Author Topic: Hyperbolic Irony  (Read 104 times)

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Haywire Baboonery

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Hyperbolic Irony
« on: June 29, 2019, 09:34:45 pm »
An Apologetic Self-Absorbed Egotist (or Egoist?)

I said to a neighbor that, rather than hang my head down low in guilt or shame, I would entertain a little hyperbole imagining a posthumously presented nobel peace prize for resurrecting the Dolciani/Beckenbach/Allen, et al of the Modern Mathematics Experiments during the 1960's and 1980's - infusing the Solutions with step-by-step procedures and even living, breathing C++ code into the topics/exercises, thereby further harmonizing the marriage of computer science and symbolic algebra, the writing of proofs and the writing/compiling of executable computer programs.

It's a daydream that inspires me to devote passion to this Task, guided by the Spirit of Schopenhauer who showed what fruit can grow from devotion to some Organic Project, if the ego might be so bold and vain.   :-\

The only saving grace is that, in comparison to high-brow academia, this is a humble task, but one which could not be easily accomplished by a man raising children or chasing money.  It has required discipline and devotion, and I intend to continue into the most challenging parts of the "last texts" I feel responsible for (called to) document my encounter with these classic, "hopefully" timeless topics.

My humble contribution will be in the detailed solutions [multi-volumed] with an arsenal of binary programs (with all source code documented with explanatory comments).  It has been a Labor of Love, and my most precious Bucket List experience, taking quite a long time ... which is ironic.   

The man who died of old age writing his suicide note.  (stolen from someone, I don't give a lick damn who).   ???
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 12:12:15 am by gorticide »
He [Arthur Schopenhauer] has been the most radical of all troublemakers. He was defiant. ~ (Marcuse?)

"Learning math is never a waste of time." ~ Ivan Savov

"Programming is understanding."  ~ Kristen Nygaard


raul

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Re: Hyperbolic Irony
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2019, 08:20:16 am »
Hentrich,
You have written truthful words. I have no humble contribution to make to this wretched world. None at all.

Let me share what I read some time ago.  I read that “a deliberate mathematical dumbing down¯was seriously discussed in 1928. Members of the Council on Foreign Relations attended a Progressive Education Association meeting at which schoolteachers were informed that the purpose of New Math¯ was to dumb down students. O.A. Nelson, retired educator wrote a letter that was printed in Young Parents Alert (1979). His story is self-explanatory:

I know from personal experience what I am talking about. In December 1928, I was asked to talk to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. On December 27, naive and inexperienced, I agreed. I had done some special work in teaching functional physics in high school.

That was to be my topic. The next day a Dr. Ziegler asked me if I would attend a special educational meeting in his room after the A.A.A.S. meeting. We met from 10 o´clock [p.m.] until after 2:30 a.m. We were thirteen at the meeting. Two things caused Dr. Ziegler, who was Chairman of the Educational Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations, to ask me to attend... my talk on the teaching of functional physics in high school, and the fact that I was a member of a group known as the Progressive Educators of America. I thought the word progressive¯ meant progress for better schools. Eleven of those attending the meeting were leaders in education. John Dewey and Edward Thorndike, from Columbia University, were there, and the others were of equal rank. The sole work of the group was to destroy our schools! We spent one hour and forty-five minutes discussing the so-called Modern Math.

At one point I objected because there was too much memory work, and math is reasoning; not memory. Dr. Ziegler turned to me and said, Nelson, wake up! That is what we want... a math that the pupils cannot apply to life situations when they get out of school.¯ That math was not introduced until much later, as those present thought it was too radical a change. The radical change was introduced in 1952. It was the one we are using now. So, if pupils come out of high school now, not knowing any math, don´t blame them. The results are supposed to be worthless.”

This is what the elite has been doing in the USA and here too the Paraguayan education geniuses have been applying these methods.

Stay safe and sound.

Haywire Baboonery

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Re: Hyperbolic Irony
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2019, 09:23:52 pm »
Quote
The sole work of the group was to destroy our schools! We spent one hour and forty-five minutes discussing the so-called Modern Math.

This sounds like propaganda.  In actuality, the teaching of an abstract understanding of mathematical structures didn't take hold.  Industry complained that they did not need employees fluent in "pure mathematics," but only to be able to calculate, memorize, plug into formulas: computers, calculators ... not thinkers.

What they are calling useless is actually the abstract thinking.  They prefer more diligence in arithmetic.

I wouldn't trust all the propaganda out there. 

One thing I know for sure is my feet stink.   Worse, I kind of like it.  It is like a Force Field of Funk.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 10:11:59 pm by gorticide »
He [Arthur Schopenhauer] has been the most radical of all troublemakers. He was defiant. ~ (Marcuse?)

"Learning math is never a waste of time." ~ Ivan Savov

"Programming is understanding."  ~ Kristen Nygaard

Haywire Baboonery

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Re: Hyperbolic Irony
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2019, 04:56:45 am »
Quote
“We have even squandered the gains in student achievement made in the wake of the Sputnik challenge. Moreover, we have dismantled essential support systems which helped make those gains possible. We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament.”

Some of the gains made may have been in the area of allowing actual mathematicians to have an influence on the nature of the math curriculum.  The "teachers" were not prepared to carry this out.  The teachers as a whole, and the public at large, were not receptive; that is, they were not able to teach or convey what they themselves did not understand or possess.

Chaos, yes; but the thorough manner in which concepts are presented makes the efforts of the 1960's something of an artifiact, an educational treasure-trove.  I concede that the "Modern School Mathematics STUDY GROUP" may have went overboard, especially in the Frank Allen extremes; but I have approached these texts as a willing adult in search of a more well-rounded understanding.   The material in those texts is anything but dumbed down - the opposite is true.

As for the term * modern * - it is better interpreted as "abstract."   It's just abstract math and set theory wrapped up in some package [modern] to sell to the consuming educators.   It got all screwed up, but I am sure a small percentage of students and teachers benefited from having the opportunity to engage with such material, even if it is not suited for the masses.   

Even though this life is science-fiction horror, at least I am intimately aware of what is what when it comes to the difference between mud-slinging by those who fear what they don't understand and actual attempts to pass on mathematical concepts through time (time-binding).   The presentations (exercises) are novel.  It's a worhty project.   I'm like some weirdo archeologist of such artifacts, and I will vouch for Dolciani, Beckenbach, etc.   Nowhere else is material presented in this manner.  It's maddening to witness the terms "new math" and "modern" being used against them, especially considering that through the oldest editions, many by-hand calculating techniques are introduced, the likes of which "smart-phone" addicted "post-moderns" would be hard-pressed to concentrate upon long enough to appreciate, let alone master.   

The founders of that math movement may have been mad, but they were attempting to bring clarity, not confusion.    The public, the educators themselves, were not prepepared for such a treatment of the material.   It demanded a somewhat mature audience; and by mature, I mean "mathematicially."   

Intellectual excellence and "education for mass-consumption" are not compatible.  The masses are ineducable, as the Aborigine used to say.   :o

For whatever it's worth, to claify,  I'm a poor man with no reason to lie, and I have interacted with various mediums in search of more genuine understanding and intuitive feel.   The material I am covering: culminating in Dolciani's "Modern Introductory Analysis," both versions, including original 1965 edition, as well as the later 1988 version with computer programming exercises at the end of the sections with the other exercises ... I feel my notes will be useful artificats.

I have every intention of balancing that strong "abstract" with more concrete/discrete topics.

Anyway, thank you for your patience Raul.  I encourage us to just be ourselves, so it is best I am up front about any radical leanings.   The lightning and thunder demand I shut down the machines.

Stay cool.    :-\
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 09:10:23 pm by gorticide »
He [Arthur Schopenhauer] has been the most radical of all troublemakers. He was defiant. ~ (Marcuse?)

"Learning math is never a waste of time." ~ Ivan Savov

"Programming is understanding."  ~ Kristen Nygaard

raul

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Re: Hyperbolic Irony
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2019, 08:48:04 am »
Hentrich,

Your feet stink? Well, I will never meet you in person but if I ever meet you I will advise you to be far from my armpits. You will not smell French perfume. Hahaha.

You, Holden, and others who are studying mathematics can only understand what I shared here. I think that one of the reasons so many students here both in secondary schools and university, from what I heard, is that they are not motivated by how the teaching system works.

It is difficult to teach in public schools because there are at least 45 students in the class. There is no way a teacher can do his/her work with clarity and patience. Besides there are too many subjects in the school curriculum. Memory and not reasoning is emphasized.

Take care.

Holden

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Re: Hyperbolic Irony
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2019, 10:35:27 am »
Well,I read somewhere that during the Stalin purges in the USSR folks in all the disciplines were persecuted except for one.They came after economists and philosophers who did not adhere to Marxism.After literature professors and writers who did not follow socialist realism and even physicists who did not adhere to Marxian ideas of science.

They only let the mathematicians alone-they found the ideas ways too abstract to be comprehend properly and  put to any kind of political use.
The best place to hide from all the craziness going on then was in mathematics.

It's might still be the best place to hide.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 01:12:45 pm by Holden »
I am just a sad little green  tortoise  who crawls and crawls..

Haywire Baboonery

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Re: Hyperbolic Irony
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 09:11:56 pm »
It's a great place to hide, yes, a million miles from "keeping your eye on the ball." 

He [Arthur Schopenhauer] has been the most radical of all troublemakers. He was defiant. ~ (Marcuse?)

"Learning math is never a waste of time." ~ Ivan Savov

"Programming is understanding."  ~ Kristen Nygaard