Friday, December 17

The Centipede's Dilemma

I had a free moment today, and decided to take a look at Dad's Spiral Notebook, a blog of sorts I started a week or so ago. Admittedly, I'm probably the most prolific reader of my own blog; now over two years old, I look back on some of those old entries, and realize I wrote some pretty good sh!t.

But with Dad's Spiral Notebook, it's a bit different - the text isn't mine; in fact, the content isn't even by the person who wrote it all down. Sadly, that information has otherwise been lost. For all I know, many of the entries may be by the ubiquitous Anonymous.

OK, so I only wrote transcribed those entries on DSNb just a short time ago, but I was only transcribing, not really thinking about the actual content.

So it was during that moment today that I did a search for the first line of today's entry:

A centipede was happy quite,
Until a frog in fun
Said, "Pray, which leg comes after which?"
This raised her mind to such a pitch,
She lay distracted in the ditch
Considering how to run.

I wasn't terribly surprised to find that first line, since wherever it was copied from had to have been popular at some time. What I was not expecting was a search match at Wikipedia. It turns out that some of the stuff in Dad's Spiral Notebook is quite profound, including today's entry.

Known as "The Centipede's Dilemma", it is "...a concept related to cognitive behavior theory that describes a way of confusing someone who was self-taught. It involves forcing an individual to think about the steps involved in performing a task that he or she does intuitively, rendering the individual incapable of performing the task in question. The mental block that the Centipede's Dilemma creates is usually temporary. If a task or action can be taught, then it can be understood, and thus a process one has previously performed intuitively can be learned consciously, removing the mental block."


Dad's Spiral Notebook may just be the blog I read on a daily basis...
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