[Computer-go] 50k-100k patterns

Darren Cook darren at dcook.org
Wed Aug 8 05:12:34 PDT 2012

> Well, it might not be an irrefutable theory, but it's a lot more than
> just a myth. Linguists and neuroscientists have been studying the
> issue for decades. Check out
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_period_hypothesis

Thanks for the interesting link.

OK, "myth" was overstating it. But "I feel this is a theory that people
should not assume is true, because there is a large body of
counter-evidence" doesn't roll off the tongue so well :-)

Something I suspect a lot of people on this list might have tried is
learning Japanese kanji. I meet a lot of Japanese learners (even as
young as in their early twenties) who throw their hands up and say they
are too old to learn kanji. They've heard this myth (or whatever, see
above) that only children, with their sponge-like brains, can do it.

In fact it appears to be the opposite: my children go to the local
Japanese school, so I've been able to see firsthand that Japanese school
children spend at least one hour/day, 5 days/week, plus considerable
homework/juku, for the first 6 years, dedicated to learning the first
1000 kanji. That is 2000 to 3000 hours. Plus using those kanji in all
their other lessons.

Adult learners, who actually try, can learn the same amount of kanji in
far fewer total hours.

There is a very under-rated theory, "premature literacy" (perhaps it is
more well-known under another name??), that says children shouldn't
learn to read/write their mother tongue until they are 10 or 11, as the
brain isn't ready for it. (Or, I've even heard claims it damages the
brain, so it cannot learn other stuff so well.)

And, taking that further, so far in fact that I end up back on topic
(!), it has always seemed to me that go patterns are more like written
characters than sounds.

>> More evidence that adult learners can learn new accents: the existence
>> of impressionists.
> Impressionists like Debussy or like Degas? Or perhaps you mean
> "impersonators"? :)

Meaning two here!


Darren Cook, Software Researcher/Developer

http://dcook.org/work/ (About me and my work)
http://dcook.org/blogs.html (My blogs and articles)

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