related local pages:
Many people are immediately drawn to the bizarrely beautiful images known as fractals. ... fractals can help alter [false] beliefs that mathematics is dry and inaccessible
see also #homeschooling
See also 3d_design.html
Paul: "My teacher just reviewed everything we studied in the class -- all the equations, all the terms, everything that's going to be on the final. -- in 40 minutes. I wish he had just told us this stuff at the start of the year. When you teach a class, maybe you should say all that stuff up front -- -- make the very first class of the semester exactly like the last class of the semester."
"We expect students who are learning to write prose to read *lots* of examples of good prose; why not the same for students learning to write programs ?" -- Samadzadeh, possibly quoting someone else.
(and a few highly biased comments on public schools)
the home school foundation http://homeschoolfoundation.org/
[This is an old archive of http://vislang.wiki.taoriver.net/moin.cgi/TableOfElements ]
At most schools, students spend a lot of time learning about past history. But almost no time learning about future history future_history.html . Why not ?
This is a universal history of the human mind encompassing a multiplicity of points of view, memories and opinions to be found in the various cultures of the world.
the human brain.
There are many things unknowns_faq.html#AI we still do not know about the human brain.
see also Direct Brain Connection "direct mind-machine interfaces" and DNA information link_farm.html#dna [FIXME: collect other /brain/ info here]
has a cute little jigsaw puzzle of the brain http://www.brainplace.com/bp/brainpuzzle/ .
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 1996 From: email@example.com Subject: >H Digest ... From: Mitchell Porter <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: >H Big numbers and supercomputers Transhuman Mailing List [Max More] > Further to David Cary's helpful summary of units for very large and small > numbers, here's some mouth-watering stuff from the new issue of Business > Week (April 29 issue). The feature is called "Speed gets a whole new meaning." > > The story describes the quest for ever more powerful supercomputers, the > current record holder being a 281 gigaflops machine built by an Intel-Sandia > team. By November Sandia labs will install a new Intel machine, a $46 > million computer "capable of cracking the long-time fantasy speed of 1 > teraflops. That's computer speak for a trillion calculations per second." > That machine may actually manage 1.8 teraflops. ... the processing capacity of the brain has not been reliably determined. But a fair estimate is that the 1.5 kilogram organ has 10^10 neurons with 10^3 synapses firing an average 10 times per second, which is about 10^14 bits/second. Using 64-bit words like the largest supercomputers, that's about one teraflop. -Robert A Freitas, "The Future of Computers", _Analog_, March 1996.
"WE'RE ALL GENIUSES!" If there is a unifying message behind the last decade of neuroscience and AI, it is that many of the tasks which appear to come so naturally to us -- observing motion, parsing speech, eavesdropping in a crowded room -- present some of the most computationally intensive tasks our brains perform. A three-year-old parsing the syntax of her mother's tongue or walking through a nursery solves more complicated problems in a minute than your average theoretical physicist solves in a year. (The difference, of course, is that we arrive in the world hard-wired to solve these problems, while the string theorists have to suffer through grad school.) Reconciling ourselves to this new understanding may mean altering our sense of what intelligence is in the first place: our conventional genuises are simply people who possess a better-than-average ability to do something that the brain is naturally very clumsy at, while every normal human on the planet performs astonishingly complex feats every waking second. Deep Blue may never lose another chess match to those pitiful Homo sapiens, but when it comes to, say, recognizing three-dimensional objects moving through space, we're all Kasparovs, and the computers haven't even learned checkers yet.
includes articles ``What Makes Us Human?'' by Steven Quartz, ``Are Empathy and Mind-Reading Related?'' by Vilayanur Ramachandran, and some information on the promise and limitations of memory drugs.
FreeSurfer is a set of semi-automated tools for reconstruction of the brain's cortical surface and overlay of functional data onto the reconstructed surface.
Scientists in Germany have developed a computer system that enables people who are completely paralysed to communicate by interpreting their brainwaves.
"mass quantity leads to quality" quotes:
2002-12-10 I heard about NaNoWriMo for the first time today. http://NaNoWriMo.org/
Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from your novel at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.
Did you know there is a group in Vancouver that writes novels in a weekend? Yes, and they are fools. Everyone knows that any deep and lasting work of art takes an entire month to make.
... We love the fringe benefits accrued to novelists. ... The other reason we do NaNoWriMo is because the glow from making big, messy art, and watching others make big, messy art, lasts for a long, long time. The act of sustained creation does bizarre, wonderful things to you. It changes the way you read. And changes, a little bit, your sense of self. We like that.
(see also "How to write a novel in 100 days or less" http://communicationnation.blogspot.com/2005/11/how-to-write-novel-in-100-_113168272037911680.html )
Andrew Koenig <ark@[EMAIL PROTECTED] > Aug 18, 2003 at 03:06 AM David> My question is this: Do you think one can really take good David> photographs and develop and mature as a photographer with a David> point-and-shoot, or is it necessary to have an SLR? The best piece of advice I've ever seen on this subject came from a photo workshop I took a number of years ago. Two pieces, actually: 1) There are only two difficult parts of photography: Where to stand and when to press the button. Everything else is just technique. 2) Everyone is born with 10,000 bad pictures inside. You have to take all the bad ones before you can start taking the good ones. When you've taken your 10,000 bad pictures, you'll know beyond question what kind of equipment you need to realize your photographic vision. Until then, use what you have and don't worry about it. -- Andrew Koenig, http://www.talkaboutphotography.com/group/alt.photography/messages/6277.html
The bootstrapping problem. Also known as "the chicken and egg problem".
related to General Design 3d_design.html and 3d_design.html#closure .
A big part of nanotech design today nanotech.html is trying to deal with the bootstrap problem.
A subset of the bootstrap problem is the problem of closure 3d_design.html#closure .
Ch. 21 p. 160:
civilizations ... fall into dark ages. They become ... primitive. ... Doesn't rebuilding a civilization take dozens of years ? ... How long does it take to start a new civilization from scratch ? ... We have a good general library on board. Original inventors don't know where they're going; ... But we know everything about making airplanes and such; we know hundreds of ways of going at it. ... we can find the quickest way to go from medieval to specific inventions...
Ch. 22 p. 165:
``jumpstarting'' technology ... the ``rediscovery'' problem ... the Applied History of Technology. ... One of the favorite games was to devise minimal paths from a given level of technology back to the highest level that could be supported in the Slowness. The details depended on many things ... the amount of residual scientific awareness (or tolerance), and the physical nature of the race. The historian's theories were captured in programs whose inputs were facts about the civilization's plight and the desired results, and whose outputs were the steps that would most quickly produce those results. ... ``Is radio something they can produce quickly, from a standing start ?'' ... ``Indeed, my lady Ravna. There are simple tricks that are almost never noticed till a very high technology is attained. For instance, quantum torsion antennas can be built from silver and cobalt steel arrays, if the geometry is correct. Unfortunately, finding the proper geometry involves lots of theory and the ability to solve some large partial differential equations. There are many Slow Zoners who never discover the principles.
Ch. 23 p. 176
Jefri ... had a sudden insight, something that many adults in technical cultures never attain. ``I use these things all the time, but I don't know exactly how they work. We can follow these directions, but how would we know what to change ?'' Amdi was getting all excited now...No, no, no. We don't have to understand everything. ... The directions include options for making small changes. ... I think we can expand the tables ...
ch. 25 p. 191
... Sure, in principle we gave them enough information to do the mod. It looks to me like making this expanded spec table is equivalent to solving a, hmm... a 500 node numerical PDE. And little Jefri claims that all his datasets are destroyed......... I see what you mean.You get so used to everyday tools, sometimes you forget what it must be like without them.
The grand challenge is to boost the Collective IQ of organizations and of society. Success of this effort will improve the capacity to address any other grand challenge. ...
Our Mission is to:
... Share the A-B-C's of Bootstrapping and support co-evolution of human organizations and their tools; ...
Brain: (grabbing Pinky by the nose) Pinkey! Did you hear that? Type one! Do you know what that means?
Pinky: A little bit less than type two? Poit!
Brain: No, Pinky, it means nothing less than total world domination!
Pinky: I don't understand, Brain. ...
Brain: That's not surprising. There are four civilization types. The fouth type uses the energy of the whole universe. The third, a galaxy. The second, a star. Type one civilizations use all the energy of a single world. This world, Pinky.
Billie: We're not dealing with human technology here, Eggy. These rats developed all this stuff from scratch.
... a cascade of machinery ...
see also 3d_design.html#design and spin_dictionary.html
Eric Lee Green: FUD101 At One Year Old
article by Eric Lee Green
Dec 2, 1999
Benchmarketing 101 -- Or FUD with Numbers
article by Eric Lee Green
is really funny.
Soon after a hard decision something inevitably occurs to cast doubt.-- R. I. Fitzhenry
My view: Any silicon these days without errata is most likely not properly documented, tested, or has less than 10 gates in it. I don't care what revision it is. It is amazing how many people who should know better equate silicon errata to "faulty/unusable/unmarketable" product.
If you are of a mind to sell your own product here, do so on your on products merits, not on FUD generated on competitors. If you want to post benchmarks, be prepared to back them up with a publicly available white paper.
With regard to engineers selling their products:"Engineers don't know how to lie. The truth will be MINE!" -- Customer of Dilbert's company, upon learning that Dilbert is an engineer invited to a sales meeting. "The evidence says you are stupid." -- Dilbert, upon being asked by the salesperson what he could have been thinking of by asking an engineer to a sales meeting.
... the engines which drive the network change very slowly. Only the dashboards change quickly.
We already know what people using networks want: they want to do what they do now, only cheaper, or faster, or both. They want to do more interesting stuff than they do now, for the same amount of money. They strongly prefer open systems to closed ones. They strongly prefer open standards to proprietary ones. They will accept ads if thats what pays for interesting stuff. They want to play games, look at people in various states of undress, read the news, follow sports scores or the weather, and most of all they want to communicate with one another.
Beware any product which claims that people would prefer information to communication, any service which claims that people will choose closed systems over open ones, and any protocol which claims that people will tolerate incompatibility to gain features. Any idea for a networking service which does not satisfy some basic desire of network users is doomed to fail.
Article on "collaboratories", alternate communication methods, and examples of electronic communication working better (and worse) than face-to-face communication. http://web.mit.edu/techreview/www/articles/ma98/ross-flanigan.html
ARS: Out of all of your creations, most people seem to think your lock-cracking robot (Locracker) is the coolest. You have said that it was built for a high school computer course. What was the assignment? What motivated you to choose to build a lock cracking robot?
NF: It is a sad reality that in many high school computer classes the students know more about the subject matter than the teacher. What made this particular class the most interesting I've ever taken was that the teacher understood this and got out of the way. He simply told us, you have nine months to create a large project. Other than periodic requests for status reports and ocational guest lecturers, we didn't see him again till the end of the year. I've never seen people work so hard on a school project in my life. One student build a television frame grabber on a parallel port, another build a MIDI flute out of plexiglass, and another wrote an OS. Six years later, one of these people is building satelites, another is building the next generation of PDA/cellphone hybrids, and another became a very well-known programmer at Netscape. I wish more teachers would take this kind of risk and let the students off their leash.
NF: My second piece of advice is to take things apart. Calculators, telephones, radios, hair dryers, mice, anything with a screw on the back. Whenever you get something new, open it, figure out how it works, then put it back together again. Parents should encourage their children (especially their daughters) to do this. It is a good investment. Nobody I know has ever broken an item by taking it apart, but a large number of objects have been fixed with the knowledge gained. It divides those who say "it doesn't work, I need to buy a new one" from those who say "a shred of paper got caught in the switch".
-- Ars Robotica: Interview with Neil Fraser http://arsrobotica.com/display.php3?blogid=118
Most college students go to class expecting to learn the facts. They want to know how economics or sociology works. When I teach a class on how the mind works, students want to know how it works and I should please tell them. The difficulty with this view is that most professors don't actually know the answers to the questions students pose. Economics professors don't know how the economy works and sociologists don't know how society works and I don't know how the mind works. What we all do have are deeply held beliefs about these subjects. And we all fervently want to get students to see things our way, to absorb our point of view and to understand why our academic enemies are idiots.
What would employers like students to know that they don't know?
Corporations across America worry about students knowing basic business concepts (like accounting), knowing about how to work in teams, knowing how to write well, make oral presentations, and generally knowing how and why businesses work. But, where would students learn all this?
-- Roger Schank
``people learn by doing what people want to do. The more they do, the more curious they get about how to do it better -- if they're interested in doing it in the first place. You wouldn't teach a kid to drive by giving him the New York State test manual. If you want to learn how to drive, you have to drive a lot. ... Errors in learning by doing bring out questions, and questions bring out answers.
-- pyotr filipivich 2000-12-04
Teaching Children is a major responsibility, and the worse part of it, they know that you ... are all wise, all knowing, etc, etc. That was the scariest insight I've had in the last four decades.
Anyway, as I learned it: We have Rules which must be obeyed, even if sometimes exceptions are made (and every time you make an exemption, make it understood that this is an exception. Even if you tend to grant exemptions on a regular basis.) and it doesn't matter what other people think/do - We are not Other People. And then you pray a lot, and keep in mind what Oliver Wendel Holmes said about choosing judges. "No man should be a judge unless he has had small children." For small children are capable of arguing a moot point long past its relevance, they are quick to get to the heart of an issue, and they have a profound sense of justice and of right and wrong.
``Engineers Don't Study Philosophy: In order for the industry to prosper, we need, and should welcome, greater diversity.'' editorial by Shari Comstock _ISD Magazine_ 2000-07-25 http://www.isdmag.com/articles/notebook/072100.html
We need to rid ourselves of our 'mega egos,' step out of what's comfortable, safe and the status quo, and start sharing and learning from everyone around us. This wall which surrounds the engineering folks of the EDA industry has got to come down. I'm reminded of the kids in college who always use big words to explain simple ideas, just to sound "smart." ... What kind of learning environment is that [?] [Is] that what we want to live in, work in, and represent?
-- cperciva on 2001-12-04 http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=24461&cid=2654677
My school has recently implemented a program of issuing pencils and paper to all students from 7th grade through high school seniors. As you can imagine, it's a serious nightmare. Apart from the usual run of broken pencils, we have a major problem with students writing notes to each other during class. Is there any effective way to allow the teacher to monitor what students are writing from his/her desk at the front of the class ? Some of our teachers have come up with creative solutions like hanging video cameras above each student's desk, but a method which could be performed on the paper itself would be even better.
there are number of very important skills we should be teaching students that are not easily tested on a multiple guess exam. Critical thinking skills, application of known skills to unfamiliar problems, experimentation.-- JetJaguar http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=12327&cid=208004
DAV: also ``communicates well with peers'' and ``works well in a group''.
DAV: There's actually 2 problems here. (a) To make sure a student knows 10 important things by the end of the semester, a teacher will typically test to see which things the student already knows. Then the teacher can focus their valuable time on stuff the student still hasn't learned -- sometimes simple repetition helps, other times teachers try lots of different methods in the hopes of finding at least one that ``clicks''. (b) Many teachers have reasonable *opinions* on the best way to teach these important skills. But no one really knows how to objectively see which method is best. (Sometimes there is no one best method -- one method works best with some students with a particular learning style, another method works best with other students with a different learning style. ) Sometimes a teacher invents a method that seems reasonable (to that teacher) but ends up being confusing and worthless to everyone.
DAV: Often students study together, and it would be really nifty if they could figure out what was important and quickly test each other on-the-fly, to maximize their scarce study-time. Here we're getting into meta-learning -- teaching a student how to make and use his own flashcards (and to share them with other students) isn't really a necessary skill in itself, but often learning this ``extra'' skill speeds up learning the desired skills -- speaking in a foreign languages, etc.
[FIXME: unknowns ?]
DAV: I remember thinking in elementary school that when I got a lot of questions wrong/blank on a test, that reflected badly on *me*. Now I understand that most tests (except maybe ``final'' tests ?) are just to see how much I already know so that the teacher can jump ahead to the first thing I don't already know (or jump back to review the stuff that I've forgotten).
DAV: I'm starting to understand that in the learning process, the person who knows something knows that some things are important (and tries to test those things), knows other things that he find interesting but (hopefully) recognizes that they are not important, and knows other things that are not important themselves but help people understand/remember the important things.
Why Demonize a Healthy Teen Culture?by Mike Males, May 9, 1999 http://www.digiserve.com/eescape/library/Why-Demonize-Teen-Culture.html
Why do occasional killings by students generate commentary demonizing a generation of young people, when the more prevalent killings by adults draw no similar fears of widespread grown-up pathology ?
... The best evidence shows that rates of murder, school violence, drug abuse, criminal arrest, violent death and gun fatality among middle- and upper-class teenagers have declined over the last 15 to 30 years. ...
Twenty-five million teenagers attend 20,000 schools nationwide. Ten students in seven schools committed the widely-publicized shootings of the past 18 months. Teenage gunners are not representatives of all teens, even alienated, outcast ones, but are rare, extremely disturbed individuals. There is no evidence that adolescents are more troubled than adults or any more disturbed today than they ever were. ...
Exaggerating rare instances of teenage rage into some kind of generation-wide craziness not only inflicts unwarranted paranoia, blanket surveillance, draconian restrictions and harmful interference with normal growing up on a generally healthy generation of young people, it also severely hampers investigation into identifying and forestalling the narrow, individual psychoses that produce rage killers of all ages. ...
The baseless panic about young people inflamed by so many politicians, leading psychologists, pundits and institutional scholars is more damaging to our social fabric than the isolated teenage murders they seize upon. ... even as they ignore more compelling evidence of deteriorating adult behavior. This subversion of health and safety goals to politically warped, crowd-pleasing nostrums about "saving our kids" endangers kids in reality
The _best_ reason to study calculus is because it's beautiful, and learning about it is fun. However, most people never figure that out, so they need some _other_ motivation to learn it.
The fact that you're asking the question suggests that no one has told you what the _point_ of calculus is, in which case you might be viewing it as just another set of tricks for pushing symbols around.
[check out the "talk back" discussion at the end] [FIXME: copy to c_programming ? YARMAC ?]
`` the core group that once understood the issues has written its code and moved on; new programmers have come, left their bit of understanding in the code and moved on in turn. Eventually, no one individual or group knows the full range of the problem behind the program, the solutions we chose, the ones we rejected and why. ...
No one left who understands. Air-traffic control systems, bookkeeping, drafting, circuit design, spelling, differential equations, assembly lines, ordering systems, network object communications, rocket launchers, atom-bomb silos, electric generators, operating systems, fuel injectors, CAT scans, air conditioners -- an exploding list of subjects, objects and processes rushing into code, which eventually will be left running without anyone left who understands them. A world full of things like mainframe computers, which we can use or throw away, with little choice in between. A world floating atop a sea of programs we've come to rely on but no longer truly understand or control. Code and forget; code and forget: programming as a collective exercise in incremental forgetting. ... ''
If I had one wish for our nation,
I would wish for a turn about of what we value in a person.
We value athletic prowess, and not intelligence.
We value physical attractiveness, and not beauty of the soul.
We value cunning and wealth, and not honesty and integrity.
These lessons should be taught to our youth.
Instead our schools demand athletic competition of every student,
and denigrate the scholar.
Failing to reward excellence rewards failure.
It's nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled youthful curiosity, for this delicate plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom.
-- Albert Einstein
My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas Quickly
Mein Vater erklärt mir jeden Sonntag unsere neun Planeten, Quatsch!
Sun Mercury Venus Earth Moon Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto Quaoar
MNEMONICS: Mnemonics Neatly Eliminate Mans Only Nemesis - Insufficient Cerebral Storage. http://www.xs4all.nl/~jcdverha/scijokes/11.html
Over the past 50 years there has been a steady and exponential degradation of the process of education in the field of physics and mathematics that is not merely deplorable, but could actually be seen as a dangerous thing considering the world we live in and the forces that physics has unleashed thus far.-- Arkadiusz Jadczyk http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/bogdanov2.htm
Blogging toward "Knowledge Management."by Ernie the Attorney http://radio.weblogs.com/0104634/2002/03/16.html
As a kid growing up in Bombay, it never occurred to me that lightning can strike anyone living in a city. I used to imagine that the city builders normally protected us from such eventualities. It was my firm belief that great scientists, thinkers, and statesmen around the world were incessantly and proactively working towards eradicating diseases and other evils. I never thought that people would even conceive of building things that could wipe out humanity. ...
How can we beat back the forces of ignorance?[FIXME: unknowns ?]
"Three Things They Should Teach in Engineering 101: Lesson Two" article ( by Darren Ashby ? ) http://www.chipcenter.com/eexpert/dashby/dashby009.html discusses "Physical equivalents of electrical components.".: resistor, inductor, capacitor mapped to friction, mass, spring.
"Three Things They Should Teach in Engineering 101: Lesson Number Three" article ( by Darren Ashby ? ) http://www.chipcenter.com/eexpert/dashby/dashby010.html discusses "Engineering 101, Intuitive Signal Analysis"
unschooling ... John Holt (How Children Learn, Learning all the Time, etc.), John Gatto (Dumbing us Down), Sheldon Richmond (Separating School and State), Mary Griffith (The Unschooling Handbook), and others have written books about this.-- recc. Connie Stillwell 2003-04-28
British children are being deprived in the name of keeping them safe. A typical eight-year-old's "home habitat" - the area that children are allowed to travel around on their own -- has shrunk by 90% over the past 30 years. ... the other parents I speak to "know" that the world is more dangerous for their children than it used to be. Statistically though, children are no more likely to be hurt by strangers today than they were 30 years ago. Perceived danger has increased, real danger is constant.-- http://theconnexion.net/wp/index.php?p=496
David Cary feedback.html
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