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Old March 29th, 2018, 09:22 AM   #11
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Our world is built upon exploitation. Are you telling us your exploitation came at no cost to others? I'll just carry on collecting my paycheque until I can hopefully retire in a couple of years. I can't think of anything I would want to buy that would require becoming a multimillionaire. I just wish the era when average working people could earn a comfortable living wasn't coming to an end now that capitalists all over the world are trying to squeeze more and more from us!
For sure capitalist are willing to exploit us, but the cost of keeping cows for milk has to be high, and perhaps we are lucky the cost of milk isn't higher? I worry about things like that. If we spread our cities over farmland, the cost of that land and the taxes have to increase the cost of food. If the farmer can't make enough money the land is turned into a mall. This might be very bad planning on our part. For awhile Oregon passed a law that parcels of land could not be smaller than 20 acres, but in time, those who wanted to increase their personal profit by selling land won a change in the law. It is a war between the individuals right and profit and the public good. We have to change our mindset to a new reality of limited resources and increased demand.

How many things are being priced beyond our ability to pay? It can take me a good 12 hours to make a doll dress by hand. I couldn't even charge minimum wage and sell the dress at a reasonable price. Somethings just cost too much to produce. Long ago, a tailor could make a nice income making full suits by hand, today even if the tailor could get a good wage he would have to make several suits a day to have just a modest living. Does that example work? Now I am in my weakest area, math, and reasoning.

Does anything I said make sense? We are not going to have a good understanding of reality and therefore the ability to change things without becoming more mathematically minded. A governor, or speed limiter or controller, is a device used to measure and regulate the speed of a machine, such as an engine. Good government is controlling the speed and direction of growth. We are supposed to do that democratically, but we can not when are not thinking mathematically and logically.

Claiming this person or that person is a bad person or a group of people are the enemies of the people, will not empower us to make a difference. We need facts and figures and good logic to make a difference.

We need to understand how fast our community is growing and what it will need to maintain this growth and the cost of that growth! One cost is the loss of affordable housing, and the social cost of homelessness is very high. We do not need the large labor force we have. What are we to do with the mass humanity we have? Create more unethical jobs to keep people working? Put them in smaller homes that will make family life hell? We need to identify the problems and understand the causes and talk about solutions.
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Last edited by Athena; March 29th, 2018 at 09:28 AM.
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Old March 29th, 2018, 09:33 AM   #12
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I have spent my life in a bubble not doing much critical thinking. Oh, I am college educated and have a large personal library and listen to college lectures daily. That keeps me in a happy bubble, but it does not mean having the skills successful people must have. I am numerically illiterate (find math confusing) and avoid critical thinking and problem-solving. When I try to really think I feel confused and give up. I don't think I am alone in this. What I learned today is how to teach people who have also spent a lifetime in a bubble, chasing after pleasure and avoiding pain. Critical thinking, math, and problem-solving will cause many people to feel confused and that is painful, so we give up, and become dependent on others to make all the decisions.

This does not mean we are not loners, but the opposite. Our failure to use our brains means lacking coping skills, so we have a problem getting along with others. This isolates us in our own personal bubbles. We may be able to learn to do somethings automatically like drive a car or work on an assembly line, but that does not lead to success and financial independence unless that assembly line type job pays a lot. In today's high tech world, what I am talking about means poverty and marginalizing people who can not keep up.
I have a theory that if a person who is "turned off" by math learns some fun tricks with math, it could pique their interest and receptivity. Maybe you could tell me if I'm right. Here are some fun tricks, or shortcuts (there are many more)...

To multiply any number by 15 quickly, just add a zero and then increase the result by one half. Ex. 240 X 15 would be (2400 + 1200).

To multiply a number by 25, add 2 zeros and find 1/4 of that result. Ex. 24 X 25 would be (2400 / 4 = 600).

And here's a real fun one. Square any 2-digit number that ends in "5" (25, 35, 45, 55, 65, etc) by adding one to the first digit (Ex. 35 gives 3+1=4) and multiply that by the first digit (3). So far we have 3 X 4 =12. And then just tack a "25" after it because every 2-digit number ending in "5" when multiplied by itself will end in 25. So...

35 squared or 35 X 35 means (3 X 4 =12) so the answer is 1225.
45 squared or 65 X 65 means (6 X 7 = 42) so the answer is 4225.
85 squared or 85 X 85 means (8 X 9 = 72) so the answer is 7225.

Here's a small list of other such tricks: https://listverse.com/2007/09/17/10-...hmetic-tricks/

And then there are still more: 25 Maths Shortcut Tricks Chapter - Easy Math Tricks for Competitive Exam

Some people, like my dear wife, experience their eyes glazing over and their ears going deaf when they read anything resembling math (she had a really bad math teacher in elementary school). Hopefully you aren't one of those.
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Last edited by Kode; March 29th, 2018 at 09:35 AM.
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Old March 29th, 2018, 10:08 AM   #13
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Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny?

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...

We naturally run our lives on emotions. It is unnatural for us to think things through. First, we have to learn the patterns of logic, and second, we have to use them so they become automatic instead of emoting. When you see someone attacking another person for what s/he thinks, you can know this person is emoting, not thinking. Do you see that?
I think you're addressing the issue of rationality v. irrationality in humanity. & yes, I think rationality is essential to Western Civ., @ least as we know it. Perhaps @ the dawn of human groupings it may have been possible to run purely on emotions & bonding.

As far as passing that rational tradition on to our children - yes, that's essential too. They can hardly make their way in the World otherwise - without retreating to some hermit-like life, & most of us don't have the complete skill sets it would take to do that. On the practical side, I suggest starting children on cause & effect - simple machines, torque, levers & etc. & working towards more complication from there, rather than starting @ math. Arithmetic, perhaps, because you can use manipulatives for that. But higher math might be a bridge too far, @ least @ the beginning.

Natural science would be a more fitting start - & parallels how the sciences grew out of philosophy (in the Western tradition, @ least). So you can retrace philosophical roots as well as pass on important information & a way of seeing the World. & if you missed imparting this to the kids, there's always the next generation.

Talk to your public library - the children's librarian, preferably. There's deBono's work on How to think, & I'm sure there are analogs for children & other people just starting out. Your children's librarian likely knows & can put hands on the appropriate materials - or you can look around on the 'Net. All the best with it - it's a vital piece of the inheritance of Western Civ.
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Old March 30th, 2018, 08:49 AM   #14
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@Athena

I think we may be talking cross-purposes, as I essentially agree with everything you said.

Mathematics is still one of the best ways we know of to train abstract reasoning in that one needs to follow strict/rigorous lines of logical argumentation, identify a pattern, utilize strong mental visualization, assort the pattern into a working model, make swift and accurate computations, ect. ect. It is essentially rigorous training for your brain/mind in a very similar way that lifting weights/jump rope/sprints/jumping exercises/ect. ect is rigorous training for your body. That is, to continue with this analogy, if one's mathematical knowledge is limited to arithmetic, they may or may not have the mental strength to "bench press" 350+lbs (since a person can still be of very high intelligence and not have studied math) however, if a person's knowledge of mathematics extends to through modern Graduate school level, they definitely can "bench press" 350+lbs. since the nature of the material necessitates that level of strength or higher. Thus, one of the surest ways to get to that level (that we currently know of), is to study higher Maths (i.e. even though it is not requisite to know high levels of Math to be highly intelligent, if one does know high level Maths then they definitely are at a higher level of abstract reasoning by necessity--it is "push ups" for your brain/mind).

However, having that 'strength' still in no way guarantees that people will think independently--as these are separate skills/abilities that need to be developed as well (of which are only partially connected to each other).
I love the way you explained that. Now, please explain independent thinking without doing those push-ups. How does someone who has not trained the brain for logical thinking, process thoughts?
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Old March 30th, 2018, 09:15 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Kode View Post
I have a theory that if a person who is "turned off" by math learns some fun tricks with math, it could pique their interest and receptivity. Maybe you could tell me if I'm right. Here are some fun tricks, or shortcuts (there are many more)...

To multiply any number by 15 quickly, just add a zero and then increase the result by one half. Ex. 240 X 15 would be (2400 + 1200).

To multiply a number by 25, add 2 zeros and find 1/4 of that result. Ex. 24 X 25 would be (2400 / 4 = 600).

And here's a real fun one. Square any 2-digit number that ends in "5" (25, 35, 45, 55, 65, etc) by adding one to the first digit (Ex. 35 gives 3+1=4) and multiply that by the first digit (3). So far we have 3 X 4 =12. And then just tack a "25" after it because every 2-digit number ending in "5" when multiplied by itself will end in 25. So...

35 squared or 35 X 35 means (3 X 4 =12) so the answer is 1225.
45 squared or 65 X 65 means (6 X 7 = 42) so the answer is 4225.
85 squared or 85 X 85 means (8 X 9 = 72) so the answer is 7225.

Here's a small list of other such tricks: https://listverse.com/2007/09/17/10-...hmetic-tricks/

And then there are still more: 25 Maths Shortcut Tricks Chapter - Easy Math Tricks for Competitive Exam

Some people, like my dear wife, experience their eyes glazing over and their ears going deaf when they read anything resembling math (she had a really bad math teacher in elementary school). Hopefully you aren't one of those.
Yes, I am one of those people. I have a squirrel brain. That is I realize I have a terrible time focusing, and while I attempt to follow your explanations, there is so much chatter going on in my head, I can not remember the process from one step to the next. I rant and rave about the importance of math because I understand the importance. I have college lectures on math, and several DVD's explaining math, and some super great books explaining the connection between math and nature. In a way I know a lot about math, but my math IQ remains at the moron level.

Perhaps the first thing we need to teach children is how to slow their brains down and quiet the chatter, so they can absorb information? We know we need to hook them in by triggering their curiosity and interest, but if their heads don't stop chattering they can not learn. Information appealing to our emotions, however, is more likely to be remembered, but this is not equal to being rational. IQ tests tend to depend on our memory, not our thinking process.

For many years, education has about memory, not processing thoughts, and the result is reactionary politics, and those bleached blonds who are sure Trump is guided by God and their prayers for our presidents are making a difference.
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Old March 31st, 2018, 09:44 AM   #16
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I love the way you explained that. Now, please explain independent thinking without doing those push-ups. How does someone who has not trained the brain for logical thinking, process thoughts?
@Athena

To explain the functional difference between independent thought and more calculator-type thought (although, the two are also inextricably bound), I think it best to continue with the analogy to athletics. For instance, let us take the example of jumping high:

Power = Force x Velocity

Now, in order to jump high, there is a simple equation relating how much 'limit strength' a person has and how fast it can be applied. When both of these figures are high, this is optimal. When one is high and the other lacking, it limits the range one is capable of. This is very similar to intellectual abilities, and why measures such as IQ do not necessarily correlate to general intelligence--as there is more to the equation. Now, Math through MA/MS helps train the 'computational power' aspect of general intelligence, much like weighted squats train 'limit strength'. However, in order to develop independent creative thought, this requires separate training much like jumping & sprinting exercises train the 'velocity' portion of physical power.

Then, this explains why people can have very distorted sense of their own intellectual abilities (as well as the abilities of others), much like physical abilities--as they may be focusing in on one aspect which is taken to be a complete measure while it is only partial. Intuitively, this is why it is trivial to think of people with very high 'computational/IQ type' intelligence, who are generally 'dumb', much like it is very easy to find big, strong people who are unable to jump high at all (or even terribly low). Likewise, people can think of those with low IQ-type intelligence who are 'smart', as one can think of thin, 'weak' people who do jump very high.

The educational system, as well as the mainstream job market, neglects 'independent, creative thought' as it relates to general intelligence; so, people often form very distorted views of who is & is not very 'intelligent'. Actually, people often have very distorted views about who is and is not very physical powerful also--although, in that case, it is at least on peoples 'radar' much more than with cognitive abilities.

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Old April 9th, 2018, 09:43 AM   #17
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@Athena

To explain the functional difference between independent thought and more calculator-type thought (although, the two are also inextricably bound), I think it best to continue with the analogy to athletics. For instance, let us take the example of jumping high:

Power = Force x Velocity

Now, in order to jump high, there is a simple equation relating how much 'limit strength' a person has and how fast it can be applied. When both of these figures are high, this is optimal. When one is high and the other lacking, it limits the range one is capable of. This is very similar to intellectual abilities, and why measures such as IQ do not necessarily correlate to general intelligence--as there is more to the equation. Now, Math through MA/MS helps train the 'computational power' aspect of general intelligence, much like weighted squats train 'limit strength'. However, in order to develop independent creative thought, this requires separate training much like jumping & sprinting exercises train the 'velocity' portion of physical power.

Then, this explains why people can have very distorted sense of their own intellectual abilities (as well as the abilities of others), much like physical abilities--as they may be focusing in on one aspect which is taken to be a complete measure while it is only partial. Intuitively, this is why it is trivial to think of people with very high 'computational/IQ type' intelligence, who are generally 'dumb', much like it is very easy to find big, strong people who are unable to jump high at all (or even terribly low). Likewise, people can think of those with low IQ-type intelligence who are 'smart', as one can think of thin, 'weak' people who do jump very high.

The educational system, as well as the mainstream job market, neglects 'independent, creative thought' as it relates to general intelligence; so, people often form very distorted views of who is & is not very 'intelligent'. Actually, people often have very distorted views about who is and is not very physical powerful also--although, in that case, it is at least on peoples 'radar' much more than with cognitive abilities.
Sorry, it has taken me so long to get back to this. I wish every coach understood what you just said and would help the children understand it by having them do the related activities.

My 10-year great-grandson is sure he knows everything he needs to know, like some people who post here, and school has nothing to teach him that he doesn't already know. His dad and I gave our opinions about- when we know more, we know how much we don't know, but I don't think his 10-year-old mind bought that. A coach and related activity, as you explained, would be much better.

Ouch, you threw in a dimension I didn't think about. The independence of a 10-year-old is not what we are shooting for! Now how do I think things through?
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Old April 9th, 2018, 03:52 PM   #18
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Yes, I am one of those people. I have a squirrel brain. That is I realize I have a terrible time focusing, and while I attempt to follow your explanations, there is so much chatter going on in my head, I can not remember the process from one step to the next. I rant and rave about the importance of math because I understand the importance. I have college lectures on math, and several DVD's explaining math, and some super great books explaining the connection between math and nature. In a way I know a lot about math, but my math IQ remains at the moron level.

Perhaps the first thing we need to teach children is how to slow their brains down and quiet the chatter, so they can absorb information? We know we need to hook them in by triggering their curiosity and interest, but if their heads don't stop chattering they can not learn. Information appealing to our emotions, however, is more likely to be remembered, but this is not equal to being rational. IQ tests tend to depend on our memory, not our thinking process.

For many years, education has about memory, not processing thoughts, and the result is reactionary politics, and those bleached blonds who are sure Trump is guided by God and their prayers for our presidents are making a difference.
Yes, teaching children how to quiet the internal chatter is vital, and, it's not hard. Children, especially very young children, naturally spend time in the alpha state, the meditative state. In fact, children can like meditation "too much."

The "squirrel brain" effect is not a natural state, rather, a learned state and one that is exploited by the long list of folks trying to sell us something, and the long list of folks trying to control our lives mainly through manipulating our fears.

Quieting the internal dialogue feels good. Imo, that's the strongest argument for quieting it, although thoughts and actions from a quiet, considered mind almost always are in most all aspects superior to the thoughts and actions of a squirrel mind.

Humankind's meditation deficit exacerbates every challenge we collectively face.
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Old April 10th, 2018, 06:27 AM   #19
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Well, Imaginethat, you put a spin on this I was not expecting. Between you and xMathfanx, this is a different discussion than I expected and also more hopeful than expected.

Now I would love it if I could buy a school and experiment with ideas that have come up in this thread. Instead of classrooms being 3 ring circuses as some classrooms I have seen, the focus would be on stillness and going with the flow, then music, math, and art. Imagine children doing Tia Chi before lunch and having lunches as part of social training as is done in France. The math class flows into the art class. History is focused on the development of science/technology and thought (this would make history cross-cultural you know.) (Hum, I would have to write the history book because I don't think what I want is on the market.) Any ideas?

I mean the idea of developing children who are self-centered in a positive way, and not spinning out of control as we have come to expect our children to do, is a very interesting idea. Self-confident, self-controlled and with developed logic.
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Old April 10th, 2018, 07:45 AM   #20
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Well, Imaginethat, you put a spin on this I was not expecting. Between you and xMathfanx, this is a different discussion than I expected and also more hopeful than expected.

Now I would love it if I could buy a school and experiment with ideas that have come up in this thread. Instead of classrooms being 3 ring circuses as some classrooms I have seen, the focus would be on stillness and going with the flow, then music, math, and art. Imagine children doing Tia Chi before lunch and having lunches as part of social training as is done in France. The math class flows into the art class. History is focused on the development of science/technology and thought (this would make history cross-cultural you know.) (Hum, I would have to write the history book because I don't think what I want is on the market.) Any ideas?

I mean the idea of developing children who are self-centered in a positive way, and not spinning out of control as we have come to expect our children to do, is a very interesting idea. Self-confident, self-controlled and with developed logic.
@Athena

I agree with IT and some of what you discussed here in a similar vein. That is, the first thing which needs to be accomplished is getting children centered, grounded, controlled (over themselves), self-empowered, with proper social development, etc.--that is, in a healthy and stable position; mentally & physically. Then, after that, more serious training can begin, which pushes them more in all areas. Kids will naturally begin to develop niches, which is well and good, which they can then explore further on directed study, though will control over their work. Education should be much more of a guidance process, rather than "I tell you, you copy". That 'copy-paste' type education is very demeaning and damaging to the psyche, which is already never getting properly balanced as a prerequisite.
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