...really good teaching is about not seeing the world the way that everyone else does...

"Good teachers perceive the world in alternative terms, and they push their students to test out these new, potentially enriching perspectives. Sometimes they do so in ways that are, to say the least, peculiar."
Mark Edmundson, "Geek Lessons" NYT, 2008

Sunday, 27 March 2011

How Do You Think the Brain Works?

Jeff Hawkins brought the world the PalmPilot and the Treo. Now comes his boldest invention yet: a far-reaching theory of how intelligence actually works.
By David Stipp
Fortune Magazine
Mon, Oct. 18, 2004

All the while Jeff Hawkins was creating the PalmPilot, launching the era of handheld computing, and amassing hundreds of millions of dollars, a big part of his mind was somewhere else. It was somewhere else in 1994 when he dreamed up the Palm's clever handwriting-recognition system—the first that ever really worked. It was somewhere else a decade later when Hawkins helped spearhead smart phones, which can tap into the Internet and act as organizers besides letting you call home.

As far as the 47-year-old engineer is concerned, all that was mere prelude. His true passion, the one he has pursued on the side through all those years of success, is something entirely different. It is an Einstein-worthy puzzle that has fascinated scientists for centuries: What is the source of intelligence? In recent years Hawkins has been closing in on an answer, and this fall he is set to unveil his most revolutionary product yet: a big-picture theory on how the brain works.

Read review.

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