[ExI] my view of education

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 15 00:40:12 UTC 2018

On Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 6:21 PM Dan TheBookMan <danust2012 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Dec 14, 2018, at 2:30 PM, William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> dan wrote
> “I’d like to see evidence showing there because there’s much evidence to
> show people don’t generalize well. Maybe I’ve misread the work on this, but
> it seems like most people don’t go from example to example well — unless
> primed and prompted.”
> It varies a lot, mostly with IQ.  I have seen studies where mentally
> retarded Ss and normals work the same tasks and then are switched to a
> generalization task.  Most of the normals used the skills they learned on
> the previous task, but the MRs did not until prompted.  But I really am not
> aware of most research on this subject.
> The work I’ve seen shows average students not generalizing if not promoted
> or directed* in many cases — enough to undermine the argument that average
> people, say, being taught history will then go on and generalize to current
> policies or events.
> Now if students with IQ positively correlated with generalization, then
> it’s likely it’s not that the student is learning to generalize so much as
> they already are good generalizers... In other words, it’s at least
> possible that had they not been schooled that they might be as good or as
> bad at generalization.
>   I will generalize:  I think that if people did not generalize fairly
> readily the species would not have lasted nearly this.  Few things in the
> world present themselves as identical to what was experienced before.
> Given the data, I think it’s wrong to think every last human is great at
> generalization. Here you are setting up a straw man and knocking him
> down.  I would never make such a statement about any human characteristic.  Instead,
> a better theory here might be there’s a bell curve but since humans do seem
> really good at imitation that all that’s necessary for a social species to
> survive is a few outliers perform successful generalizations that imitators
> can then follow. Or failing that that those worse at generalizing (who
> might still not be terrrible overall) can specialize in areas that don’t
> require heavy generalization.
> And in fact most work doesn’t require much generalization. One can stick
> in a very narrow domain — hunting large game, fishing, growing wheat,
> fixing truck engines, coding apps on mobile phones — and not have to worry
> about other domains or about generalized knowledge overall. Your argument
> would work What argument is that? if humans were asocial or operated only
> in tiny groups yet still needed to generalize. (In fact, the smaller the
> human group, generally, the fewer skill sets overall can be maintained to
> any degree. A really tiny society tends to lose the skill sets because it
> can no longer retain the knowledge base, including tacit knowledge. I’m
> thinking here especially of preliterate societies.)
> Regards,
> Dan
>    Sample my Kindle books at:
> http://author.to/DanUst
> * If they’re promoted or directed then it’s not really raw generalization
> happening, but following instructions. No - they are not told what to do,
> but prompted to remember doing some other task. And most of the evidence
> with education seems to show students learning to get the grade or diploma,
> then promptly forgetting what they learned — that is, not generalizing.Forgetting
> something and generalizing something are different things. There are
> exceptions, but the exceptions are usually people who go into academia,
> which is a tiny minority of students.
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