Pagename: general - General
Category:Array
Post Count: 5Category:Philosophy
Pagename: general - General

Third twenty in twenty – Mathematics is worthwhile

Personally, I love a good puzzle to work on. So, for that reason, it makes sense I enjoy mathematics more than the average Joe. Still, even with that in mind, I am perplexed at the resistance applied to avoid learning all things mathematical. This topic comes up fairly regularly now I have young children of school age. There disinterest is accentuated by the fact that neither has a definite idea on what they would like to do as a future occupation. I certainly don’t won’t to hit them with the ‘well those occupations require mathematics’ line for fear of encouraging them to avoid those particular occupations. Both kids have resented the mental effort required to learn mathematics at various points. Some of my children’s teachers have even appeared to acquiesce with the students in their dislike of mathematics. Very disappointing.

One worn out argument that is often aimed at mathematics is ‘I will never use it, so what’s the point?’. Indeed, on face value, the argument has value. There are not too many jobs that require employees to break out their pen and paper and start throwing Pythagoras theorem around. Yet, many of those same workers will apply mathematics in an implicit sense. Making sense of dates and times is a frequent task for most. Being able to make adjustments to various measures of magnitude is a given in daily life. Got enough money to buy the milk? How many extra eggs to make that double batch of pancakes? This is not even touching on the more advanced ways we can and do use mathematical thinking, generally without even relating it to the mathematical skills we are actually using. The same skills we learn at school.

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Category:Politics
Pagename: general - General

Second twenty in twenty – Non thinkers

In earlier years of my life, I was under the impression that people would form alternative conclusions on topics based on different information or different values. However, I understand now, cognition is a core feature of our beliefs. In particular, lack of cognition appears to explain a substantial number of conclusions that I find to be mysterious. That is, people concluding believes that appear self-evidently wrong to me. I better note here that I know I am not infallible. I fully understand that I can be wrong and any particular ‘argument’ or belief I have, may be the wrong one. It is less likely to be based on lack of cognition though. I am typically willing to think through a topic until I feel I have a solid grasp of the topic. Just as importantly, I am comfortable with accepting I do not know about a topic to reach a solid conclusion.

I believe the problem with non-thinkers is rife. Even on topics where people are often forced to have an opinion of some sort (think political affiliation, views on climate change etc. ), I find a lot of people are unaware of the fundamental concepts. They use the opinions of those around them to form their own rather than thinking through a topic with the facts on hand and their own values. I remember this realisation hitting home when I took environment science as an elective subject at uni. I often found myself surrounded with people with a similar view point (ie we need to care for the environment) but were often ignorant of the underlying reasons for it.

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Category:General
Pagename: general - General

First twenty in twenty – The exercise

This is the first post within a personal exercise I have set for myself. I am calling it ‘twenty in twenty’. That is, twenty posts, each done in twenty minutes. I have set myself this exercise to address my tendency to expand on topics I want to write about to the point of failure. I tend to want to explore a relatively complex topic but then fail to finish the post, often due to inconclusive thinking.

I will make these ‘twenty in twenty’ posts public as that tends to assure I will write to a more readable level. 

Why is it important to write at all? Over the years I have realised that putting thoughts onto paper (or some other alternative output) is a core part of being productive. It is one thing to think through different concepts or ideas but it is a very different skill to communicate those ideas. Writing is a skill that needs to be honed. Writing efficiently is a different skill again. This exercise will force me to get my words out of my head and onto “paper”. It is also the start of developing the habit of writing productively. A key skill that I currently lack.

I will apologise in advance to anyone that comes across these posts. These posts are going to have to include less nuance than what topics often require. I hope that getting some ideas out of my head and onto paper will allow me at some point to fully cover those topics I wish to cover more deeply.

Because I often require too much time to write posts, I keep many private and often I just put off indefinitely. Not useful. So, hopefully this exercise will also break that trend. I want to be writing one of these every day. Here’s hoping…

 

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Category:General
Pagename: general - General

Goal setting with Git – pros and cons

Here I am listing off some pros and cons of using ‘git’ to document my goal setting. I discussed this approach a little previously here (Goal setting with Git).

Con 1. – As noted earlier, I have previously used OneNote to record my goal setting. This lead to the first notable con, transferring my notes from onenote to markdown was a mundane task. I chose markdown as it seems like the easiest format to store general text in. It also has some of the functionality I wanted such as links. However, using markup is less convenient than using onenote. Formatting options are more restricted. A notable example was adding a table. Definitely smoother in onenote. Hopefully this will become less of an issue as I use markdown more often.

Con 2. – Very quickly I have noticed the reduced versatility in using git instead of onenote. Onenote is available on all my devices and syncs smoothly. Using github, I can sync files but the process is not as straightforward.

Con 3. – At present, it was quicker to review past entries in onenote. I am hoping this will change as I find tools to help me review old versions in git. At present, it is a con… 🙁

 

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Category:General
Pagename: general - General

Goal setting with Git

Being able to review and reassess goals over time has been useful for me from time to time. Getting a kick out of achieving goals can produce a real motivational pickup, while seeing goals that have never really been touched has made me realise they are probably not as important to me as I would like to believe. 

So, I write down my goals and for as long as I can remember, I date them as well. However, trying to keep track of them can be very haphazard without some sort of system. For this reason, I am giving Git a go as a way to keep track of them. I have previously used Microsoft’s OneNote but that has some downsides…

I was copying and pasting my goal action list each week.

 Very quickly the list gets unwieldy to review. There is no easy way to review the items.

Git, on the other hand, will track the changes and will highlight those changes in a convenient form? Or at least, that is the idea. I will record some of the pros and cons as I progress.

 

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