A new dog, different tricks

A new dog, different tricks

My son is 6 and at this age, they are like sponges, establishing pathways at a maddening pace.

But these pathways are also quickly well burned, and difficult to adjust, proving the adage that raising them right when they are young is far more important than when they are older. I’m of full opinion that now is the time to instill the values, and when the hormones of puberty come in, you just have to let them loose, trusting on the values already instilled.

Convincing him that there is 24 hours in a day took two days to do. The problem stemmed from the two meanings of day — one (as in “during the day”) was for daylight, the other for day (as in 24 hours in a day). Couple this with the difficulty that a day can be an absolute unit of time from 12:00 midnight to the next 12:00 midnight, or can be a relative unit of time that extends from any moment (i.e. exactly one day from now).

What was most telling was to see a 6 year old come to terms with being wrong, after being beaten down by the need for bedtime. “I can’t believe I am wrong“, he said. “How can I be wrong?“. How do we know when we are wrong? How does our brains deal with inconsistencies, especially in a forming brain?

I reminded him of our optical illusions work — which was a similar break down when he could not believe an optical illusion, and burst into tears when shown at the impossibility of it.

From an AI perspective, few programs seem to a) recognize that they are wrong, b) have any built in mechanism for dealing with incorrectness, and c) appear to have any issue with being wrong.

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