What does it mean to get an education?
What is the end result of the learning process?
Should you admire those who memorize data or patterns of data?
Do you trust someone's memory rather than looking up important data from a trusted information source?
For repetitive labor jobs, learning a subject means memorizing a set of information needed to rapidly perform a
skill. Unfortunately, in our modern global information economy, most repetitive tasks will eventually get automated.
It is important for each person to consciously decide what subjects to memorize and develop proficiency.
Our entire educational system has been built around the antiquated assumption that learning means memorization
and demonstrating proficiency.
In a complex ever-changing information world, the ability to acquire, triage, organize, use and delete information
is more important that the ability to memorize.
Learning Patterns from Detailed Narratives
Our educational system and media are primarily designed to provide information in the form of linear narratives.
Teachers and textbooks educate by telling stories that involve things and patterns, which they want to introduce to their students.
Teachers expect the students will:
- Listen to the entire story (usually multiple times)
- Recognize the important people and things in the story
- Memorize the relationships between people and things as patterns
- Learn the allowable patterns of verbs and nouns implied in the story
- Apply the patterns they have memorized to similar people and things in the real world
- Eventually be able to recite the linear story to others to demonstrate their "knowledge"
This storytelling and memorization process is used to teach language, mathematics, history, science, engineering, medicine, law etc.
Outside the classroom, traditional media has always used this same linear narrative method to sell ideas and products.
The goal of media is to get you to listen to a story long enough for you to memorize its people, things and patterns.
By repeating these linear narratives over and over, people are forcibly conditioned to memorize the products and patterns,
often without even being aware of what they are memorizing.
This process of learning from narrative has two fundamental flaws:
- You must experience all the details before you can learn a pattern
- You must sit through the entire linear narrative, often multiple times to learn the patterns it conveys.
What if you could transmit knowledge of things and their patterns directly without the need for telling stories
Acquire Patterns First and Details Later
Imagine if you could store all the important patterns you will ever need to learn in an interactive pattern database.
Patterns of data can be stored that represent the basic structure of important information, without needing
to store every detail or story about the information.
Storing the basic patterns that underly an idea, subject or discipline is more efficient that storing billions
of educational stories that all teach the same basic facts and patterns.
DNA stores and transmits compressed patterns of important information between cells and
from one generation to the next.
The patterns in DNA are not useful to us until they are applied to form new proteins and cells. This is the "story of life".
DNA functions the opposite of traditional narrative learning in that the patterns come first and the detailed stories
the patterns can tell come second.
Pattern Management operates on a similar principle to DNA, you build up patterns from many associations of small objects.
Once those patterns successfully represent a concept and can be applied to solve real world problems, those patterns
can be directly transmitted from one person's pattern database to another.
You can think of learning a subject via patterns as acquiring the "DNA Patterns" that makes someone an expert in that subject.
Creating and Collecting Good Patterns
Pattern databases can store objects, associations between objects and visual patterns of those associated objects.
To store patterns, you must first store something to represent the objects that make up the elements of the pattern.
To store the basic "DNA" of a pattern for an idea you only need:
- Objects in the pattern with a minimum of a name and possibly some description of what the object is.
- Associations between the objects to describe the topology of the pattern.
- At least one View of the pattern needed to visualize and use the pattern.
The objects that make up the nodes of a pattern can be as complex as you want including bookmarks, files,
emails, folders or entire other patterns.
The ability to store patterns allows you to accumulate a collection of patterns that you have discovered or that
others have discovered and provided to you.
The ability to never forget an important pattern you have observed is the basic purpose of
Pattern Management technology.
The ability to create, transmit and receive well designed patterns may very well be the more important feature
of Pattern Management technology.
Experts in every subject can identify the set of critical objects and patterns needed to understand a subject,
without resorting to creating linear narrative such as textbooks, videos and lectures.
A good quality pattern should:
Collecting Patterns as a Form of Learning
- Identify all of the objects critical to scoping a subject at a specified level of abstraction.
- Associate objects to show the basic relationships that distinguish a subject from all other subjects.
- Include views of the objects and associations for each way that people normally need to view the subject.
- Associate views for different related subjects into larger patterns.
- Not simply point to narrative documents or create patterns that are simple linear narratives.
- Represent the knowledge of multiple experts who have successfully applied the patterns to real world facts.
Pattern databases allow for a fundamentally different approach to learning.
Learning need no longer be a process of repetition and memorization.
The learning process should involve:
- Collecting data patterns created by experts in your own pattern database.
- Applying those patterns to a set of facts to ensure you are not missing related patterns or data.
- Linking new patterns to your own patterns and objects in your pattern database.
- Creating indexes in your pattern database to quickly get to those patterns and data which you use frequently.
- Memorizing and developing proficiency at quickly finding and applying saved patterns of data.