Friday, March 1, 2013

bill moyers interviews isaac asimov

[UPDATE: Thanks Ubi, for the reminder re: posting questions; sorry, everyone, these were stuck in Draft. Please get to them ASAP, you will be discussing in class on Tuesday 3/7.]

1. Summarize Asimov's perspective on learning. 2. If all future organizations and endeavors begin as visions [i.e. imagined possibilities, a.k.a. the DNA of fiction] how can anyone ever create anything new without indulging science fiction? 3. How do you explain the process that leads to this?


18 comments:

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  2. 1. Summarize Asimov's perspective on learning.


    First of all he loves learning. Asimov believes that kids should be taught to take upon their creativity since they are young. In addition to school he feels that kids should be able to take a different approach to learning. He feels that the typical class room setting is not right and doesn’t really work well (not abolish schools but different approach). He feels that the more kids explore what they love the more they will branch to the small components that make up that certain subject (ex.baseball and math). Also schools are good for social and basic knowledge but computers are a big part of future knowledge. Knowledge can be learned at any age!

    2. If all future organizations and endeavors begin as visions [i.e. imagined possibilities, a.k.a. the DNA of fiction] how can anyone ever create anything new without indulging science fiction?


    I’m very confused on how to answer this question and still make sense but here I go. I feel that people can’t begin an organization without a vision involving science fiction these days. Our whole world only moves forward and if you don’t try to make your business the new hip thing then you won’t be successful. I feel that people move on from the old fast and don’t really like to go back. They say history repeats itself but it doesn’t mean a certain event will be successful the second time around. I feel that maybe one say this world will look like the Jeston’s town but businesses must indulge themselves in those visions as well if they want to be successful. I bet there is another way to stay away from science fiction but they way I look at it I feel the future is a science fiction scene in the making.

    3.How do you explain the process that leads to this?


    The scientist here obviously branched out a regular field of study. Working with rats to try and better those people with problems is a great idea. I think that like Asimov said before, when someone becomes to love something they will dig further to find more answers and logic. Finding the fact that animals and be connected through wiring is kind of strange but if that is what is going to help humans than it’s all for the best. I think the other scientist Persaran is wrong in wanting to control human therapy movements with computers because the really people who could help would have that ability by personal/first hand experience. In the end of things I think this is a very interesting topic.

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  3. 1) Asimov believes that genuine interest is necessary for an individual in order to learn something as effectively as they can. He mentions "strikes my fancy" as a key phrase to remember when trying to learn something. He mentions that learning becomes a tribulation if an individual lacks interest in the subject matter. In addition, learning about the foreign and unknown is much more entertaining than understanding what you already know.

    2) I don't think Asimove ever mentions this (or I missed it, derp) but I think that what you aspire to do/be doesn't need to be science fiction in order to be envisioned/ fulfilled. Personally, the process through which it goes through is often long, slow, hard and is tantamount to rejection before it becomes reality.

    3) Science? Maybe an itch for social analysis? I don't know, neither does it matter now because it's finished. Unless one planned on reversing this process or something, the means through which they made the rats more intelligent is irrelevant if you strictly looked at the progress they made with it. But then again, no one is ever satisfied with what you do unless you have justification for what you've done.

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  4. 1. Asimov is obviously a passionate learner! He is a lover of learning and beleives in building on one's greatest strengths no matter what subject it's in. From my experience, it seems like he is a supporter of open source learning, as he feels that teachers and students should practice different approaches to teaching and learning. Although he may not agree with what schools today are up to, he feels they are good places to get socialized spark interest.
    2. This question took me a while to contemplate, and think of what you're actually asking me? In my opinion, nothing can be achieved without a vision, or desired goal. If one is just bumming around doing random things, that person isn't working towards a goal as he/she had no vision. Science fiction may even account for new endeavors and visions of people today. Someone must indulge somewhere in order to create a vision, whether it be in science, or even English or and any other subject.
    3. Experimentation leads to this conclusion effectively. For example, Asimov talked about the experimentation with rodents. He felt that somehow rodents' served a scientific purpose to humans, and vice versa. One felt that rodents would prove an answer to somthing, obviously something that someone must have been passionate about. This person was so passionate that he created a vision and acted upon it using rodents. Eww.

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  5. 1. Summarize Asimov's perspective on learning.

    Asimov's perspective on learning is that learning should be something you enjoy because then you actually learn. The modern schooling structure is trash because the learners have no control over what they learn. Asimov stated that if there was a person that wanted to only learn baseball then he should be able to do it because then it could lead to him being interested in learning the math behind baseball, and then the baseball fanatic would be learning math because of that sole interest in baseball. Since that is how he chose to learn, he would learn math so enthusiastically. And after learning math, it would lead to other things like maybe physics or other ball games. He encourages that creative learning amongst children.

    2. If all future organizations and endeavors begin as visions [i.e. imagined possibilities, a.k.a. the DNA of fiction] how can anyone ever create anything new without indulging science fiction?

    Science fiction means that you are imagining something that will change the future. Every company that has a vision brought that vision up from science fiction. Whether the vision is building the first car to mankind or inventing shoes that will make you fly, all the vision are based on science fiction. Because back then, a moving box that you drive and travel in was as wacky as us, now, imagining that we will have auto-pilot cars.

    3. How do you explain the process that leads to this?

    I would say that imagination works its best in some minds, but the idea of wiring brains together isn't too far off from the idea that humans collaborate in order to solve new things. The only difference with wiring brains together is that it's all telepathy. The potential idea of wiring brains together in humans could even generate the first sighting of telepathic minds that we always see in our dreams or the supernatural movies we crave so much for.

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  6. 1. He believes wanting to learn comes from being interested in a subject. It will be easier for a person to learn if they are interested rather than being forced to learn something they find no interest in. He has a PhD in chemistry and finds reading about astronomy a lot more interesting because he knows less about it. He chose to get a career in a field he is now n expert in but wants to learn about what he knows little of. This is how learning works. One craves knowledge on a subject until they have had enough and move on their next point of interest.

    2. All original idea worth pursing are science fiction at one point or another. They are all unreal until a person interested in it make the idea unreal. One must start off somewhere and that starting point is science fiction. Landing a man on the moon was science fiction years ago yet a group of people set their mind to it and made it happen.

    3. The actual process of making two rats communicate with each other with no direct contact is all science fiction to us now but a scientist saw it possible and made it happen. The actual process to making it happen must be an intricate one but the process of setting and to want to do such thing is a bit easier for the common person to understand. The scientist might have had the initial idea from watching a movie and years of working with other processes thought to be impossible. All they needed was the right group of minds and tool and tools to make happen what they made happen.

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  7. 1. Summarize Asimov's perspective on learning.
    The truth of his perspective on learning is he loves the thought of learning expectantly in young children. He thinks that kids should be able to use their own creativity to help them learn and have a different approach in education. Schools are a great place for social and basic skills, but children focus on the things they love, so they will idolize the smaller components of that great love. For example, if they love rockets they will learn the math and the science behind that because of their love of it.

    2. If all future organizations and endeavors begin as visions [i.e. imagined possibilities, a.k.a. the DNA of fiction] how can anyone ever create anything new without indulging science fiction?
    I think that science fiction helps the visions of the future come into reality. With out this encouragement of inventing and trying to make the next big thing. Science fiction has given us a the consumer a forward look to what could be. So people try to make this fiction the reality.

    3. How do you explain the process that leads to this?
    The scientist here obviously branched out a regular field of study. Working with rats to try and better those people with problems is a great idea. I think that like Asimov said before, when someone becomes to love something they will dig further to find more answers and logic. Finding the fact that animals can be connected through wiring is kind of strange but if that is what is going to help humans than it’s all for the best. I think the other scientist Persaran is wrong in wanting to control human therapy movements with computers because really people who could help would have that ability by personal/first hand experience.

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  8. 1. Summarize Asimov's perspective on learning.
    Asimov believes that learning transcends far beyond the walls of a school or university. It not only enriches a person’s mind, but their life as well. He feels that learning adds value to his life, and not just in the sense that he has increased his IQ, but that in the end when he is dead and gone that it has an even greater value to know that he did not just let life pass him by but that he questioned it and uncovered more of our universe than a passive person would have. In terms of the learning system in education he finds it flawed. To provide a one-size-fits-all type of system where each student is put on the exact same plan is inefficient. For one, not everyone is the same mentally so they cannot all be given the same plan (this is where he supports technology as a means to provide a one-to-one learning situation); and also this type of system inadvertently turns the student against learning by creating this image that learning is just a juvenile hurdle that we must overcome to enter adulthood. In short it gives learning a bad rep, and jams a wedge between the student and learning, thus distancing the two. The only way to truly learn, he feels, is if the student is truly passionate about the subject; otherwise they are just empty ideas with no substance that their mind can grasp onto.

    2. If all future organizations and endeavors begin as visions [i.e. imagined possibilities, a.k.a. the DNA of fiction] how can anyone ever create anything new without indulging science fiction?
    What is science fiction but one’s own imagination and expectation for the future? Is science fiction not just something someone came up with in their mind? So, then, is it possible to create something without consulting your imagination? (Yes, I know that was confusing I’m a little confused too so I’ll try to ramble to explain myself) To me I think of a person’s creative mind and science fiction to be interchangeable. Science fiction in my eyes is the product of one’s imagination—in fact it is their imagination, it is their creative mind at work which happened to be recorded and printed on paper. So if we were to exchange science fiction for imagination in this question it suddenly becomes easier to answer. Can you create something new without imagination? No. To produce something completely new requires some creative thinking, and even if you are just improving on a previous model you would need to imagine how you were going to make that improvement. Creative thinking is not only the basis for creation but also for improvement. I’m not sure if this answered the question but it made sense to me…kinda

    3. How do you explain the process that leads to this?
    Whoa weird, first off let me say that’s pretty cool. It’s almost as if they took the informational networking part of the internet and transposed it into the brains of those rats…Anyway, like any experiment it started with an idea, in this case more likely it was a goal—they wanted to achieve some end, perhaps to help the greater good but we will probably never know. Then comes experimentation and lots of trial and error. I assume they built their experimentation off of previous ideas and hypothesis about brains and the way they function. And after many tests and more trial and error they eventually received the results they were looking for.

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  9. 1. Asimov's choice way of learning is not the most efficient but the most effective. He wants to change the classroom to better suit the student.

    2. The vision doesn't necessarily have to be science fiction. The business could be biased on social trends or what will make you the most money. Rarely is it based on something just dreamed out of thin air.

    3. That is freaky...But the process to it is relatively structured. Experiments and yes, a Science Fiction type goal, are what lead to us hooking brains together. The try and try again, hoping to reach that goal

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  10. 1. Summarize Asimov's perspective on learning. 2. If all future organizations and endeavors begin as visions [i.e. imagined possibilities, a.k.a. the DNA of fiction] how can anyone ever create anything new without indulging science fiction? 3. How do you explain the process that leads to this?

    1. Asimov believed as I still do that genuine interest breeds genuine results, learning. If I am excited by , say, my passions in creative writing I will easily adapt and seek such knowledge relevant to my personal interests and passions for the subject(s). On the other hand subjects like that of mathematics bore me to concentrated mental oblivion thus any mathematical knowledge barely pregnates and persists beyond my barriers, self-erected interests. He believes in pursuing creative, personally compelling passions as not just hobbies or means of vocational learning but authentically supports an individual needs to pursue their own interests and not some archaic curriculum thrust by a presiding board for test scores and balanced graphs. He believes a learning revolution can occur and so do I but only thru true dedication to personal interests, passions. If only the board could learn this...

    2. Genres are a means of oversimplification gross generalizations mainly propped for marketing jingoism in all forms, mediums not exclusive to say literature or films but so to encompass ideas. Why can't dreams and visions for our future flirt with the classification of science fiction, fantasy or any other mode
    Of fiction? Is it because society deems dreams and impassioned pursuits as childish just like learning as Asimov expands? I believe so. I believe that it is impossible to separate dreams from science fiction, fiction in general not because our dreams are implausible fanciful products of romanticism, no on the contrary all things once began as an idea, a vision, all endeavors that have existed and ever will began as an intangible "thing" all they needed was a inception point. All things beginning born as a dream. It is up to us act upon them.

    3. Not necessarily sure how to explain the exact scientific process but I can surmise the experiments significance/ relevancy to this subject in particular. Imagine a world wherein the computational power of an entire classroom, brains wired and interconnected to transfer knowledge ? Imagine a neural network with the power of an entire school, block, town, city, why stop there?! The brain wiring technique exhibited in the mice of the article seems straight of scifi but exists, functioning in reality. The natural compatibility and connectivity, inherent cooperation between the individual mice brains is exemplary to the innate desire for cooperation in living things, not some Darwinian contest. Indeed imagine a world globally connected exchanging thoughts, deliberating ideas, solving global dilemmas, connected, united as one from many. Funny thing is we don't need direct brain wiring or techno jumbo to accomplish this, with the tools right on your desktop, computer room well... We are just one vision away. It doesn't take the mind of Asimov to think of that.






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  11. 1. Asimov and I have something in common I think because we both believe that real and true learning only occurs when one is excited or remotely interested in the topic at hand. Otherwise the minds of these people go elsewhere. I find this true in my life an I appreciate that Asimov sees it this way too. When we enjoy the subject at hand learning can be truly fun, but if not I've found it to be torturous.

    2. I would have to say that most things probably started out as science fiction in this world because we never know what we're capable of and how much we grow. The technology around us continues to develop more and more over the years and I doubt it will ever stop until we have hover boards as shown in Back to the Future II. New things will be created and they may be looked at as crazy in the beginning but I wouldn't be so surprised if what I said above actually came true. (Not quite sure I answered the question but I did my best.)

    3. Honestly that is very creepy, but really intriguing at the same time. I suppose the phrase 'two is better than one' came to mind when this experiment came about. These scientists wanted to see if connecting to have a greater mind was possible and based on the article, I suppose it is. (I do however doubt what use this could be for people unless we want to amplify our minds to become like superhuman.)

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  12. 1. That individuals learn differently and at different paces because they intrigue our minds. For Asimov he has a hard time learning about economics or psychology because it doesn't engage his mind therefore it bounces off. Although there can be a "Learning Revolution" who are driving this educational wave through engaging young and creative minds driving the technological age toward personal learning for all.

    2. When I think about the future, my future and the future of all people I see world that has come together in a new technological era unlike any other in terms of speed and mass integration. This futuristic ideal of mine collides with science fiction, I am very apprehensive and yet I must acknowledge it's high outcome possibility even though the degrees may vary. The genre of science fiction has always seemed very nonsensical, however this might be the greatest indicator of what is to come in the rapidly approaching future.

    3. From the article the process is explained that rats have been trained and implanted with sensory chips in their brains, in which they had a 95% success rate where the rats received a prize for being able to distinguish the difference between different textures. This test also showed that rates that hadn't gotten this training had higher rates of success when they were in communication with other rats that were previously trained, during which time the scientist deemed that this technique could be used to help brain injury patients. This is developed by the scientific process and to shed light on the unknowable.

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  13. 1. Summarize Asimov's perspective on learning.
    Asimov believes in learning for the joy of learning. Wanting to learn is a very natural process, when not forced upon the individual. Letting what truly interests the individual lead them in their would be a more effective method in his eyes. School has a way of making students ashamed of learning, or make them fear it. This is counterproductive to learning itself.


    2. If all future organizations and endeavors begin as visions [i.e. imagined possibilities, a.k.a. the DNA of fiction] how can anyone ever create anything new without indulging science fiction?
    Science fiction is a nice place to start with new theories and ideas. Having what would make a better or more interesting society written out in front of you helps with the process of inventing. The process of coming up with an idea can indeed come from science fiction, but spontaneous ideas which turn to inventions happen as well.

    3. How do you explain the process that leads to this?
    This particular scientific discovery did indeed come directly from science fiction. However, I believe a particular issue was brought up, and the scientists brainstormed on how to effectively solve this issue, and came up with this solution. Science is generally not simply performed in order to match literature.

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  14. 1. Asimov believes people should be learning things for the pure enjoyment of learning. Ordinarily, students are forced to learn what they're told to learn, but if they were given the freedom of choice, everyone would have so much more passion and joy towards learning.

    2. I'm sure you can create something totally new without indulging science fiction. But science fiction is a great starting point into helping your idea grow into a reality, and get it out into the world. But again, it isn't necessary to create something. I can look at every day things and create something from that.

    3. This article gives me an image of men in white lab coats with clipboards overlooking all these rats poking around. Anyways, these scientists wanted to try to get rats to help each other out with senses of touch, and they eventually got it to succeed at a good rate.

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  15. 1. Summarize Asimov's perspective on learning.

    Asimov would love the day where every home as a computer. He knows that each student learns at a different pace. Computers allow students to learn and ask questions in their own home, at their own pace, and on their own time. If they are unsure about something they could simply look it up and gather reference materials. People enjoy learning things that they want to learn about. He says that people are now being forced to learn(especially in schools). Then he goes on by backing up what he means. Asimov mentions how in the older days tutors were used and how it cost money. With computers though, a tutor does not have to be paid for and it is all there for anyone to use. Now, we always hear Dr. Preston talking about how learning doesn’t stop and how class doesn’t only happen in a classroom. Dr. Preston has done a great job at bring those messages across but hearing someone other than Dr. Preston saying it helped me connect what was being told to me. I love how Isaac Asimov explains things. It is obvious that he cares a lot about learning and how learning can be improved. We need more people like him in this world. Here are three of his quotes that some up his thoughts on learning.

    “People don’t stop things they enjoy doing just because they reach a certain age. They don’t stop playing tennis because they just turned 40. They don’t just stop with sex because they turned 40. They keep it up as long as they enjoy it and learning will be the same thing.”

    “Science is a mechanism. A way to improve your knowledge of nature. It’s a system for testing your thoughts on the universe and seeing whether they match…..”

    “We have to stop living by the code of the past.”

    2. If all future organizations and endeavors begin as visions [i.e. imagined possibilities, a.k.a. the DNA of fiction] how can anyone ever create anything new without indulging science fiction?

    The way that Asimov explains it, it is hard to think of how something can be created without indulging science fiction. Well, I guess I could easily argue that. I am not sure not how to answer this question. I would have to agree with Dulce when she says she is confused on how to answer the question.

    3. How do you explain the process that leads to this?

    Well, like Asimov was saying about how science is a way to improve our understanding of things, this shows that his statements were correct. This experiment had to begin with a thought, which turned into a action, which then lead to this really cool discovery.

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  16. 1. Summarize Asimov's perspective on learning.
    Learning should never end. Asimov's perspective on learning is that learning shouldn’t be ended at a given age; it is a lifelong process. Asimov is so passion on learning; and the fact people must be able to learn about thing they are exciting with or in his words something “that strikes our fancy”. In that conversation, Asimov was farseeing and exciting for the new era of Open Source learning. Asimov didn’t support the idea of abolish school system/structure; in addition to that, the training for the creativity and be able to learning something students really want to learn is as important as the basic knowledge. There shouldn’t be a one size fit system of education. Today’s school, students are forced to learn the same knowledge at the same time, same place with same speed. And that's how people lost their passion in learning as time passes by. He believes individual's interest in learning is what makes the process of learning never end.

    2. If all future organizations and endeavors begin as visions [i.e. imagined possibilities, a.k.a. the DNA of fiction] how can anyone ever create anything new without indulging science fiction?
    Science Fiction; without science fiction, without imagination, without expectation of future, how can we measure our era's accomplish and success? The video is the best evident of this vision/thinking. When Asimov farseeing the age of Open Source Learning, the age that every students can have their personal teacher-computer; it may be hard for people to imagine that back in that time. But, look, that's exactly what we are doing and experiencing today. We will not know about gravity, if Newton had never start to question why apple will fall down from tree. For whoever is courageous enough to ask that first question, make that first prediction, it might comes truth. And that's exactly how science fiction works; it is the first question/prediction/expectation about future or for the future.

    3. How do you explain the process that leads to this?
    Woo...This is really cool. I think it prove the point of science fiction and creativity learning. Obviously, there are people out there who are interesting in this scientific form of telepathy of mice, in order to adopt this research and lab on this topic. Be honest, I will not be interest to adopt this research. If I get the funds I totally spend on other thing that I am interesting in. In addition, I am fascinated with the results they came up with. It actually makes me to want to know more about it and the future research; and this is scientific fiction. Maybe someday in the future, this brain to brain communication can be seen everywhere

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  17. 1. Isaac Asimov explains his perspective on learning as a constantly evolving process. He uses astronomy as an example. Although his expertise is in chemistry, he enjoys writing about astronomy more simply because there is more left of it to learn for him. As far as formal education goes, he promotes creativity in school, rather than simply going through the motions. He also thinks that pursuing a narrow (but enjoyable) education has its merits. Even a seemingly specific area of study may link to many others. His main criticism of our education system is that it promotes the mindset that school (and hence, learning) are things to get through as quick as possible.

    2. Science fiction and natural development of an idea differ in their intent. Sometimes new ideas will mirror science fiction, but that certainly isn't a set case. Science fiction is not necessarily created to predict the future; sometimes it is just a convenient setting to facilitate a story. Because of this, not all new ideas necessarily "indulge" science fiction.

    3. An interesting thing about this particular case is that the process can be considered just as sci-fi as the result. It's a common theme in science fiction to have a problem arising from what was originally meant to be a solution. In any believable setting, scientific developments also stem from realistic problems.

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  18. 1. To summarize Asimov's perspective on learning I would have to say that he would be in full fledge support of today's open source learning that we have put to use and taken advantage of in this course. Asimov spoke about the endless possibilities of learning that can be done if in the proper setting. He is not in favor or tradition classroom learning and feels as though learning can be done anywhere by persons of all ages if it is truely desired.

    2. Nothing new can be created without indulging science fiction.

    3. My super long, well-written response to this question got deleted....

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