kognition

When you say "automation"...

If by automation you mean the soulless fiend that takes jobs away from earnest hard-working Americans, the myopic mechanical monster that robs us of the opportunity to use our hands and our minds in the service of exercising agency in the world; if you mean that collection of integrated circuits that amorally moves electrons from one chip to another without regard for the hopes and dreams and lives it may be crushing in the process, then certainly I am against it.

But if when you say automation you mean the time-saving device that allows a loving couple to spend more time together while the dishes and clothes are restored to their store-bought new condition; if you mean the intelligent, vigilant and benevolent robots that prevent the brakes on our cars from locking in the ice, causing an irreversible skid and resultant loss of life or limb; if you mean the marvelous multi-national manufacturing machines that make the drugs that a child with leukemia needs in order to live a healthy, full and productive life, then certainly I am for it.
— Daniel Levitin reviewing "The Glass Cage" by Nicholas Carr

More on pen & paper

Remember when I explained why I prefer reading on paper? I often like writing on paper too, although I usually limit that to mapping ideas/concepts (which I sometimes do on a whiteboard of course - involving even more of my body in the cognitive process) and note taking, rather than writing text for a paper, for example. Well, more evidence is coming our way that paper is superior for note taking, encouraging sparser but more thoughtful notes which created deeper understanding both immediatly and a week after, while notetaking on a laptop is more verbose but also more verbatim, a mindless recording of what words were spoken without considering more thoroughly what was said.

Those who took notes in longhand, and were able to study, did significantly better than any of the other students in the experiment -- better even than the fleet typists who had basically transcribed the lectures. That is, they took fewer notes overall with less verbatim recording, but they nevertheless did better on both factual learning and higher-order conceptual learning. 

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