## Education - Why? ##

As a child, education was an action imposed on me, by various means.

At the time, I didn't understand the reason adults spend so much effort at ensuring we know enough to pass it on.

It is because it is simply tenuous. It is with incredible speed that knowledge is lost. An example of such is how twice we found out how to keep disease at bay by cleanliness, and twice lost it for hundreds of years. Probably due to having to flee from turmoil and battle, leaving behind books and tools, struggling to survive a displaced nomadic existence, with no one to pass one's knowledge to (nomads don't stick around in one place long enough to warrant the effort of developing costly plumbing…) knowledge is lost.

For an vivid description of how quickly life becomes primitive, read the following:

## Problem solving

## Unclassified

Two of the most important executive functions are cognitive flexibility and cognitive self-control. Cognitive flexibility is the ability to see alternative solutions to problems, to think outside the box, to negotiate unfamiliar situations. Cognitive self-control is the ability to inhibit an instinctive or habitual response and substitute a more effective, less obvious one. Both skills are central to the training Spiegel gives to her students. To prevail at chess, she says, you need a heightened ability to see new and different ideas: Which especially creative winning move have you overlooked? And which potentially lethal move of your opponent’s are you blindly ignoring? She also teaches them to resist the temptation to pursue an immediately attractive move, since that type of move (as Sebastian Garcia found out) often leads to trouble down the road. “Teaching chess is really about teaching the habits that go along with thinking,” Spiegel explained to me one morning when I visited her classroom. “Like how to understand your mistakes and how to be more aware of your thought processes.”
“It’s uncomfortable to focus so intensely on what you’re bad at,” Spiegel told me. “So the way people usually study chess is they read a book about chess, which can be fun and often intellectually amusing, but it doesn’t actually translate into skill. If you really want to get better at chess, you have to look at your games and figure out what you’re doing wrong.”


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