Introduction Post

My name is Matthew Kowalski. I am 19 years old and I grew up in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I’m a computer science major whose ultimate dream/goal is to be a part of the first generation to be able to live on in simulation long after our bodies have withered away.

I’ve got a slight tendency to wax poetic when writing about things I find interesting and become terse if I find something actively boring.

My approach to this course is with mild optimism that I may learn more than I did in my high school psych 101 course, though mostly with the knowledge that I am fulfilling a core requirement along the way.

When it comes to writing in response to prompts, I’ve been told that I write like a programmer, short, concise, but still as readable as possible. I believe that is the reason the following is formatted in the way it is.

 

Questions:

  1. Why you chose to take this class? (It is okay to be honest)
  2. What background, if any, do you have in psychology?
  3. What do you think of when you hear the word “psychology”?
  4. Look at the course schedule on the syllabus.
    • Which three topics look the most interesting to you?
      • Why?
    • Which three topics look the least interesting to you?
      • Why?
  5. What question about psychology do you want to answer by the end of this class?

Answers:

  1. I needed to fulfill a core requirement and this class seemed like it would be more interesting than the other courses available to meet that requirement this semester.
  2. I took a psych class in high school though it focused heavily on the developmental stages and things of the like. (IE Piaget)
  3. “Why do people do the things that they do?”
  4. The following seem the most interesting:
    1. The Brain: Micro-level
      1. I am a CS major and most of my planned research in the future revolves around neural networks in computing and whether or not it’s possible to simulate a human mind to a high enough fidelity that we can “store” a person’s “consciousness” (or something close enough to call the same) for indefinite periods of time.
    2. The Brain: Macro-level
      1. See reasoning above
    3. Mechanics of Sleep
      1. The most compelling reason I’ve heard as to why we sleep is “Because we get tired” and for some reason that answer just rubs me the wrong way.
  5. The following seem the least interesting:
    1. What is “Addiction”?
      1. My mom worked in a hospital for 13 years, all of her sisters are heavy smokers. Regardless of the mechanics of addiction, I’ve seen the outcomes. I find it difficult to make myself care about the deep mechanical reasons for people ruining their lives by picking up smoking in high school after seeing the horrible things it does to their bodies.
    2. Personality theory
      1. I’ve taken the “reputable” personality tests being as honest as possible and the answers they put out just don’t feel like they fit quite right. They’re close but there’s always something fatally wrong with some part of the “personality type” they put out.
    3. Personality Assessment
      1. See reasoning above
  6. I would like to know why people are so vehemently opposed to factual information if it goes against what they believe to be true, even if they’ve been proven categorically to be wrong.