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Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a
nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a
"Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed
considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense
initiatives more successful? Can such an application of
science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable,
necessary or impossible?
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(16549 previous messages)
- 06:28am Nov 5, 2003 EST (#
16550 of 16552)
Can we do a better job of finding
truth? YES. Click "rshow55" for some things Lchic and I have
done and worked for on this thread.
I did hope that the basic point of http://www.mrshowalter.net/FrequencyOfVeryCommonWords.htm
would interest some people - maybe Jorian most of all.
"How many people know how high the
frequency of "the most common things" is - not just in
language - but in most things people do?
In 16541 http://forums.nytimes.com/webin/WebX?8@13.FftmbCCvV6n.1374350@.f28e622/18256
Jorian gives his answer:
" Everyone who is not comatose."
If only that were true, we'd be able to sort out a lot more
messes than we can - and people could, and would, make better
Jorian refers to my
" Jorian has a low opinion of
platitudes - but when there are basic facts and relations
that should be platitudes - because they are of very
wide application - yet those fact and relations are not
widely known - it can be useful to work those things out.
and suggests that I substitute "luck" for
"platitude" in the passage.
How about substituting the phrase " culturally standard
search keys" instead? It doesn't roll off the tongue, I'll
admit. But it does deal with the function that "platitudes"
serve in cultures. ( If you ask a friend for advice - the best
thing he can do is give you "something to think about " so you
can sort your problem out for yourself. That something is
going to be a platitudinous search key. Some
search keys are much better than others - and much
better than no search key at all - but no search key works for
- - -
Here's a fact. If you will, a "search key" - a way of
organizing material. I don't believe that it existed, in such
a clear form, until I worked it out - with lchic's
Fact: All the math that is applicable to engineering
comes from these basic fields - each old - each informing each
of the others dialectically, in focusing fashion - every which
. Geometry . . . . Calculus
. Arithmetic . . . Algebra
If people knew that - and it could be presented at every
piagetian level above the sensorimotor, they'd be able to
learn and talk about math more easily than they do now. I'd
like that simple fact about the core of math to become part of
our common culture.
"Search keys" of that kind are organizing principles
- and people need them. People who work together have to share
a lot of the same "search keys" so that they can communicate
THE NEW YORK TIMES is continuously engaged in building
culture - in entertaining and useful ways. It doesn't want to
bore - but it makes sense for it to ask "what matters?" in
ways that serve its readers - and often - common ground about
simple things matters.
- - -
When I first learned the relations in http://www.mrshowalter.net/FrequencyOfVeryCommonWords.htm
- the most useful facts in classical cryptography - I was
amazed at how powerful they were. Could it be that everybody
else knew them?
There's a very widely respected book in education
The Struggle for the American Curriculum 1893-1958
by Herbert M. Kliebard Routledge, 1995 http://book.realbuy.ws/0415910137.html
That struggle would have been far different from the
way it was - and better for society - if the importance of
very common things were widely understood. http://www.mrshowalter.net/FrequencyOfVeryCommonWords.htm
Curriculum decisions, and many other decisions all through
society, would improve radically now if the importance
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