I’ve successfully read pages of books assigned that I don’t remember much about. Functionalism, mental computations, materialism and shit. So many things, so little time. Or maybe I’m just lazy and the task of understanding requires more effort than I am willing to expend.
“You drive a car, not knowing how its engine works. You ride as passenger in someone else’s car, not knowing how that driver works. And strangest of all, you sometimes drive yourself to work, not knowing how you work, yourself”.
– Marvin Minsky
This is too accurate. Literally. Without even having to talk about minds, I’m floored. I don’t even know how to drive. I don’t even know the rules of street navigation. I think they’re called traffic laws. I don’t have a well-defined framework to understanding how buildings are constructed, how an iPhone works. And I’m entertaining a switch from Psychology to Cognitive Science? Maybe I have to rethink this.
It’s weird to me how I will have an aching desire to do and know yet I am unable to sustain the motivation to do the research necessitated by the level of understanding I wish to obtain. Why can’t knowledge be implanted in my mind? Imagine if all we had to do to know anything complex is to transfer information from a chip to our brains. Catching up to the latest knowledge without having to read/ re-read years-worth of research would allow us to come up with new hypotheses at a faster rate. We could uncover connections that we’d never seen before, based on cumulative knowledge accessible to us at any point in time. But then again this would be too easy and I value intellectual challenge.
I’m all over the place. I want life to be easy but I value hardship- or rather, what one can learn through it. I envy those who “love the grind”. Our limitations force us to work hard. As annoying as this is, perseverance and discipline are admirable. I’d say, more rewarding than the actual content that is learned… Which should in theory transform the way I approach anything I do not yet know. Sometimes, knowing how or where to start is the most difficult part.