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Comment: Re:No real surprise (Score 1) 706

If there is true consensus about global warming, then science should be inviting opposing thought - not trying to stifle the discussion like a dictator.

But what if the opposing "thought" you're inviting is simply a bunch of specious reasoning debunked a long time ago? Repeated over and over. To the point that you realize that the ones doing the arguing have no interest whatsoever in any kind of objective truth. How long should you be inviting it then? How long do you pretend they deserve respect?

Comment: Re:Progenitors? (Score 1) 686

by Tyler Durden (#47221595) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

...and we are indeed the first who will learn a lot of lessons as we swarm across the galaxy once we figure out how to get off this damn rock.

You know, I've heard this attitude many times before, and I just don't get it. The Earth is beautiful. We've evolved to see it as beautiful, and yet people still aren't able to enjoy they great things they have right here. Protip: if you can't be happy here on Earth then you're incapable of finding happiness no matter where you go.

Comment: Re:This research should receive enormous funding. (Score 1) 202

by Tyler Durden (#47130039) Attached to: Scientists Find Method To Reliably Teleport Data
It's true that the GP is just representing one interpretation. Just thought I'd throw out my favorite "interpretation", (objective collapse theory) as it doesn't seem to get much love. No multiple worlds. No living-dead cats.

Also, instead of thinking of things being fundamentally composed of objects that are sort of both waves and particles I find it easier to picture them all as waves that only occasionally act as particles under the right conditions. This seems counter-intuitive since most of the world we experience is a result of these interactions that make them appear as particles. But it makes it a lot easier when picturing how things work with QFT and the difference between virtual and non-virtual "particles".

Comment: Re:danger will robinson (Score 1) 688

by Tyler Durden (#47071427) Attached to: Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

There is nothing deep about the concepts of addition and subtraction. Tell a young kid you have two different piles of a number of objects. Combine them into a big pile and count how many are in it. Now they've mastered the concept of addition. Take a pile of a certain number of objects. Remove a certain number from the pile, how much do you have left? By gum, the concept of subtraction has been mastered. The CC processes are tricks to do the calculations more quickly. And since we have calculators that can do that anyways, who cares?

Things get more complicated with fractions. One part that trips people up is how dividing a number > 0 by a fraction > 0 and 1 leads to a number greater than what you started with? (Assuming positive numbers). Say you have a medicine of 8 oz and you must drink 1 oz each day, how many days does it take to finish it? 8 days from 8 divided by 1. Now take the same 8 ounces and you have to drink 1/8 of an ounce a day - how long? Now the correct answer matches your intuition and it makes sense that you'd come up with something larger. THAT is an example of concepts, not calculation tricks.

My favorite example of a mathematical concept, something to introduce to students after they know simple arithmetic, is the method that a young Gauss came up with to quickly add the integers from 1 to 100. It's easy to understand, clever, can be easy to show how to generalize up to any number, and it begins to show the difference between arithmetic and math.

Comment: Re:danger will robinson (Score 1) 688

by Tyler Durden (#47068629) Attached to: Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

More important than breaking things up is getting an intuitive understanding of what you're doing in the first place. If you can do something fairly simply in a subject intuitively, but it's taught in a way that introduces many more steps that remove you from the intuition then your interest-level is going to go from 60 to "why bother" in five seconds. The old method has less steps to clutter things up. Want to be able to do arithmetic quickly? Use a calculator; it's what we invented them for. Math is far more interesting than arithmetic anyways.

To go slightly off-topic, I'd love to know if they have a method to evaluate whether or not their curriculum actually works on the student body at large. Schools spend a lot of effort evaluating teachers, but isn't the curriculum you tell the teachers to use at least as important as the teachers themselves? I don't know if there is any amount of evidence that could convince them if the curriculum was deficient. "Oh look, we completely changed how everything is taught and the scores are going down. Obviously the problem is the teachers! "

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27