[ExI] chain rule

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sun May 22 08:25:09 UTC 2016

On 22 May 2016 at 02:06, spike  wrote:
> We have long thought of education as a ticket into an office somewhere, the
> starting point of a career.  Seldom are these tickets issued to those
> younger than about 21 or 22.
> OK what if we can now go around all those traditional roadblocks which
> slowed the racehorses and kept them back with the herd?
> Bill w this is your field.  What happens when a generation is suddenly set
> free and we find what plenty of us suspected for a long time, that it does
> not take 16 years to master that curriculum you patiently outlined.  It
> doesn't take leaving home, going deeply into debt, doesn't require joining a
> frat, going to sports events, doesn't really require any of the traditional
> clutter in and around the usual four year college.
> Did we suddenly introduce a really good alternate path to success, one I
> have perceived as missing for a long time and needed for even longer?

Sorry, Spike, but you will run into physical growth limits. The
teenage brain is still a work in progress. The human brain goes
through big physical changes up until the early 20s age. Why do you
think teens act so crazy?  :)

A search will find a lot of documentation.
An understanding of how the brain of an adolescent is changing may
help explain a puzzling contradiction of adolescence: young people at
this age are close to a lifelong peak of physical health, strength,
and mental capacity, and yet, for some, this can be a hazardous age.
Mortality rates jump between early and late adolescence. Rates of
death by injury between ages 15 to 19 are about six times that of the
rate between ages 10 and 14. Crime rates are highest among young males
and rates of alcohol abuse are high relative to other ages. Even
though most adolescents come through this transitional age well, it’s
important to understand the risk factors for behavior that can have
serious consequences. Genes, childhood experience, and the environment
in which a young person reaches adolescence all shape behavior. Adding
to this complex picture, research is revealing how all these factors
act in the context of a brain that is changing, with its own impact on

The assumption for many years had been that the volume of gray matter
was highest in very early childhood, and gradually fell as a child
grew. The more recent scans, however, revealed that the high point of
the volume of gray matter occurs during early adolescence.

While the details behind the changes in volume on scans are not
completely clear, the results push the timeline of brain maturation
into adolescence and young adulthood. In terms of the volume of gray
matter seen in brain images, the brain does not begin to resemble that
of an adult until the early 20s.

The scans also suggest that different parts of the cortex mature at
different rates. Areas involved in more basic functions mature first:
those involved, for example, in the processing of information from the
senses, and in controlling movement. The parts of the brain
responsible for more "top-down" control, controlling impulses, and
planning ahead—the hallmarks of adult behavior—are among the last to

So for the teenage years 14-19ish, you will find education becomes a
very different experience.  :)
Note: classic English understatement!


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