Monday, May 05, 2008

It's the Paradigm, Stupid

Bill Clinton got elected on the four words, "It's the economy, stupid."

Mr. Brooks, a New York Times Op-ed writer now suggests, "It's the Cognitive Paradigm, Hillary." Brooks points out that rather than blame economic upheaval on free-trade and out-sourcing, Americans should accept that we are on the cusp of the Cognitive Age and get on with learning new cognitive skills.

Meanwhile, Wired Magazine highlights a story on the creator of a software application that may just provide part of the solution to acquiring such cognitive skills. Unfortunately, the journalist's "story" gets in the way of the reader's prime need -access to usable information. Apparently Supermemo can help disciplined students develop skills in absorbing, recalling and combining information. It assists with the building of an enduring second-language vocabulary, as well as improves retrieval of previously absorbed info in fast-evolving technical fields. Forgetting is easy, but recalling words, definitions and formulas takes solitary effort in interval practicing.

A more dynamic skill for absorbing concepts and tackling complex problems is "mind-mapping." To wrap your mind around this thinking tool, read article in New York Times and a Wikipedia entry.