Kathy Sierra, Creating Passionate Readers

If you're not already reading writer and programmer Kathy Sierra's blog Creating Passionate Users, you might want to check it out even if you normally avoid techie talk. Kathy has done time as a game developer and a Java programmer; now she focuses on writing books for the bestselling Head First technology series she co-created. Kathy is especially interested in how the brain works and how to help it learn better. Reading her essays, you can't help but get excited about learning.

Yesterday Kathy published her Clueless Manifesto, something to soothe and encourage anyone who's ever asked a dumb question or wondered why other people said something couldn't be done. A brief excerpt:

Here's to the Clueless Ones

The ones who see things differently

They're not fond of rules (granted, that's because they don't actually know about the rules)

They have no respect for the status quo (see previous statement)

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.
Because they change things.

If you like that article, check out Kathy's riff today on cubicle-related brain damage where she discusses research on neurogenesis (i.e., brain growth) completed by Princeton's Elizabeth Gould:

It would appear that blowing your own mind on a regular basis is not just a good idea, it's a key part of neurogenesis. One of the conclusions [Gould] came to is that "learning heals the brain." And again, we aren't talking emotionally or psychologically, we're talking physical structures. She believes that even those who have been in a stressful environment can undo much of the damage by not just removing the stress, but actively introducing enriching and stimulating things.

Kathy's made a passionate reader out of me. I don't know of another blog that offers such inspiring and well-grounded ideas about learning, whether it be about technology or any other subject.

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