Here lies Martes Flavigula, eternally beneath the splintered earth.

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The Denial of Immediacy
Wed, 22 Jan, 2020 16:01

A recurring bump in interaction with a friend who will remain anonymous other than saying he has what I call the Newman disease and both severe dyslexia and dyscalculia again happened yesterday. I suggested a course on Javascript using exercism.io, a useful site for learning programming languages at your own pace - ie, when you have free time.

Again, I got an offhand comment about js, but nothing more. Same old story, different epoch. Usually, when I get this sort of response from someone, I blink a few times and move on with my life. Some humans and even mustelids are interested neither in taking general advice or in intellectual self-improvement. Specifically, some are just not interested in educational tasks that will take a (even sometimes very small) chunk of time even if rationally they understand it will diminish various other chunks of future time and especially alleviate frustration.

Usually, I’d say fuck um and move on, but this oxlet with Newman disease (among others) is a particularly good friend.

My impression is that there is an aversion here to any learning that doesn’t have intuitive appeal. It’s an issue that pokes at my enlarged and pustulant liver because it also affected me for many epochs.

My path through primary, middle and high school was so easy that I learned no useful study skills. I mastered everything hurled at me intuitively. I received a nasty blow to the ego when I walked into the University of Texas at Austin and not everything came so easily. I had to sit down and feel myself through a maze of knowledge without that intuitive olfactory sense that leads the precocious rat to the fermented mold.

I tripped and found myself sprawled into a world where I had to grapple with knowledge and especially process to reach any sort of mastery. Bastards. Since, during my infancy and adolescence, I was showered with praise for my gift of intelligence, climbing the debris-littered slope probably took longer than for those who didn’t have it so “easy” during the formative years.

These epochs, I’m wary of anything that comes completely intuitively. I realize that is possibly an extreme, but I find constant self-observation appealing. Hand me a platter of puzzles I must unlock to get at the foodstuffs instead of a steaming döner in a paper sack, please. The hunger will encourage discovery.

The appeal of immediacy is undeniable, but just like plunging into a long term relationship simply because another human or mustelid is feisty in the burrow, initial wonder can lead to debris dodging and bug fixing for epochs to come. I haven’t seen a concise proportional measure ‘tween effort and reward, but am pretty sure always taking the easy, intuitive path doesn’t work out so well for anyone.

Along with martens, goulish goats and the rippling fen -
these writings 1993-2021 by Bob Murry Shelton are licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

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