Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Subconscious vs Conscious Learning

When I teach my father how to use the computer, he tries hard to take note and remember each step of the process.

Curiously, I have seen exactly the same habit on people of the same generation of my father.

First, they note the process, then practice the process, then become fluent enough to execute without thinking anymore.
That's the first step of the Shu Ha Ri. The first step of the journey is repeatition, the first step is to obey.

This is a very important technique to learn, because it is the only know way to teach something to your subconscious. When Subconscious knows, you don't have to be conscious to do any task anymore.

When students ask me for some keyboard shortcut I use in Visual Studio, I sometime look at them with a blank stare : "I don't know what I've just done". And then I need to reach a keyboard and see how my hand is moving on it to know the keyboard shortcut I just typed.
That's because keyboard shortcuts moved out of my conscious mind, and now live into my subconscious.

And as marketer, politician and other brainwasher knows : To teach something to your subconscious you have to repeat. Every single day. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Then your action will reflect without thinking what your subconscious listened.

You can use this fact to manipulate people, but you better off using it to learn what really matter for you. I call that Subconscious learning because the goal is to teach something to your subconscious.

Subconscious learning is great for things that involve repeatable tasks. That's great to give responses.
But you subconscious never ask question your subconscious accept fact as is. Your conscious is responsible to ask questions and filter things for your subconscious.

As I said in previous post, this era evolves fast. And so now we value more and more how to ask great questions over giving great responses. Google can give lots of response if you can ask him the right question. That's a great era for artists. Because by definition artists don't work with a blueprint.
By this very same definition, there is no dichotomy between artist and scientist. A scientist is an artist. The goal of the scientist is not to give responses.
The goal of the scientist is to ask questions in a way that responses are evident.
That's what Einstein did with the theory of relativity.

When I teach, I use subconscious learning for repeatitive task "Compile with F6, Run with F5, Stop debug with Shift+F5, shows the smart tag with CTRL+;"... I repeat, and do it every single day.

But most of my work and knowledge is ephemere. What I just teached you might already be obsolete, but it does not make it useless. Why ? Not because you will be able to maintain old application... we don't care.
It is not useless because what I'm teaching you is to ask the great questions.

Why is it important ?
This technology is something I learnt by myself yestersday.
I can give a course on it and respond to your question, but that's not because I repeated.
It is not because of god's grace that made me fast to learn.
It is because I learned to ask great question about the problem this technology solves.
Whenever I ask, my subconscious, or google respond. Fast and accurately.
Google is a collective subconscious. It accepts what we tell him, give answers, and never ask.

I'm not your subconscious, I'm not better than google, so I don't care you know how to spell Heigth correctly. However, I will teach you how to ask "Winform Height Form" in Google.

... Except if you hire me for consulting stuff, I don't give answer, as teacher, I will make sure you ask the right question.

The teacher reaches his goal when its students can live by themselves.

Learning to ask good questions is what I call conscious learning, and it's well suited for ephemere knowledge, or to learn any skill that does not have blueprints.

No comments:

Post a Comment