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Introduction to Computing - David Evans

The first million years of hominid history produced tools to amplify, and later mechanize, our physical abilities to enable us to move faster, reach higher, and hit harder. We have developed tools that amplify physical force by the trillions and increase the speeds at which we can travel by the thousands.

Computing is the ultimate mental amplifier.

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Objective   10/4/2017

To present material which will provide inspiration / desire / motivation to pursue these studies.

Flow (psychology)   10/4/2017

from Wikipedia   
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.

In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does. Named by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields (and has an especially big recognition in occupational therapy), though has existed for thousands of years under other guises, notably in some Eastern religions. Achieving flow is often colloquially referred to as being in the zone.

According to Csikszentmihályi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate experience in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task, although flow is also described (below) as a deep focus on nothing but the activity – not even oneself or one's emotions.

Flow has many of the same characteristics as (the positive aspects of) hyperfocus. However, hyperfocus is not always described in a positive light. Some examples include spending "too much" time playing video games or getting side-tracked and pleasurably absorbed by one aspect of an assignment or task to the detriment of the overall assignment. In some cases, hyperfocus can "capture" a person, perhaps causing them to appear unfocused or to start several projects, but complete few.

The Autotelic Personality

Csíkszentmihályi hypothesized that people with several very specific personality traits may be better able to achieve flow more often than the average person. These personality traits include curiosity, persistence, low self-centeredness, and a high rate of performing activities for intrinsic reasons only. People with most of these personality traits are said to have an autotelic personality.

At this point, there is not much research on the autotelic personality, but results of the few studies that have been conducted suggest that indeed some people are more prone to experience flow than others. One researcher (Abuhamdeh, 2000) found that people with an autotelic personality have a greater preference for "high-action-opportunity, high-skills situations that stimulate them and encourage growth" compared to those without an autotelic personality.

It is in such high-challenge, high-skills situations that people are most likely to enter the flow state.

Experimental evidence shows that a balance between skills of the individual and demands of the task (compared to boredom and overload) only elicits flow experiences in individuals characterized by an internal locus of control or a habitual action orientation. Several correlational studies found need for achievement to be a personal characteristic that fosters flow experiences.


about Comfort  10/4/2017

from Wikipedia

Comfort (or being comfortable) is a sense of physical or psychological ease, often characterized as a lack of hardship. Persons who are lacking in comfort are uncomfortable, or experiencing discomfort.

A degree of psychological comfort can be achieved by recreating experiences that are associated with pleasant memories, such as engaging in familiar activities, maintaining the presence of familiar objects, and consumption of comfort foods. Comfort is a particular concern in health care, as providing comfort to the sick and injured is one goal of healthcare, and can facilitate recovery.

Persons who are surrounded with things that provide psychological comfort may be described as being "in their comfort zone". Because of the personal nature of positive associations, psychological comfort is highly subjective.

The use of "comfort" as a verb generally implies that the subject is in a state of pain, suffering or affliction, and requires alleviation from that state. Where the term is used to describe the support given to someone who has experienced a tragedy, the word is synonymous with consolation or solace. However, comfort is used much more broadly, as one can provide physical comfort to someone who is not in a position to be uncomfortable. For example, a person might sit in a chair without discomfort, but still find the addition of a pillow to the chair to increase their feeling of comfort.

Like certain other terms describing positive feelings or abstractions (hope, charity, chastity), comfort may also be used as a personal name.

"Comfortably Numb"  10/4/2017

from Wikipedia

"Comfortably Numb" (working title "The Doctor") is a song by the English rock band Pink Floyd, which first appears on the 1979 double album The Wall.

It was also released as a single in 1980 with "Hey You" as the B-side.

It is one of only three songs on the album for which writing credits are shared between bassist Roger Waters and guitarist David Gilmour. The chorus melody was written by Gilmour while Waters contributed the lyrics and the music for the verses. An early version of the song was included under the working title on the "Immersion Box Set" of The Wall, released in 2012.

The song is one of Pink Floyd's most famous, and is renowned especially for its guitar solos in the middle and at the end of the song. In 2004, the song was ranked number 314 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2005, it became the last song ever to be performed by Waters, Gilmour, keyboardist Richard Wright, and drummer Nick Mason together. In 2011, the song was ranked 5th in the BBC Radio 4's listeners' Desert Island Discs choices. The two guitar solos were ranked as the greatest guitar solos of all time by both Planet Rock listeners and WatchMojo.com.

Hello? Hello? Hello?

Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me
Is there anyone at home?
Come on now
I hear you're feeling down
Well I can ease your pain
Get you on your feet again
Relax
I'll need some information first
Just the basic facts
Can you show me where it hurts?

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying
When I was a child I had a fever
My hands felt just like two balloons
Now I've got that feeling once again
I can't explain you would not understand
This is not how I am
I have become comfortably numb

Okay
Just a little pinprick
There'll be no more, ah
But you may feel a little sick
Can you stand up?
I do believe it's working, good
That'll keep you going through the show
Come on it's time to go

Songwriters DAVID JON GILMOUR, ROGER WATERS

Read more: Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb Lyrics | MetroLyrics

about Security    Security can pacify to inaction i.e.: nail in the coffin  10/4/2017

from Wikipedia

Economic security or financial security is the condition of having stable income or other resources to support a standard of living now and in the foreseeable future.

It includes:

  1. probable continued solvency
  2. predictability of the future cash flow of a person or other economic entity, such as a country
  3. employment security or job security

Financial security more often refers to individual and family money management and savings. Economic security tends to include the broader effect of a society's production levels and monetary support for non-working citizens.

Wikipedia Job security

is the probability that an individual will keep his or her job; a job with a high level of job security is such that a person with the job would have a small chance of becoming unemployed.

Basic economic theory holds that during periods of economic expansion businesses experience increased demand, which in turn necessitates investment in more capital or labor. When businesses are experiencing growth, job confidence and security typically increase. The opposite often holds true during a recession: businesses experience reduced demand and look to downsize their workforces in the short term.

Governments and individuals are both motivated to achieve higher levels of job security. Governments attempt to do this by passing laws (such as the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964) which make it illegal to fire employees for certain reasons.

Individuals can influence their degree of job security by increasing their skills through education and experience,
or by moving to a more favorable location.

The official unemployment rate and employee confidence indexes are good indicators of job security in particular fields. These statistics are closely watched by economists, government officials, and banks. Unions also strongly influence job security.

Jobs that traditionally have a strong union presence such as many government jobs and jobs in education, healthcare and law enforcement are considered very secure while many non-unionized private sector jobs are generally believed to offer lower job security, although this varies by industry and country.

The Manual of Life - Understanding Money   10/4/2017

CARP (Canada)   10/4/2017

from Wikipedia    CARP (Canada)

CARP (formerly the Canadian Association of Retired Persons), is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of adults aged 45 and over.

The organization states that its purpose is to promote social change in order to bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination to its members.

Human Reasoning and Cognitive Science   10/4/2017

Human Reasoning and Cognitive Science

"Once in a while there is a body of work that reconceptualizes a topic of research. This book reports and reviews such a body of work. The result is a framing and hypotheses about reasoning that, in my judgment, fundamentally reconstructs the psychology of inferential reasoning.... This book will be regarded as the major turning point in the field's development."

--James Greeno, Learning Research, and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh

"This deep and stimulating book, by a leading psychologist and a leading logician, is about the choice of logical formalisms for representing actual reasoning. There are two interlocking questions: what are the right formalisms to represent how people reason, and what forms do the reasoners themselves bring to the world in order to reason about it?

The authors' answer to the first question, using closed-world reasoning, allows them to analyse the wide range of strategies that people use for shaping their thinking. For example the book uncovers important links between autism and nonmonotonic reasoning.

This may be the first book in cognitive science that logicians can learn some new logic from."

--Wilfrid Hodges, Queen Mary, University of London

Intellect   10/4/2017

Wikipedia    Intellect and Intelligence

Intellect is a term used in studies of the human mind, and refers to the ability of the mind to come to correct conclusions about what is true or real, and about how to solve problems.

Historically the term comes from the Greek philosophical term nous, which was translated into Latin as intellectus.

Focus on the future. Learn what you can from the past and quickly shift to applying those lessons to the future. The past cannot be changed, so lingering on it may contribute to feelings of hopelessness. The future, however, represents possibility. To help shift your focus to the future, understand a difficult past can make a successful future even more rewarding, so overcoming adversity becomes a future goal(derived from the verb intelligere - to understand: from inter between + legere to choose) and into French (and then English) as intelligence.

Discussion of the intellect can be divided into two broad areas. In both of these areas, the terms "intellect" and "intelligence" have continued to be used as related words.

Intellect and Nous in philosophy.

In philosophy, especially in classical and medieval philosophy the intellect or nous is an important subject connected to the question of how humans can know things. Especially during late antiquity and the middle ages, the intellect was often proposed as a concept which could reconcile philosophical and scientific understandings of nature with monotheistic religious understandings, by making the intellect a link between each human soul, and the divine intellect (or intellects) of the cosmos itself.

(During the Latin Middle Ages a distinction developed whereby the term "intelligence" was typically used to refer to the incorporeal beings which governed the celestial spheres in many of these accounts.)

Intellect and Intelligence in psychology.

In modern psychology and neuroscience, intelligence and intellect are used as terms describing mental ability (or abilities) that allow people to understand. A distinction is sometimes made whereby intellect is considered to be related to "facts" in contrast to intelligence concerning "feelings".

Intellect refers to the cognition and rational mental processes gained through external input rather than internal.

A person who uses intelligence (thought and reason) and critical or analytical reasoning in either a professional or a personal capacity is often referred to as an intellectual.

Intelligence   10/4/2017

from Wikipedia   
Elsevier a world-leading provider of information solutions that help you make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries in science, health, and technology.

Intelligence has been defined in many different ways including one's capacity for logic, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, communication, learning, emotional knowledge, memory, planning, creativity and problem solving. It can be more generally described as the ability to perceive information, and retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment.

Intelligence is most widely studied in humans, but has also been observed in non-human animals and in plants. Artificial intelligence is intelligence in machines. (i.e., software)

Within the discipline of psychology, various approaches to human intelligence have been adopted. The psychometric approach is especially familiar to the general public, as well as being the most researched and by far the most widely used in practical settings.

Inspiration   10/4/2017

Full Definition of Inspiration

Definition of inspiration

1 a :a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation
b :the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions
c :the act of influencing or suggesting opinions
2 :the act of drawing in; specifically :the drawing of air into the lungs
3 a :the quality or state of being inspired
b :something that is inspired a scheme that was pure inspiration
4 :an inspiring agent or influence

Motivation   10/5/2017

Wikipedia    Motivation | Psychology Today

Motivation is a theoretical construct used to explain behavior. It represents the reasons for people's actions, desires, and needs. Motivation can also be defined as one's direction to behavior, or what causes a person to want to repeat a behavior and vice versa.

A motive is what prompts the person to act in a certain way, or at least develop an inclination for specific behavior. According to Maehr and Meyer, "Motivation is a word that is part of the popular culture as few other psychological concepts are"

Reason   10/5/2017

Wikipedia    Human Reasoning and Cognitive Science

Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, mathematics, and art and is normally considered to be a definitive characteristic of human nature.

The concept of reason is sometimes referred to as rationality and sometimes as discursive reason, in opposition to intuitive reason.

Reason or "reasoning" is associated with thinking, cognition, and intellect. Reason, like habit or intuition, is one of the ways by which thinking comes from one idea to a related idea. For example, it is the means by which rational beings understand themselves to think about cause and effect, truth and falsehood, and what is good or bad.

It is also closely identified with the ability to self-consciously change beliefs, attitudes, traditions, and institutions, and therefore with the capacity for freedom and self-determination.

In contrast to reason as an abstract noun, a reason is a consideration which explains or justifies some event, phenomenon or behaviour. The field of logic studies ways in which human beings reason through argument.

Psychologists and cognitive scientists have attempted to study and explain how people reason, e.g. which cognitive and neural processes are engaged, and how cultural factors affect the inferences that people draw.

The field of automated reasoning studies how reasoning may or may not be modeled computationally. Animal psychology considers the question of whether animals other than humans can reason.

Self-determination theory (SDT)   10/5/2017

aim·less

adjective
without purpose or direction.
"an aimless, ungratifying life"

synonyms: purposeless, goalless, without purpose, haphazard, wandering, without goal, desultory

Daydreaming

Daydreaming is a short-term detachment from one's immediate surroundings, during which a person's contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by a visionary fantasy, especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imagined as coming to pass, and experienced while awake.

There are many types of daydreams, and there is no consistent definition amongst psychologists, however the characteristic that is common to all forms of daydreaming meets the criteria for mild dissociation.

Self-determination theory (SDT)

Self-determination theory (SDT) is a macro theory of human motivation and personality that concerns people's inherent growth tendencies and innate psychological needs. It is concerned with the motivation behind choices people make without external influence and interference. SDT focuses on the degree to which an individual’s behavior is self-motivated and self-determined.

In the 1970s, research on SDT evolved from studies comparing the intrinsic and extrinsic motives, and from growing understanding of the dominant role intrinsic motivation played in an individual’s behavior but it was not until the mid-1980s that SDT was formally introduced and accepted as a sound empirical theory. Research applying SDT to different areas in social psychology has increased considerably since the 2000s.

Key studies that led to emergence of SDT included research on intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation refers to initiating an activity for its own sake because it is interesting and satisfying in itself, as opposed to doing an activity to obtain an external goal (extrinsic motivation). Different types of motivations have been described based on the degree they have been internalized. Internalization refers to the active attempt to transform an extrinsic motive into personally endorsed values and thus assimilate behavioural regulations that were originally external.

Edward L. Deci and Richard Ryan later expanded on the early work differentiating between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and proposed three main intrinsic needs involved in self-determination. According to Deci and Ryan, the three psychological needs motivate the self to initiate behavior and specify nutriments that are essential for psychological health and well-being of an individual. These needs are said to be universal, innate and psychological and include the need for competence, autonomy, and psychological relatedness.

un·der·stand·ing   10/5/2017

un·der·stand·ing

noun

1. the ability to understand something; comprehension.
"foreign visitors with little understanding of English"

synonyms: comprehension, apprehension, grasp, mastery, appreciation, assimilation, absorption

adjective

1. sympathetically aware of other people's feelings; tolerant and forgiving.
"people expect their doctor to be understanding"

synonyms: compassionate, sympathetic, sensitive, considerate, tender, kind, thoughtful, tolerant, patient, forbearing, lenient, merciful, forgiving, humane

2. archaic
having insight or good judgment.

from Wikipedia

Understanding (also called intellection) is a psychological process related to an abstract or physical object, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to think about it and use concepts to deal adequately with that object. Understanding is a relation between the knower and an object of understanding.

Understanding implies abilities and dispositions with respect to an object of knowledge sufficient to support intelligent behavior.

An understanding is the limit of a conceptualization. To understand something is to have conceptualized it to a given measure.

empathy    Education and mind in the Knowledge Age

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