saaky001: October 2011 Archives

Chunking

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One of the most interesting concepts of memory that I remember learning about is chunking. It applies directly to short-term memory, which is where we store a majority of our information we acquire for 3-15 seconds.

Hypothetically let's assume a teacher assigns you to memorize the first and last names of 5 presidents. Abraham Lincoln, Chester Arthur, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Richard Nixon. The initials of their first and last names are ALCABOBCRN. If you were to try and remember the 10 letters of both their first and last names in random order, you would most likely fail at putting that information into your extended short term memory. On the other hand, using chunking would help ingrain that information into your extended short term memory and even better, help you pass the task that your teacher has assigned. My best example of chunking this data would be CAR-NBC-BOAL. Chester Arthur, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Abraham Lincoln.

This is a great example of using a memory concept to help train your brain to remember information. Anyone can memorize tons of information if they just put meaning behind it. My favorite example to date is Rajan Mahadevan who memorized the first 31,811 digits of pi by using chunking and linking all the numbers with important historical numbers and dates.

Keep your windows closed

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In the "Hurricane Mutiny" article on snopes.com, it is stated that leaving a few windows either slightly open or completely open helps reduce pressure buildup in your home therefore helping to ensure that your home doesn't get damaged during a hurricane.

What the author failed to realize is the principle of Occam's Razor. The simplest explanation is not that opening windows will help reduce pressure, but rather that opening windows will create excess pressure. Once air flow enters the house, it will want to find a passage to escape, therefore basically creating a tunnel to your roof so that it can fly away in airplane like fashion. Basically wherever the house's weak point is, the wind pressure will attempt to force its way in. So the simplest explanation is to keep all windows tightly shut and not allow any airflow.

The article also continues to emphasize that it was proven that the houses that seemed to be "blown apart," occurred from strong pressure build up in the house causing firstly the roof to fly off, and secondly the walls to therefore fall outward. To our surprise, this was once again caused by windows being open and not huge explosions from within the houses.

http://www.snopes.com/science/hurricane.asp is the URL of the article.

We live in a day and age of technology. We constantly use our cellphones, laptops, etc. Is being linked like we all are today a good thing or a bad thing? Neuroscientists say that it's a good change but we are acting oblivious to the harms that it is causing according to this news article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-565207/Modern-technology-changing-way-brains-work-says-neuroscientist.html.

Picture yourself living three decades ago. There were no cellphones, laptops, or lightning fast communication speeds. People survived just fine if not better than we do today. I see people addicted to their PCD's (personal communication devices). These people could not go one day without the conveniences they are accustomed to.

But what do we lose by relying too heavily on technology? We lose the skills that we are supposed to gain through interpersonal communication. Therefore social skills have been on the decline since then. This affect business relations, relationships and friendships. We rely more on what a message body contains than expressions in conversation through words.

Technology is beneficial to society because we lose less time transferring information, finding information and interpreting information. We are living in an age where we are swamped with distractions. We lose sight of what's important such as world issues and instead focus our interests and attention on video games, television shows, and other trivial pursuits.

It would help if people were not always connected to information or if people would reorganize their priorities. I believe technology can better us as a society, but only if we use it properly and do not allow it to become a major distraction.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by saaky001 in October 2011.

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