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Comment Stripping it Down (Score 1) 242

I find that for 95% of my document needs Google Docs has everything I need (and mysteriously it seems to come pre-installed on every computer I use). The other 5% I write in Google Docs anyway and get somebody else to do the fancy formatting afterwards.

Comment A couple of points (Score 1) 358

  • i) Books are all very well, but in this day and age aren't there other web-based resources that might be a good supplement? Does any know of any universities making material at this level available online for free?
  • ii) On the "learning the maths" vs. "getting an intuitive understanding of the geometry" argument, I think some people are putting the cart before the horse. Doing the mathematical donkey work comes first. The intuitive understanding only comes after a long period of sweating over the formalism.

Comment Re:Useless information (Score 1) 60

This is a really poor argument for several reasons:
  • i) telescope time is a scarce resource. If I need an image of a galaxy X I might have to wait years to get telescope time for it. If galaxy X has already been observed once and the data stored then I can do my new research (e.g. datamining) on the existing data. Nobody knows in advance which data is going to be interesting to future researchers so triage is almost impossible.
  • ii) telescopes have finite lifetimes. Once the telescope/instrument ceases to exist the data cannot be reproduced.
  • iii) Most of the interesting things in the universe are dynamic. You need to be able to compare observations of stuff over time.

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