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Max On Media is a technology-based blog written by Burke Liburt. Burke Liburt is the co-founder and CMO of SynchroPET, a biomedical device company that has licensed patented nuclear imaging technologies from Brookhaven National Laboratories. He has developed marketing strategies at television groups (Dun & Bradstreet/ ABC Television) and at his own multi-media company. Read Max On Media Now!
Stony Brook Innovation Center Blog

Innovations in Upgrading Mental Systems

Oct 09 2017

The most helpful topic for an Innovation Center blog would seem to be examining whether innovativeness can be instilled in people the way installing computer programs enables us to do different things, and if so, how is it downloaded, or learned?  Is there a single Skill Set underpinning all the other attributes that are identifiable in the majority of innovators, short of the few savants floating around, and even there?  Do innovations like the light bulb and Internet arise out of nowhere, or evolve as species do: putting similar things together again and again, and how is that done?  

Everybody knows there is no accuracy or fineness of suppression;
if you hold down one thing, you hold down the adjoining.

  The Adventures of Augie March, Saul Bellow, page 1


Everyone has noticed their computer updating (or ugrading, as it’s often known) software programs automatically, from time to time.  Everybody also hears a lot about lifelong learning; that your degrees aren’t the end of your education, just a new beginning.  You then spend the rest of your life filling in what you learned about, but didn’t have the time to delve into.
I’m a lot older than most of you, and I’ve been doing this sort of thing pretty much my whole life, so I’ve probably seen a lot more about lifelong learning than most of you.  I even took a class in Adult Education here when I was getting my teaching certification.  And I don’t recall ever seeing anything about any of all that lifelong learning automatically upgrading how your mind works, much less getting the rest of what you learn to upgrade how you operate the same way, something like if a chip were inserted in your brain, to install your continual learning in the programs there that perform the functions that are relevant to what you learn. 
Is that possible?  You bet your sweet brain it is!  But like learning to cook, dance, play a sport or music, it requires learning how to do it, practicing the skills you learn, and using them with other people.  And like learning such extraneous things, the manifold rewards far outweigh the time it takes away from learning more about finance, marketing, management, or what have you.  My laptop reboots periodically for certain upgrades, I’m guessing in the software that came with it.  Pain in the butt, BUT … I’m also guessing it’s worth the time it takes for me to reload Chrome, Firefox, Word, and the rest of what I use.
Most if not all of my posts include tidbits—some might say, gems, and people in high circles do—about the processes that writers, composers, and visual artists alike use, as well as the many properties of their work, to communicate fully, deeply, intensely, and clearly, or largely foseek to cus on those facets of reading, hearing, or seeing them.  The whole point of any education is that you see, hear, and FEEL things when you understand how they work, which you wouldn’t, otherwise.  The more you know about them and how they work, the better you see, hear, and feel what they offer.

What I haven’t mentioned until now is that the more engaged you are in the processes and properties of, musical, visual, and verbal communication, not just gleaning the content off the surface, just as a farmer needs to understand how soil works for the land to continually renew itself and nourish him and many other people, the more readily will that new content, which you seek to absorb and assimilate, connects and interacts with what you already know.

Everybody’s got it backwards: they upgrade what they do only by learning more about it, which only improves what they do.  They may also endeavor to learn about behaviors that people can improve, which may—I rrrepeat, MAY—improve how they behave, BUT … if there is one idea about behaviors that is consistent (AXIOMATIC, one might say) throughout all that is known, it is that when people correct poor behaviors, the ROOT of the poor behavior tends to pop up ELSEWISE, as other poor behaviors, the corollary of which is that a DEVIANT mind tends to play TRICKS on itself, DISGUISING our behavioral changes in other forms.

Learning more about the WAYS that people you learn from do what THEY do upgrades HOW you learn from them and everyone else—your operating system, so to speak—AND how what you learn about what to do improves that, as well.  Follow the way that music of all kinds connects different instruments and melodies, visual art connects the unseen world with the ones around and within you, and verbal art connects people, events, settings, and time frames in the foreground and several backgrounds, in different styles and tones.  Read more of these posts for information about other components they use.  Only THAT upgrades your operating system.  Only THEN will how YOU connect the new things you learn with what you already know.

DIGGIT: I am using the way computers upgrade, or update, software automatically as an ANALOGY—to ILLUSTRATE—that you can teach your mind to do likewise.  I can come up with New Ideas like that BECAUSE … (can you GUESS?) I have taught my mind to DO that, myself.  I taught my mind that by not just reading, but EXAMINING, the way your professors examine businesses and medical professors examine bodies: taking apart what brilliant minds write, studying their properties and the processes used to exhibit them, piecing them back together, verrry carefully, and APPLYING The Lessons WITHIN the Lessons to whatever I do.
Our mind INNATELY works that way: recognizing similarities and differences between new situations and ones we already experienced or learned about, BUT … we are also innately capable of running and throwing objects, and still have to learn how to do them WELL, practice them, and continually INNOVATE how we practice AND do them, the same way: by recognizing similarities between them and other things we know and do, as well as the differences between them.  This PROCESS also guides you about what practices to AVOID, I should need hardly mention by now.

If you missed the Laid Back Festival at Jones Beach Amphitheatre last Sunday, Steve Winwood was like hearing—no, SEEING—Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, or Schubert for the first time, as though he embodied their everlasting souls and brought them forth on stage.
You can see the ocean from the nosebleed section—and the stars later on—which made THE best concert I EVVVER saw (and that’s saying something) all the sweeter.  You can also get off your ass (did I say THAT?) and dance without blocking anyone.  Peter Wolf, before Steve Winwood, was very cool, which only highlighted the Quantum Difference between ordinary great and extraordinary.  I don’t think anyone ever did anything more like rock AS classical music.  He even did his two foremost standards: “Dear Mr. Fantasy” from the Traffic days, and “Gimme Some Lovin” from before then with the Spencer Davis Group, AS classical music, using what the masters do with it, the way David Amram turned Fred Neil’s “The Water Is Wide” into a symphonic suite, only better—MUCH better!!!  If you don’t know who Fred Neil was, much less who David Amram and Steve Winwood are, you aren’t in The Game.  They are among The Immortals.
My sister and a friend who joined us there are divorced, so while walking from the huge parking area, I asked why they are having as much trouble settling down with someone else as they did with their husbands.  My upgrades provided an answer to their feeble attempts to address the inescapable fact that there are things wrong with EVERYONE.  “We are ALL unworthy of someone in some ways, and they are unworthy of us in others.  The ONLY question is whether someone is able to see when THEY do equivalent thing, which the other person dislikes, to what that person does, which they dislike.  NOBODY does to others what they dislike being done to them.  They do OTHER things, which don’t bother THEM, but bother the other person.”  Otherwise, someone can’t get along very well with anyone for very long.”
As I like to put it, if someone can’t put 2 and 2 together, nothing much else adds up.

Stony Brook University Innovation Center, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3775

Phone: 631.632.7171
Fax: 631.632.8181