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Comment Re:Oh waaa (Score 1) 166

It is simply impossible to get a handle on modern science, even at fairly basic levels, without a good understanding of mathematics

These sound like "fairly basic levels" for a postdoctorate student, rather than a layperson. I find it difficult to believe that cell division, or sublimation, or even gravity, can be better explained using chalk and algebra than by our much-derided friend the "infographic" or by any kind of decent animation, perhaps with interactive elements to assist understanding. There is just tons of potential there.

But yes, my question lacked clarity on this point. I do not want to understand "complex ideas" completely, just to grasp the basics. I want basic things to click in ways they haven't done so far. I'm not a scientist and never will be (I studied history), I just want to be a little less dumb. Just a little.

Comment Re:Surf's up! (Score 1) 166

Thanks, there are a couple of small leads in your densely packed advice! In general though, I'm looking for something which forms a coherent whole (i.e., a start-to-finish course, even if short) and has high production values. Hulu rather than Youtube. Wikipedia is, as you say, just way too dry and in-depth most of the time. I believe they have an "Introduction to..." series for complex subjects, but so far there aren't many such articles.

Baking soda is great, but hydrogen peroxide is even better on the bathroom tile grout. Now I just need to understand how it works!

Comment Re:Oh waaa (Score 1) 166

Excellent points. This is looking like the definitive answer to my question. "It doesn't exist yet, come back later." You're right that teachers will always be needed as the one-on-one recourse. And that in turn can help towards the design of the next generation of educational material.

Comment Re:Science is a rather broad subject (Score 1) 166

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I just want to understand what the hell an amino acid (or indeed any acid) is, or how jetsteams work, or what exactly chemical weight is, without having to squint at a small video of someone scraping a barely visible blackboard while burbling jokes and anecdotes to class of students. I figure that there has to be a better way.

Comment Re:not sure this is a good strategy (Score 1) 166

Have you never seen a well-made animation, or even simply a graphic, that allowed your understanding to click into place? I have. I'm thinking subjects like plate tectonics, weather systems, DNA, evolution, the structure of molecules (rather than mathematics, which my question didn't mention). There are concepts here that clearly lend themselves to explanation by advanced computer graphics, and yet the market doesn't seem to be offering much.

Comment Re:not sure this is a good strategy (Score 1) 166

Is it so difficult to see the difference between computer animation and a video of someone scratching a blackboard with chalk? Come on. Did we really invent computers and the web simply to speed up the distribution of videos? There seems to be a lot of luddism in this thread.

Infographics is perhaps a dumb buzzword, but everyone understood, you included. And no, far from being "someone stuck in traditional academia", I work at the IT end of journalism and I spend my days trying to convince people to adopt newer, more efficient methods of working.

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