Friday, April 15, 2016

About Paying Attention (inspiration, process)

Something I really find interesting and inspiring:
In her TED talk, developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik, author of "The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life" talks about how babies and young children learn, about the differences between adult consciousness and young children's ways of paying attention, about the plasticity of the brain and the brilliance of the "research and development" work that children do.

"And if you actually look in their brains, you see that they're flooded with these neurotransmitters that are really good at inducing learning and plasticity, and the inhibitory parts haven't come on yet. So when we say that babies and young children are bad at paying attention, what we really mean is that they're bad at not paying attention. So they're bad at getting rid of all the interesting things that could tell them something and just looking at the thing that's important. That's the kind of attention, the kind of consciousness, that we might expect from those butterflies who are designed to learn. [...] But if what we want is to be like those butterflies, to have open-mindedness, open learning, imagination, creativity, innovation, maybe at least some of the time we should be getting the adults to start thinking more like children."

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