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Comment Nice.. (Score 1) 487

"If, as is likely, that's generally true for open source companies, it means they will need to displace around $10 billion of proprietary business in order to achieve a billion-dollar turnover." No wonder IT is on the bottom end of the totem pole. I can't think of any other industry that works as hard as we do to devalue/put ourselves out of a job.

Comment Vulcans are doing it right (Score 1) 677

The depiction of math education in Star Trek was great - you know, the scene where the youthful Spock is answering math questions prompted by a screen in front of him, instructors observing overhead. Something akin to this would be pretty sweet. Where you could whiteboard out stuff all day in a high fidelity environment that uses OCR and AI to keep testing you on your weak points until you become stronger in each particular subject area. Something like this would ensure that you truly do have an understanding of everything before moving on. It could also use this information collected about you to introduce you to new topics in other subjects like physics based on your current understanding. Concepts could be masterfully articulated and narrated by famous voice actors like Morgan Freeman ect. A taxononomy/hierachy of subjects and concepts could be traversed to create unique learning programs when achievement is unlocked through true understanding rather than letter grades. Kind of like leveling up in an RPG.. would make things fun.

A Mathematician's Lament — an Indictment of US Math Education 677

Scott Aaronson recently had "A Mathematician's Lament" [PDF], Paul Lockhardt's indictment of K-12 math education in the US, pointed out to him and takes some time to examine the finer points. "Lockhardt says pretty much everything I've wanted to say about this subject since the age of twelve, and does so with the thunderous rage of an Old Testament prophet. If you like math, and more so if you think you don't like math, I implore you to read his essay with every atom of my being. Which is not to say I don't have a few quibbles [...] In the end, Lockhardt's lament is subversive, angry, and radical ... but if you know anything about math and anything about K-12 'education' (at least in the United States), I defy you to read and find a single sentence that isn't permeated, suffused, soaked, and encrusted with truth."

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