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How we learn.

March 23, 2011

As children we first learn the rudiments of the physical world and language, followed by the installation of our ethical and moral codes.  This might seem obvious but there appears to be a catch.

One of the things that is not installed in the average human child is the concept of attempting to anticipate the actions of others.

Said actions of others are, for the most part, difficult to accurately plan for if the possible paths and  outcomes are not constrained.  Too many possibilities equal chaos theory.  I suspect that children who grow to be chess players and business magnates have a combination of ruthlessness and anticipatory skill embedded, which in turn channels them along certain academic and recreational paths until they reach maturity.

My point (as much as I ever have one) is:  Whilst setting up moral and ethical precepts for future generations, why do we fail in the “tell them to try planning for the actions of others” department.  There is no real need for the anticipatory facility to come into conflict with the ethical facility.  Planning without guilt while remaining within our moral code.

Maybe that’s not such a bad concept.  Aesop gives us moral codes in bite-sized form as children and his impact on the Greek philosophers is evident, but we must also bear in mind that life’s lessons do not come in single chunks, a solid single point at the end.  The end of the lesson is contingent on the many factors in play.

Don’t limit yourself – anticipate a little.

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