TwilightPixel

How do you learn things?

21 posts in this topic

In particular, I'm curious about how you learned what different animals were. I've been discussing it with a few people, and want to get a larger sample size.

So far, everyone I've asked learned their animals separately. For example, they learned dog, then cat. If they were then shown a horse, they didn't know what a horse was, but they knew it wasn't a dog or a cat. Each animal's separateness from other animals was self-evident, and they only needed the name of the animal.

How I learned was completely different. I learned the first animal, dog I think, and every animal after was categorized by how it wasn't a dog. At first all animals were dogs, then cats were pointed out, and I thought cats were small and dogs were big. Then I found out about cows, which I called dogs, and was corrected. So then dogs were medium sized four legged furry animals, cows were large ones, cats were small ones. When I saw a horse, I called it a cow, and was corrected again. So the fat large ones were cows and the skinny fast large ones were horses. Small dogs threw me for a while until I found another distinction between dogs and cats.

And so on. My knowledge of animals, and most things, is essentially one gigantic decision tree. I don't consciously work through the tree anymore, except when I occasionally encounter some new animal. If it's something weirdly between all of my accepted categories, my mind zips down the logic tree until it hits a point of failure. The animal doesn't fit anywhere. There's a few moments of serious discomfort, the creature not fitting into any place makes it hard to look at, like it's foggy, except the fog isn't a physical vision problem. Then my mind gets past this error mode and I can see the animal clearly, and start trying to fit it onto my tree someplace.

So I was just wondering where you all fell on this, or did you have an entirely different experience?

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I guess I started with dog, since we had one since I was born. We never had a cat. I remember we had Zoobooks, and a Viewmaster type thing with a zoo slideshow. And Little People farm, with the barn that goes 'Moo' as well as a circus train.

We also had a bunny. He bit me and then ran off.

I guess that's where I learned my animals. We also had farms all around us, so horses and cows were commonplace. My neighbor even had a horse, goat, and pigs when I was really little. Oh, they had cats, too. Scores of them. They basically left food out on the porch, and the neighborhood strays all flocked there. I think I learned about the circle of life with those cats. Adult cats were there, then little tiny cats began to appear. Those tiny cats would grow, and eventually become large cats. Those large cats would eventually dissappear, and more small cats would show up.

Those cats also taught me the value of life, and how larger creatures are responsible for the smaller ones.

(spoiler for kinda sad story)

Once, when I was maybe eight, I and the neighbors' granddaughter were playing with the kittens. We put one up on the picnic table, and were petting it. We were called away for dinner, and I went home to my house. I didn't come back for a few days. Upon returning, we found the kitten had never been able to get down, and for some reason, it's mother nevercame to get it. It was dead. Stiff as a board on that table.

Other than that, I can't really remember how I learned about animals.

Edit: I also knew about meat. I knew, for as long as I can remember, where meats came from. It never phased me, then or now, but I cannot eat a marshmallow peep, or any animal-shaped candy, if someone mentions how I bite it's head or ears off. Thank you, mother, for that particualr trauma.

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In general, I accept what a figure of knowledgeable authority tells me, and then if my own experience or evidence to the contrary presents a divergence from previous information, I modify my understanding of the subject accordingly.

Thus if I don't know what a cat is and you tell me a cat is a cat, I'll say, alright, that's a cat. But if you tell me a tiger is also a cat I will examine that idea critically, because I only know cats as the smaller, much more cuddly things. I may request further information. I ask a LOT of qualifying questions to general answers. I like specificity.

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The only thing I remember was having a see-n-say. you know, those things that when you pulled the lever an arrow would spin and it would land on an animal and say "The cow goes *mooing noise*" for example.

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is this thread about how we learn or about how we learned as children in the past?

Or is it about animals?

Maybe frozen cats, iduno

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My childhood is a black void... I seriously remember little to nothing about it, so I can't really give a definite answer...

However, based off of the fact that I learn quickest through visual and doing it... Probably something along those lines... Maybe a see and say or something like that? Who knows...

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My third word was "doggy", so presumably I was able to identify dogs at that age, at the very least. We did have two Rottweilers as pets, so it makes sense. I had an unfortunate habit of sleeping on top of them. Well, one of them, anyway.

Other than that, I don't really know. Dogs were the only animals I was exposed to as a child, so I probably learned about most other animals through books. By that stage, I was probably at the age where it was easier for me to make distinctions between different sorts of animals.

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I keep coming to this thread then leaving because I'm not sure how to answer the question. It's been way too long since I learned different kinds of animals. I could say that I think I'm mainly a visual learner, but I'm not sure whether that's relevant.

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>implying any animal other than orcas matter.

I'd argue that but I've seen what happens when you piss one off. No thanks...

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It has honestly been far too long since I learned about animals to remember. Most likely my parents just pointed to animals and said their names.

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The way I learned it was by listening to others talk about it and then just accepting it for what it is.

People call that a dog, that must be a dog....people call that a cat must be a cat.

I learn by trial and error, I call something a cat, when it is actually a dog, somebody corrects me, I learn and move on and move on.

For things I have never heard of or seen before, I can make a safe assumption about what it is, dogs are very similar in a lot of ways but I wouldn't judge them by looks, but by the way they act. Dogs are by far a lot more friendly than cats are, and cows, well they just don't care...

Now, things are a bit different and I will ask questions before accepting something as the truth.

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I've always been a dog person. Since I was little, there's always been a dog in my household at home. So naturally the first animal I knew about were Dogs.

* Actually it's how I got the scars on my face. Hugged my Cocker spaniel too hard. D;*

I'm not quite sure how I started distinguishing the differences between Cats and Dogs for certain.. I know for certain one difference I learned for myself were "Pointy ears" to "Floppy ears" as well as " skinny tails to Fluffy tails".

I'm not certain about the other animals. I probably just saw them in a book or saw them in real life and just asked what it was. I do know something that helped me memorize what animal was what via the sounds they made.

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The only thing I remember was having a see-n-say. you know, those things that when you pulled the lever an arrow would spin and it would land on an animal and say "The cow goes *mooing noise*" for example.

First thing that came to mind 'ere.

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My parents and older brothers owned a dog when I was born. Also there were a lot of dog adverts on TV when I was young. As a result my first word was "dog" and that is why I prefer them over cats.

The others I learned from TV or picture books. There was also a farm I visted frequently. Once you've nailed cat, cow, sheep and pig, the rest fall into place easily.

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The way I learned it was by listening to others talk about it and then just accepting it for what it is.

People call that a dog, that must be a dog....people call that a cat must be a cat.

This is probably what I want to say. I can't really remember learning animals early on.

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