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Anne Runyon <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 1 Aug 2008 23:33:24 -0400
text/plain (89 lines)
Agree about the TV show criticism.

When you say ... " I think studies have show that the brain goes into a
different mode when being fed video information. It is passive, not active
searching. That does not sound good to me.
So I am in a position where I am suspending judgment and seeking more

Are you comparing video watching to book reading, or to listening to a
lecture, or???  I am curious too. As you imply, I suspect that one learns
(and retains) more when you have to work to absorb the knowledge. Has it
been shown that reading has this effect on the human brain?

Drawing from life causes one to observe and remember an object or scene
differently from talking or writing about what was observed. (Temple Grandon
alerted me to this in her book, "Animals in Translation".)
As we well know, both note-taking and drawing do help one to remember more
accurately, whereas just talking about it often does not. I certainly tend
to fictionalize in direct response to my listener's reactions, and
undoubtedly change the story in the retelling ... just like a real
historian, eh? ;)

Best,  Annie

----- Original Message -----
From: "Britt Griswold" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 4:41 PM
Subject: Re: [SCIART] Your thoughts please

> Chuck makes the case for "the New learning style" pretty effectively.  And
sometimes the haze of history makes the past look better than it really was.
It is surely different. And the recognition on a more formal level that
there are different styles of learning is a good thing for many, many people
who fall through the educational cracks.
> But....
> Have you ever studied the amount of information and concepts that are
actually transmitted in a hour of fact based television?  It is appallingly
low in my opinion.  The effort expending in keeping it entertaining is huge.
One talented person with a word processor can do wonders in passing on
information for a hundredth of the cost.  When you add a talented
illustrator, and a book results, you have covered a vast majority of the
learning population. It would take ten times the viewer's time and a hundred
times the cost to try and get that same information imparted by video.
> Chuck, I wonder if the circles you run in expose you to only the cream of
the raw youthful talent that does amazing things with digital art? Those are
people with the curiosity and drive that would not let them be stopped no
matter what had sparked them (race cars, mountain climbing, chess, etc.)  I
worry that for every one of those you see, there are 99 out there whose
motivation and curiosity has been sapped by endless hours parked in front of
the TV and play station, so that they have wasted 10 years not learning how
to find out what they need to make a rich and fulfilling life for
themselves.  I am not claiming this is the case, but it is my worry.  I feel
I could have been one of those 99, but Art pulled me through, even with just
a modicum of talent.  Maybe I am selling the 99 short, but maybe the
distractions of an infotainment culture are in fact an overload to the
orderly training of the human brain, at least on a mass scale.
> The human brain is probably coping by prioritizing the inputs differently.
I personally have found the ability to look up almost anything on Google
makes me look a whole lot smarter ;-) It is like adding a memory module to
my brain. So I don't think about memorizing details as I did when I was
younger.  That might not be a good thing in some cases. It can slow
execution speed down. But I have enough background acquired the old fashion
way to have some judgment on when to believe what I read and when I should
suspend judgment and get more information, and when to say it is bunk.  Plus
if you don't know what to ask Google, you don't get the answer you need.
That last part is the background you have (by knowing what "EU" stands
for.) - that came from reading.  I could not recommend a student substitute
10 times as much video for reading matter as a efficient way to get an
education.  Maybe interactive learning could substitute, but the development
costs seem much higher than a!
>   good book, maybe that is changing?
> I think studies have show that the brain goes into a different mode when
being fed video information. It is passive, not active searching. That does
not sound good to me.
> So I am in a position where I am suspending judgment and seeking more
> Britt