Programming your Mind
By Patrick Ball
For a moment, picture your mind as a blank slate just waiting to be coded. Is it possible to re-write the firmware that is your minds operating system? Is your firmware open source code or a closed system? What determines the built-in software that is our mind (our firmware)? Or as individuals do we have the free will to program our software from experience?
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Open Or Closed?
For a moment, picture your mind as a blank slate just waiting to be coded. Is it possible to re-write the firmware that is your minds operating system?
Is your firmware open source code or a closed system? What a captivating concept!
Today the social and psychological sciences tend to take the view that Human Beings are 'formed' socially and psychologically by nature as well as by nurture and that there are inherited traits that society can build on and to some extent modify.
Coding Your Mind
Experience Of The Senses
Early in the seventeenth century, it was statesman-philosopher Francis Bacon who first strongly established the claims of Empiricism -
the reliance on the experience of the senses - over those of speculation or deduction in the pursuit of knowledge.
John Locke in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding restated the importance of the experience of the senses over speculation and sets out the case that the human mind at birth is a complete, but receptive, blank slate (tabula rasa) upon which experience imprints knowledge.
Simple To Complex
Locke argued that people acquire knowledge from the information about the objects in the world that our senses bring.
People begin with simple ideas and then combine them into more complex ones.
Is this what determines the built-in software that is our mind (our firmware)? Or as individuals do we have the free will to program our software from experience?
Gradual And Cumulative
Let’s imagine the mind as a white paper void of all characters, without any ideas. Locke did not believe in powers of intuition or that the human mind is invested with innate conceptions.
In his Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1697), Locke recommended practical learning to prepare people to manage their social, economic, and political affairs efficiently. He believed that a sound education began in early childhood and insisted that the teaching of reading, writing, and arithmetic be gradual and cumulative.
Connecting The Dots
What about today? Is the education we receive passive?
We live in a society exposed to more information in a single day than our forefathers were exposed to their entire lives. What are the affects of Television, the Internet, radio, blogs, social media, text messages, and the plethora of information allowed to fill that Tabula rasa?
Through our free will are we allowing our blank slate to be filled with ideas that build strength of character, values, information that teach us to grow and develop as an individual?
To build character, integrity, and a strong work ethic, (useful information)? Or do we passively allow junk to filter into our minds to fill the slate with garbage?
These are questions to explore this year. If you have thoughts or opinions please post them here and let's explore them together.