[Pdx-pm] Later Learning

Keith Lofstrom keithl at kl-ic.com
Sun May 1 07:56:34 PDT 2005

Michael G Schwern wrote:
> The idea what one must learn big, new ideas before a certain age when your
> brain meats harden and become forever crystalized against new ideas like
> some sort of Magic Shell sundae topping is, imo, a load of crap.
On Sun, May 01, 2005 at 04:52:40AM -0700, Michael Rasmussen wrote:
> You need to look into studies about language acquisition.  At the right age
> range you can't prevent a child from picking up a new language.  As one 
> gets older it becomes more difficult. At some point it is no longer possible
> for a person to effectivly create new associations between sounds and 
> vocalizations and concepts.  
> I'm not saying that one cannot lean new concepts, but associating them with
> new symbols becomes more and more difficult.

And the truth is somewhere in between.  I'm 51;  I find it is about 30%
more difficult to learn a computer language than when I was 18.  On the
other hand, what was available to learn when I was 18 were languages
such as Fortran, Pascal, Prolog, Cobol, and Lisp;  not useless, but
not as useful as many modern languages.  So what is the use of filling
your mental attic with languages?  Learn what you need when you need it.
Learn how to learn.  And learn how to WRITE at a professional level in
a natural language.  Those are skills you will always be able to use.
(Oh, and kill your TV - it saps discipline and competes with learning

Larry Wall is learning Japanese.  The "some point it is no longer
possible" for him to learn a natural language will probably be
when he is 90, I'd guess..


Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
KLIC --- Keith Lofstrom Integrated Circuits --- "Your Ideas in Silicon"
Design Contracting in Bipolar and CMOS - Analog, Digital, and Scan ICs

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