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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?
Read Debates, a new
Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published
(16555 previous messages)
- 07:07am Nov 5, 2003 EST (#
16556 of 16562)
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.
Many of the kinds of things that go wrong in computer
programs also go wrong in people's minds, in social
organizations - and social organizations in interactions - for
logical reasons. ( Of course, there are crucial
differences, too - people are more than machines. )
Here's one of my favorite passages, quoted "in fun" - at
the beginning of Donald E. Knuth's The Art of
" Here is your book, the one your thousands
of letters have asked us to publish. It has taken us years
to do, checking and rechecking countless recipes to bring
you only the best, only the interesting, only the perfect.
Now, we can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that every
single one of them, if you follow the directions to the
letter, will work for you exactly as well as it did for us,
even if you have never cooked before. . . . McCall's
( If ever there was a set of work in seven volumes that
require a reader with prior experience, Knuth's classic is it.
Knuth's third volume, and an imposing one, is devoted to
sorting and searching .
Some search keys and search procedures are millions
or billions of times faster than others - and some work
when others can't possibly.
Here's a basic search key for teaching. Find out what,
in a field, is most frequently involved with function - not by
inspection or by guessing - but by careful classification
and counting - like the work done to determine
word frequencies summarized here http://www.mrshowalter.net/FrequencyOfVeryCommonWords.htm
The very common things are important to teach - and
if these very common things are well learned - learning
everything else is easier - and function is better in all
sorts of ways.
Some organizing facts are much better than others.
f = ma
is an example, and there are many more. Lchic and I
are working to find some basic search keys - of wide
application - and have succeeded in finding some, useful for
some common purposes.
Here is one of my favorites: http://www.mrshowalter.net/DBeauty.html
If Edison had been taught that - he could have done a lot
better. If people learn that now - a lot more of them can come
closer to the effectiveness Edison showed.
- 07:37am Nov 5, 2003 EST (#
16557 of 16562)
Another series of Off-topic, disjointed ramblings.
rshow55 - 06:28am Nov 5, 2003 EST (# 16550
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 help. ......
rshow55 - 06:31am Nov 5, 2003 EST (# 16551
Curriculum decisions, and many other
decisions all through society, would improve radically now
if the importance of frequency of use were understood.
........Eisenhower wouldn't have phrased the problem that
way - but he would have been very glad to see the point
stated. I think it is an enormously important point.
lchic - 06:40am Nov 5, 2003 EST (# 16552 of
Economics of Terror note increase in
lchic - 06:56am Nov 5, 2003 EST (# 16553 of
Word Frequency - lists - analysers
lchic - 07:00am Nov 5, 2003 EST (# 16554 of 16556)
Showalter you were saying in this & next post......
rshow55 - 07:07am Nov 5, 2003 EST (# 16556
Many of the kinds of things that go wrong in
computer programs also go wrong in people's minds, .....If
Edison had been taught that - he could have done a lot
better. If people learn that now - a lot more of them can
come closer to the effectiveness Edison showed.
This will continue till Nov 14.
- 07:50am Nov 5, 2003 EST (#
16558 of 16562)
From one of lchic's links about 'word frequency' lists,
The frequency data is based on the British
National Corpus. The BNC project was carried out and
is managed by an industrial/academic consortium lead by
Oxford University Press
Frequency of another 'word' !
(4 following messages)
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