Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Going endlessly to nowhere

Internet review of the podcast: "Starts out, "I have no presentation for today. Marvin Minsky will be back tomorrow" No teaching involved as far as I can measure. Students commenting and moderator/teacher is yeah/yeah.... No summary of subject; going endlessly to knowwhere."

Yes, this is the class I'm recommending. It's AWESOME!

Marvin Minsky is the prof. An AI pioneer who studied developmental psychology, mathematics and computer science.

The class is called "Society of Mind" a reference to Minsky's AI book from the 80s which describes his theories on higher mid level cognitive functions.

If you enjoy intelligent conversation about shooting pool and chord progressions in jam sessions as well as computer science applied to psychology this class is AWESOME.

Most college classes are linear and based on answers. This class is organized around questions. Subjects come and go based on the interest of the prof and the students. The patterns of subjects circle in on themselves and sometimes lead off into tangents.

Ultimately this class covers an amazing amount of ground. The prof describes the open questions he's thinking about. It feels like he takes you to the end of the road and drops you off. Maybe he points to some interesting landmarks. For example:

In one instance he describes Gutenberg's printing press as a device that has locked modernity into 2dimensional thinking.

This was an an exciting insight for me, as some one who has followed the advance of AR glasses and holograms with interest. Perhaps we are about to enter another profound paradigm shift of human consciousness that no one is tracking?

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