Quotient

CQ or curiosity quotient is a term put forth by author and journalist Thomas Friedman as part of a formula to measure learning and acquisition of knowledge. His claim is that CQ (curiosity quotient) plus PQ (passion quotient) is greater than IQ (intelligence quotient).

There is no evidence that this inequality is true. Friedman may believe that curiosity and passion are greater than intelligence, but there is no evidence to suggest that the sum of a person’s curiosity and passion quotients will always exceed their IQ.

According to Friedman, curiosity and passion are key components for education in a world where information is readily available to everyone and where global markets reward those who have learned how to learn and are self-motivated to learn.

Friedman states, “Give me the kid with a passion to learn and a curiosity to discover and I will take him or her over the less passionate kid with a huge IQ every day of the week. IQ still matters, but CQ and PQ matter even more.”

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Frequency

Spontaneous regression is an unexpected improvement or cure from a disease which is usually taking a different course. It is a term that is mainly used for unexpected transient or final improvements in cancer.

It has long been assumed that spontaneous regressions from cancer are a rare phenomenon, and that some forms of cancer are more prone to unexpected courses than others. Frequency is estimated to be about 1/100000, however, in reality this ratio might be largely underestimated. Not all cases of spontaneous regression can be apprehended, either because the case was not well documented, the physician was not willing to publish, or simply because the patient did not show up in a clinic any more.

For small tumors, the frequency of spontaneous regression was probably drastically underrated. In a carefully designed study on mammography it was found that 22% of all breast cancer cases underwent spontaneous regression.

In many of the collected cases, it must be acknowledged that the factors or mechanisms responsible for spontaneous regression are unknown in the light of present knowledge. In some of the cases, available knowledge permits one to infer that hormonal influences probably were important. In other cases, the protocols strongly suggest that an immune mechanism was responsible.

Discussion

Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. It is defined as mental cleansing in which relationships are set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness. Traditionally, ho’oponopono is practiced by healing priests or kahuna among family members. Modern versions are performed within the family by a family elder, or by the individual alone.

Ho’o is the equivalent of the English “to”. It creates a verb from the noun pono, which is defined as goodness, uprightness and morality. Ponopono is defined as to put right, correct, revise, adjust, amend, regulate, arrange, rectify, tidy up, or make orderly.

The process begins as a statement of the problem is made, and the transgression discussed. Participants are expected to work problems through and cooperate, not hold fast to the fault. One or more periods of silence may be taken for reflection on the entanglement of emotions and injuries. Everyone’s feelings are acknowledged, then confession, repentance and forgiveness take place. Everyone releases each other, letting go. They cut off the past and together close the event with a ceremonial feast called pani, which often includes eating limu kala or kala seaweed, symbolic of the release.

In the late 20th century, courts in Hawaii began to order juvenile and adult offenders to work with an elder who would conduct ho’oponopono for their families, as a form of alternative dispute resolution. The ho’oponopono is conducted in the traditional way, without court interference, with a practitioner picked by the family from a list of court approved providers. Some native practitioners provide ho’oponopono to clients who otherwise might seek family counseling.

Assessment

Perspectivism is the view that all ideations take place from particular perspectives. This means that there are many possible conceptual schemes or perspectives which determine any possible judgment of truth or value that may be made. This implies that no way of seeing the world can be taken as definitively true, but does not necessarily propose that all perspectives are equally valid.

It claims that there are no objective evaluations which transcend cultural formations or subjective designations. This means that there are no objective facts, and that there can be no knowledge of a thing in itself. This separates truth from a single vantage point and means that there are no absolutes. This leads to a constant reassessment of rules according to the circumstances of individual perspectives. Truth is thus formalized as a whole that is created by integrating different vantage points together.

We always adopt perspectives by default, whether we are aware of it or not, and the individual concepts of existence are defined by the circumstances surrounding that individual. Truth is made by and for individuals and people. This view differs from many types of relativism which consider the truth of a particular proposition as something that cannot be evaluated with respect to an absolute truth without taking into consideration culture and context.

It is our needs that interpret the world, our drives and their for and against. Every drive is a kind of lust to rule, and each has its perspective that it would like to compel all the other drives to accept as a norm. This can be expanded into a revised form of objectivity in relation to subjectivity as an aggregate of singular viewpoints that illuminate a particular idea in seemingly self-contradictory ways, but upon closer inspection reveal a difference of contextuality by which such an idea can be validated.

Relevance

Semantic memory refers to the memory of meanings, understandings, and other concept-based knowledge unrelated to specific experience. It refers to general facts and meanings we share with others. The conscious recollection of factual information and general knowledge about the world is independent of context and personal relevance.

It includes generalized knowledge that does not involve memory of a specific event. For instance, you can answer a question like “Are wrenches pets or tools?” without remembering any specific event in which you learned that wrenches are tools. What is stored in semantic memory is the “gist” of experience, an abstract structure that applies to a wide variety of experiential objects and which may be said to delineate categorical and functional relationships between them.

Rather than any one brain region playing a dedicated and privileged role in the representation or retrieval of all semantic knowledge, semantic memory is a collection of functionally and anatomically distinct systems where each attribute-specific system is tied to a sensor modality (i.e. vision) and even more specifically to a property within that modality (i.e. color).

Neuroimaging studies suggest a distinction between semantic processing and sensor processing, and reveal a large distributed network of semantic representations that are organized minimally by attribute and additionally by category. These networks include extensive regions of form, color and motion knowledge that collectively interpret stimuli.

Progress

Metacognition refers to a level of thinking that involves active control over the process of thinking that is used in learning situations. Planning the way to approach a learning task, monitoring comprehension, and evaluating the progress towards the completion of a task are skills that are metacognitive in their nature. Similarly, maintaining motivation to see a task to completion is also a metacognitive skill.

The ability to become aware of distracting stimuli, both internal and external, and sustain effort over time also involves metacognitive functions. The theory that metacognition has a critical role to play in successful learning means it is important that it be demonstrated by both students and teachers.

Metacognition helps people to perform many cognitive tasks more effectively. Strategies for promoting metacognition include self-questioning, thinking aloud while performing a task, and making graphic representations such as concept maps and flow charts of one’s thoughts and knowledge.

Metacognologists believe that the ability to consciously think about thinking is unique to sapient species. The metacognitive processes are ubiquitous, especially when it comes to the discussion of self-regulated learning. Being engaged in metacognition is a salient feature of good self-regulated learners. Groups reinforcing collective discussion of metacognition is a salient feature of self-critical and self-regulating social groups.

Comprehension

icon_41The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average, much higher than actuality. By contrast, the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority.

This leads to a situation where less competent people will rate their own ability higher than more competent people. It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence because competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. Thus, the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.

The phenomenon was demonstrated in a series of experiments performed by Justin Kruger and David Dunning, then both of Cornell University. They noted a number of previous studies which tend to suggest that in skills as diverse as reading comprehension, operating a motor vehicle, and playing chess or tennis, ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. They hypothesized that with a typical skill which humans may possess in greater or lesser degree,

  • Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill.
  • Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others.
  • Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy.
  • If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.

The authors draw an analogy with anosognosia, a condition in which a person who suffers a physical disability due to brain injury seems unaware of or denies the existence of the disability. This may include unawareness of quite dramatic impairments, such as blindness or paralysis.

Learning

Grapheme-color synesthesia is a form of synesthesia in which an individual’s perception of numbers and letters is associated with the experience of colors. Like all forms of synesthesia, grapheme-color synesthesia is involuntary, consistent, and memorable. It is one of the most common forms of synesthesia, and because of the extensive knowledge of the visual system, one of the most studied.

One recent study has documented a case of synesthesia in which synesthetic associations could be traced back to colored refrigerator magnets. Despite the existence of this individual case, the majority of synesthetic associations do not seem to be driven by learning of this sort. Rather, it seems that more frequent letters are paired with more frequent colors, and some meaning-based rules, such as B being blue, drive some synesthetic associations.

These experiences have led to the development of technologies intended to improve the retention and memory of graphemes by individuals without synesthesia. Computers, for instance, could use artificial synesthesia to color words and numbers to improve usability. Individuals with grapheme-color synesthesia rarely claim that their sensations are problematic or unwanted. In some cases, individuals report useful effects, such as aid in memory or spelling of difficult words.

Synesthetes often report that they were unaware their experiences were unusual until they realized other people did not have them, while others report feeling as if they had been keeping a secret their entire lives. Many synesthetes can vividly remember when they first noticed their synesthetic experiences, or when they first learned that such experiences were unusual. Writer and synesthete Patricia Lynne Duffy remembers one early experience:

“One day, I realized that to make an R all I had to do was first write a P and then draw a line down from its loop. And I was so surprised that I could turn a yellow letter into an orange letter just by adding a line.”

Reflections

Pleroma refers to the totality of divine powers. The word means fullness and is used in Christian theological contexts, both in Gnosticism generally, and by Paul of Tarsus in Colossians 2.9.

Gnosticism holds that the world is controlled by archons, among whom some versions of Gnosticism claim is the deity of the Old Testament, who held aspects of the human captive, either knowingly or accidentally. The heavenly pleroma is the totality of all that is regarded in our understanding of divine. The pleroma is often referred to as the light existing above our world, occupied by spiritual beings who self-emanated from the pleroma. These beings are described as eternal beings and sometimes as archons. Jesus is interpreted as an intermediary aeon who was sent, along with his counterpart Sophia, from the pleroma, with whose aid humanity can recover the lost knowledge of the divine origins of humanity and in so doing be brought back into unity with the Pleroma. The term is thus a central element of Gnostic religious cosmology.

Carl Jung used the word in his mystical 1916 unpublished work, Seven Sermons to the Dead, which was finally published in an appendix to the second edition of Jung’s autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections in 1962. According to Jung, pleroma is both nothing and everything. It is quite fruitless to think about pleroma. Therein both thinking and being cease, since the eternal and infinite possess no qualities.

The Egyptian sage known as Hermes Trismegistus’s Pymander gives an interesting account. Hermes states that the divine sovereign showed him that this world is a copy of an ideal world in heaven, created by the darkness to ensnare mankind.

Ability

Theory of mind is the ability to attribute mental states such as beliefs, intents, desires, and knowledge, to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires and intentions that are different from one’s own. It is a theory insofar as the mind is not directly observable. The presumption that others have a mind is termed a “theory of mind” because each human can only prove the existence of his or her own mind through introspection, and one has no direct access to others’ minds.

It is typically assumed that others have minds by analogy with one’s own, and based on the reciprocal nature of social interaction, the functional use of language, and understanding of others’ emotions and actions. Having a theory of mind allows one to attribute thoughts, desires, and intentions to others, to predict or explain their actions, and to posit their intentions. As originally defined, it enables one to understand that mental states can be the cause of others’ behavior.

Theory of mind appears to be an innate potential ability in humans, but one requiring social and other experience over many years to bring to fruition. Different people may develop more, or less, effective theories of mind. Empathy is a related concept, meaning experientially recognizing and understanding the states of mind, including beliefs, desires and particularly emotions of others, often characterized as the ability to “put oneself into another’s shoes.”

Research on theory of mind in a number of different populations has grown rapidly in the almost 30 years since Premack and Woodruff’s paper Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind?, as have the theories of theory of mind. The emerging field of social neuroscience has also begun to address this debate, by imaging humans while performing tasks demanding the understanding of an intention, belief, or other mental state.