Friday, April 30, 2010

A Blog!

Ok, so I suppose it was inevitable. Everyone with something to say has a blog, and I, like most people, tend to have something to say. Actually, I have a lot to say about a lot of things, but here's what I've been thinking about lately, and what I want to focus on for this blog. By now, we know quite a lot about how beings learn. People have gotten quite adept at training dogs and dolphins and chickens and what have you, and folks like Bob Bailey and Karen Pryor and now many others have handed on a lot of good and well-researched information about how to teach dogs and dolphins and chickens and, yes, people. The fundamentals are pretty clear, and kinda obvious when you write them down. If you do something, and that causes something you like to happen, you're more likely to do that thing again. If you do something, and that causes something you don't like to happen, you're less likely to do that thing again. No big surprises. But there are a lot of useful details that go along with that unsurprisingness.

Here's the thing. I read a lot about training dogs. I've read quite a bit about teaching people, particularly in the context of religious education. But I don't see very much about what basic learning theory might tell us about how people behave, and how we might change people's behavior.

OK, really, this blog started because last night, during the commercial breaks of Private Practice, I was trying to explain to Kelsey my theory about how what I know about dog training could explain the whole financial meltdown. I guess it's not big surprise that that conversation didn't really go so well. But she assured me that although I wasn't really making sense in the moment, I was no doubt brilliant, and should write it all down in a blog. She didn't promise to read the blog, but she didn't say she wouldn't either....'s what I want...I want this to be a blog that is equally interesting to my dog training friends and my minister friends, and maybe to other people who, like me, wonder why people do such funky stuff, and if there might be a way for all of us to act a little less funky. I'd like to explain the financial crisis, and maybe reform corporate America. Also, I have a thing or two to say about immigration reform and the fact that my daughter's room has been stunningly clean for over a week now.

So...should you have found your way here and are actually reading this, what can I say but...thanks, Mom! You've always been great about reading whatever I write.