Friday, July 3, 2015


The learning curve is an interesting depiction the rate we learn things, for example, gaining experience or new skills. It is a bit strange because we intuitively divide what we refer to into subjects. Sometimes the division is quite specific at other times it is general. For example, how we learn to be a carpenter versus learning something as general as humanization. The learning curve depicts an exponential process starting with something simple, which is difficult to learn and ending with something complicated to understand that takes no effort to learn, almost as if learning that subject were intuitive. Wikipedia uses the phrase, "the latest software packages have a steep learning curve" when dealing with what seems a perfect example of the learning curve. It wasn’t that long ago that the expression “software package” did not have the meaning it has today. As an old person, I struggled to learn both the hardware and the software associated with a computer; it was a new and mysterious world for me. My grandchildren do not understand the problem; for me, it was similar to the introduced of radio and TV to my father’s generation. I read Stephen Pinker’s book, The Better Angles of Our Nature (2011) with the learning curve in mind. Humankind is learning that the bestial approach to solving problems is just that, a bestial approach. Dr. Pinker, a cognitive scientist, documents a fluctuating but steady decrease in human violence over a period of hundreds of years. I found it interesting. It is just not inhumanity toward man, but our treatment of animals as well. It shakes out as an overall increase or accelerated increase in our benevolence, which to me is humanization. This humanization historically started with the very first inkling of humanity with the care of our newborn, which we share with most animals; thus, we cannot categorize under the heading of humanization. The human infant has an extended period of parental dependence, which we can extend to caring for the infirm and elderly. Thus, we can categorized child care as the beginning steps of our humanization. It should not surprise anyone familiar with this blog site, which I would extend the concept to politics. Humans base bestial social structure on the idea of empathy (progressive) versus the idea of greed (conservative) framed against a universal an innate background referred to as hierarchy dominance or pecking order. Cognitive linguist George Lakoff explains in his book, Moral Politics (1996) how this complicated bit of political philosophy all fits into everyday living and even family life. Chris Matthews, one of the more astute talking heads on TV, at one time, said if it is political the progressives will eventually win. I found this to be edifying. The whole exercise smacks of exponential learning. Our humanization is a way of saying we are steadily moving away from bestiality and is has become innate. Human inspired violence is declining at an exponential rate. The problem is that it can turn ugly. The conservative fear is the same as it is toward social security; eventually there will be no one doing the necessary work even though the amount of essential work is becoming less and less. This morning there was a post headlined on Facebook surrounded by an air of panic, “Robot kills worker”. There was only one comment about this post that was rational. The comment said it was not intentional but was an accident. Nevertheless, this post should cause us some concern. URL: Comments Invited and not moderated

No comments:

Post a Comment