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Thoughts on Structuring (IT) Similar to (PT)?
in Philosophy

By xMathFanxxMathFanx 125 Pts
Thoughts on Structuring (IT) Similar to (PT)?

*(IT) = Intellectual Training
  (PT) = Physical Training

The Main Idea: 

Physical training (PT) is structured is separated into different parts--that is, (a) Strength (b) Speed/Jumping (c) Flexibility/Mobility (d) Endurance/Cardiovascular (e) Specific Skillsets.  Overwhelmingly, training is organized into exercises, sets, and reps.  Also, different method of structuring the session are employed, such as direct, circuit training, etc.  This has overwhelmingly been shown to be extremely effective in building the body up rather than not having a plan, that is sensible and rooted in principles. 

Now, what if a similar approach were utilized with Intellectual training?  That is, (a) "Strength" [Complexity of argument followed and raw processing power given no time limit]  (b) "Speed" [How quickly the mind accurately computes information] (c) "Endurance" [Increase your mental "fuel tank"] (d) "Mobility" [Ability to quickly jump from one mental task to another differing task]  (e) Creativity (f) Specific Skillsets.

In practice, these are potential sample exercises for each could include (though, of course, not limited to): (a) Difficult Math, Physics, or Chemistry problems  (b) Solving mild to easy Math-type problems quickly, getting through as many as  possible in a given time constraint  (c) (i) Read a long book like "Lord of the Rings" or "War and Peace", see how much you can get through in a sitting (ii) Do an exercise where the word and color mismatch in a column of words, and say the color or words in the list mentally/out-loud for as possible before getting exhausted, and keep pushing back that limit (d) Jump from one exercise to another (e) Artistic endeavor (f) Specific skillsets

Then, one could have (IT) "strength" training sessions, or "speed", "endurance", etc. or train all in one session with Circuit training techniques--which would most definitely trigger rapid neuroplastic adaptations.  

Thoughts?  
joecavalry



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  • It could work, but the training would have to encompass a wider range of things to do. Someone might be incredibly good at writing books and creating worlds in them, but takes a lot of time to think up each word. Or someone who has intellectual prowess in logic and strategy, but is horrible at maths. 
    xMathFanx
  • Polaris95 said:
    It could work, but the training would have to encompass a wider range of things to do. Someone might be incredibly good at writing books and creating worlds in them, but takes a lot of time to think up each word. Or someone who has intellectual prowess in logic and strategy, but is horrible at maths. 
    @Polaris95 ;

    I agree.  Like physical fitness, one could be great at one or two things and still have an overall package that is quite poor.  It is important to train all aspects to be well rounded and most functionally fit--both physically and mentally.
  • Training should be intellectually based and mentally based.
    DebateIslander and a DebateIsland.com lover. 
  • General intellectual training has always been a notoriously difficult problem to tackle. There are two significant problems with it:

    1) It is difficult to design a metric to measure the current individual's performance. For example, in physical training, if a month ago you could only do 30 push-ups, but now you can do 50, then your strength and endurance obviously improved. But in the intellectual training, how do you compare, for example, the ability to follow a complex argument before and after training? Yes, there are some tests and quizzes that tend to correlate between one's subjectively assessed overall intelligence and their responses, but those correlations are somewhat loose and prone to various interpretations with very high uncertainties. While in the physical training, being able to do consistently more push-ups can only mean clear improvement.

    2) As partially a consequence of the former, but also the general neglection of this topic due to the running idea that intelligence is a property of the individual that cannot be changed at will, there are next to none exercises, let alone training programs, that reliably improve one's overall intelligence or its specific components developed. While it might be possible to structure them in the way you suggest in principle, in practice we would have to start from scratch - unlike the physical training field, we do not have thousands years of experience with various exercises and training programs to be able to develop a reliable and tested program.

    Instead, currently various higher education programs simply teach students everything about the field they want to specialize in, while standard education gives them the time-tested baggage of knowledge that is expected to be useful at various points of their lives. The idea is to force the students to do intellectual work, hoping that it in itself will improve their intellectual ability. Much like a peasant working fields every day naturally develops some degree of physical fitness. But, obviously, it is not an ideal approach, and the peasant will never come close to an athlete following a rigorous training program.

    We will probably only be able to address your suggestion when we learn more about how the human brain works. Once we understand how various "brain muscles", so to speak, function, grow and develop, we will be able to consider various ways to artificially accelerate and improve these process.
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