[Computer-go] 50k-100k patterns

Álvaro Begué alvaro.begue at gmail.com
Wed Aug 8 06:32:33 PDT 2012

On Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 8:12 AM, Darren Cook <darren at dcook.org> wrote:
> 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.

That doesn't surprise me. I think the young-brain advantage is
strictly for recognizing and reproducing sounds.

> 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.)

My teacher subscribed to some variant of this theory, but I figured it
out myself at the age of 5. Apparently it is fairly common for
children to learn how to read without being taught.

> 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.

That sounds plausible. Perhaps this could be verified using functional
MRI, to see if the same parts of the brain are involved in learning go
patterns or written characters.

>>> 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!
>   http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Impressionists

I see. Well, we've already established that English is my third language. :)


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