Chris Ryan

Arlington, VA, United States

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Comments & conversations

127487
Chris Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
Can a map of the Brain really explain the complexities of consciousness?
No. mapping the brain may account for where we store certain types of information, however it is the unique information stored and how you interface that information with other bits of information that comes together to demonstrate consciousness. A piece of your brain might store numbers, but the difference between that number being a 2 or 4 is the decisive factor in consciousness. However if a large group of "4" type people are studied, you might be able to draw certain conclusions about how that type of person might react in a given situation.
127487
Chris Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
How can a common man participate in "revolutionizing" education?
As the first person in my family to attend University, eight years after graduation, and in the middle of my graduate coursework, I often think of this very question. First, in terms of "the American Dream", and second, in terms of financial stability for anybody who focuses on moving their respective community forward. 1) I have determined that understanding math is key for learning. Mainly algebra. I feel it is the baseline thought process for complex decision making, which all people need in this complex society. Therefore, we need to do a better job at teaching math, and not just to kids who "get" math, but to every kid in terms that they understand. Math for Athletes, Math for Musicians, Math for Mechanics... the principles travel across everything, because math is the universal language. 2) referencing my initial statements, my education faltered because my parents couldnt help me study, because they graduated in the 70's and never really had to apply much of what they learned in high school. They did what most people who graduated then did, they went to work. Today, the world has gotten exponentially complex in a short period of time, and doenst look like it will slow down. Therefore anybody who only has a high school education or less is significantly handicapped, along with their children. because you cant just tell a kid to hit the books and expect things to start making sense. For as well intentioned as my parents were, this is how they thought. They didnt know it, but they didnt feel they needed to. And I needed to know it, simply because that is what the school says at this moment in time. The real revolution in education is parents who can show their children how knowledge is applied in the real world. Teachers can only do so much, especially before they are criticized for stepping outside their "boundaries". Teachers = Information, Parents = Applied Knowledge.
127487
Chris Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
Why evolution could never solve aging?
I feel that evolution hasnt seen the circumstances in human history to warrant the need to live longer. By this I mean the mass starvation, violence, environmental considerations that affect the human body, etc.. when we all start living in a peaceful coexistence and the body, over an extended period of generations, views longevity viable, then it might start happening. however based upon the history of the human race up until this point.. we are still centuries off. Although, it sounds like Kenyon is looking to bypass the necessary evolution cycle. Watch "In Time" with Justin Timberlake, playing in theaters now. It poses the question of a society where people could theoretically live forever (barring physical harm). Kind of neat. Not winning any Oscars... but neat none the less.
127487
Chris Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
Which books have inspired you the most?
Hot, Flat, and Crowded. Friedman brings a laundry list of observations and solutions about today's big issues. It gets you thinking in a different way, which is what we all need to start doing.
127487
Chris Ryan
Posted almost 3 years ago
What's one thing you wish you had learned in school?
How to program. Something like C++, Java, SQL, something. I've determined in my professional life that most people have no clue about the capacity and capabilities of computers and technology. However everybody has a computer at their desk, but barely scratches the surface beyond powerpoint (i know, in know.. .just pretend i didnt use the P word). All that being said, if I could program, I would cut my workload by 25% by automating processes. I've already done this to some extent, as best I could. My boss just thinks I'm smart, but the secret is if you are the one guy who can "harness" technology, you're really just decreasing your workload. In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king... etc, etc.... Now if I just knew how to do it better.
127487
Chris Ryan
Posted about 3 years ago
When was your 'Eureka' moment?
I was on my second tour in Iraq. In the same week, my girlfriend dumped me, my parents told me they were divorcing, my grandmother had a stroke, and I was told we were coming back to Iraq again 12 months after the end of the current rotation. My mind, body, and soul took such a beating, but somehow I was able to keep moving forward. It was after being completed decimated on all fronts, that I discovered the true potential of the human spirit.
127487
Chris Ryan
Posted about 3 years ago
Dan Meyer: Math class needs a makeover
Pointing out that you have to let them define the problem really shows that math really does touch every part of your life. In the end he said "math makes sense of the world", which is a very true statement. People run into problems that simple math can probably help solve everyday, but we have become ill-prepared as a society to solve these problems.
127487
Chris Ryan
Posted about 3 years ago
What subjects do you think you should be taught at school nowadays?
Information management/ programming and Improved math skills. But they need to be taught in a way that kids want to learn. Math is an essential part of everyday life, but nobody wants to open a text book and try and absorb pure math. Kids need to be taught math as it relates to them. You have the kids who get math, but then there are kids who only care about sports, cars, hunting, computer gaming.. And all of these subjects can easily be translated into math. Basic principles can then be applied elsewhere once learned. Teachers need to give kids the freedom to explore math in other things they enjoy such odds of their favorite team wining, then determining what type of offense usually beats their opponent that week, etc... Math as baseline for all other hard sciences will also pull America out of this education pit we have been in these past few decades, and provide a workforce that is prepared to face the challenges surrounding us.