[ExI] relevant skills movement, was: RE: emp again

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Apr 28 17:49:42 UTC 2012

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Adrian Tymes
Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2012 10:12 AM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] emp again

>> ...could easily be charged with pedal-driven electricity.  Last I heard, 
> the prevailing opinion was the cell phones would likely survive an EMP 
> if the prole is not talking on it at the time.  Does that sound right?
Source?...> spike

>...Nope.  In fact, there are devices for sale that claim to be able to use
EMP to fry cell phones.  Use of them is, of course, blatantly illegal for
non-government-personnel in most industrialized countries, at least in the
typical situation where you're destroying someone else's property without
the property owner's consent...

Clarification: an EMP caused by an exoatmospheric burst of a nuclear device.
I know we can fry local electronics with a local pulse, but what I meant was
a hostile power trying to destroy a western civilization by suddenly
removing its communications infrastructure.

>...Further, there are quite a few places where at least basic arithmetic is
required and obvious electronic aids are either not permitted or are a
hindrance.  So it still seems appropriate to train children in basic
arithmetic: multiplication tables through 10*10, order of operations, basic
trig, and so on...

Ja, but where I am going is a rethinking of what skills should be mastered
by the student, rather than which should be introduced.

I perhaps should have titled this thread "relevant skills movement" to start
with, even though the survivability of cell phones impacts the question

I have taught my son arithmetic functions, and he knows how to do all of
them.  But is it worth his valuable time to really master that, when he
carries a calculator in the form of a cell phone?  It is already far more
likely that he will carry a cell phone than a pencil and a piece of paper.  

I can argue it either way: mastery of hand calculation trains the mind in
ways that will be useful for writing software, or mastery of hand
calculation is as irrelevant (and time costly) as mastering how to extract
square roots by hand, for we have better ways to do those tasks today, and
furthermore you wouldn't trust your hand calcs anyway unless you could check
it with your phone.

So, if we recognize that mastery of arithmetic such as long division takes
time that can be used on more relevant skills but trains the mind, I can go
two routes with it: arithmetic either makes children smart or makes them

Comments please.


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