Learning

The Cop just woke up after post-night shift slumbers. I am typing in the kitchen — using a recently downloaded version of SuperMemo — a learning/memory flashcard (and more!) interface that is just made-to-order for instructional designers. It’s a weirdo program, for sure: I believe it was originally designed for Eastern Europeans to learn English, and then it got mixed up, conceptually, with incremental reading — and basically it seems to be a strange product from a strange programmer. Who, apparently, is solving my short-term memory problem. No, not by designing an app that aids me — nah, he’s got bigger plans than that:

Given the chance to observe our behaviors, computers can run simulations, modeling different versions of our path through the world. By tuning these models for top performance, computers will give us rules to live by. They will be able to tell us when to wake, sleep, learn, and exercise; they will cue us to remember what we’ve read, help us track whom we’ve met, and remind us of our goals. Computers, in Wozniak’s scheme, will increase our intellectual capacity and enhance our rational self-control.

For now, though, I just want to review my past learnings. Which is how I came to find myself typing information (structured as relevant multiple choice questions — a skillset common to instructional designers — yay! a free pass on the SuperMemo learning curve!) at the kitchen table: I am reading tons of material for the upcoming conference session about what seems like everything. Nah, not really everything, but a lot of things I feel kinda shaky discussing off-the-cuff in a question-and-answer format with 250 conference participants.

The whole study of predictions related to the future of work started back in May of last year. Lots of fundamental reading. Since the board meeting, where I delivered the report on the original study, I’ve been RSSing myself to death (just for fun!) with all kinds of associated material from a bazillion sources. I like the way it feels when my head is spinning and associative, but it might be a liability when I’m supposed to seem clear-headed (just for 3 hours, so it ought to be do-able, right?).

Hence I decided, in preparation for the session, to “get back to the basics.” Study some of the original texts, remember the original structure of the information, before I blew it up with my not-even-remotely-academically-responsible flights of associative conceptual fancy. Thus, SuperMemo and stuff like, “Q: According to the Rand monograph, what three major trends will shape the future of work in this century? A: Workforce demographics, technology, and economic globalization.”

***

Led practice this morning. Adjusted, easily and without internal fanfare, in kapotasana. It’s been 8 months since VBG adjusted me into kapotasana. It used to be scary and hard to breathe and physically stressful. As in kind of terrifying. This morning, after my months of self-practice, the British Director asked if I wanted her to “spot me.” Sure. I was curious. Turns out, the practice has had an effect. Physically, and, importantly, mentally.

Curiosity instead of dread.

Need to make a flashcard to remember that.

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