culture is dumb down, we ignore old wisdom and glamorize youth with its naïve stupid arrogance.