Discussion:
Googlification of the classroom
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occam
2017-12-02 10:52:31 UTC
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Not sure whether to be awed or scared. The recent discussion in a.u.e.
on the maths exam questions seem to be undermined by Google's education
apps group.

"In doing so, Google is helping to drive a philosophical change in
public education — prioritizing training children in skills like
teamwork and problem-solving while de-emphasizing the teaching of
traditional academic knowledge, like math formulas."

lower down

"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.” He added, “And I don’t know why they can’t ask Google
for the answer if the answer is right there.”

Full NY Times article:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/technology/google-education-chromebooks-schools.html
Arindam Banerjee
2017-12-02 11:23:10 UTC
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Post by occam
Not sure whether to be awed or scared. The recent discussion in a.u.e.
on the maths exam questions seem to be undermined by Google's education
apps group.
"In doing so, Google is helping to drive a philosophical change in
public education — prioritizing training children in skills like
teamwork and problem-solving while de-emphasizing the teaching of
traditional academic knowledge, like math formulas."
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.” He added, “And I don’t know why they can’t ask Google
for the answer if the answer is right there.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/technology/google-education-chromebooks-schools.html
Google may provide answers on many subjects. But on science and engineering
the answers are sketchy. Dumbing down education means building up slaves.
Team-work is meaningless if all they do is inane.

Well, their materialistic degeneracy is catching up at last. Soon they will
go down the slippery slope, as has always happened with arrogant
civilisations.
Arindam Banerjee
2017-12-03 04:06:01 UTC
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Post by Arindam Banerjee
Post by occam
Not sure whether to be awed or scared. The recent discussion in a.u.e.
on the maths exam questions seem to be undermined by Google's education
apps group.
"In doing so, Google is helping to drive a philosophical change in
public education — prioritizing training children in skills like
teamwork and problem-solving while de-emphasizing the teaching of
traditional academic knowledge, like math formulas."
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.” He added, “And I don’t know why they can’t ask Google
for the answer if the answer is right there.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/technology/google-education-chromebooks-schools.html
Google may provide answers on many subjects. But on science and engineering
the answers are sketchy. Dumbing down education means building up slaves.
Team-work is meaningless if all they do is inane.
Well, their materialistic degeneracy is catching up at last. Soon they will
go down the slippery slope, as has always happened with arrogant
civilisations.
The question of stability is intimately associated with quadratic equations,
but then you need to go through a full six months semester on control systems
engineering to understand the importance of the simple quadratic equation.

Essentially control systems are systems that allow a given range of variables
as inputs to the controlled system. When the input goes outside the range,
instability is to be expected. Wings may fly off airplanes, gas pipes may
burst, bridges may fall... The continuing success of an ongoing system
depends upon how good the control system is. Unfortunately, a side effect is
complacency.

A reasonably simple non-linear system may be modelled as a second order
differential equation, which can reduce to a quadratic equation, giving clues
as to areas of performance maximisation or instability, depending upon the
values of the coefficients relating to input parameters. Vital in engineering!

The engineering issues I have dealt with are far more complex. Quadratic
equations are the most basic, as they give the clue to the existence of complex
numbers as solutions to the quadratic. That would take us to the concept of
imaginary numbers, and at that stage we engineers leave behind those who
have the power and the money.

For one engineer who knows the maths to make a product, there are thousands
and millions who do not know anything about maths, but do use the product.

Now if studies are to be dumbed down to exclude maths, if everyone is taught
nothing more than hit calculator or computer keys to get some predigested
result, then there will be NO one around to do the maths it takes to make
the products.

It may seem unfair that the 99% who will never study engineering, and of those that do, 99% may not make new engineering products requiring maths, are forced
to study maths.

But if everyone was not forced to do maths, that 0.01% of the population would
not exist at all. And the remaining 99.99% would not get the benefits from
the maths that form the basis of engineering. The same logic goes for music,
sports, arts... why study anything? Unless you study a subject you cannot know
what you like or not like, what you want to be or not want to be.
LFS
2017-12-02 14:08:13 UTC
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Post by occam
Not sure whether to be awed or scared. The recent discussion in a.u.e.
on the maths exam questions seem to be undermined by Google's education
apps group.
"In doing so, Google is helping to drive a philosophical change in
public education — prioritizing training children in skills like
teamwork and problem-solving while de-emphasizing the teaching of
traditional academic knowledge, like math formulas."
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.” He added, “And I don’t know why they can’t ask Google
for the answer if the answer is right there.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/technology/google-education-chromebooks-schools.html
Having struggled for decades against the increasing dominance of
"skills" " and "competences" in my corner of higher education, I even
gave up despairing some years ago. Knowing how is useless if you don't
know why. Knowing why requires a broad sweep of knowledge about society
and its history.

I have never found any practical use for quadratic equations - or indeed
for much of the maths that I was taught. But I do know a bit about how
mathematical relationships were discovered and the importance of such
discoveries, which I learned in the history of science lessons which
were compulsory in the sixth form in my school back in the 1960s.
--
Laura (emulate St George for email)
occam
2017-12-02 17:21:07 UTC
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Post by LFS
Post by occam
Not sure whether to be awed or scared. The recent discussion in a.u.e.
on the maths exam questions seem to be undermined by Google's  education
apps group.
"In doing so, Google is helping to drive a philosophical change in
public education — prioritizing training children in skills like
teamwork and problem-solving while de-emphasizing the teaching of
traditional academic knowledge, like math formulas."
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.” He added, “And I don’t know why they can’t ask Google
for the answer if the answer is right there.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/technology/google-education-chromebooks-schools.html
Having struggled for decades against the increasing dominance of
"skills" " and "competences" in my corner of higher education, I even
gave up despairing some years ago.
Knowing how is useless if you don't
know why. Knowing why requires a broad sweep of knowledge about society
and its history.
You realise that the first of those sentences is what engineers do. The
second sentence is what scientists do, namely explain 'why' what
engineers do works.

When you call an electrician, would you rather he fixed the faulty fuse
or that he can explain the why of electron flow, the history of the
invention of electricity and how it affected society?

I agree theory is important. However the reason why plumbers, say, in NY
city earn more than fluid engineers is because they know 'how'.
Post by LFS
I have never found any practical use for quadratic equations - or indeed
for much of the maths that I was taught. But I do know a bit about how
mathematical relationships were discovered and the importance of such
discoveries, which I learned in the history of science lessons which
were compulsory in the sixth form in my school back in the 1960s.
Peter Moylan
2017-12-03 03:35:28 UTC
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Post by occam
Post by LFS
Having struggled for decades against the increasing dominance of
"skills" " and "competences" in my corner of higher education, I
even gave up despairing some years ago.
It's not just your corner. It's a disease that has been infiltrating
higher education ever since the academic managers were replaced by
managerial managers.

Focusing on skills and competences does make sense for lower-level jobs,
where all you want is a sort of high-class robot to do the work. At
tertiary level, that focus misses the point, and distracts both teacher
and student from the real learning that has to be done.
Post by occam
Knowing how is useless if you don't know why. Knowing why requires
a broad sweep of knowledge about society and its history.
You realise that the first of those sentences is what engineers do.
The second sentence is what scientists do, namely explain 'why' what
engineers do works.
Yes, and one of the first things you do when educating engineers is to
get them to learn the science. Without that, you get non-creative
technicians rather than design engineers.
Post by occam
When you call an electrician, would you rather he fixed the faulty
fuse or that he can explain the why of electron flow, the history of
the invention of electricity and how it affected society?
I agree theory is important. However the reason why plumbers, say,
in NY city earn more than fluid engineers is because they know
'how'.
Electricians and plumbers are important to our society, but they would
be out of a job if engineers weren't there designing the power stations
and the water reticulation systems and the measuring instruments and so on.

The problem with Mr Rochelle and his ilk is that they are focusing only
on their own area of competence. We have a complex society, with a great
many different kinds of jobs to be done to make it all work. The people
who are talking about "skills like
teamwork and problem-solving" need to step back and see the broader picture.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
LFS
2017-12-03 06:38:52 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
Post by LFS
Having struggled for decades against the increasing dominance of
"skills" " and "competences" in my corner of higher education, I
even gave up despairing some years ago.
It's not just your corner. It's a disease that has been infiltrating
higher education ever since the academic managers were replaced by
managerial managers.
Focusing on skills and competences does make sense for lower-level jobs,
where all you want is a sort of high-class robot to do the work. At
tertiary level, that focus misses the point, and distracts both teacher
and student from the real learning that has to be done.
Post by occam
Knowing how is useless if you don't know why. Knowing why requires
a broad sweep of knowledge about society and its history.
You realise that the first of those sentences is what engineers do.
The second sentence is what scientists do, namely explain 'why' what
 engineers do works.
Yes, and one of the first things you do when educating engineers is to
get them to learn the science. Without that, you get non-creative
technicians rather than design engineers.
Exactly. It's the same with accountants. You can train people to keep
the books but they probably won't be the people who can take a critical
view of the processes and consider whether they are appropriate in a
changing economic environment.
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
When you call an electrician, would you rather he fixed the faulty
fuse or that he can explain the why of electron flow, the history of
the invention of electricity and how it affected society?
I agree theory is important. However the reason why plumbers, say,
in NY city earn more than fluid engineers is because they know
'how'.
Electricians and plumbers are important to our society, but they would
be out of a job if engineers weren't there designing the power stations
and the water reticulation systems and the measuring instruments and so on.
The problem with Mr Rochelle and his ilk is that they are focusing only
on their own area of competence. We have a complex society, with a great
many different kinds of jobs to be done to make it all work. The people
who are talking about "skills like
teamwork and problem-solving" need to step back and see the broader picture.
Indeed.
--
Laura (emulate St George for email)
Tak To
2017-12-03 12:38:52 UTC
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Post by LFS
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
Post by LFS
Having struggled for decades against the increasing dominance of
"skills" " and "competences" in my corner of higher education, I
even gave up despairing some years ago.
It's not just your corner. It's a disease that has been infiltrating
higher education ever since the academic managers were replaced by
managerial managers.
Focusing on skills and competences does make sense for lower-level jobs,
where all you want is a sort of high-class robot to do the work. At
tertiary level, that focus misses the point, and distracts both teacher
and student from the real learning that has to be done.
Post by occam
Knowing how is useless if you don't know why. Knowing why requires
a broad sweep of knowledge about society and its history.
You realise that the first of those sentences is what engineers do.
The second sentence is what scientists do, namely explain 'why' what
 engineers do works.
Yes, and one of the first things you do when educating engineers is to
get them to learn the science. Without that, you get non-creative
technicians rather than design engineers.
Exactly. It's the same with accountants. You can train people to keep
the books but they probably won't be the people who can take a critical
view of the processes and consider whether they are appropriate in a
changing economic environment.
I am not sure I understand your analogy completely. You mean
accountants are trained like technicians now but you would like
to elevate their training so that they are more engineers?
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2017-12-03 19:00:26 UTC
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Post by Tak To
Post by LFS
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
Post by LFS
Having struggled for decades against the increasing dominance of
"skills" " and "competences" in my corner of higher education, I
even gave up despairing some years ago.
It's not just your corner. It's a disease that has been infiltrating
higher education ever since the academic managers were replaced by
managerial managers.
Focusing on skills and competences does make sense for lower-level jobs,
where all you want is a sort of high-class robot to do the work. At
tertiary level, that focus misses the point, and distracts both teacher
and student from the real learning that has to be done.
Post by occam
Knowing how is useless if you don't know why. Knowing why requires
a broad sweep of knowledge about society and its history.
You realise that the first of those sentences is what engineers do.
The second sentence is what scientists do, namely explain 'why' what
 engineers do works.
Yes, and one of the first things you do when educating engineers is to
get them to learn the science. Without that, you get non-creative
technicians rather than design engineers.
Exactly. It's the same with accountants. You can train people to keep
the books but they probably won't be the people who can take a critical
view of the processes and consider whether they are appropriate in a
changing economic environment.
I am not sure I understand your analogy completely. You mean
accountants are trained like technicians now but you would like
to elevate their training so that they are more engineers?
There is presumably a place for the technician-style accountant and the
engineer-type accountant. They have different skills and knowledge.
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
Tak To
2017-12-03 19:43:44 UTC
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Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Tak To
Post by LFS
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
Post by LFS
Having struggled for decades against the increasing dominance of
"skills" " and "competences" in my corner of higher education, I
even gave up despairing some years ago.
It's not just your corner. It's a disease that has been infiltrating
higher education ever since the academic managers were replaced by
managerial managers.
Focusing on skills and competences does make sense for lower-level jobs,
where all you want is a sort of high-class robot to do the work. At
tertiary level, that focus misses the point, and distracts both teacher
and student from the real learning that has to be done.
Post by occam
Knowing how is useless if you don't know why. Knowing why requires
a broad sweep of knowledge about society and its history.
You realise that the first of those sentences is what engineers do.
The second sentence is what scientists do, namely explain 'why' what
 engineers do works.
Yes, and one of the first things you do when educating engineers is to
get them to learn the science. Without that, you get non-creative
technicians rather than design engineers.
Exactly. It's the same with accountants. You can train people to keep
the books but they probably won't be the people who can take a critical
view of the processes and consider whether they are appropriate in a
changing economic environment.
I am not sure I understand your analogy completely. You mean
accountants are trained like technicians now but you would like
to elevate their training so that they are more engineers?
There is presumably a place for the technician-style accountant and the
engineer-type accountant. They have different skills and knowledge.
I have the feeling that the latter kind will be called X people
with knowledge of accounting, rather than accountants with
knowledge of X.

I know very little about what the profession of accounting. I
am drawing an analogy from my own profession of programming.

The actuary profession seem to be treated the opposite way --
at least inside insurance companies (in the US).
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
LFS
2017-12-04 07:52:10 UTC
Reply
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Post by Tak To
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Tak To
Post by LFS
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
Post by LFS
Having struggled for decades against the increasing dominance of
"skills" " and "competences" in my corner of higher education, I
even gave up despairing some years ago.
It's not just your corner. It's a disease that has been infiltrating
higher education ever since the academic managers were replaced by
managerial managers.
Focusing on skills and competences does make sense for lower-level jobs,
where all you want is a sort of high-class robot to do the work. At
tertiary level, that focus misses the point, and distracts both teacher
and student from the real learning that has to be done.
Post by occam
Knowing how is useless if you don't know why. Knowing why requires
a broad sweep of knowledge about society and its history.
You realise that the first of those sentences is what engineers do.
The second sentence is what scientists do, namely explain 'why' what
 engineers do works.
Yes, and one of the first things you do when educating engineers is to
get them to learn the science. Without that, you get non-creative
technicians rather than design engineers.
Exactly. It's the same with accountants. You can train people to keep
the books but they probably won't be the people who can take a critical
view of the processes and consider whether they are appropriate in a
changing economic environment.
I am not sure I understand your analogy completely. You mean
accountants are trained like technicians now but you would like
to elevate their training so that they are more engineers?
There is presumably a place for the technician-style accountant and the
engineer-type accountant. They have different skills and knowledge.
Indeed. A senior member of the accountancy profession would be expected
to exercise skills of judgement and interpretation that would not be
expected of a bookkeeper, who could do his/her job without a
professional qualification.
Post by Tak To
I have the feeling that the latter kind will be called X people
with knowledge of accounting, rather than accountants with
knowledge of X.
I know very little about what the profession of accounting. I
am drawing an analogy from my own profession of programming.
The actuary profession seem to be treated the opposite way --
at least inside insurance companies (in the US).
I'm not sure what claim programming has to be considered a profession.
Can programmers practice without being members of a professional body
which has trained them?
--
Laura (emulate St George for email)
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-04 08:36:21 UTC
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Post by LFS
Post by Tak To
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Tak To
Post by LFS
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
Post by LFS
Having struggled for decades against the increasing dominance of
"skills" " and "competences" in my corner of higher education, I
even gave up despairing some years ago.
It's not just your corner. It's a disease that has been infiltrating
higher education ever since the academic managers were replaced by
managerial managers.
Focusing on skills and competences does make sense for lower-level jobs,
where all you want is a sort of high-class robot to do the work. At
tertiary level, that focus misses the point, and distracts both teacher
and student from the real learning that has to be done.
Post by occam
Knowing how is useless if you don't know why. Knowing why requires
a broad sweep of knowledge about society and its history.
You realise that the first of those sentences is what engineers do.
The second sentence is what scientists do, namely explain 'why' what
engineers do works.
Yes, and one of the first things you do when educating engineers is to
get them to learn the science. Without that, you get non-creative
technicians rather than design engineers.
Exactly. It's the same with accountants. You can train people to keep
the books but they probably won't be the people who can take a critical
view of the processes and consider whether they are appropriate in a
changing economic environment.
I am not sure I understand your analogy completely. You mean
accountants are trained like technicians now but you would like
to elevate their training so that they are more engineers?
There is presumably a place for the technician-style accountant and the
engineer-type accountant. They have different skills and knowledge.
Indeed. A senior member of the accountancy profession would be expected
to exercise skills of judgement and interpretation that would not be
expected of a bookkeeper, who could do his/her job without a
professional qualification.
Post by Tak To
I have the feeling that the latter kind will be called X people
with knowledge of accounting, rather than accountants with
knowledge of X.
I know very little about what the profession of accounting. I
am drawing an analogy from my own profession of programming.
The actuary profession seem to be treated the opposite way --
at least inside insurance companies (in the US).
I'm not sure what claim programming has to be considered a profession.
Can programmers practice without being members of a professional body
which has trained them?
The word "professional" has been used to describe boxers, golfers, track
and field athletes, football players, and even politicians, I see no
reason not to apply it to programmers.

If we're going to be reactionary about it, the only true professions are
the clergy, medicine, and the law - in which case accountants,
actuaries, teachers, surveyors, engineers etc are not professionals at all!

And if we're not, let's not.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2017-12-04 13:17:00 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by LFS
Post by Tak To
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by Tak To
Post by LFS
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
Post by LFS
Having struggled for decades against the increasing dominance of
"skills" " and "competences" in my corner of higher education, I
even gave up despairing some years ago.
It's not just your corner. It's a disease that has been infiltrating
higher education ever since the academic managers were replaced by
managerial managers.
Focusing on skills and competences does make sense for lower-level jobs,
where all you want is a sort of high-class robot to do the work. At
tertiary level, that focus misses the point, and distracts both teacher
and student from the real learning that has to be done.
Post by occam
Knowing how is useless if you don't know why. Knowing why requires
a broad sweep of knowledge about society and its history.
You realise that the first of those sentences is what engineers do.
The second sentence is what scientists do, namely explain 'why' what
engineers do works.
Yes, and one of the first things you do when educating engineers is to
get them to learn the science. Without that, you get non-creative
technicians rather than design engineers.
Exactly. It's the same with accountants. You can train people to keep
the books but they probably won't be the people who can take a critical
view of the processes and consider whether they are appropriate in a
changing economic environment.
I am not sure I understand your analogy completely. You mean
accountants are trained like technicians now but you would like
to elevate their training so that they are more engineers?
There is presumably a place for the technician-style accountant and the
engineer-type accountant. They have different skills and knowledge.
Indeed. A senior member of the accountancy profession would be expected
to exercise skills of judgement and interpretation that would not be
expected of a bookkeeper, who could do his/her job without a
professional qualification.
Post by Tak To
I have the feeling that the latter kind will be called X people
with knowledge of accounting, rather than accountants with
knowledge of X.
I know very little about what the profession of accounting. I
am drawing an analogy from my own profession of programming.
The actuary profession seem to be treated the opposite way --
at least inside insurance companies (in the US).
I'm not sure what claim programming has to be considered a profession.
Can programmers practice without being members of a professional body
which has trained them?
The word "professional" has been used to describe boxers, golfers, track
and field athletes, football players, and even politicians, I see no
reason not to apply it to programmers.
In the case of sports people "professional" distinguishes them from
"amateur".
Post by Richard Heathfield
If we're going to be reactionary about it, the only true professions are
the clergy, medicine, and the law - in which case accountants,
actuaries, teachers, surveyors, engineers etc are not professionals at all!
And if we're not, let's not.
I understood Laura's "I'm not sure what claim programming has to be
considered a profession" to use "profession" in the sense of a field of
activity in which a formal qualification is required, and in British,
etc, contexts has a body for the self-regulation of members of the
profession.

In the case of computing in the UK there is a professional body, the
British Computer Society.
http://www.bcs.org/category/5651

While the BCS awards qualifications and works to raise standards in
business analysis, computing system design and programming there is, as
far as I know, no legal requirement for a practitioner to be
appropriately qualified.
However, it can be beneficial for a job applicant to have a relevant
qualification from the BCS as well as relevant experience.
http://certifications.bcs.org/

There is a Code of Conduct which applies to members of all grades.
http://www.bcs.org/category/6030

In addition to the professional grades of Member of the BCS and Fellow
of the BCS there is the status of CITP (Chartered Information Technology
Professional). That is awarded by the BCS under the terms of its Royal
Charter. The BCS chose not to add the word Royal to its name when it
gained a Royal Charter.

My professional status is "MBCS CITP".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartered_IT_Professional
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
the Omrud
2017-12-04 16:31:07 UTC
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Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
In addition to the professional grades of Member of the BCS and Fellow
of the BCS there is the status of CITP (Chartered Information Technology
Professional). That is awarded by the BCS under the terms of its Royal
Charter. The BCS chose not to add the word Royal to its name when it
gained a Royal Charter.
My professional status is "MBCS CITP".
Oh, go on then. FBCS, CITP, CEng here. Oh, and Eur Ing, which is
pre-nominal but largely unknown in the UK.
--
David
charles
2017-12-04 16:50:12 UTC
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Post by the Omrud
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
In addition to the professional grades of Member of the BCS and Fellow
of the BCS there is the status of CITP (Chartered Information Technology
Professional). That is awarded by the BCS under the terms of its Royal
Charter. The BCS chose not to add the word Royal to its name when it
gained a Royal Charter.
My professional status is "MBCS CITP".
Oh, go on then. FBCS, CITP, CEng here. Oh, and Eur Ing, which is
pre-nominal but largely unknown in the UK.
except by other engineers

Charles CEng MIET
--
from KT24 in Surrey, England
Stefan Ram
2017-12-04 13:38:27 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
The word "professional" has been used to describe boxers, golfers, track
and field athletes, football players, and even politicians, I see no
reason not to apply it to programmers.
»... bug to slip through a module, and it cost your
company $10,000? The nonprofessional would shrug his
shoulders, say "stuff happens," and start writing the
next module. The professional would write the company
a check for $10,000!«

Robert C. Martin, The Clean Coder:
A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers.
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-04 13:56:55 UTC
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Post by Stefan Ram
Post by Richard Heathfield
The word "professional" has been used to describe boxers, golfers, track
and field athletes, football players, and even politicians, I see no
reason not to apply it to programmers.
»... bug to slip through a module, and it cost your
company $10,000? The nonprofessional would shrug his
shoulders, say "stuff happens," and start writing the
next module. The professional would write the company
a check for $10,000!«
A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers.
In the UK programming contract market, that's what Public Liability
Insurance is for. (Admittedly, not all contractors take out a policy -
but it is recommended practice.)
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
s***@gowanhill.com
2017-12-04 14:09:26 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
If we're going to be reactionary about it, the only true professions are
the clergy, medicine, and the law
And, of course, there's the oldest profession.

Owain
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-04 14:19:33 UTC
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Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by Richard Heathfield
If we're going to be reactionary about it, the only true professions are
the clergy, medicine, and the law
And, of course, there's the oldest profession.
Presumably you mean management consultancy.

"Ah," said the management consultant (at the end of a long debate about
the oldest profession), "but who do you think /created/ the chaos?"
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Adam Funk
2017-12-04 16:25:14 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by Richard Heathfield
If we're going to be reactionary about it, the only true professions are
the clergy, medicine, and the law
And, of course, there's the oldest profession.
Presumably you mean management consultancy.
"Ah," said the management consultant (at the end of a long debate about
the oldest profession), "but who do you think /created/ the chaos?"
I'd heard that one with "lawyer", but OK!
--
Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but
that's not why we do it. --- Richard Feynman
LFS
2017-12-03 06:50:13 UTC
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Post by occam
Post by LFS
Post by occam
Not sure whether to be awed or scared. The recent discussion in a.u.e.
on the maths exam questions seem to be undermined by Google's  education
apps group.
"In doing so, Google is helping to drive a philosophical change in
public education — prioritizing training children in skills like
teamwork and problem-solving while de-emphasizing the teaching of
traditional academic knowledge, like math formulas."
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.” He added, “And I don’t know why they can’t ask Google
for the answer if the answer is right there.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/technology/google-education-chromebooks-schools.html
Having struggled for decades against the increasing dominance of
"skills" " and "competences" in my corner of higher education, I even
gave up despairing some years ago.
Knowing how is useless if you don't
know why. Knowing why requires a broad sweep of knowledge about society
and its history.
You realise that the first of those sentences is what engineers do. The
second sentence is what scientists do, namely explain 'why' what
engineers do works.
When you call an electrician, would you rather he fixed the faulty fuse
or that he can explain the why of electron flow, the history of the
invention of electricity and how it affected society?
I don't see that these are mutually exclusive.
Post by occam
I agree theory is important. However the reason why plumbers, say, in NY
city earn more than fluid engineers is because they know 'how'.
The word theory can be very misleading. For me, knowing why requires an
understanding of the context within which theory may have developed.

My corner of higher education does not include electricians or plumbers.
It does include accountants. Bookkeepers perform a valuable function but
can acquire the necessary skills without studying at tertiary level. To
sustain and develop the profession of which bookkeeping forms a part, a
level of critical understanding of the professional activities involved
is needed: the requisite skills may become outdated because of a
changing economic environment and without some knowledge of what has
been tried before, and why, it is unlikely that appropriate progress can
be made.
--
Laura (emulate St George for email)
Lewis
2017-12-03 13:43:02 UTC
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Post by LFS
Post by occam
Post by LFS
Post by occam
Not sure whether to be awed or scared. The recent discussion in a.u.e.
on the maths exam questions seem to be undermined by Google's  education
apps group.
"In doing so, Google is helping to drive a philosophical change in
public education — prioritizing training children in skills like
teamwork and problem-solving while de-emphasizing the teaching of
traditional academic knowledge, like math formulas."
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.” He added, “And I don’t know why they can’t ask Google
for the answer if the answer is right there.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/technology/google-education-chromebooks-schools.html
Having struggled for decades against the increasing dominance of
"skills" " and "competences" in my corner of higher education, I even
gave up despairing some years ago.
Knowing how is useless if you don't
know why. Knowing why requires a broad sweep of knowledge about society
and its history.
You realise that the first of those sentences is what engineers do. The
second sentence is what scientists do, namely explain 'why' what
engineers do works.
When you call an electrician, would you rather he fixed the faulty fuse
or that he can explain the why of electron flow, the history of the
invention of electricity and how it affected society?
I don't see that these are mutually exclusive.
The first guy is doing the job you need, the second is prattling on
about things that do nothing to fix your problem.
--
The only good thing ever to come out of religion was the music.
Tak To
2017-12-03 14:24:52 UTC
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Post by LFS
Post by occam
Post by LFS
Post by occam
Not sure whether to be awed or scared. The recent discussion in a.u.e.
on the maths exam questions seem to be undermined by Google's  education
apps group.
"In doing so, Google is helping to drive a philosophical change in
public education — prioritizing training children in skills like
teamwork and problem-solving while de-emphasizing the teaching of
traditional academic knowledge, like math formulas."
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.” He added, “And I don’t know why they can’t ask Google
for the answer if the answer is right there.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/technology/google-education-chromebooks-schools.html
Having struggled for decades against the increasing dominance of
"skills" " and "competences" in my corner of higher education, I even
gave up despairing some years ago.
Knowing how is useless if you don't
know why. Knowing why requires a broad sweep of knowledge about society
and its history.
You realise that the first of those sentences is what engineers do. The
second sentence is what scientists do, namely explain 'why' what
engineers do works.
When you call an electrician, would you rather he fixed the faulty fuse
or that he can explain the why of electron flow, the history of the
invention of electricity and how it affected society?
I don't see that these are mutually exclusive.
Post by occam
I agree theory is important. However the reason why plumbers, say, in NY
city earn more than fluid engineers is because they know 'how'.
The word theory can be very misleading. For me, knowing why requires an
understanding of the context within which theory may have developed.
My corner of higher education does not include electricians or plumbers.
It does include accountants. Bookkeepers perform a valuable function but
can acquire the necessary skills without studying at tertiary level. To
sustain and develop the profession of which bookkeeping forms a part, a
level of critical understanding of the professional activities involved
is needed: the requisite skills may become outdated because of a
changing economic environment and without some knowledge of what has
been tried before, and why, it is unlikely that appropriate progress can
be made.
I think you and Occam are talking two different kinds of "why"'s.
IIUC, he is talking about "why is it so?" and you are talking
about "why do we do so?". The first is for understanding the
"laws of", the second for "laws for".

The latter kind is relevant to electricians and plumbers as well.
For example, it is important to understand why regulations and
best practises are set so.
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
s***@gowanhill.com
2017-12-02 14:11:04 UTC
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Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"

Owain
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-02 14:40:24 UTC
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Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
David Kleinecke
2017-12-02 17:24:06 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing. All you have to do is remember
how solve quadratic equations by completing the squares.

That is not a joke. One has learned a great deal more when
one understands the process and not a mere formula.
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-02 18:02:58 UTC
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Post by David Kleinecke
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing.
Nevertheless, /having/ memorised it, it isn't worth the trouble of
forgetting.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
occam
2017-12-02 18:41:28 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by David Kleinecke
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing.
Nevertheless, /having/ memorised it, it isn't worth the trouble of
forgetting.
That's silly. One of the advantages of human memory is that you do not
have to go into any trouble to forget things. (I have heard, however, of
people with eidetic memory who use special techniques to forget
unnecessary details and facts, for peace of mind.)
Katy Jennison
2017-12-02 21:54:09 UTC
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Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by David Kleinecke
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing.
Nevertheless, /having/ memorised it, it isn't worth the trouble of
forgetting.
That's silly. One of the advantages of human memory is that you do not
have to go into any trouble to forget things.
No? I'd quite like to forget a whole slew of useless stuff, like the
phone number of my childhood home, for instance, in the interests of
freeing-up space in my memory for stuff which would be useful today,
like the names of people I've just met. Yet the phone number
obstinately resists being forgotten.

(I have heard, however, of
Post by occam
people with eidetic memory who use special techniques to forget
unnecessary details and facts, for peace of mind.)
Do you know what these techniques are?
--
Katy Jennison
Richard Tobin
2017-12-02 22:10:27 UTC
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Post by Katy Jennison
No? I'd quite like to forget a whole slew of useless stuff, like the
phone number of my childhood home, for instance, in the interests of
freeing-up space in my memory for stuff which would be useful today,
I think you have taken the computer memory analogy a bit too far.

-- Richard
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-12-03 18:02:05 UTC
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Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Katy Jennison
No? I'd quite like to forget a whole slew of useless stuff, like the
phone number of my childhood home, for instance, in the interests of
freeing-up space in my memory for stuff which would be useful today,
I think you have taken the computer memory analogy a bit too far.
When my daughter was acquiring three languages simultaneously and never
getting confused about them I realized that the human mind is not a
container with limited capacity. The more you put in it the more room
there is for more.
--
athel
Mark Brader
2017-12-03 18:10:30 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
When my daughter was acquiring three languages simultaneously and never
getting confused about them I realized that the human mind is not a
container with limited capacity.
ObGaryLarson:

Loading Image...
--
Mark Brader, Toronto | "So *you* say." --Toddy Beamish
***@vex.net | (H.G. Wells, "The Man Who Could Work Miracles")
Peter T. Daniels
2017-12-03 20:31:55 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Katy Jennison
No? I'd quite like to forget a whole slew of useless stuff, like the
phone number of my childhood home, for instance, in the interests of
freeing-up space in my memory for stuff which would be useful today,
I think you have taken the computer memory analogy a bit too far.
When my daughter was acquiring three languages simultaneously and never
getting confused about them I realized that the human mind is not a
container with limited capacity. The more you put in it the more room
there is for more.
Whereas if you'd ever read a Linguistics 101 textbook, you'd have learned that
without having had to experience it.
Peter Moylan
2017-12-04 01:36:58 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Katy Jennison
No? I'd quite like to forget a whole slew of useless stuff, like the
phone number of my childhood home, for instance, in the interests of
freeing-up space in my memory for stuff which would be useful today,
I think you have taken the computer memory analogy a bit too far.
When my daughter was acquiring three languages simultaneously and never
getting confused about them I realized that the human mind is not a
container with limited capacity. The more you put in it the more room
there is for more.
I've seen a variety of estimates of how much of our brains we use, but
everyone is agreed that the answer is quite a lot below 100%. We'd have
to live a lot longer before having to worry about capacity problems.

We forget things as we age not because of a shortage of physical memory,
but because of physical damage to the existing memory.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Garrett Wollman
2017-12-04 01:54:01 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
I've seen a variety of estimates of how much of our brains we use, but
everyone is agreed that the answer is quite a lot below 100%. We'd have
to live a lot longer before having to worry about capacity problems.
I think neuroscientists generally are agreed that such alleged
quantifications of "brain capacity utilization" are complete bullshit,
but I'd be willing to accept evidence to the contrary[1].

-GAWollman

[1] Evidence as to what (modern) neuroscientists generally believe to
be true, that is. Nothing from the pre-fMRI era, please.
--
Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can,
***@bimajority.org| act to remove constraint from the future. This is
Opinions not shared by| a thing you can do, are able to do, to do together."
my employers. | - Graydon Saunders, _A Succession of Bad Days_ (2015)
b***@shaw.ca
2017-12-04 02:21:58 UTC
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Post by Garrett Wollman
Post by Peter Moylan
I've seen a variety of estimates of how much of our brains we use, but
everyone is agreed that the answer is quite a lot below 100%. We'd have
to live a lot longer before having to worry about capacity problems.
I think neuroscientists generally are agreed that such alleged
quantifications of "brain capacity utilization" are complete bullshit,
but I'd be willing to accept evidence to the contrary[1].
About 12 years ago I interviewed a local (Vancouver) psychology professor
specializing in the biology of the brain. He happened to be president of
the local skeptics' society, and my story was about urban legends. Quoting
from my story:

"He points out that electric stimulation of the brain reveals each area touched by a probe has a function, from storing emotions and memories to stimulating body movements.

"So as a literal statement it is 'blatantly false' to say that we use only 10 per of our brains. But as an optimistic statement that human beings have untapped potential, it's hard to argue with."

This is of course entirely anecdotal and the prof has died since then.

bill
Mack A. Damia
2017-12-02 22:19:46 UTC
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On Sat, 2 Dec 2017 21:54:09 +0000, Katy Jennison
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by David Kleinecke
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing.
Nevertheless, /having/ memorised it, it isn't worth the trouble of
forgetting.
That's silly. One of the advantages of human memory is that you do not
have to go into any trouble to forget things.
No? I'd quite like to forget a whole slew of useless stuff, like the
phone number of my childhood home, for instance, in the interests of
freeing-up space in my memory for stuff which would be useful today,
like the names of people I've just met. Yet the phone number
obstinately resists being forgotten.
This seems to be an unpleasant intrusion, so you might try EMDR (Eye
Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). It is used to reprogram
memories of traumas and unpleasant thoughts.

Concentrate your mind on the phone number and move your eyes rapidly
from side to side for a minute or two. Don't move your head, just
your eyeballs. Repeat several times - and maybe do it for a few days
or a week.
Post by Katy Jennison
(I have heard, however, of
Post by occam
people with eidetic memory who use special techniques to forget
unnecessary details and facts, for peace of mind.)
Do you know what these techniques are?
Ken Blake
2017-12-02 22:51:02 UTC
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On Sat, 02 Dec 2017 14:19:46 -0800, Mack A. Damia
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Sat, 2 Dec 2017 21:54:09 +0000, Katy Jennison
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by David Kleinecke
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing.
Nevertheless, /having/ memorised it, it isn't worth the trouble of
forgetting.
That's silly. One of the advantages of human memory is that you do not
have to go into any trouble to forget things.
No? I'd quite like to forget a whole slew of useless stuff, like the
phone number of my childhood home, for instance, in the interests of
freeing-up space in my memory for stuff which would be useful today,
like the names of people I've just met. Yet the phone number
obstinately resists being forgotten.
This seems to be an unpleasant intrusion, so you might try EMDR (Eye
Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). It is used to reprogram
memories of traumas and unpleasant thoughts.
Concentrate your mind on the phone number and move your eyes rapidly
from side to side for a minute or two. Don't move your head, just
your eyeballs. Repeat several times - and maybe do it for a few days
or a week.
I know nothing about this subject, and have no interest in ways to
forget things. But that technique seems weird to me. Does it work? If
it does work, does anyone have any idea why it w
Mack A. Damia
2017-12-03 00:05:27 UTC
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Post by Ken Blake
On Sat, 02 Dec 2017 14:19:46 -0800, Mack A. Damia
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Sat, 2 Dec 2017 21:54:09 +0000, Katy Jennison
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by David Kleinecke
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing.
Nevertheless, /having/ memorised it, it isn't worth the trouble of
forgetting.
That's silly. One of the advantages of human memory is that you do not
have to go into any trouble to forget things.
No? I'd quite like to forget a whole slew of useless stuff, like the
phone number of my childhood home, for instance, in the interests of
freeing-up space in my memory for stuff which would be useful today,
like the names of people I've just met. Yet the phone number
obstinately resists being forgotten.
This seems to be an unpleasant intrusion, so you might try EMDR (Eye
Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). It is used to reprogram
memories of traumas and unpleasant thoughts.
Concentrate your mind on the phone number and move your eyes rapidly
from side to side for a minute or two. Don't move your head, just
your eyeballs. Repeat several times - and maybe do it for a few days
or a week.
I know nothing about this subject, and have no interest in ways to
forget things. But that technique seems weird to me. Does it work? If
it does work, does anyone have any idea why it works?
Read up on EMDR. It has been around since the late 1980s.

Dr Francine Shapiro "borrowed" one of Wilhelm Reich's theories about
freeing the eye block, which is the source of remembered
unpleasantness; in her case, it was trauma, and specifically PTSD

http://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/

I am surmising that it can be used to "forget", too.
Ken Blake
2017-12-03 15:23:28 UTC
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On Sat, 02 Dec 2017 16:05:27 -0800, Mack A. Damia
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by Ken Blake
On Sat, 02 Dec 2017 14:19:46 -0800, Mack A. Damia
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Sat, 2 Dec 2017 21:54:09 +0000, Katy Jennison
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by David Kleinecke
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing.
Nevertheless, /having/ memorised it, it isn't worth the trouble of
forgetting.
That's silly. One of the advantages of human memory is that you do not
have to go into any trouble to forget things.
No? I'd quite like to forget a whole slew of useless stuff, like the
phone number of my childhood home, for instance, in the interests of
freeing-up space in my memory for stuff which would be useful today,
like the names of people I've just met. Yet the phone number
obstinately resists being forgotten.
This seems to be an unpleasant intrusion, so you might try EMDR (Eye
Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). It is used to reprogram
memories of traumas and unpleasant thoughts.
Concentrate your mind on the phone number and move your eyes rapidly
from side to side for a minute or two. Don't move your head, just
your eyeballs. Repeat several times - and maybe do it for a few days
or a week.
I know nothing about this subject, and have no interest in ways to
forget things. But that technique seems weird to me. Does it work? If
it does work, does anyone have any idea why it works?
Read up on EMDR. It has been around since the late 1980s.
Thanks. I just googled it and got a lot of hits. No time now, but I'll
rea
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-02 22:37:39 UTC
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<snip>
Post by occam
(I have heard, however, of
Post by occam
people with eidetic memory who use special techniques to forget
unnecessary details and facts, for peace of mind.)
Do you know what these techniques are?
I used to.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Janet
2017-12-03 06:07:05 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
<snip>
Post by occam
(I have heard, however, of
Post by occam
people with eidetic memory who use special techniques to forget
unnecessary details and facts, for peace of mind.)
Do you know what these techniques are?
I used to.
:-}

Janet.
occam
2017-12-02 22:40:41 UTC
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Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by David Kleinecke
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing.
Nevertheless, /having/ memorised it, it isn't worth the trouble of
forgetting.
That's silly. One of the advantages of human memory is that you do not
have to go into any trouble to forget things.
No?  I'd quite like to forget a whole slew of useless stuff, like the
phone number of my childhood home, for instance, in the interests of
freeing-up space in my memory for stuff which would be useful today,
like the names of people I've just met.  Yet the phone number
obstinately resists being forgotten.
(I have heard, however, of
Post by occam
people with eidetic memory who use special techniques to forget
unnecessary details and facts, for peace of mind.)
Do you know what these techniques are?
The 'memory man' (in a long forgotten TV show, before internet)
described a memorization method of 'an object for each room in the
house' which he would use to memorize, say, 20 different objects in a
given order. So, during memorization, he would walk (in his mind)
through this imaginary house and place each object in a different room,
making sure to associate each room with the specific object e.g. a cat
on the chair in the red room, a toaster on the table in the blue room,
etc. Recall consisted of re-tracing his walk, going through the coloured
rooms in sequence, and rediscovering the objects.

Forgetting involved removing the objects from each room and putting them
all in a pile.

I remember that the method was individual to him (his claim) and would
not necessarily be the best method for everyone. He insisted that he
developed it through practice. He encouraged others to develop their own
memory props e.g a walk through a garden.

As concerns your telephone number - have you tried imagining the
dyslexic combinations of the same integers, only in a different order?
So, if the number is 436654, you could imagine the possibility that the
number was 463354, or was it 346645 or even 436354? At some stage you
may just give up wanting to remember.

(If it does not work, don't give me a call.)
Peter T. Daniels
2017-12-02 23:37:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
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Post by occam
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by David Kleinecke
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing.
Nevertheless, /having/ memorised it, it isn't worth the trouble of
forgetting.
That's silly. One of the advantages of human memory is that you do not
have to go into any trouble to forget things.
No?  I'd quite like to forget a whole slew of useless stuff, like the
phone number of my childhood home, for instance, in the interests of
freeing-up space in my memory for stuff which would be useful today,
like the names of people I've just met.  Yet the phone number
obstinately resists being forgotten.
(I have heard, however, of
Post by occam
people with eidetic memory who use special techniques to forget
unnecessary details and facts, for peace of mind.)
Do you know what these techniques are?
The 'memory man' (in a long forgotten TV show, before internet)
described a memorization method of 'an object for each room in the
house' which he would use to memorize, say, 20 different objects in a
given order. So, during memorization, he would walk (in his mind)
through this imaginary house and place each object in a different room,
making sure to associate each room with the specific object e.g. a cat
on the chair in the red room, a toaster on the table in the blue room,
etc. Recall consisted of re-tracing his walk, going through the coloured
rooms in sequence, and rediscovering the objects.
"The memory house of Matteo Ricci" is a book about the scholar who brought
that approach back from a trip to China (shortly after Marco Polo, I think).
Post by occam
Forgetting involved removing the objects from each room and putting them
all in a pile.
I don't recall that Ricci provided a forgetting algorithm.
Post by occam
I remember that the method was individual to him (his claim) and would
not necessarily be the best method for everyone. He insisted that he
developed it through practice. He encouraged others to develop their own
memory props e.g a walk through a garden.
As concerns your telephone number - have you tried imagining the
dyslexic combinations of the same integers, only in a different order?
So, if the number is 436654, you could imagine the possibility that the
number was 463354, or was it 346645 or even 436354? At some stage you
may just give up wanting to remember.
(If it does not work, don't give me a call.)
Tak To
2017-12-03 02:53:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by occam
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by David Kleinecke
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing.
Nevertheless, /having/ memorised it, it isn't worth the trouble of
forgetting.
That's silly. One of the advantages of human memory is that you do not
have to go into any trouble to forget things.
No?  I'd quite like to forget a whole slew of useless stuff, like the
phone number of my childhood home, for instance, in the interests of
freeing-up space in my memory for stuff which would be useful today,
like the names of people I've just met.  Yet the phone number
obstinately resists being forgotten.
(I have heard, however, of
Post by occam
people with eidetic memory who use special techniques to forget
unnecessary details and facts, for peace of mind.)
Do you know what these techniques are?
The 'memory man' (in a long forgotten TV show, before internet)
described a memorization method of 'an object for each room in the
house' which he would use to memorize, say, 20 different objects in a
given order. So, during memorization, he would walk (in his mind)
through this imaginary house and place each object in a different room,
making sure to associate each room with the specific object e.g. a cat
on the chair in the red room, a toaster on the table in the blue room,
etc. Recall consisted of re-tracing his walk, going through the coloured
rooms in sequence, and rediscovering the objects.
"The memory house of Matteo Ricci" is a book about the scholar who brought
that approach back from a trip to China (shortly after Marco Polo, I think)..
"The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci" was a work of fiction by the
well known Sinologist Jonathan Spence. Matteo Ricci was about 300
years after Marco Polo.

Thomas Harris borrowed the idea and used it in his books about
Hannibal Lector. (IIRC, he mentioned it in the preface.)
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
Jerry Friedman
2017-12-03 03:36:50 UTC
Reply
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...
Post by Tak To
Post by Peter T. Daniels
"The memory house of Matteo Ricci" is a book about the scholar who brought
that approach back from a trip to China (shortly after Marco Polo, I think)..
"The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci" was a work of fiction by the
well known Sinologist Jonathan Spence. Matteo Ricci was about 300
years after Marco Polo.
Thomas Harris borrowed the idea and used it in his books about
Hannibal Lector. (IIRC, he mentioned it in the preface.)
John Crowley borrowed it in /Little, Big/ and /Ægypt/.

The Wikipedia article says at least some principles are known from a
Greek fragment of c. 400 B.C., and the ancient Greeks credited the
method to Simonides of Ceos, who flourished a century before that.
--
Jerry Friedman
Not her but this park.
Peter T. Daniels
2017-12-03 13:52:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Tak To
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by occam
The 'memory man' (in a long forgotten TV show, before internet)
described a memorization method of 'an object for each room in the
house' which he would use to memorize, say, 20 different objects in a
given order. So, during memorization, he would walk (in his mind)
through this imaginary house and place each object in a different room,
making sure to associate each room with the specific object e.g. a cat
on the chair in the red room, a toaster on the table in the blue room,
etc. Recall consisted of re-tracing his walk, going through the coloured
rooms in sequence, and rediscovering the objects.
"The memory house of Matteo Ricci" is a book about the scholar who brought
that approach back from a trip to China (shortly after Marco Polo, I think)..
"The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci" was a work of fiction
Describing the above-described practice
Post by Tak To
by the
well known Sinologist Jonathan Spence. Matteo Ricci was about 300
years after Marco Polo.
Thus one of the pioneers of Silk Road communication between West and East.
Post by Tak To
Thomas Harris borrowed the idea and used it in his books about
Hannibal Lector. (IIRC, he mentioned it in the preface.)
I have no interest whatsoever in reading any such book (or seeing any such movie or TV show).
Tak To
2017-12-03 19:16:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Tak To
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by occam
The 'memory man' (in a long forgotten TV show, before internet)
described a memorization method of 'an object for each room in the
house' which he would use to memorize, say, 20 different objects in a
given order. So, during memorization, he would walk (in his mind)
through this imaginary house and place each object in a different room,
making sure to associate each room with the specific object e.g. a cat
on the chair in the red room, a toaster on the table in the blue room,
etc. Recall consisted of re-tracing his walk, going through the coloured
rooms in sequence, and rediscovering the objects.
"The memory house of Matteo Ricci" is a book about the scholar who brought
that approach back from a trip to China (shortly after Marco Polo, I think)..
"The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci" was a work of fiction
Describing the above-described practice
Post by Tak To
by the
well known Sinologist Jonathan Spence. Matteo Ricci was about 300
years after Marco Polo.
Thus one of the pioneers of Silk Road communication between West and East.
No, Matteo Ricci actually arrived by sea, via Macau. The
importance of the Silk Road has declined greatly by then. Btw,
Matteo Ricci died in China, so he did not really bring any thing
back.
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Tak To
Thomas Harris borrowed the idea and used it in his books about
Hannibal Lector. (IIRC, he mentioned it in the preface.)
I have no interest whatsoever in reading any such book (or seeing any such movie or TV show).
The salient point is that one of my favorite scholars was
acknowledged in a book of popular literature.

I don't care what you think about Harris or his work.
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
Tak To
2017-12-03 03:12:27 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by occam
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by David Kleinecke
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing.
Nevertheless, /having/ memorised it, it isn't worth the trouble of
forgetting.
That's silly. One of the advantages of human memory is that you do not
have to go into any trouble to forget things.
No?  I'd quite like to forget a whole slew of useless stuff, like the
phone number of my childhood home, for instance, in the interests of
freeing-up space in my memory for stuff which would be useful today,
like the names of people I've just met.  Yet the phone number
obstinately resists being forgotten.
(I have heard, however, of
Post by occam
people with eidetic memory who use special techniques to forget
unnecessary details and facts, for peace of mind.)
Do you know what these techniques are?
The 'memory man' (in a long forgotten TV show, before internet)
described a memorization method of 'an object for each room in the
house' which he would use to memorize, say, 20 different objects in a
given order. So, during memorization, he would walk (in his mind)
through this imaginary house and place each object in a different room,
making sure to associate each room with the specific object e.g. a cat
on the chair in the red room, a toaster on the table in the blue room,
etc. Recall consisted of re-tracing his walk, going through the coloured
rooms in sequence, and rediscovering the objects.
Forgetting involved removing the objects from each room and putting them
all in a pile.
I remember that the method was individual to him (his claim) and would
not necessarily be the best method for everyone. He insisted that he
developed it through practice. He encouraged others to develop their own
memory props e.g a walk through a garden.
The method of visualizing a space of (virtual) visual clues is
widely known and has been studied by many (and shown to be
effective). Don't believe anyone who claims to be the inventor.
Post by occam
As concerns your telephone number - have you tried imagining the
dyslexic combinations of the same integers, only in a different order?
So, if the number is 436654, you could imagine the possibility that the
number was 463354, or was it 346645 or even 436354? At some stage you
may just give up wanting to remember.
(If it does not work, don't give me a call.)
I don't see how that is helpful.

For me, if I want to remember a short numeric sequence, I
would use an expression that sounds like the sequence[1]
as a mnemonic, or think of some mathematical properties
about the sequence. Sequences longer than 5 digits have
to be broken up into segments.

[1] it is easier in Cantonese or Mandarin than in English
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
occam
2017-12-03 11:10:20 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Tak To
Post by occam
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by David Kleinecke
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing.
Nevertheless, /having/ memorised it, it isn't worth the trouble of
forgetting.
That's silly. One of the advantages of human memory is that you do not
have to go into any trouble to forget things.
No?  I'd quite like to forget a whole slew of useless stuff, like the
phone number of my childhood home, for instance, in the interests of
freeing-up space in my memory for stuff which would be useful today,
like the names of people I've just met.  Yet the phone number
obstinately resists being forgotten.
(I have heard, however, of
Post by occam
people with eidetic memory who use special techniques to forget
unnecessary details and facts, for peace of mind.)
Do you know what these techniques are?
The 'memory man' (in a long forgotten TV show, before internet)
described a memorization method of 'an object for each room in the
house' which he would use to memorize, say, 20 different objects in a
given order. So, during memorization, he would walk (in his mind)
through this imaginary house and place each object in a different room,
making sure to associate each room with the specific object e.g. a cat
on the chair in the red room, a toaster on the table in the blue room,
etc. Recall consisted of re-tracing his walk, going through the coloured
rooms in sequence, and rediscovering the objects.
Forgetting involved removing the objects from each room and putting them
all in a pile.
I remember that the method was individual to him (his claim) and would
not necessarily be the best method for everyone. He insisted that he
developed it through practice. He encouraged others to develop their own
memory props e.g a walk through a garden.
The method of visualizing a space of (virtual) visual clues is
widely known and has been studied by many (and shown to be
effective). Don't believe anyone who claims to be the inventor.
Post by occam
As concerns your telephone number - have you tried imagining the
dyslexic combinations of the same integers, only in a different order?
So, if the number is 436654, you could imagine the possibility that the
number was 463354, or was it 346645 or even 436354? At some stage you
may just give up wanting to remember.
(If it does not work, don't give me a call.)
I don't see how that is helpful.
For me, if I want to remember a short numeric sequence, I
would use an expression that sounds like the sequence[1]
as a mnemonic, or think of some mathematical properties
about the sequence. Sequences longer than 5 digits have
to be broken up into segments.
[1] it is easier in Cantonese or Mandarin than in English
The issue here is how /to forget/ a number. 'By confusing the mnemonic'
was my suggestion. I'll be the first to admit, it may be a dead end.
Ken Blake
2017-12-03 15:27:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Tak To
For me, if I want to remember a short numeric sequence, I
would use an expression that sounds like the sequence[1]
as a mnemonic, or think of some mathematical properties
about the sequence. Sequences longer than 5 digits have
to be broken up into segments.
I usually memorize a sentence in which each digit is the length of
each word. So Pi is, "How I like a large container of coffee, cream,
and sugar."

I know a much longer version too, but I never need to know Pi to
Peter Moylan
2017-12-04 01:49:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Tak To
For me, if I want to remember a short numeric sequence, I
would use an expression that sounds like the sequence[1]
as a mnemonic, or think of some mathematical properties
about the sequence. Sequences longer than 5 digits have
to be broken up into segments.
I usually memorize a sentence in which each digit is the length of
each word. So Pi is, "How I like a large container of coffee, cream,
and sugar."
God, I need a drink ...
Post by Ken Blake
I know a much longer version too, but I never need to know Pi to that
many decimal places.
I know of a few such mnemonics, but I find that I have to use my
knowledge of the sequence of digits in order to reconstruct the
mnemonic. That is, the decimal expansion of pi is a mnemonic for the
mnemonic.

Although I don't think much of these poems, stories, and so on as
mnemonics, I have to admire the virtuosity of the better ones. One that
really impresses me is "Cadeic Cadenza":

http://cadaeic.net/cadenza.htm

It begins with the raven who said "nevermore", moves on to slithy toves
and borogroves, and that's only the first three sections. Brilliant.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Jerry Friedman
2017-12-02 18:06:42 UTC
Reply
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Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing. All you have to do is remember
how solve quadratic equations by completing the squares.
That is not a joke.
Except the "All".
Post by David Kleinecke
One has learned a great deal more when
one understands the process and not a mere formula.
In my opinion, solving quadratic equations by completing the square
isn't worth the trouble of doing if you know the quadratic formula. Of
course, it's better to understand why the formula works.

When I was teaching algebra, I always had a few students who solved
quadratic equations by completing the square instead of by using the
formula. Occasionally I had one who openly resented being shown the
derivation, since it wasn't something they had to know for a test. I
remember one who said, "You didn't have to show us. We would have
trusted you." I don't remember what I answered.

The question at hand, though, is whether there's any point in being able
to solve quadratic equations in any way, since various Web sites and
calculators will do it for you.

ObSF: "The Feeling of Power".
--
Jerry Friedman
David Kleinecke
2017-12-02 18:26:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing. All you have to do is remember
how solve quadratic equations by completing the squares.
That is not a joke.
Except the "All".
Post by David Kleinecke
One has learned a great deal more when
one understands the process and not a mere formula.
In my opinion, solving quadratic equations by completing the square
isn't worth the trouble of doing if you know the quadratic formula. Of
course, it's better to understand why the formula works.
When I was teaching algebra, I always had a few students who solved
quadratic equations by completing the square instead of by using the
formula. Occasionally I had one who openly resented being shown the
derivation, since it wasn't something they had to know for a test. I
remember one who said, "You didn't have to show us. We would have
trusted you." I don't remember what I answered.
The question at hand, though, is whether there's any point in being able
to solve quadratic equations in any way, since various Web sites and
calculators will do it for you.
ObSF: "The Feeling of Power".
Where would I go to find a place where I could, say, type in
x^2-17x+5=0 ?
and get the two answers on the next line?

I have a set of twenty simultaneous equations I would like to
solve - I think there are eight solutions.

PS: They are the equations for the collision of two Syngian
particles. I think physics has rejected Syngian particles
but the computation remains interesting.
occam
2017-12-02 19:45:10 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing. All you have to do is remember
how solve quadratic equations by completing the squares.
That is not a joke.
Except the "All".
Post by David Kleinecke
One has learned a great deal more when
one understands the process and not a mere formula.
In my opinion, solving quadratic equations by completing the square
isn't worth the trouble of doing if you know the quadratic formula. Of
course, it's better to understand why the formula works.
When I was teaching algebra, I always had a few students who solved
quadratic equations by completing the square instead of by using the
formula. Occasionally I had one who openly resented being shown the
derivation, since it wasn't something they had to know for a test. I
remember one who said, "You didn't have to show us. We would have
trusted you." I don't remember what I answered.
The question at hand, though, is whether there's any point in being able
to solve quadratic equations in any way, since various Web sites and
calculators will do it for you.
ObSF: "The Feeling of Power".
Where would I go to find a place where I could, say, type in
x^2-17x+5=0 ?
and get the two answers on the next line?
My son's Texas Instrument calculator.

x1 = (17 + sqrt (269) ) / 2

x2 = (17 - sqrt (269) ) / 2

You will be amazed at what modern scientific calculators can do these days.

By the way, as I was looking over his shoulder for the solution, I
noticed there was the option of typing in an equation of up to 10th
order ... well beyond quadratic.
David Kleinecke
2017-12-02 19:49:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by occam
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing. All you have to do is remember
how solve quadratic equations by completing the squares.
That is not a joke.
Except the "All".
Post by David Kleinecke
One has learned a great deal more when
one understands the process and not a mere formula.
In my opinion, solving quadratic equations by completing the square
isn't worth the trouble of doing if you know the quadratic formula. Of
course, it's better to understand why the formula works.
When I was teaching algebra, I always had a few students who solved
quadratic equations by completing the square instead of by using the
formula. Occasionally I had one who openly resented being shown the
derivation, since it wasn't something they had to know for a test. I
remember one who said, "You didn't have to show us. We would have
trusted you." I don't remember what I answered.
The question at hand, though, is whether there's any point in being able
to solve quadratic equations in any way, since various Web sites and
calculators will do it for you.
ObSF: "The Feeling of Power".
Where would I go to find a place where I could, say, type in
x^2-17x+5=0 ?
and get the two answers on the next line?
My son's Texas Instrument calculator.
x1 = (17 + sqrt (269) ) / 2
x2 = (17 - sqrt (269) ) / 2
You will be amazed at what modern scientific calculators can do these days.
By the way, as I was looking over his shoulder for the solution, I
noticed there was the option of typing in an equation of up to 10th
order ... well beyond quadratic.
Looks good - but it is not the internet.

JF implied such capability was available online.

What does that calculator do with a cubic? Does is it
handle sets of simultaneous equations?
occam
2017-12-02 20:30:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by occam
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing. All you have to do is remember
how solve quadratic equations by completing the squares.
That is not a joke.
Except the "All".
Post by David Kleinecke
One has learned a great deal more when
one understands the process and not a mere formula.
In my opinion, solving quadratic equations by completing the square
isn't worth the trouble of doing if you know the quadratic formula. Of
course, it's better to understand why the formula works.
When I was teaching algebra, I always had a few students who solved
quadratic equations by completing the square instead of by using the
formula. Occasionally I had one who openly resented being shown the
derivation, since it wasn't something they had to know for a test. I
remember one who said, "You didn't have to show us. We would have
trusted you." I don't remember what I answered.
The question at hand, though, is whether there's any point in being able
to solve quadratic equations in any way, since various Web sites and
calculators will do it for you.
ObSF: "The Feeling of Power".
Where would I go to find a place where I could, say, type in
x^2-17x+5=0 ?
and get the two answers on the next line?
My son's Texas Instrument calculator.
x1 = (17 + sqrt (269) ) / 2
x2 = (17 - sqrt (269) ) / 2
You will be amazed at what modern scientific calculators can do these days.
By the way, as I was looking over his shoulder for the solution, I
noticed there was the option of typing in an equation of up to 10th
order ... well beyond quadratic.
Looks good - but it is not the internet.
JF implied such capability was available online.
Answer: Wolframalpha.com

https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=solution+for+x*x+-+17x+%2B+5+%3D0
Post by David Kleinecke
What does that calculator do with a cubic? Does is it
handle sets of simultaneous equations?
'Yes' to simultaneous equations. (I have tried it on 2 equations, 2
unknowns.)

As for cubic equations, I'll have to go up to the attic to have a look.
Maybe tomorrow.
Jerry Friedman
2017-12-02 20:58:04 UTC
Reply
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Post by David Kleinecke
Post by occam
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing. All you have to do is remember
how solve quadratic equations by completing the squares.
That is not a joke.
Except the "All".
Post by David Kleinecke
One has learned a great deal more when
one understands the process and not a mere formula.
In my opinion, solving quadratic equations by completing the square
isn't worth the trouble of doing if you know the quadratic formula. Of
course, it's better to understand why the formula works.
When I was teaching algebra, I always had a few students who solved
quadratic equations by completing the square instead of by using the
formula. Occasionally I had one who openly resented being shown the
derivation, since it wasn't something they had to know for a test. I
remember one who said, "You didn't have to show us. We would have
trusted you." I don't remember what I answered.
The question at hand, though, is whether there's any point in being able
to solve quadratic equations in any way, since various Web sites and
calculators will do it for you.
ObSF: "The Feeling of Power".
Where would I go to find a place where I could, say, type in
x^2-17x+5=0 ?
and get the two answers on the next line?
My son's Texas Instrument calculator.
x1 = (17 + sqrt (269) ) / 2
x2 = (17 - sqrt (269) ) / 2
You will be amazed at what modern scientific calculators can do these days.
By the way, as I was looking over his shoulder for the solution, I
noticed there was the option of typing in an equation of up to 10th
order ... well beyond quadratic.
Looks good - but it is not the internet.
JF implied such capability was available online.
What does that calculator do with a cubic?
I just typed in "Solve 2x^4-17x^3+3x^2+9x-12" and got the two real and
two complex solutions to six sig. figs. I thought it would give them to
me algebraically, but I don't see an option for that. It does give the
solutions to cubic equations algebraically (I mean as the cube root of
this plus the square root of et cetera).
Post by David Kleinecke
Does is it handle sets of simultaneous equations?
Yes, up to a point.
--
Jerry Friedman
David Kleinecke
2017-12-02 21:28:38 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by occam
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing. All you have to do is remember
how solve quadratic equations by completing the squares.
That is not a joke.
Except the "All".
Post by David Kleinecke
One has learned a great deal more when
one understands the process and not a mere formula.
In my opinion, solving quadratic equations by completing the square
isn't worth the trouble of doing if you know the quadratic formula. Of
course, it's better to understand why the formula works.
When I was teaching algebra, I always had a few students who solved
quadratic equations by completing the square instead of by using the
formula. Occasionally I had one who openly resented being shown the
derivation, since it wasn't something they had to know for a test. I
remember one who said, "You didn't have to show us. We would have
trusted you." I don't remember what I answered.
The question at hand, though, is whether there's any point in being able
to solve quadratic equations in any way, since various Web sites and
calculators will do it for you.
ObSF: "The Feeling of Power".
Where would I go to find a place where I could, say, type in
x^2-17x+5=0 ?
and get the two answers on the next line?
My son's Texas Instrument calculator.
x1 = (17 + sqrt (269) ) / 2
x2 = (17 - sqrt (269) ) / 2
You will be amazed at what modern scientific calculators can do these days.
By the way, as I was looking over his shoulder for the solution, I
noticed there was the option of typing in an equation of up to 10th
order ... well beyond quadratic.
Looks good - but it is not the internet.
JF implied such capability was available online.
What does that calculator do with a cubic?
I just typed in "Solve 2x^4-17x^3+3x^2+9x-12" and got the two real and
two complex solutions to six sig. figs. I thought it would give them to
me algebraically, but I don't see an option for that. It does give the
solutions to cubic equations algebraically (I mean as the cube root of
this plus the square root of et cetera).
Post by David Kleinecke
Does is it handle sets of simultaneous equations?
Yes, up to a point.
I know how to calculate obscure solutions by numerical methods
but algebraic solutions I am often unable to complete by hand
because I make too many mistakes.

I am able to calculate the first and second moments of
Spearman's Footrule but I can't get the third or higher
consistently enough to prove the Footrule is asymptotically
normal (there are more general theorems that prove it is).


I mak
Jerry Friedman
2017-12-02 23:12:38 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by occam
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing. All you have to do is remember
how solve quadratic equations by completing the squares.
That is not a joke.
Except the "All".
Post by David Kleinecke
One has learned a great deal more when
one understands the process and not a mere formula.
In my opinion, solving quadratic equations by completing the square
isn't worth the trouble of doing if you know the quadratic formula. Of
course, it's better to understand why the formula works.
When I was teaching algebra, I always had a few students who solved
quadratic equations by completing the square instead of by using the
formula. Occasionally I had one who openly resented being shown the
derivation, since it wasn't something they had to know for a test. I
remember one who said, "You didn't have to show us. We would have
trusted you." I don't remember what I answered.
The question at hand, though, is whether there's any point in being able
to solve quadratic equations in any way, since various Web sites and
calculators will do it for you.
ObSF: "The Feeling of Power".
Where would I go to find a place where I could, say, type in
x^2-17x+5=0 ?
and get the two answers on the next line?
My son's Texas Instrument calculator.
x1 = (17 + sqrt (269) ) / 2
x2 = (17 - sqrt (269) ) / 2
You will be amazed at what modern scientific calculators can do these days.
By the way, as I was looking over his shoulder for the solution, I
noticed there was the option of typing in an equation of up to 10th
order ... well beyond quadratic.
Looks good - but it is not the internet.
JF implied such capability was available online.
What does that calculator do with a cubic?
I just typed in "Solve 2x^4-17x^3+3x^2+9x-12" and got the two real and
two complex solutions to six sig. figs. I thought it would give them to
me algebraically, but I don't see an option for that. It does give the
solutions to cubic equations algebraically (I mean as the cube root of
this plus the square root of et cetera).
Post by David Kleinecke
Does is it handle sets of simultaneous equations?
Yes, up to a point.
I know how to calculate obscure solutions by numerical methods
but algebraic solutions I am often unable to complete by hand
because I make too many mistakes.
I am able to calculate the first and second moments of
Spearman's Footrule
New to me, but an easy enough idea.
Post by David Kleinecke
but I can't get the third or higher
consistently enough to prove the Footrule is asymptotically
normal (there are more general theorems that prove it is).
No idea what you're talking about. WolframAlpha might do that for you
without paying for the Pro version, or it might not.

Just to give you an idea of some of its capabilities, try entering

Solve 3x+by=6,ax-7y=17

or

sqrt(G*(mass of earth)/(radius of earth + 10000km))
--
Jerry Friedman
Jerry Friedman
2017-12-02 20:36:30 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing. All you have to do is remember
how solve quadratic equations by completing the squares.
That is not a joke.
Except the "All".
Post by David Kleinecke
One has learned a great deal more when
one understands the process and not a mere formula.
In my opinion, solving quadratic equations by completing the square
isn't worth the trouble of doing if you know the quadratic formula. Of
course, it's better to understand why the formula works.
When I was teaching algebra, I always had a few students who solved
quadratic equations by completing the square instead of by using the
formula. Occasionally I had one who openly resented being shown the
derivation, since it wasn't something they had to know for a test. I
remember one who said, "You didn't have to show us. We would have
trusted you." I don't remember what I answered.
The question at hand, though, is whether there's any point in being able
to solve quadratic equations in any way, since various Web sites and
calculators will do it for you.
ObSF: "The Feeling of Power".
Where would I go to find a place where I could, say, type in
x^2-17x+5=0 ?
and get the two answers on the next line?
wolframalpha.com

For that matter, you could type in x^2-5x+17=0 and get /those/ two answers.
Post by David Kleinecke
I have a set of twenty simultaneous equations I would like to
solve - I think there are eight solutions.
I doubt the free version of WolframAlpha will do that for you, even if
they're linear. It won't do calculations that take more than a certain
amount of time.
Post by David Kleinecke
PS: They are the equations for the collision of two Syngian
particles. I think physics has rejected Syngian particles
but the computation remains interesting.
I've never heard of them, and neither has Google. Well done!

I'm thinking Syngian particles do be forgotten entirely this day, but is
it that Irish physicists were after using them like quaternions?
--
Jerry Friedman
Adam Funk
2017-12-02 21:22:54 UTC
Reply
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Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
PS: They are the equations for the collision of two Syngian
particles. I think physics has rejected Syngian particles
but the computation remains interesting.
I've never heard of them, and neither has Google. Well done!
Ditto.
Post by Jerry Friedman
I'm thinking Syngian particles do be forgotten entirely this day, but is
it that Irish physicists were after using them like quaternions?
You don't get many Irish physicist jokes, although the comedian Dara Ó
Briain studied physics. (I admit it: I looked him up to check the
diacritical mark.)

I'm pretty sure we used i, j, & k in my statics & dynamics classes
(taught by an engineering dep't, not physics).
--
I used to be better at logic problems, before I just dumped
them all into TeX and let Knuth pick out the survivors.
--- plorkwort
David Kleinecke
2017-12-02 21:37:48 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
PS: They are the equations for the collision of two Syngian
particles. I think physics has rejected Syngian particles
but the computation remains interesting.
I've never heard of them, and neither has Google. Well done!
I'm thinking Syngian particles do be forgotten entirely this day, but is
it that Irish physicists were after using them like quaternions?
I mean the particles Synge discusses at length in "Relativity:
The Special Theory (1956). I called them Syngian because that
is their obvious name. But maybe they are really still known
under some other name.

I'd write the equations out but it's too much trouble to
figure out how to write tensor notation in an ASCII medium.
Tak To
2017-12-02 23:02:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing. All you have to do is remember
how solve quadratic equations by completing the squares.
That is not a joke.
Except the "All".
Post by David Kleinecke
One has learned a great deal more when
one understands the process and not a mere formula.
In my opinion, solving quadratic equations by completing the square
isn't worth the trouble of doing if you know the quadratic formula. Of
course, it's better to understand why the formula works.
When I was teaching algebra, I always had a few students who solved
quadratic equations by completing the square instead of by using the
formula. Occasionally I had one who openly resented being shown the
derivation, since it wasn't something they had to know for a test. I
remember one who said, "You didn't have to show us. We would have
trusted you." I don't remember what I answered.
The question at hand, though, is whether there's any point in being able
to solve quadratic equations in any way, since various Web sites and
calculators will do it for you.
There were almost no problems that require a numeric solution
when I learned algebra in secondary school. (True also for
Applied Maths.) OTOH, there were many exercises on factorization
of polynomials. Knowing the formula meant little.

We were also taught how to solve a quadratic equation by drawing
a circle and a straight line. There were always a question or
two like that in the exams.

Btw, no slide rules were not allowed and few of us could afford
them anyways. Calculators had yet to be invented. We had to
use log tables for the numeric problems (most of them in Physics).
Post by Jerry Friedman
ObSF: "The Feeling of Power".
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email add
Jerry Friedman
2017-12-03 00:01:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Tak To
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing. All you have to do is remember
how solve quadratic equations by completing the squares.
That is not a joke.
Except the "All".
Post by David Kleinecke
One has learned a great deal more when
one understands the process and not a mere formula.
In my opinion, solving quadratic equations by completing the square
isn't worth the trouble of doing if you know the quadratic formula. Of
course, it's better to understand why the formula works.
When I was teaching algebra, I always had a few students who solved
quadratic equations by completing the square instead of by using the
formula. Occasionally I had one who openly resented being shown the
derivation, since it wasn't something they had to know for a test. I
remember one who said, "You didn't have to show us. We would have
trusted you." I don't remember what I answered.
The question at hand, though, is whether there's any point in being able
to solve quadratic equations in any way, since various Web sites and
calculators will do it for you.
There were almost no problems that require a numeric solution
when I learned algebra in secondary school. (True also for
Applied Maths.) OTOH, there were many exercises on factorization
of polynomials. Knowing the formula meant little.
I (almost) always made sure to teach my students how to factor quadratic
polynomials by using the quadratic formula.

I assume that those factoring problems did require numerical solutions,
but mostly in integers?

Incidentally, factoring polynomials has seldom been useful to me in
physics. I formed the opinion that when it was useful, it was because
I'd made a mistake. I might have to make an exception for a^2 - b^2.

Obaue: factoring or factorizing? Numerical or numeric? And how can I
stop typing "numberical" (without drilling myself)?
Post by Tak To
We were also taught how to solve a quadratic equation by drawing
a circle and a straight line. There were always a question or
two like that in the exams.
I think I may have seen that at one time.
Post by Tak To
Btw, no slide rules were not allowed and few of us could afford
them anyways. Calculators had yet to be invented. We had to
use log tables for the numeric problems (most of them in Physics).
...

If I'd been a year or two older, I'd have had to use slide rules and log
tables. As it was I just learned a little about how to use log tables.
--
Jerry Friedman
Garrett Wollman
2017-12-03 02:28:14 UTC
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Post by Jerry Friedman
Incidentally, factoring polynomials has seldom been useful to me in
physics. I formed the opinion that when it was useful, it was because
I'd made a mistake. I might have to make an exception for a^2 - b^2.
Of course, the trouble (if you can call it that) is that high-school
students have not yet any idea of what future specialty they may be
drawn to. It's a pedagogical challenge to teach enough of the basics
to give them a foundation for any plausible course of study without
simultaneously boring them out of their skulls with "useless"
knowledge. And that's just to prepare them to enter college; it gets
worse once they get there.

The big pile of calculus that you need to understand to actually make
sense of Physics 101 will do almost nothing to help you with the
discrete math you need for most of Computer Science, except insofar as
you get practice handling mathematical structures that have no
physical counterpart. (Many CS departments end up offering their own
"Discrete math for CS" courses because the math departments aren't
interested.) On the other hand, there are lots of subjects for which
a qualitative understanding of physics is entirely sufficient (like
most of biology) and a better grounding in statistics and probability
would be vastly more useful. (Many biological and social science
departments end up offering their own "Statistics and probability for
X" courses because the stats courses offered by the math department
are good only for people who intend to become statistici^W"data
scientists".)
Post by Jerry Friedman
Obaue: factoring or factorizing? Numerical or numeric? And how can I
stop typing "numberical" (without drilling myself)?
We definitely say "numerical" in computing, probably due to the
lasting influence of Knuth, except for the data type, which is
invariably "numeric". (For example, in the Ruby language, Complex,
Integer, and Float are all subclasses of Numeric.[1])

-GAWollman

[1] Capitalized words are constants in Ruby; the name of a class is a
constant which references the metaobject for that class, which is
normally an object of class Class.
--
Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can,
***@bimajority.org| act to remove constraint from the future. This is
Opinions not shared by| a thing you can do, are able to do, to do together."
my employers. | - Graydon Saunders, _A Succession of Bad Days_ (2015)
Tak To
2017-12-03 02:40:54 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Tak To
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing. All you have to do is remember
how solve quadratic equations by completing the squares.
That is not a joke.
Except the "All".
Post by David Kleinecke
One has learned a great deal more when
one understands the process and not a mere formula.
In my opinion, solving quadratic equations by completing the square
isn't worth the trouble of doing if you know the quadratic formula. Of
course, it's better to understand why the formula works.
When I was teaching algebra, I always had a few students who solved
quadratic equations by completing the square instead of by using the
formula. Occasionally I had one who openly resented being shown the
derivation, since it wasn't something they had to know for a test. I
remember one who said, "You didn't have to show us. We would have
trusted you." I don't remember what I answered.
The question at hand, though, is whether there's any point in being able
to solve quadratic equations in any way, since various Web sites and
calculators will do it for you.
There were almost no problems that require a numeric solution
when I learned algebra in secondary school. (True also for
Applied Maths.) OTOH, there were many exercises on factorization
of polynomials. Knowing the formula meant little.
I (almost) always made sure to teach my students how to factor quadratic
polynomials by using the quadratic formula.
I assume that those factoring problems did require numerical solutions,
but mostly in integers?
What I meant was that the expected answer was in the form
of "(x-2)(2x-5)" rather than "2 or 2.5". But yes, integer
coefficients most of the time.
Post by Jerry Friedman
Incidentally, factoring polynomials has seldom been useful to me in
physics. I formed the opinion that when it was useful, it was because
I'd made a mistake. I might have to make an exception for a^2 - b^2.
I agree that factoring polynomials has virtually no practical
utility. However, I am of the minority opinion that secondary
school students should be trained more on the abstract side of
mathematics than the application side of it. It is akin to
learning a foreign language -- one should learn to think in the
target language directly rather than doing mental translations
back and forth. In many cases, having student solving made-up
"real life" problems is less useful than doing drills on
manipulating the abstract forms.

In physics, if I ended up setting up a quadratic equation, I
would, as a habit, think about the meaning of "the other
solution", the conditions for a single solution, the conditions
for no solution, etc.
Post by Jerry Friedman
Obaue: factoring or factorizing?
My preference: factoring but factorization.
Post by Jerry Friedman
Numerical or numeric?
Numeric.
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
David Kleinecke
2017-12-03 03:50:08 UTC
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Post by Jerry Friedman
If I'd been a year or two older, I'd have had to use slide rules and log
tables. As it was I just learned a little about how to use log tables.
I was issued a slide rule the day training began in the Eddy
Program back during WW II. But I can't remember any use of
log tables there. Log tables came a little later. My father
was (among other things) a surveyor so I already knew about
them.
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-12-03 17:51:51 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
Mathematically speaking the quadratic formula isn't worth
the trouble of memorizing. All you have to do is remember
how solve quadratic equations by completing the squares.
That is not a joke.
Except the "All".
Post by David Kleinecke
One has learned a great deal more when
one understands the process and not a mere formula.
In my opinion, solving quadratic equations by completing the square
isn't worth the trouble of doing if you know the quadratic formula. Of
course, it's better to understand why the formula works.
When I was teaching algebra, I always had a few students who solved
quadratic equations by completing the square instead of by using the
formula. Occasionally I had one who openly resented being shown the
derivation, since it wasn't something they had to know for a test. I
remember one who said, "You didn't have to show us. We would have
trusted you." I don't remember what I answered.
I'm reminded of the following: "When science began to flourish at
Cambridge in the 1870s, and the University was asked to supply money
for buildings, an eminent person objected and said, 'What do they want
with their laboratories? --- why can't they believe their teachers, who
are in most cases clergymen of the Church of England?'" (Said by
Francis Darwin, the third son of Charles Darwin, at the opening of the
Darwin Laboratories at Shrewsbury School in 1911)
Post by Jerry Friedman
The question at hand, though, is whether there's any point in being
able to solve quadratic equations in any way, since various Web sites
and calculators will do it for you.
Hmm. I think it's good for the mind to know the principles involved.
Personally, once I knew the formula I never bothered with completing
the square.
--
athel
Peter Moylan
2017-12-03 03:56:52 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
I suspect that you're thinking of "101 uses for a dead cat".

That web page is interesting, by the way, although somewhat elementary.
(If I had had to write it, I'd have put in things that would have caused
the reviewers to say "too technical". Things like calculating the
bandwidth of an RLC filter, for example.) I had forgotten that foolscap
paper is designed using the golden ratio. That probably explains why
foolscap used to be good for making paper aeroplanes. Another lost art,
I suppose; I doubt that you could find foolscap now even in antique shops.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-03 09:25:50 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by occam
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.”
Google helpfully provides "101 Uses for the quadratic equation"
I can't help picturing little cartoons where quadratic equations are
shown being used to lag pipes, chock tyres, bookend books, etc etc.
I suspect that you're thinking of "101 uses for a dead cat".
Do you? How curious.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Peter Moylan
2017-12-03 05:05:00 UTC
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Post by occam
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last
year. Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for
them what they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t
know why they are learning it.”
If he can't answer that, he has no business being involved in education.
He could at least suggest to his children that they ask the people who
are doing the practical work of keeping our technological society
running. Ask any engineer, for example. Or ask one of the many other
people who couldn't do their job without mathematics.

If I couldn't solve quadratic equations, my career would have been cut
off at a very early stage.

One of the big risks for our society is that we're not getting enough
high school kids studying traditional mathematics. The ones who don't do
so are locked out of a big range of tertiary studies. That could lead to
a shortage -- in fact, it has already led to a shortage -- of people in
a number of highly skilled occupations.

Let people look things up through Google, by all means, but we need to
discourage young people from using it as a substitute for thinking and
reasoning.

The part that I snipped mentioned teamwork and problem-solving. My
experience says that a team can achieve things only if there's someone
on that team who can solve problems. The sort of problems that can't be
solved with a web search.

The beauty of teamwork is that it allows six people to be almost as
productive as one person working alone. Without that team, five of those
people would be out of a job.

Now and then, of course, you manage to form a team containing several
competent people. But not as often as we would like.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Lewis
2017-12-03 05:19:35 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last
year. Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for
them what they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t
know why they are learning it.”
If he can't answer that, he has no business being involved in education.
I can tell you exactly how many times I've used the quadratic equation
"in anger" since I left school. Zero.

I have used it to help my kids with their homework, but it has never
once come up in my life as something I had to be able to do.
Post by Peter Moylan
He could at least suggest to his children that they ask the people who
are doing the practical work of keeping our technological society
running. Ask any engineer, for example. Or ask one of the many other
people who couldn't do their job without mathematics.
Very very few people are engineers. Teaching trig and quadratic
equations to 98% of students is silly. They will never need it.
Post by Peter Moylan
If I couldn't solve quadratic equations, my career would have been cut
off at a very early stage.
Sure, but you are in a tiny minority.
Post by Peter Moylan
One of the big risks for our society is that we're not getting enough
high school kids studying traditional mathematics.
No, the risk is that people with no interest in math and no affinity to
it are being pushed into classes (and degrees) they are not suited for,
and then you end up with really crappy engineers.
Post by Peter Moylan
The ones who don't do so are locked out of a big range of tertiary
studies. That could lead to a shortage -- in fact, it has already led
to a shortage -- of people in a number of highly skilled occupations.
The solution is not to try to force more people to be math nerds. Math
nerds will be math nerds regardless.
Post by Peter Moylan
Let people look things up through Google, by all means, but we need to
discourage young people from using it as a substitute for thinking and
reasoning.
Memorizing the quadratic equation is neither thinking nor reasoning.
--
You think you can catch Keyser Soze?
b***@shaw.ca
2017-12-03 07:13:33 UTC
Reply
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Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last
year. Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for
them what they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t
know why they are learning it.”
If he can't answer that, he has no business being involved in education.
I can tell you exactly how many times I've used the quadratic equation
"in anger" since I left school. Zero.
I have used it to help my kids with their homework, but it has never
once come up in my life as something I had to be able to do.
Learning it prepared you to help your kids with their homework. That's
a big deal.

bill
occam
2017-12-03 11:43:08 UTC
Reply
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Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last
year. Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for
them what they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t
know why they are learning it.”
If he can't answer that, he has no business being involved in education.
I can tell you exactly how many times I've used the quadratic equation
"in anger" since I left school. Zero.
I have used it to help my kids with their homework, but it has never
once come up in my life as something I had to be able to do.
Learning it prepared you to help your kids with their homework. That's
a big deal.
It is, however, a recursive definition of 'useful' or 'big deal'. If all
they (the children) do is to use this knowledge to teach their children...
This is akin to keeping a tool in your workshop /not/ because you use
it, but because you want to hand it down to your children, the same way
your father passed it to you.

Sorry, just playing devil's advocate. I am a firm believer of teaching
maths to anyone who is capable of understanding it. If you do not try,
how will you know?

It is the only subject matter that will still be 100% valid in 20,000
year's time. Everything else (including present day science) will be
obsolete or at best out-of-date.
Rich Ulrich
2017-12-03 22:43:15 UTC
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Post by occam
Sorry, just playing devil's advocate. I am a firm believer of teaching
maths to anyone who is capable of understanding it. If you do not try,
how will you know?
It is the only subject matter that will still be 100% valid in 20,000
year's time. Everything else (including present day science) will be
obsolete or at best out-of-date.
As I read this thread, I've been thinking about "logic".

Supposedly, geometry teaches how to do logic and that logic
can lead to unexpected -- but firm -- conclusions.

Trig, I further suppose, teaches that when you start with something
as simple as geometry, you can build much larger, valid systems.

Calculus takes that further, and it underlies inferential statistics.
I've noticed that the applicationn of "statistics" is growing in
various sports, beyond the training of future Olympians.


All of them together teach that some conclusions are VALID and some
are not; it is is useful to work from valid ones. This /should/ be a
counter-influence to the political stance that rejects experts
(post-truth politicians like Steve Bannon).
--
Rich Urich
Lewis
2017-12-03 13:13:46 UTC
Reply
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Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last
year. Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for
them what they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t
know why they are learning it.”
If he can't answer that, he has no business being involved in education.
I can tell you exactly how many times I've used the quadratic equation
"in anger" since I left school. Zero.
I have used it to help my kids with their homework, but it has never
once come up in my life as something I had to be able to do.
Learning it prepared you to help your kids with their homework. That's
a big deal.
Circular reasoning, as there is no reason for either of them to learn it
other than to potentially help their kids with their homework.

For the vast majority of people it is not useful.
--
Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.
Peter Moylan
2017-12-03 09:50:22 UTC
Reply
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Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan
Rochelle, touched on that idea in a speech at an industry
conference last year. Referring to his own children, he said: “I
cannot answer for them what they are going to do with the
quadratic equation. I don’t know why they are learning it.”
If he can't answer that, he has no business being involved in
education.
I can tell you exactly how many times I've used the quadratic
equation "in anger" since I left school. Zero.
Sure, some people get more direct use from it than others, but that's
only part of the story. In the post you responded to it's true that I
focused on the good to society of the study, and incidentally on the
benefit to me. That was in direct response to Rochelle's statement. I
could have defended it on several other grounds, but that's not how the
topic came up.

Elementary mathematics is part of our culture, and it's important to
have a well-rounded education. Apart from anything else, it challenges
us intellectually.

I cannot accept a purely utilitarian approach to education. We shouldn't
scrap some area of learning merely on the grounds that it is unlikely to
be profitable to us.
Post by Lewis
No, the risk is that people with no interest in math and no affinity
to it are being pushed into classes (and degrees) they are not
suited for, and then you end up with really crappy engineers.
Well, I could claim that in my school days I was pushed into subjects
like history and geography and English and art, subjects that I didn't
have much affinity for. Would I be better off if those subjects had been
deleted from the syllabus?
Post by Lewis
Memorizing the quadratic equation is neither thinking nor reasoning.
I think you are rather thinking of memorising the formula for the roots
of the equation. That, I agree, is petty detail. What is important about
the topic is understanding the general behaviour of quadratic functions,
and how they appear in nature. The formula for the roots can easily be
re-derived if one has need of it. The mental exercise of deriving it is
more important to one's personal growth than the end result.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Lewis
2017-12-03 13:40:44 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan
Rochelle, touched on that idea in a speech at an industry
conference last year. Referring to his own children, he said: “I
cannot answer for them what they are going to do with the
quadratic equation. I don’t know why they are learning it.”
If he can't answer that, he has no business being involved in education.
I can tell you exactly how many times I've used the quadratic
equation "in anger" since I left school. Zero.
Sure, some people get more direct use from it than others, but that's
only part of the story. In the post you responded to it's true that I
focused on the good to society of the study, and incidentally on the
benefit to me. That was in direct response to Rochelle's statement. I
could have defended it on several other grounds, but that's not how the
topic came up.
Elementary mathematics is part of our culture, and it's important to
have a well-rounded education. Apart from anything else, it challenges
us intellectually.
Elementary math is addition, subtraction, division and multiplication.
It is not Algebra, Trig, quadratics, or Calculus.
Post by Peter Moylan
I cannot accept a purely utilitarian approach to education. We shouldn't
scrap some area of learning merely on the grounds that it is unlikely to
be profitable to us.
It is not just that, it is highly LIKELY to be entirely useless. For
nearly everyone, algebra is not part of their day-to-day life, nor is it
any part of their life at all.

And I say this as the sort of math dweeb that thinks up "fun" little
math puzzles in my head just so I can solve them in my head. that
doesn't make it useful, and I didn't need classes for what I do anyway.
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
No, the risk is that people with no interest in math and no affinity
to it are being pushed into classes (and degrees) they are not
suited for, and then you end up with really crappy engineers.
Well, I could claim that in my school days I was pushed into subjects
like history and geography and English and art, subjects that I didn't
have much affinity for. Would I be better off if those subjects had been
deleted from the syllabus?
If your history class required you to memorize a hundred dates in
history and concentrated on stupid divisions like "US History" as a
separate subject from "World History" and did things like talk about the
30 years war without mentioning the rest of the planet, then yes, that
class was almost certainly a waste of time. *ALL* of my history classes
in school were complete and utter wastes of time and I can honestly say
that in all the history classes I ever took I never learned a single
new thing. this is the norm for anyone with even a passing interest in
history. As far as I can tell, History classes are designed with the
sole intent of making sure students have any interest in History driven
out of them at the earliest possible age.

If your geography class required you to learn about the grain production
of a country more than 1/4th of the world away from you, then yes, it
was a waste of time.

SOME history, in context, is good to know. A basic understanding of
geography and maps is also good to know. A basic foundation in
elementary math. Sure.

Do you need to know the date the Magna Carta was signed? Not unless
you're going on a quiz show. Should you know withing a hundred years and
maybe know the circumstances that led to it? That could be a god thing
to know. Knowing that Caesar was assassinated by Brutus and Cassius comes
up enough in Western Culture that you should probably know it. Knowing
the Caesar defeated Pompey the Younger on 17 March 45 BCE is useless
knowledge (again, unless you're on a quiz show).

English is poorly (and often improperly and incorrectly) taught in
general, and tends to lean on old-fashioned ideas that only exist inside
of schools with little regard for how the language actually works.
English classes should focus far more on communication skills and far
less on idiocy like trying to tell student 'decimate' means reduce by
1/10th when everyone, including the teacher, knows what it actually
means, and it's not that.
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Memorizing the quadratic equation is neither thinking nor reasoning.
I think you are rather thinking of memorising the formula for the roots
of the equation. That, I agree, is petty detail. What is important about
the topic is understanding the general behaviour of quadratic functions,
How is that at all important to anyone outside of engineering? When does
that come up in your daily live?
Post by Peter Moylan
and how they appear in nature. The formula for the roots can easily be
re-derived if one has need of it. The mental exercise of deriving it is
more important to one's personal growth than the end result.
How do you figure that unless you define personal growth as "knowing how
to solve quadratics"

Math beyond the most basic algebra (and I really do mean the most basic
x+4=10; x=10-4; x=6 level of algebra) is a waste of time for most students.
The students it is not a waste of time for will be happy to take their
classes without people who hate math and have no affinity for it
dragging the class back.

If fewer students were force-fed math subjects they never use in life
(and know damn well they will never use), fewer students would hate math
and be completely resistant to the small bit of math that is actually
useful. That is, teach less required math would improve the overall math
knowledge of the population.
--
We all need help with our feelings. Otherwise, we bottle them up, and
before you know it powerful laxatives are involved.
Arindam Banerjee
2017-12-04 05:03:42 UTC
Reply
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Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan
Rochelle, touched on that idea in a speech at an industry
conference last year. Referring to his own children, he said: “I
cannot answer for them what they are going to do with the
quadratic equation. I don’t know why they are learning it.”
If he can't answer that, he has no business being involved in education.
I can tell you exactly how many times I've used the quadratic
equation "in anger" since I left school. Zero.
Sure, some people get more direct use from it than others, but that's
only part of the story. In the post you responded to it's true that I
focused on the good to society of the study, and incidentally on the
benefit to me. That was in direct response to Rochelle's statement. I
could have defended it on several other grounds, but that's not how the
topic came up.
Elementary mathematics is part of our culture, and it's important to
have a well-rounded education. Apart from anything else, it challenges
us intellectually.
Elementary math is addition, subtraction, division and multiplication.
It is not Algebra, Trig, quadratics, or Calculus.
We started learning geometry in Std 5 and algebra in Std 6 and we all had a
go at trigonometry in Std 8. That was it, though. Higher maths at school
meant co-oridinate geometry and calculas for the Science Stream.

It was arithmetic that was the most useless, for we had Pendelbury as the text
and so had fun trying to multiply tons and pounds with shillings and pence and
farthings too. Now if there is any outdated skill in maths, that's it.

I am talking about the years from 1965-1969.
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
I cannot accept a purely utilitarian approach to education. We shouldn't
scrap some area of learning merely on the grounds that it is unlikely to
be profitable to us.
It is not just that, it is highly LIKELY to be entirely useless. For
nearly everyone, algebra is not part of their day-to-day life, nor is it
any part of their life at all.
Not unless they have anything to do with compound interest, which means
geometric progression, which means some algebra to begin with. Loans,
mortgages, etc. may make more sense if the basic maths formula is well known.

Also, people talk in terms of growth rates. These days the Indians are chuffed
because the growth rate is higher than China. With some knowledge of algebra,
a bright guy would say that to reach the same GNP with the same 1-2% growth
differential would take say 3-4 generations assuming that this difference
remains. One could make a further projection and say that instead of 100 years
it could be 20 if there was say a 10% differential.

What goes for nations, also goes for individuals. One could take the Al Bundy
line, or have a goal and follow it. Some algebra helps here relating to work
and savings investments.
Post by Lewis
And I say this as the sort of math dweeb that thinks up "fun" little
math puzzles in my head just so I can solve them in my head. that
doesn't make it useful, and I didn't need classes for what I do anyway.
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
No, the risk is that people with no interest in math and no affinity
to it are being pushed into classes (and degrees) they are not
suited for, and then you end up with really crappy engineers.
Well, I could claim that in my school days I was pushed into subjects
like history and geography and English and art, subjects that I didn't
have much affinity for. Would I be better off if those subjects had been
deleted from the syllabus?
If your history class required you to memorize a hundred dates in
history and concentrated on stupid divisions like "US History" as a
separate subject from "World History" and did things like talk about the
30 years war without mentioning the rest of the planet, then yes, that
class was almost certainly a waste of time. *ALL* of my history classes
in school were complete and utter wastes of time and I can honestly say
that in all the history classes I ever took I never learned a single
new thing. this is the norm for anyone with even a passing interest in
history. As far as I can tell, History classes are designed with the
sole intent of making sure students have any interest in History driven
out of them at the earliest possible age.
But at least you know that there was such a thing as the past and the maybe
story of that is history.

One can live without knowing history or geography but then the living standards
would be very low.

For example, in the tribal belt where my India home exists, the locals would
ask where I came from. When I said "Australia" they asked how far was it away
from Jamshedpur, the nearest town. For them, the world beyond Jamshedpur need
not exist. They are right in their way - for umpteen generations they have
managed this way. It so happens that their children are not that content and
so, seek to know a lot more.
Post by Lewis
If your geography class required you to learn about the grain production
of a country more than 1/4th of the world away from you, then yes, it
was a waste of time.
Oh I don't know. When I came to US in 1987 I saw some blacks in uniform who
beamed at me. Now, what I had read in the Geography book "Lands and Life" was
that US blacks (Sambo of the cotton fields) worked on cotton plantations and
ate margarine. Things have looked up for them, I thought. See, one can place
markers in progress when one studies apparently useless things. There is
nothing really useless about any education - somehow they manage to make
some use for the student, often in unexpected ways.
Post by Lewis
SOME history, in context, is good to know. A basic understanding of
geography and maps is also good to know. A basic foundation in
elementary math. Sure.
Do you need to know the date the Magna Carta was signed? Not unless
you're going on a quiz show. Should you know withing a hundred years and
maybe know the circumstances that led to it? That could be a god thing
to know. Knowing that Caesar was assassinated by Brutus and Cassius comes
up enough in Western Culture that you should probably know it. Knowing
the Caesar defeated Pompey the Younger on 17 March 45 BCE is useless
knowledge (again, unless you're on a quiz show).
No, dates are very useful for they manage to place things in sequence, provide
causality, create grounds for comparisons of events in other lands, etc.
Post by Lewis
English is poorly (and often improperly and incorrectly) taught in
general, and tends to lean on old-fashioned ideas that only exist inside
of schools with little regard for how the language actually works.
English classes should focus far more on communication skills and far
less on idiocy like trying to tell student 'decimate' means reduce by
1/10th when everyone, including the teacher, knows what it actually
means, and it's not that.
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Memorizing the quadratic equation is neither thinking nor reasoning.
I think you are rather thinking of memorising the formula for the roots
of the equation. That, I agree, is petty detail. What is important about
the topic is understanding the general behaviour of quadratic functions,
How is that at all important to anyone outside of engineering? When does
that come up in your daily live?
Post by Peter Moylan
and how they appear in nature. The formula for the roots can easily be
re-derived if one has need of it. The mental exercise of deriving it is
more important to one's personal growth than the end result.
How do you figure that unless you define personal growth as "knowing how
to solve quadratics"
Math beyond the most basic algebra (and I really do mean the most basic
x+4=10; x=10-4; x=6 level of algebra) is a waste of time for most students.
The students it is not a waste of time for will be happy to take their
classes without people who hate math and have no affinity for it
dragging the class back.
If fewer students were force-fed math subjects they never use in life
(and know damn well they will never use), fewer students would hate math
and be completely resistant to the small bit of math that is actually
useful. That is, teach less required math would improve the overall math
knowledge of the population.
--
We all need help with our feelings. Otherwise, we bottle them up, and
before you know it powerful laxatives are involved.
Peter T. Daniels
2017-12-04 12:30:16 UTC
Reply
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Post by Arindam Banerjee
It was arithmetic that was the most useless, for we had Pendelbury as the text
and so had fun trying to multiply tons and pounds with shillings and pence and
farthings too. Now if there is any outdated skill in maths, that's it.
I am talking about the years from 1965-1969.
Since that was the money in use at the time, how was that "outdated"?
s***@gowanhill.com
2017-12-04 14:18:57 UTC
Reply
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Post by Arindam Banerjee
It was arithmetic that was the most useless, for we had Pendelbury as the text
and so had fun trying to multiply tons and pounds with shillings and pence and
farthings too. Now if there is any outdated skill in maths, that's it.
And was pointless at the time, as any normal person would have looked up the decimal equivalents of tons and pounds, and probably of shillings and pence too, and done at least half the calculation in decimal before converting back.

Ready reckoners of the time had decimal equivalents of many duodecimal and other systems for this purpose.

Owain
Peter T. Daniels
2017-12-04 14:37:17 UTC
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Post by s***@gowanhill.com
Post by Arindam Banerjee
It was arithmetic that was the most useless, for we had Pendelbury as the text
and so had fun trying to multiply tons and pounds with shillings and pence and
farthings too. Now if there is any outdated skill in maths, that's it.
And was pointless at the time, as any normal person would have looked up the decimal equivalents of tons and pounds, and probably of shillings and pence too, and done at least half the calculation in decimal before converting back.
Ready reckoners of the time had decimal equivalents of many duodecimal and other systems for this purpose.
They still needed to know that they were dealing with 12s and 20s, and they
needed to be able to tell whether their results were reasonable (see recent
discussion of estimating orders of magnitude).
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-12-03 18:12:16 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last
year. Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for
them what they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t
know why they are learning it.”
If he can't answer that, he has no business being involved in education.
If you want a depressing picture of the direction "education" is taking
in the humanities departments of modern universities, do a Google
search for "Lindsay Shepherd". She is a young woman at a Canadian
university who made the mistake of introducing some students to some
ideas that they might not like. She was naive enough to think that
universities are supposed to do things like that. You can easily find
the recording she made (surrepticiously, but wisely) of the bullying
she received from her elders and betters, but if you can't find it it
is here:

Post by Peter Moylan
He could at least suggest to his children that they ask the people who
are doing the practical work of keeping our technological society
running. Ask any engineer, for example. Or ask one of the many other
people who couldn't do their job without mathematics.
If I couldn't solve quadratic equations, my career would have been cut
off at a very early stage.
One of the big risks for our society is that we're not getting enough
high school kids studying traditional mathematics. The ones who don't do
so are locked out of a big range of tertiary studies. That could lead to
a shortage -- in fact, it has already led to a shortage -- of people in
a number of highly skilled occupations.
Let people look things up through Google, by all means, but we need to
discourage young people from using it as a substitute for thinking and
reasoning.
The part that I snipped mentioned teamwork and problem-solving. My
experience says that a team can achieve things only if there's someone
on that team who can solve problems. The sort of problems that can't be
solved with a web search.
The beauty of teamwork is that it allows six people to be almost as
productive as one person working alone. Without that team, five of those
people would be out of a job.
Now and then, of course, you manage to form a team containing several
competent people. But not as often as we would like.
--
athel
Peter Moylan
2017-12-04 04:40:02 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
If you want a depressing picture of the direction "education" is taking
in the humanities departments of modern universities, do a Google search
for "Lindsay Shepherd". She is a young woman at a Canadian university
who made the mistake of introducing some students to some ideas that
they might not like. She was naive enough to think that universities are
supposed to do things like that. You can easily find the recording she
made (surrepticiously, but wisely) of the bullying she received from her
http://youtu.be/9YdFlKaJv4g
Ouch. Politics trumps open debate.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-04 08:26:14 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
If you want a depressing picture of the direction "education" is taking
in the humanities departments of modern universities, do a Google search
for "Lindsay Shepherd". She is a young woman at a Canadian university
who made the mistake of introducing some students to some ideas that
they might not like. She was naive enough to think that universities are
supposed to do things like that. You can easily find the recording she
made (surrepticiously, but wisely) of the bullying she received from her
http://youtu.be/9YdFlKaJv4g
Ouch. Politics trumps open debate.
I did not think it was possible for anything to convince me to create a
Twitter account, but I could think of no other way to communicate to
Lindsay Shepherd my support for her stand on freedom of speech.

The behaviour of the University staff, and of some elements within the
student body, is unfathomably hypocritical and with no discernible
foundation in logic or humanity.

The hypocrisy is evident in the 48-minute audio clip, in which Miss
Shepherd is pre-judged and attacked by people in positions of enormous
power over her - and they were attacking her because they had decided
(on hearsay alone) that she had pre-judged and attacked someone over
whom she had a position of very slight power.

We have yet to see or hear any evidence that the allegations against her
are justified. But we have seen (or rather, heard) plenty of evidence
that the very same allegations can justifiably be levelled at the
University.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
occam
2017-12-04 11:15:01 UTC
Reply
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Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
If you want a depressing picture of the direction "education" is taking
in the humanities departments of modern universities, do a Google search
for "Lindsay Shepherd". She is a young woman at a Canadian university
who made the mistake of introducing some students to some ideas that
they might not like. She was naive enough to think that universities are
supposed to do things like that. You can easily find the recording she
made (surrepticiously, but wisely) of the bullying she received from her
http://youtu.be/9YdFlKaJv4g
Ouch. Politics trumps open debate.
I did not think it was possible for anything to convince me to create a
Twitter account, but I could think of no other way to communicate to
Lindsay Shepherd my support for her stand on freedom of speech.
Have you tried <***@wlu.ca>? The emails of most staff appear to
be in the format <initial><surname>@wlu.ca.

But first you should have a look at these:
https://wlu.ca/news/spotlights/2017/nov/apology-from-laurier-president-and-vice-chancellor.html

and
https://wlu.ca/news/spotlights/2017/nov/open-letter-to-my-ta-lindsay-shepherd.html
Post by Richard Heathfield
The behaviour of the University staff, and of some elements within the
student body, is unfathomably hypocritical and with no discernible
foundation in logic or humanity.
The hypocrisy is evident in the 48-minute audio clip, in which Miss
Shepherd is pre-judged and attacked by people in positions of enormous
power over her - and they were attacking her because they had decided
(on hearsay alone) that she had pre-judged and attacked someone over
whom she had a position of very slight power.
We have yet to see or hear any evidence that the allegations against her
are justified. But we have seen (or rather, heard) plenty of evidence
that the very same allegations can justifiably be levelled at the
University.
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-04 12:42:25 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
Post by occam
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
If you want a depressing picture of the direction "education" is taking
in the humanities departments of modern universities, do a Google search
for "Lindsay Shepherd". She is a young woman at a Canadian university
who made the mistake of introducing some students to some ideas that
they might not like. She was naive enough to think that universities are
supposed to do things like that. You can easily find the recording she
made (surrepticiously, but wisely) of the bullying she received from her
http://youtu.be/9YdFlKaJv4g
Ouch. Politics trumps open debate.
I did not think it was possible for anything to convince me to create a
Twitter account, but I could think of no other way to communicate to
Lindsay Shepherd my support for her stand on freedom of speech.
https://wlu.ca/news/spotlights/2017/nov/apology-from-laurier-president-and-vice-chancellor.html
"Let me be clear by stating that Laurier is committed to the abiding
principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression." - the
evidence would appear to be that in fact it is /not/ so committed.
Post by occam
and
https://wlu.ca/news/spotlights/2017/nov/open-letter-to-my-ta-lindsay-shepherd.html
"My main concerns were finding out why a lesson on writing skills had
become a political discussion, and making sure harm didn’t befall students."

His main concerns in the first instance should have been /whether/ a
lesson on writing skills had become a political discussion, and making
sure that harm didn't befall /any/ of his students, *including Lindsay
Shepherd*, who has suffered undoubted harm through this rather sinister
episode.

The "apologies" are exercises in self-justification. (The one from Dr
Rambukkana is perhaps slightly less so.)
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Lewis
2017-12-04 17:19:41 UTC
Reply
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Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
If you want a depressing picture of the direction "education" is taking
in the humanities departments of modern universities, do a Google search
for "Lindsay Shepherd". She is a young woman at a Canadian university
who made the mistake of introducing some students to some ideas that
they might not like. She was naive enough to think that universities are
supposed to do things like that. You can easily find the recording she
made (surrepticiously, but wisely) of the bullying she received from her
http://youtu.be/9YdFlKaJv4g
Ouch. Politics trumps open debate.
I did not think it was possible for anything to convince me to create a
Twitter account, but I could think of no other way to communicate to
Lindsay Shepherd my support for her stand on freedom of speech.
Which has nothing to do with this, at all.
Post by Richard Heathfield
The behaviour of the University staff, and of some elements within the
student body, is unfathomably hypocritical and with no discernible
foundation in logic or humanity.
The hypocrisy is evident in the 48-minute audio clip, in which Miss
Shepherd is pre-judged and attacked by people in positions of enormous
power over her - and they were attacking her because they had decided
(on hearsay alone)
No, that is certainly not true. the facts of what happened were not in
question. She showed a video of a know hate monger who believe that
violence against trans people is a solution to a "problem" and presented it to
her class as a neutral video that deserved debate.

Let's imagine that you were the only blond blue-eyed person in a class
and the teacher presented a video from a person who advocated the murder
of all blond blue-eyed people as a solution to all of society's ills and
presented it as a topic worthy of debate.

"I'm not saying we should murder all the blond people with blue-eyes,
I'm just saying it's a topic for discussion."

Would you feel attacked?

I thought the comparison to the climate-deniers was a good one.
--
'There's a kind of magic in masks. Masks conceal one face, but reveal
another. The one that only comes out in darkness. I bet you could do
just what you liked, behind a mask...?' --Maskerade
Cheryl
2017-12-04 17:23:41 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
Post by Lewis
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
If you want a depressing picture of the direction "education" is taking
in the humanities departments of modern universities, do a Google search
for "Lindsay Shepherd". She is a young woman at a Canadian university
who made the mistake of introducing some students to some ideas that
they might not like. She was naive enough to think that universities are
supposed to do things like that. You can easily find the recording she
made (surrepticiously, but wisely) of the bullying she received from her
http://youtu.be/9YdFlKaJv4g
Ouch. Politics trumps open debate.
I did not think it was possible for anything to convince me to create a
Twitter account, but I could think of no other way to communicate to
Lindsay Shepherd my support for her stand on freedom of speech.
Which has nothing to do with this, at all.
Post by Richard Heathfield
The behaviour of the University staff, and of some elements within the
student body, is unfathomably hypocritical and with no discernible
foundation in logic or humanity.
The hypocrisy is evident in the 48-minute audio clip, in which Miss
Shepherd is pre-judged and attacked by people in positions of enormous
power over her - and they were attacking her because they had decided
(on hearsay alone)
No, that is certainly not true. the facts of what happened were not in
question. She showed a video of a know hate monger who believe that
violence against trans people is a solution to a "problem" and presented it to
her class as a neutral video that deserved debate.
Let's imagine that you were the only blond blue-eyed person in a class
and the teacher presented a video from a person who advocated the murder
of all blond blue-eyed people as a solution to all of society's ills and
presented it as a topic worthy of debate.
"I'm not saying we should murder all the blond people with blue-eyes,
I'm just saying it's a topic for discussion."
Would you feel attacked?
No.
Post by Lewis
I thought the comparison to the climate-deniers was a good one.
--
Cheryl
Lewis
2017-12-04 08:29:57 UTC
Reply
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Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
If you want a depressing picture of the direction "education" is taking
in the humanities departments of modern universities, do a Google search
for "Lindsay Shepherd". She is a young woman at a Canadian university
who made the mistake of introducing some students to some ideas that
they might not like. She was naive enough to think that universities are
supposed to do things like that. You can easily find the recording she
made (surrepticiously, but wisely) of the bullying she received from her
http://youtu.be/9YdFlKaJv4g
Ouch. Politics trumps open debate.
Jordan Peterson is a hate-monger who has gone out of his way to endanger
people by revealing their identities in order for his minions to attack
them (as in physically, violently). Substitute "Adolph Hitler" into the
conversation and see if it seems OK in a class with Jews.

Pretending that this is a political debate is absurd.

Promoting ideas that espouse violence (or even intolerance) for protected
minorities as "neutral" is not acceptable.
--
"I can't see the point in the theatre. All that sex and violence. I get
enough of that at home. Apart from the sex, of course." - Baldrick
Peter Moylan
2017-12-04 14:06:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
If you want a depressing picture of the direction "education" is taking
in the humanities departments of modern universities, do a Google search
for "Lindsay Shepherd". She is a young woman at a Canadian university
who made the mistake of introducing some students to some ideas that
they might not like. She was naive enough to think that universities are
supposed to do things like that. You can easily find the recording she
made (surrepticiously, but wisely) of the bullying she received from her
http://youtu.be/9YdFlKaJv4g
Ouch. Politics trumps open debate.
Jordan Peterson is a hate-monger who has gone out of his way to endanger
people by revealing their identities in order for his minions to attack
them (as in physically, violently). Substitute "Adolph Hitler" into the
conversation and see if it seems OK in a class with Jews.
Is Jordan Peterson a complete arsehole? Probably. But I don't accept
that the same label should be extended to Lindsay Shepherd. We can, I
think, separate the criticisms of the former from the criticisms of the
latter. The latter appear to be focused on transgender issues.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-04 14:17:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
If you want a depressing picture of the direction "education" is taking
in the humanities departments of modern universities, do a Google search
for "Lindsay Shepherd". She is a young woman at a Canadian university
who made the mistake of introducing some students to some ideas that
they might not like. She was naive enough to think that universities are
supposed to do things like that. You can easily find the recording she
made (surrepticiously, but wisely) of the bullying she received from her
http://youtu.be/9YdFlKaJv4g
Ouch. Politics trumps open debate.
Jordan Peterson is a hate-monger who has gone out of his way to endanger
people by revealing their identities in order for his minions to attack
them (as in physically, violently). Substitute "Adolph Hitler" into the
conversation and see if it seems OK in a class with Jews.
Is Jordan Peterson a complete arsehole?
No idea. I didn't go that far in my research.
Post by Peter Moylan
Probably.
I wouldn't even go that far just on the say-so of other people. If it
ever gets to the point where I want to know where he stands (and I
haven't reached that point yet), I'll find out for myself rather than
rely on third-party reports.
Post by Peter Moylan
But I don't accept
that the same label should be extended to Lindsay Shepherd. We can, I
think, separate the criticisms of the former from the criticisms of the
latter. The latter appear to be focused on transgender issues.
The issue is grammar. *Other people* have turned it into a transgender
issue. We have no evidence to suggest that Lindsay Shepherd attempted to
do so, and testimony from her egregious supervisor, Dr Rambukkana, would
seem to accept that she had not made that attempt. "I believe you are
right that making a space for controversial or oppositional views is
important, and even essential to a university", he said in his Open
Letter to her.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-12-04 15:41:30 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
If you want a depressing picture of the direction "education" is taking
in the humanities departments of modern universities, do a Google search
for "Lindsay Shepherd". She is a young woman at a Canadian university
who made the mistake of introducing some students to some ideas that
they might not like. She was naive enough to think that universities are
supposed to do things like that. You can easily find the recording she
made (surrepticiously, but wisely) of the bullying she received from her
http://youtu.be/9YdFlKaJv4g
Ouch. Politics trumps open debate.
Jordan Peterson is a hate-monger who has gone out of his way to endanger
people by revealing their identities in order for his minions to attack
them (as in physically, violently). Substitute "Adolph Hitler" into the
conversation and see if it seems OK in a class with Jews.
Is Jordan Peterson a complete arsehole?
No idea. I didn't go that far in my research.
Post by Peter Moylan
Probably.
I wouldn't even go that far just on the say-so of other people. If it
ever gets to the point where I want to know where he stands (and I
haven't reached that point yet), I'll find out for myself rather than
rely on third-party reports.
Post by Peter Moylan
But I don't accept that the same label should be extended to Lindsay
Shepherd. We can, I think, separate the criticisms of the former from
the criticisms of the latter. The latter appear to be focused on
transgender issues.
The issue is grammar. *Other people* have turned it into a transgender
issue. We have no evidence to suggest that Lindsay Shepherd attempted
to do so, and testimony from her egregious supervisor, Dr Rambukkana,
would seem to accept that she had not made that attempt. "I believe you
are right that making a space for controversial or oppositional views
is important, and even essential to a university", he said in his Open
Letter to her.
As we have someone uncertain about their sex in this group (and living
in Canada to boot) we should probably ask them what they think about
the terrible thing that Lindsay Shepherd did.
--
athel
Richard Heathfield
2017-12-04 15:57:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
If you want a depressing picture of the direction "education" is taking
in the humanities departments of modern universities, do a Google search
for "Lindsay Shepherd". She is a young woman at a Canadian university
who made the mistake of introducing some students to some ideas that
they might not like. She was naive enough to think that
universities are
supposed to do things like that. You can easily find the recording she
made (surrepticiously, but wisely) of the bullying she received from her
http://youtu.be/9YdFlKaJv4g
Ouch. Politics trumps open debate.
Jordan Peterson is a hate-monger who has gone out of his way to endanger
people by revealing their identities in order for his minions to attack
them (as in physically, violently). Substitute "Adolph Hitler" into the
conversation and see if it seems OK in a class with Jews.
Is Jordan Peterson a complete arsehole?
No idea. I didn't go that far in my research.
Post by Peter Moylan
Probably.
I wouldn't even go that far just on the say-so of other people. If it
ever gets to the point where I want to know where he stands (and I
haven't reached that point yet), I'll find out for myself rather than
rely on third-party reports.
Post by Peter Moylan
But I don't accept that the same label should be extended to Lindsay
Shepherd. We can, I think, separate the criticisms of the former from
the criticisms of the latter. The latter appear to be focused on
transgender issues.
The issue is grammar. *Other people* have turned it into a transgender
issue. We have no evidence to suggest that Lindsay Shepherd attempted
to do so, and testimony from her egregious supervisor, Dr Rambukkana,
would seem to accept that she had not made that attempt. "I believe
you are right that making a space for controversial or oppositional
views is important, and even essential to a university", he said in
his Open Letter to her.
As we have someone uncertain about their sex in this group (and living
in Canada to boot) we should probably ask them what they think about the
terrible thing that Lindsay Shepherd did.
We certainly /can/ ask such people, yes, but since the person to whom
you refer is in my killfile for being an ass I don't suppose I shall see
his or her reply unless someone quotes it.

What we so often forget is that people of /any/ gender
self-identification can behave like asses, and often do. Simply
self-identifying with a non-traditional gender is not, in my view,
enough to command attention. One must earn it, by not being an ass.

At least some of the people in the so-called "Rainbow" group at Lindsay
Shepherd's university would appear to be behaving like asses over this
whole affair. In my view, they damage their cause by so doing.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-12-04 15:38:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
If you want a depressing picture of the direction "education" is taking
in the humanities departments of modern universities, do a Google search
for "Lindsay Shepherd". She is a young woman at a Canadian university
who made the mistake of introducing some students to some ideas that
they might not like. She was naive enough to think that universities are
supposed to do things like that. You can easily find the recording she
made (surrepticiously, but wisely) of the bullying she received from her
http://youtu.be/9YdFlKaJv4g
Ouch. Politics trumps open debate.
Jordan Peterson is a hate-monger who has gone out of his way to endanger
people by revealing their identities in order for his minions to attack
them (as in physically, violently). Substitute "Adolph Hitler" into the
conversation and see if it seems OK in a class with Jews.
Notice that Lewis has done exactly what Lindsay Shepherd was accused
of: by mentioning Adolf Hitler he has made all the Jewish participants
in this group feel unsafe. If what she did was beyond the pale(which I
don't think) then what Lewis did was equally beyond the pale.
Post by Peter Moylan
Is Jordan Peterson a complete arsehole? Probably. But I don't accept
that the same label should be extended to Lindsay Shepherd. We can, I
think, separate the criticisms of the former from the criticisms of the
latter. The latter appear to be focused on transgender issues.
--
athel
Lewis
2017-12-04 17:29:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Lewis
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
If you want a depressing picture of the direction "education" is taking
in the humanities departments of modern universities, do a Google search
for "Lindsay Shepherd". She is a young woman at a Canadian university
who made the mistake of introducing some students to some ideas that
they might not like. She was naive enough to think that universities are
supposed to do things like that. You can easily find the recording she
made (surrepticiously, but wisely) of the bullying she received from her
http://youtu.be/9YdFlKaJv4g
Ouch. Politics trumps open debate.
Jordan Peterson is a hate-monger who has gone out of his way to endanger
people by revealing their identities in order for his minions to attack
them (as in physically, violently). Substitute "Adolph Hitler" into the
conversation and see if it seems OK in a class with Jews.
Is Jordan Peterson a complete arsehole? Probably. But I don't accept
that the same label should be extended to Lindsay Shepherd.
Nor did I. But her presenting him in a neutral way, whether she intended
it or not, elevates his position and opinions. She made a mistake, and
*I* would have complained about it despite not being the target of
Peterson's particular hatred.
Post by Peter Moylan
We can, I think, separate the criticisms of the former from the
criticisms of the latter. The latter appear to be focused on
transgender issues.
I can understand what she thought she was doing, and the people trying
to explain to her why she made a mistake didn't do a particularly good
job of it as they wandered around much to much and didn't really hammer
at the main point which should have been that merely presenting hateful
ideas in a neutral manner gives them credence and weight that they do
not deserve and that any trans person in that class would have rightly
felt attacked, possibly endangered if they felt this TA might be a
Peterson sympathizer, and would reasonably not have felt comfortable
expressing that in the discussion group. That is to say, the complaint
was entirely warranted and justified.

I don't think Ms Shepherd intended any harm at all, but that doesn't
change the fact that she caused it by her actions.
--
Competent? How are we going to compete with that?
Dingbat
2017-12-03 13:14:21 UTC
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Googlification sounds similar to what Americans call "throwing a curve ball."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googly
https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=googlie
Post by occam
Not sure whether to be awed or scared. The recent discussion in a.u.e.
on the maths exam questions seem to be undermined by Google's education
apps group.
"In doing so, Google is helping to drive a philosophical change in
public education — prioritizing training children in skills like
teamwork and problem-solving while de-emphasizing the teaching of
traditional academic knowledge, like math formulas."
lower down
"The director of Google’s education apps group, Jonathan Rochelle,
touched on that idea in a speech at an industry conference last year.
Referring to his own children, he said: “I cannot answer for them what
they are going to do with the quadratic equation. I don’t know why they
are learning it.” He added, “And I don’t know why they can’t ask Google
for the answer if the answer is right there.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/technology/google-education-chromebooks-schools.html
occam
2017-12-03 15:54:54 UTC
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Post by Dingbat
Googlification sounds similar to what Americans call "throwing a curve ball."
Sorry to tell you, a 'googly' is a cricket term.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googly
Peter T. Daniels
2017-12-03 20:30:21 UTC
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Post by occam
Post by Dingbat
Googlification sounds similar to what Americans call "throwing a curve ball."
Sorry to tell you, a 'googly' is a cricket term.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googly
For a curve ball.
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