In actual fact my main computer was ordered in March 2005 for just under £1000 (I built it myself, the parts were ordered). This has just surprised me actually. Although I have swapped out the heart of it more recently it means my PC is now 'ten years old' and is still going strong and beating hands down the hundreds of machines I have looked at and had to fix for other people over the years. I regularly have to explain to others that no, you don't need to buy a new laptop, your one is just over a year or two old and is running slow because of how you have looked after it, not because all of a sudden the technology inside has deprecated and become obsolete.
Since then I still have the same case, the same RAM (OK ok
So yes I have a 'new' motherboard but this was one bought second hand off eBay that is almost as old as my original one. I have a 'new' graphics card but again this is many generations old.
And does my machine work? All day every day. I use it heavily for work (education, programming, office, file related, graphics related etc) and for gaming (always been heavily into gaming). Do I feel the need to have the very latest games at the absolute top resolution? not quite because I am not willing to pay the premium to have the rig to run that as soon as the game comes out. Give it a year or two and all of a sudden this games crash in price and in the ability for the latest computers to handle them. Having said that my machine has still not had much of an upgrade and I have little problem running the vast majority of every day titles.
My bottle necks are
RAM (in the sense of the ability to have lots of programs working on the fly with no delay switching to them) Storage (always an issue no matter the upgrade, I now have a few TB of storage spread among my hard disks I have accumulated, that doesn't count external or cloud backups. Never enough.)
For work I have been given an iPad. I barely use it. At all. For anything. It is a pain in the backside for connectivity to my normal workflow and does not have the day to day items I need/want to use in work. It is excellent for connection in the sense of simple sharing/browsing online/using web features but that could be achieved by any handheld device. The biggest drawback for me with that, given the way I now work, is the coping with the file system storage and sharing structure. Not the processor, screen or RAM.
My phone gets daily use for all sorts of things. The biggest problem I have with it is simple storage. Given the price of smartphones today (especially on contract) why they cant all come with at least 100Gb of storage on a couple of cards is beyond me.
These problems are exactly the same ones I had with my first machine. A 386 DX (yes
But the main ones I see across all devices for the last twenty plus years I have been using computers? RAM (to a lesser extent today on PCs) and storage.
It is so much more useful in the long run. The students can have an electronic copy of the lesson (before and after), you dont waste time "rubbing stuff out", you can come back to items whenever you please and you can reuse material so easily from lesson to lesson, year to year.
That is before you consider the inbuilt (and other) functionality the electronic whiteboard offers. In our case we have built in transformation tools, on screen rulers, protractors, compasses, graphing facilities etc. Then when you branch out and use apps, websites etc the amount of interactivity and usefulness increases massively.
This never replaces good old fashioned teaching and knowledge and methods, but as an added bonus it can be massive.
However, at the end of the day, you cannot do proper mathematics without resorting to proper work on paper, with a pen or pencil and a bit of brainpower and a lot of patience. That will never be replaced electronically.
These ideas, fleshed out in detail, in science and mathematics, may grow to be so much more than a cliched one liner:
In what sense are these not science?
Maybe you are being confused over the terminology:
or more simply
Algebra essentially is "finding the missing thing" and it can be as simple as working out what your change is when you go shopping (as well as a million and one other examples).
People think that because they dont sit down with a pencil and paper and scribble some funny symbols they are not doing maths when in actual fact they are using those skills (maybe innate skills) all day, every day.
It doesnt actually matter how many planets or brown dwarfs you think we have missed
There are limits (for very good and well checked reasons) on how much ordinary (baryonic) matter there can actually be
We may have understimated the numbers of extrasolar planets or similar but that still wont account for the vast majority of the missing matter. In any case such calculations have been well looked at for a long period of time and screwed down pretty tight (this is what I did for my PhD almost 15 years ago. Even then it was pretty clear that brown dwarfs were not the be all and end all of accounting for dark matter within galaxies).
Regarding "move beyond the assumption that if we cant see it it isnt there"...surely that is the whole point of dark matter/dark energy. We are confident that 'something' is there, but we cant 'see' it, hence our insistence on using the term 'dark'.
It doesnt actually matter how many Brown Dwarfs we have missed
There are limits on how much "ordinary" (Baryonic) matter there can be, regardless of how much we actually have down on our named list here. So no matter how much we have underestimated the number of Brown Dwarfs (and we have done a pretty good job on estimating those numbers, that is what I was doing for my PhD pretty much 15 years ago and even then it was getting obvious that Brown Dwarfs or similar was not the answer) the fact remains that they cannot account for any significant proportion of "dark matter"
As regards "if we cant see it it isnt there" surely astrophysics actually assumes the opposite. Namely that there definately is something there but we cant "see" it. Hence the term dark.
I enjoyed Syndicate Wars
Syndicate was a proper game and an original one at that, I don't think it has been bettered.
It goes up there in the hallowed hall of fame alongside such giants as System Shock and Chaos.
>However, more worrying is that in my work with schools, I've come across all of the above categories of TEACHER. That's a lot more scary. I regularly see kids told off for daring to ask "Why?" or "Why not?" and, yes, some of them are just deliberately being annoying but I've witnessed no end of kids that are shut out of learning because the teacher "needs" to have a chat, text their husband, fill in paperwork, go to lunch, etc.
Unfortunately, all too often it is because the teacher themselves simply doesn't know (or doesn't really know in enough depth or detail)or simply does not possess the skills to explain to the child.
They all fall into a teaching rut, quoting the same old sentences day in and day out, without really thinking or making the kids think.
All too often it is recitation, not teaching. A crying shame but it does keep me in work!
I agree.. to a point.
That is why teaching institutions exist... if it were all a simple matter of "look this up" I would be out of a job.
I have taught (private tuition) for nigh on 15 years and I have been involved in Scouting for many more, in short I spend almost all day every day working with kids of all ages.
Much of the teaching in schools actually resists kids asking questions. With my classes, I "have a go" at them for NOT asking questions. I teach them not to take everything I say at face value, to question, to ask why. But in order to complete that important part of their education I need to explain why, I need to answer their question, or explain why their question doesn't make sense or doesn't have an answer.
It takes children many many years at school (and university) to learn the schools of research and even then it can be difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff without expert knowledge.
Now I have had my fair share of kids that ask why, why, why just to be annoying, but these are easily dealt with. I can bore them back by explaining why, why, why... until it gets to a certain point that is ably demonstrated by something my step daughter and fiance said the other day:
"oh no... quick... stop asking... else I am going to catch his science germs".
Parents who are poorly educated are simply unable to help their kids find answers.
I have had umpteen homeworks handed in that are mere printouts of a webpage. Fine.. nothing wrong with that, in fact I encourage it. But in class the first question I ask them is : "Do you understand this?". The second is: "Can you explain this to me?". If not, I still have a job to do.