“Nyardely nyardley nyoo” is the technical term my advisor, Dr. Ryan S.J.d. Baker, calls Bayesian Knowledge Tracing for the uninitiated or uninterested. Bayesian Knowledge Tracing is the classic method for assessing student knowledge in learning software programs. For those that do care, says the eminent Dr. Baker, BKT is a two-state hidden Markov model in which a skill is assessed as either being learned or unlearned. However, in this model there are also two assumptions of this performance assessment: (1) even if a student knows a skill, they may slip and make a mistake; (2) if the student does not know the skill, there is a chance that they will merely guess correctly.
This week, I am proud to report, that were I to have been assessed via a prediction model detector designed to determine whether I actually learned a life lesson and transferred that knowledge successfully to a new problem step, I would have kicked the pants off any statistical indication that my “pknow” score was merely a result of guessing. What I am trying to say here is that I successfully applied a learned construct to a novel situation, which resulted in making a good life decision when staring Temptation dead in the face. I am stunned at my own success.
What I am also trying to say here is that, against all odds and probability, I actually made a decision not based on whim and fancy, not based on some intoxicating promise of a heightened reality that, in the dull gray hours of the morning, would leave me with a sick pallor of regret.
What I am saying here is that I think I have finally learned that long term happiness cannot be squandered for the immediacy of an adrenaline rush. (Bite me, Temptation!)
So my take away from this is as follows: once you have learned the Right and True and Good answers that lead you Home and you can actually apply that knowledge to your daily life decision making, the probability of a slip or mistake becomes statistically insignificant in the face of one’s acquired and applied Wisdom. Yeah, Wisdom is the true bad ass in a world of pretenders and sycophants. Because Wisdom does not slip. Wisdom does not guess. Wisdom knows the right answer every time if you are quiet enough to listen to Her. But the devil of it all is that embracing Wisdom hurts not just a little bit. (I know: I’ve got the scars to prove it.) But Wisdom’s great gifts include eyes that see and ears that hear the Truths of how to live a meaningful, substantive life.
So trace that,