Sunday, April 18, 2010

Paradigm Shifts

A question of interest is how useful is this training for learning. This is of immediate interest as I find myself in a position where I need/wish to make a major paradigm shift. I am a software engineer, and have been quite pleased with my language of choice: Smalltalk. Recently I discovered Clojure, which is a functional language, and is Lisp based. Now, to move from Smalltalk to a Functional language is a major paradigm shift, and one that is not easily accomplished.

So I have been struggling with this, and feeling very much like a beginner who is starting all over. There is a certain amount of pride involved here, I feel like if what I have been practicing in the neuro-feedback is of value, that I should be better prepared for the challenge than not.

Even so, when facing something difficult, there is this problem with attention, when dealing with something that is hard and unfamiliar, the mind readily comes up with excuses for turning aside.

This brings to mind the neuro training, and what will hopefully be a parallel in my new learning task. One of the definitions of attention is that is the faculty of bringing back a wandering attention, over & over again, that this is the root of judgement, good character, and will. In doing neuro-feedback, you are dealing with this issue, the mind wanders, you remember, you bring yourself back.

The difference between attention & immersion is huge. In immersion, you are fully involved, creating new understandings, following creations to their rightful ends. In 'Zen and the Brain' he talks about 'Artful Processes', that these take patience, practice, & skill. Neuro-feedback has felt exactly like an 'Artful Process', and it has had as its reward that it now feels more like immersion than attention.

Right now I could care less about creativity, all I want is to feel effective in picking up this new skill. I am definitely at the attention stage. Will I be able to use what I hope was learning to be effective in making the transition? I have a such a long way to go. The mind rebels at the new patterns. The stake is planted...

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