[ExI] Wizard Calculating Device

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Feb 28 17:10:34 UTC 2011

... On Behalf Of David Lubkin
Subject: Re: [ExI] Wizard Calculating Device

Spike wrote:

>>I bought a slide rule about 20 yrs ago at a garage sale for 5 bucks.  I 
>>made it my educational toy by trying to figure out how it works...

>... I asked my teacher if I could use a calculator. He said no, because not
everyone in the class could afford one...

Ja I remember hearing that argument too and it made me crazy.  We
intentionally wasted our time learning obsolete technologies because not
everyone could afford the new.  I wanted to say "Not everyone has a brain,
but that shouldn't prevent me from using mine."  Of course I was a cocky ass
back in these days.   THOSE days I meant, back in THOSE days.

This is a problem I contemplate a lot now that I am preparing to find a
kindergarten for my son.  I see it everywhere: ways in which teachers subtly
slow down the able students so that the age groups can be taught together.
This in itself is an obsolete technology: the notion of teaching a classroom
of similarly aged students by one teacher standing up front talking.  He
could learn so much more so much faster with an individualized computer
based system.  He already has in fact: he reads well and can do two digit
from two digit subtraction.  Most of what they offer in kindergarten will be
a sinful waste of time for him.

>... But he would let me use a slide rule. I tried to argue that a good one
cost as much as a calculator, so he should just let me use that. No deal.
-- David.

What if you argued for the use a slide rule now?  If you can find one, they
are likely a lot more expensive than a basic calculator.  Would the same old
argument be used to disallow the slide rule?

Education is probably the most Luddite area in our modern existence, and it
is falling steadily farther behind, to our peril.

If I went into the schools as a volunteer and tried to explain to the kids
the challenge their generation faces, humanity's energy equation, it would
scare them so badly they would never invite me back.


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