Believe you can change (Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought)
Soyeun Choi stashed this in Fuel for Life
I need to put this somewhere before I go out to play.
Thank you for this: http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/dweck
I added the lasers picture from here: http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/experiences
Also worth reading: http://pandawhale.com/post/14035/hacker-activist-aaron-swartz
My favorite passage of the dweck piece: http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/dweck
The difference, Dweck discovered, was one of mindset. Dweck had always thought “human qualities were carved in stone. You were smart or you weren’t, and failure meant you weren’t.” That was why the helpless kids couldn’t take it when they started failing. It just reminded them they sucked (they easily got confused, they had “a bad rememory”). Of course it wasn’t fun anymore — why would it be fun to get constantly reminded you’re a failure? No wonder they tried to change the subject. Dweck called this the “fixed mindset” — the belief that your abilities are fixed and that the world is just a series of tests that show you how good you are.
The successful kids believed precisely the opposite: that everything came through effort and that the world was full of interesting challenges that could help you learn and grow. (Dweck called this the “growth mindset.”) That’s why they were so thrilled by the harder puzzles — the easier ones weren’t any sort of challenge, there was nothing you could learn from them. But the really tough ones? Those were fascinating — a new skill to develop, a new problem to conquer. In later experiments, kids even asked to take puzzles home so they could work on them some more.
It took a seventh-grader to explain it to her: “I think intelligence is something you have to work for…it isn’t just given to you… Most kids, if they’re not sure of an answer, will not raise their hand… But what I usually do is raise my hand, because if I’m wrong, then my mistake will be corrected. Or I will raise my hand and say… ‘I don’t get this. Can you help me?’ Just by doing that I’m increasing my intelligence.”
I particularly liked that article. It reminded me of how we have to meet monsters in order to have stories about overcoming them. It's ironic how our monsters shrink as we grow older (from dragons to deadlines) but our fear increases.
Yes, why DOES our fear increase with age?
Is it because we have more intimate knowledge of the horrors when things go wrong?
One would think that once we were relieved of battling dragons, we'd embrace jobs, taxes and waiting in line. Or maybe knowing our mortality makes us feel more precious.
Maybe the point would be to figure out how to feel more free with time.
I think you're right -- it's knowing that mortality isn't something abstract.
It's something real that happens to everyone.
Fear is probably warranted as the mind's way of reducing unnecessary risk in light of that.
The article on 5 Wit matches my own thoughts on the entertainment industry. I had to change to picture to 5 Wit as a shout out.
That's cool, I just like there to be an image. :)