wesley tanaka

Seeing the world through a kid's eyes

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Before we had Ryan, Emily had predicted one benefit to having kids would be we could see the world afresh through their eyes.

This morning, I woke up looking at a prayer flag flapping in the breeze. I immediately and unconsciously had a feel in my head for the weight of the flag and the strength and the direction of the breeze.  I tried to imagine how Ryan might view the same scene—less like an airplane pilot looking at a wind sock and more like an artist painting an abstract painting.

My current mental model of the way kids learn is pretty vague, but I imagine they are sampling the world to figure out the frequencies of things like syllables or words or colors or sounds, and use those learned frequencies in deciding whether to startle from a sound, or what a valid word is.

Maybe one way that exposure to movies and television interfere with brain development is that they cause some of the samples to be of people flying through the air, flags flapping in a manner that doesn't correspond to any likely wind behavior or objects that accelerate or decelerate more quickly than is physically possible.

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by Wesley Tanaka