7 they lower the cost of controlling thought they

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7. They lower the cost of controlling thought -- they help coordinate thought We use maps to orient ourselves, often do extra actions such as muttering, gesturing use Using GPS - low cost of controlling thought There are seven ways (article says seven but lists eight): a. They change the cost structure of the inferential landscape; i. People are coupled to their outside environments, when dealing with 2
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complex problems it is useful to use external representations b. They provide a structure that can serve as a shareable object of thought; i. We can use or create objects that can be seen by other people c. They create persistent referents; i. When we manipulate objects in the real world we know it is the same object d. They facilitate re-representation ; i. We can easily rearrange and reformulate external reps e. They are often a more natural representation of structure than mental representations ; i. An external representation is more accurate and representative of real world than mental simulations f. They facilitate the computation of more explicit encoding of information ; i. Think of simplifying a complex math problem, more explicit is simpler. We can simplify external reps easier. g. They enable the construction of arbitrarily complex structure ; i. Some things in life are incredibly complicated, we can construct these in real life h. They lower the cost of controlling thought—they help coordinate thought . i. We use maps to orient ourselves, often do extra actions such as muttering, gesturing when doing so 2. Can we function without external representations (by just having representations in our head)?- a. At the top of page twelve, left column, Kirsh states, “...physical interaction with tangible elements is a necessary part of our thinking process because there are occasions when we must harness physical processes to formulate and transition between thoughts. There are cognitive things we can do outside our heads that we simply cannot do inside…” Then he argues the point basically saying that even though much of our use of external representation comes down to cost, there are complex interactions that are irreducible to simpler processes that can be done in the head. b. I think no. If we could get away by using just internal representations, we wouldn’t have to connect to the world. But we already know from embodied cognition that we need to connect to the world externally. We also wouldn’t know if we are right in our representations since we rely on others to correct us when we go wrong and don’t know it. c. No, these external representations help us to think the previously unthinkable. We need to integrate multiple representations or else certain discoveries would be out of reach. (e.g. We cannot measure the value of a physical magnitude without measuring it nor most of us can compute a complex math problem in our heads) d. Additionally to all of those arguments, he presents a counter argument “ Any given person may reach their computational limit on problems much smaller than n. And our technology and culture has evolved to support the majority of people. So, in practice, all
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