From the Imagine That! blog at Psychology Today:
“Neophyte means beginner. Neophyte is the opposite of expert. The serial neophyte is one who relishes the prospect of feeling a kid again, embracing the uncertainty of ignorance and discovering new things constantly. The serial neophyte, first cousin to the polymath, purposefully moves from one discipline and one venture to another, transferring thinking skills and problem-solving strategies as he or she goes.”
From a story on NPR about measuring the structural integrity and speed of the brain’s white matter:
Haier says the good news is that we’re not necessarily stuck with the brain, or the brain speed, we inherit. He says thinking is like running or weightlifting. It helps to have certain genes. But anyone can get stronger or faster by working out.
The brain is like a muscle, Haier says: “The more you work it the more efficient it gets.”
So people who practice the violin, or do math problems, or learn a foreign language are constantly strengthening certain pathways in their brains.
And Thompson notes that our brains, unlike our bodies, peak relatively late in life.
“The wires between the brain cells, the connections, are the things that you can modify throughout life,” he says. “They change and they improve through your 40s and 50s and 60s.”
From The Poet’s Trade by Amy Lowell:
“No one expects a man to make a chair without first learning how, but there is a popular impression that the poet is born, not made, and that his verses burst from his overflowing heart of themselves. As a matter of fact, the poet must learn his trade in the same manner, and with the same painstaking care, as the cabinet-maker. His heart may overflow with high thoughts and sparkling fancies, but if he cannot convey them to his reader by means of written word he has no claim to be considered a poet. A workman may be pardoned, therefore, for spending a few moments to explain and describe the technique of his trade. A work of beauty which cannot stand an intimate examination is a poor and jerry-built thing.”
And that’s less than half of it. Read the rest…