Theories in motivation and learning

One theory is that there is this period of development where a child wants to take things apart and see how they work. If they are aloud to do this and taught about the things they take apart, their interest in those things will grow, but if they are not aloud to take them apart or if they can’t figure out anything about it afterwards the interest may fade. Just an idea. In addition to this is my idea that that interest doesn’t go away completely but remains as dormant interest that can only be rekindled in the proper environment where things can be taken apart and understood.

Notice schools mostly don’t work this way. For the most part school relies on teaching kids about individual components and only at the very end do they learn how things come together in maybe on or two applications. This is the reverse from a childhood motivation which is to seem many completed devices and wanting to work their way down to see how they work.

This leads me to my next idea. That maybe I could create a learning environment for myself based on things that are whole, completed things, that I then take apart.

Beyond this is the idea that it doesn’t necessarily have to be like, a whole computer, just the basic functioning component. What I mean is, if you hand me a capacitor I wont be intrigued. Sure you could hand me a whole computer, but really if you just handed me the smallest application of the capacitor and let me look at that whole thing, I would also be intrigued. By application I mean something where I see a visible or audible effect. Something that has an effect on my physical world.

So this is another theory I want to think about. Are we more intrigued by things we can actually see, hear, touch, and even more so by things that we can see having a mechanical/automated effect on the environment. If this were true it would mean the difference between learning computer programming by just writing code for a long time vs purposely compiling and running that code every minute just to get that hit of dopamine when you see your program have an effect on the screen.

You know how people say, ” I loved programming from the first time I got the computer to print words out to the screen.”, ya? So this must be a pretty important idea. Maybe critical to the enjoyment of learning programming. Being able to see often, the results of your work. This could be hard in some cases when you have a lot of errors etc, but  guess the whole point would be to create a system of learning that keeps errors to a minimum, but also if possible is not predictable in what comes to the screen.

I notice a strong paralell between this and learning a language where learning just hanzi in chinese has become actually painful, and I would much rather learn sentences which are actually functional.

I’m already in school for psychology, I might as well see if it’s possible to create the kind of system that makes learning anything fun.

Are you the type who likes someone to teach you how to play a game first, or do you like to learn as you go along? I feel most people would rather get right into the fun of the game. To me that is the difference between learning about components and learning about simple applications.

In fact, even a capacitor is more fun if you hook it up to a dmm and see how current reacts to it etc. But a small application hooked up to that dmm would be more interesting.

Are you fidgeting? Wait! What exactly are you doing? It could be your highest form of self expression!

So I was on reddit originally just checking out another redditors blogging experience post. I was lead to the small business and entrepreneur subreddits. Through thee I learned of a start-up called star stuff and the way the guy talked about how it raised over $35,000 in start up funds from kick starter and all the cool strategic ideas he thought about during the process, and  everyone commenting said they loved the product, it was inspiring. It inspired me to look at my financial goals a different way kind of. Like if I focused on making a product that many people, including me , loved, not necessarily that filled a need, but that they just loved, then it would be best I think. So I realized that brands are also like metaphors in that they represent a persons or peoples vision and their love for what they do and it represents the societies love for that product in that the product was supported. This is why a good brand can make a person release the hormone oxytocin in levels similar to what would be released when thinking about their child.

So what could I do to create such a brand. Also I wondered if I was traveling in the right direction as I was becoming more obsessed about making money. However the strategy involved in setting up such a business sounded like fun, just what product? A physical one might be best as it seems to generate more oxytocin which may be  philosophically a good thing, iunno. I like magic the gathering cards, the physical cards, and I know they are called cardboard crack fr a reason. what product would be right for me though.

So I went to bed but couldn’t sleep. So I thought more and the following in sequences is a god idea of my thought process.

Steve jobs with apple, focused on aesthetics and efficiency. Actually aesthetics is part of efficiency(see previous post)
Jobs the entp?
How about that n64 controller, that was something. the shape was so nice
what other shapes do I like
I often when just fiddling, find myself rearanging things to be ordered geometrically

I take pictures and focus on making things have some sort of order there too
My body, I work out to make my body more aesthetic
When I was in college designing a prinited circuit board I went into flow state
When I draw based on somethin already drawn, I go into flow state
When I was trying web design I went into flow state
The shape of women
The shapes of tae kwon do moves, the angles
The shapes I make when doing weird improve fight dances by my self
When fidgeting I am often really making geometric order out of random objects
I scored very well on a test of spacial intellegence
I like architecture, and chinese writing

So I think I just realized something about myself. I mean, yes I consider myself artistic, but I don’t often feel the urge to create something artsy in that it is expresses some facet of my imagination, or at least that isn’t usually the major role.
What I do have is almost an obsessive bubbling beneath the surface, drive for expressing myself geometrically.
I’m thinking maybe most people don’t try to highlight files on their desktop in such a way that the lines of the highlighting web are flush with the edges of the files facing outward. I guess if you don’t underrstand what I just described then probably no you don’t do this. I do this, it actually feels good when I do it, like it’s satisfying to me. I never paid any attention to that fact until now.

The thing is, I have always felt that this form of creativity was too easy to be valuable. When I designed my first printed circuit board, I was in a trance and the teacher pointed me out and everyone saw what I was doing and they were like “wow”. I was like, why is this cool, it’s so easy. You guys are on average doing better than me in most classes. The teacher even said if you like this their are jobs in this, but I was thinking I don’t want to be stuck doing just this when anyone could do it.

Now I realized, well I don’t think anyone could do that. Also I realize that it must be extremely important if if makes people happy to just look at it. It makes me happy as well. It’s an expression of love from me, and not in the way that it will make me happy when I’m done and it doesn’t have to be perfect just has to show the idea to others. No, with this it’s almost a compulsion and it does have to be perfect(meaning high efficiency, meaning love) and I go into flow state when I do it. Now that I realize this I realize this isn’t art I am after, it is design in that it is visual efficiency. So now that I realize this, my test might be to see how far this facet of myself can carry me. Will it be just another thing I do once in a blue moon, or will it be something I can do all the time in some form and if so, what form?

3d graphics modeling
web design
architecture
3d printing
PCB design
wood working
Sculpture

Btw I am also good with color, like for web design, color is good.
Iunno, should I just make some cool designed shirts like that other guy? Or should I run with this concept and try all the things that feed that drive.

I feel like geometry is an entp thing actually, and leonardo davinci was pretty huge on it. I wonder if my expressions of geometry will hold some latent truths about reality. That would be the best case scenario and would increase my believe that humans are naturally moving towards finding the things they have a drive to do and that it is evolution.

So I feel like maybe everyone has something like this that could be valuable but maybe they are not doing it because they don’t see the value in it. Not something where they like the idea of it, but something they just do out of compulsion almost. I felt the same way about drums also. It just seems so easy to me, and my music teacher told me I should give it a go but I said why would I do that, piano is more challenging and therefore it must be better. Ha! I don’t think that way anymore, especially when the world is ruled by people who have found things that are valuable to society and that they are the best at (meaning things that are easy for them, and not for most people)

I just realized, even when I eat, like I just had a piece of bread, and I eat it so that it always stays a square, because it just feels good to do so.

Web development the fun way? Hacking vs build from scratch?

I was beginning to wonder if I’d have anything to write about for today. I’d be ok with it if I didn’t, I mean, I don’t want to force it.

Introduction: How can I like learning web development?

So I have been thinking a lot about the state of the economy and how many of the jobs are in the science and technology field and how I and I guess others as well, don’t really see any interest in it. However, we want good jobs…so well for me today I was thinking, is there a way I can learn web development and not feel like shit the whole time. If there was a way I could make learning web dev as fun as going to my customer service job at least, I’d be able to learn it and get a better job. So I thought about what  about it makes me gag. Then what I could do to change that, and lastly and most recently realized another way of looking at the whole learning experience that could make it feel extremely empowering so that I would possibly gain a interest in it.

1) What makes me gag?

The fact that I’d be learning it on my own in my room by myself.

The fact that I’m not really curious about every little detail that I would have to learn because it’s really not that complicated at all.

The fact that it would be hours of each day going towards just a job, nothing meaningful.

2) How to fix

Music: When I would program with music I could go way longer. Music is almost like a social force. It’s like someone else putting emotions in to you.

Social: Maybe find meet ups or take a course, but I feel like I’m to proud to chose school just so I can be with people. I just feel like there should be a way for me to make this work.

Social: Work on projects that are social, like web dev of a forum or survey or something where you can show other people and they can participate. Also humor web sites like “isittuesday.com”

Time on task: I realized I don’t spend hours on this blog, if I did I probably would burn out. I do an hour, maybe more if I get an idea. Same with working out, and I’ve been pretty consistent all year with the gym although it is a gym at school around people.

Time on task: I could try doing only 20 min a day, or just doing one small thing to build a website every day. I could focus on learning using tutorials instead of trying to do everything by trial and error where I would have to focus time on solving bugs.

Time on task: With gym and with writing I have no end goal so I never really obsess over finishing. This keeps the pressure off. Maybe I could do that with programming as well.

3) Big picture learning

I think certain types like entp, are more big picture types so we learn better when we can see the whole picture. However, how programming and much of science is taught is details first, which is very boring for me.

Also I find that assuming I have to learn how to make a website from the ground up is actually extremely dis-empowering. I think it’s a function of a different set of values and different philosophy of education. The worst is constructivist learning but I wont get into that, and it probably has it’s place anyway, just maybe not for people who need a job to survive. However, if someone said, make me a website by tomorrow or you die, how would you do it. I get the feeling most teachers would say, well yo better learn fast and type as you go. The best thing to do though, is get a copy of a website close to whatever one you need to make, and go from there. At least for me anyways, it’s far better than learning from scratch. In fact, if I want to get a job doing web dev, I would rather learn what I need from a template web site and change as needed, than start from scratch each time. Also, as far as feeling empowered from technology, I am far more empowered knowing that I can get and use and alter things other people have made, than thinking I will have to rebuild everything from scratch. It’s just so much more efficient, and for me a key thing is that I am getting the most value from the least work. Even when I’m at work.

So if I wanted to get into any kind of tech field, I think I would focus on hacking in that field instead of any inventing. Also hacking is cool, most people think hacking is cool. It’s so powerful. You can learn all about a system in the same time it would take for you to be able to code from scratch, a little part of it, so which is more valuable. For me it’s the one that holds my interest, knowing the system, especially with the philosophy that knowing the system is value to me and therefore to others, even if I can’t create it fro scratch, because I can use it to do other things. I can hack it.

Thank-you for reading. Feel free to like, comment, subscribe. More to come!

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