Monday, April 28, 2008

Rigmarole causing mayhem

One of the great problems of the current subject we are talking about lately is the vague terminology I use. It possibly causes some people to think that what I'm saying is way over their head. I don't think that should be the case though since the subject itself is straightforward enough and everybody knows it from his own experience and is hence entitled to have an opinion about the subject. Sorry if you get confused by my terminology but I don't know better terms.

I remember well the first times I encountered the word "mayhem". I didn't know what the word meant and I looked it up in the dictionary. Within a few months I encountered the word several times, and everytime I had to look it up. Right now, after 7 times or so, I know what the word mayhem means. Immediately when I hear it. I can use it in a sentence without noticing it.

In my terminology the following has happened:
  • Within only 7 repetitions I managed to create the lifetime lasting habit of translating the term mayhem into mayhem. Since we don't have a dutch word that quite covers it. But I know now what the word means.
  • Or: I have developed the motorskill to translate the word mayhem.
  • Or: I have stored the word mayhem into my procedural memory and if the input is now "mayhem" the output is a sense of the meaning of the word.
All 3 descriptions mean the the same to me, none of them is clear nor scientificly correct nor exact. Yet I know no other way to describe it. The only thing I can hope for is that you recognize it from your own experience and understand what I'm trying to say.
(rigmarole was used by Soapstone and I know I have looked it up before but I forgot what it meant)

The procedural memory works unconscious and seems to be filled by imitation. The conscious knowlegde we are talking about relates input to output.
  • Input: two targets
  • Output: a knightfork
The implicit procedural memory imitates the explicit thought. That's miraculous!

The power of imitation can be applied in other ways too. The procedural memory is the ultimate apprentice who imitates the master. That's how playing through mastergames can help.

There is only one condition: the apprentice must be active and alert. If he isn't, the knowledge stays knowledge only. The person becomes a scholar. Who knows what should be done but is impotent to do it.

1 comment:

  1. Take 7 and make it 70, and make it in important contexts where you actually care about the word, and make it production rather than just comprehension (comprehension is something the scholar does), and I might buy it.

    No way 7 times forms a habit.