Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Learn Hebrew

Learn Hebrew is a simple but very nice Flash based web site from Jacob Richman which I first began using some months ago now.

First, you can choose what amount to Flash flash cards (er, possibly redundant but... whatever) mousing over the text of which and left-clicking will cause a very clear voice to intone the selection.

Second, the voice used is very clear. Did I mention that? Okay, it bears repeating. Also, the pronunciation is in the modern Israeli Sephardic style. Shabbat is pronounced with a definite T sound and not an S. So this won't help you follow the Charedi community with the heavy Yiddish infusions, but you can figure it out.

Third, there are many different categories of cards to choose from, not just Aleph, bet, etc.

My only real problem with it, and I have this problem with every single other free Hebrew site is there is no clear set of rules and variances taught for when to use a yod or vav to indicate an extended vowel intonation or which nikkudot mean which intonation based on which letter they are used with. Shin, bet, tav is very clearly shabbat. However, why the choice of how you are suggesting the vowel sound be "ah"?

Similarly, the choice of tet or tav, vet or vav, is left unexplained. As it is somewhat strangely in the Hebrew for Dummies book. Put together, you get the problem of the spelling of vet. It starts
with a vet with tsere under it followed by a yod then a tav. I assume Israeli kids get some sort of explanation. Can I have one?

Other than that, this is a great site to start off with learning the letters. I expect more to come from Jacob's site so will be watching.


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