Okey dokey … so I posted the Last Lecture video a few posts back, and I just got this gnarly email that I am trying to figure out how to respond to … check it out:
Subject: Randy Pausch Last Lecture
Message: Let me start with: I am not a troll.
But I finally watched this vid–which’s been recommended umpteen zillion times on tech podcasts, so stumbling on your site, it seemed as good a place as any–and, it hurts me. The entire notion of “head fakes” remains the single biggest disillusionment in my life, though this is the first time I’ve heard that particular term. To know that people go out of their way to promote this sort of dishonesty just hurts. I’ve seen the unintended results–the miscommunication–of this style of learning, and I’ve seen it cause suicide. I have the unfortunate burden of knowing that not being straight with one’s self *in foresight* is a recipe for causing social loss, somewhere, probably outside one’s immediate circles. There is definite fallout for lying to one’s subconscious, regardless if you ever see the impact in your own life.
Your reaction to this, likely, involves not trusting me, but I urge wisdom in all things BEFORE anything else. That’s where to put your imagination to use, figuring out how to do that. You won’t do well in society, maybe, but you will do Good. I know it’s a buzz kill to say that those who can’t do that shouldn’t try, but anything else is just neural programming and not really independent thought, anyway. And that’s why this lecture appeals, because it seems right at some deep level, it speaks to something inside us all, but it speaks to the jungle animal and should shame rational spirits. Rise above it; do better than perfect: decide to make the right mistakes.
Thanks for taking the time to read this,
My brain honestly doesn’t know how to process this. It honestly is because of all the beef jerky I have been consuming, but whaatt??? Head fakes are a big disillusion?? Dude, I would have to totally disagree with you.
Per The Last Lecture, here is a head fake:
Dr. Pausch’s legacy is built on what he calls the “head fake” or indirect learning. So Alice is a project that we worked on for a long, long time. It’s a novel way to teach computer programming. Kids make movies and games. The head fake, again, we’re back to the head fakes. The best way to teach somebody something is to have them think they’re learning something else. … the head fake here is that they’re learning to program but they just think they’re making movies and video games. This thing has already been downloaded well over a million times. … And it’s not the good stuff yet. The good stuff is coming in the next version. I, like Moses, get to see the promised land, but I won’t get to set foot in it. And that’s OK, because I can see it. And the vision is clear. Millions of kids having fun while learning something hard. That’s pretty cool. I can deal with that as a legacy.
And he discloses some valuable lessons learned along the way: I did not make it to the National Football League, but I probably got more from that dream and not accomplishing it than I got from any of the ones that I did accomplish. … when you see yourself doing something badly and nobody’s bothering to tell you anymore, that’s a very bad place to be. Your critics are your ones telling you they still love you and care. … And the other thing about football is we send our kids out to play football or soccer or swimming or whatever it is, and it’s the first example of what I’m going to call a head fake, or indirect learning. We actually don’t want our kids to learn football. … we send our kids out to learn much more important things. Teamwork, sportsmanship, perseverance, et cetera, et cetera.
Me = confused. I was taught via head fake as well. I didn’t know when I was matching shapes on a keyboard when I was 2, that I was teaching myself to type. I didn’t know when I spent 15 years as a dancer that that rhythm and expression through movement would have such an impact on me for the rest of my life – even though I never stepped foot on Broadway.
Indirect learning leads to suicides?? I feel like that is a GREAT leap there el nerderino! I can very honestly say I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for the head fakes I received as a child. Did I necessarily get the goal I was working toward, absolutely not! But I didn’t fail as long as I took something away from the experience.
Am I just reading this wrong?? Again, I am really not kidding when I say that the #BJDiet has REALLY derailed my train of thought. I sincerely appreciate the email and all Will, but man, I don’t get it!