The excitement of learning

I found this quote on the net:

The excitement of learning separates youth from old age. As long as you’re learning, you’re not old.

I think this is such an important idea. Too many people think that they have learnt it all and that there isn’t really anything else that they need to learn. Einstein, on the other hand, felt that he knew very little and that he would need many lifetimes to have a reasonable knowledge.

For myself  I am finding fascinating new areas to investigate. As those who follow this blog will know my latest interest is in neuroscience (the science of the workings of the brain). I have recently come across the idea of connectomes which is the study of  how the neural connections in our brain work.

I watched a fascinating TED talk by Sebastian Seung in which he explains the powerful idea that we are the sum total of our experiences and how these experiences have interconnected in our brain. We are therefore more than just the product of our genetic inheritance.

The ideas in this talk are largely unproved and are open to debate. I find them fascinating though because they are firing up my interest in the largely unmapped world of our grey matter. I want to learn more. Not because I have to for some test or exam. not because I need to in order to hold down a job it is simply because I find it fascinating… it excites my interest.

I wonder how many children in schools today will be excited by what they are learning? How many will return home and tell their parent or carer that they learnt nothing at school today. School was boring. Learning isn’t… it can and should be really exciting….. it’s what keeps me young… maybe younger (in mind)  than some of them!

 

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