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Comment: Chess (Score 1) 215

the changing semantics of languages and APIs will change — best way to teach the sort of mental discipline is to abstract it to the level of chess —

then using something like SDLTRS to run an old version of TRS80 or Apple II Basic, and have them solve simple problems (like Towers of Hannoi, generating Prime Numbers, Loop and Display their name 1000x on the screen).

keep it simple.


Comment: Perception of Colour before a Light or Dark Bkgrnd (Score 1) 420

by johnrpenner (#49154235) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?

GOETHE explained this through the effect of turbidity on the perception of colour.

Light shining through a darker medium yields yellow; whereas an illuminated turbid medium before a dark background yields blue.

Check out: Light Darkness and Colours @time: 23:30 on youtube:

Comment: Bicycles (Score 3, Insightful) 481

by johnrpenner (#48986339) Attached to: DOT Warns of Dystopian Future For Transportation

Infrastructure for Bikes costs a lot less to construct than infrastructure for cars.

Instead of designing infrastructure that assumes cars — design for bicycles — then there is no more oil crisis, people live longer and happier.

I commuted in a car every day for over 7 years — and going 113km x 2 = 226km day — and three hours a day wasted sitting stuck in traffic.
Sold the car, bought a bike and moved in to town — ten years later — still one of the best decisions of ever made.

A 10 year cyclist in from Toronto.

Bicycles are the key to a sustainable future.

Comment: Coils and Relays (Score 1) 175

by johnrpenner (#48943851) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Engage 5th-8th Graders In Computing?

start simple — stroking a nail with a magnet to magnetize it; coiling a wires; then show them a relay.. it works by the principle they themselves have done by coiling wire. then build the four basic logic gates: AND, OR, NAND, NOR.. that will already take a long time. have them write-up the truth tables by toggling switches and getting the results.

then play chess with them — this will better prepare them than anything to thing clearly and logically independent of language semantics which will soon be obsolete.


Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. -- Albert Einstein