"When am I going to use this?"

The school experience. School related queries, discussions, and stories that aren't specific to a subject.

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Doyh
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Re: "When am I going to use this?"

Postby Doyh » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:01 am UTC

First of all, I'm not actually for my argument. I just like arguing. Second, to continue my train of thought, no, because reading is useful no matter what you do. You need it to drive, for god's sake.

hnooch
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Re: "When am I going to use this?"

Postby hnooch » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:29 am UTC

your ignorance prevents you from seeing the same is true of math.

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gmalivuk
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Re: "When am I going to use this?"

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:18 am UTC

Doyh wrote:First of all, I'm not actually for my argument. I just like arguing.
Well in the future, maybe try picking slightly less stupid arguments to champion...
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Jean
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Re: "When am I going to use this?"

Postby Jean » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:24 am UTC

Math is always important. Period. If you don't know atleast elementary algebra, you're not credible for whatever field you're in. Sure, you can get a job in whatever permits that enormous gaping hole in your life, but you'll still be marked down as fairly stupid if you don't simple things like quadratic functions.

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cjmcjmcjmcjm
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Re: "When am I going to use this?"

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:32 am UTC

Jean wrote:Math is always important. Period. If you don't know atleast elementary algebra, you're not credible for whatever field you're in. Sure, you can get a job in whatever permits that enormous gaping hole in your life, but you'll still be marked down as fairly stupid if you don't simple things like quadratic functions.

Even if it is creative writing?
Solt wrote:We put kids in school to prepare them for the choices they might want to make one day. That's half the purpose of mandatory education right there (the other half being to create informed citizens). It is the key to upward mobility, the middle class, American economic power, and the American dream. It would be negligent of us, as a society, to say "oh, you have dreams? Well you can't accomplish them because we didn't prepare you to, even though we could have. We knew better but we let your immature 14 year old mind make decisions that would affect the course of the rest of your life. Guess you should have known what you would grow up to be interested in a lot earlier!" They day we stop teaching math as a required subject in k-12 education is the day the middle class dies, more so in these times than ever before.

Two things to consider, one serious and one sarcastic. I shall leave it to the reader to decide my intentions behind them.
1. Remedial class exist. It's not impossible to catch up.
2. The middle class will no longer exist, but I shall be their master and make them do my bidding for the amusement of those of us who know math
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achan1058
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Re: "When am I going to use this?"

Postby achan1058 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:23 pm UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:
Jean wrote:Math is always important. Period. If you don't know atleast elementary algebra, you're not credible for whatever field you're in. Sure, you can get a job in whatever permits that enormous gaping hole in your life, but you'll still be marked down as fairly stupid if you don't simple things like quadratic functions.

Even if it is creative writing?
Even if you are writing mangas. See Hunter X Hunter for example of usage of math.

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Jean
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Re: "When am I going to use this?"

Postby Jean » Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:25 pm UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:Even if it is creative writing?

Gotta know how many steel-plated rhinos your army can take out if you claim each of your soldiers can take on 2 rhinos and you have 40 soldiers. ;D

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Turiski
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Re: "When am I going to use this?"

Postby Turiski » Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:12 am UTC

http://www.sffworld.com/authors/s/savag ... /34a1.html

Yes, I would say math, statistics in particular (which for proper understanding requires algebra), is relevant to creative writing.

EDIT: Haha, I like how we all instantly jump on this guy :/ To be fair, he took a risk by providing a concrete example, which is always easier to support or oppose than an abstract idea, so yeah, a lot more people are going to be willing to argue with him than navigatr

hnooch wrote:your ignorance prevents you from seeing the same is true of math.

This isn't helpful. If you've read the thread you know that there are a lot of people who agree with this viewpoint, but most of them have explained why that is, which is more meaningful when you are trying to talk to someone who doesn't see life through your perspective.


To the main body of the thread, I'm not going to add much. I think the difference between what Jorpho and navigatr are arguing is a classic 'theory vs. practice' problem.

Navigatr would probably agree that computers eliminate a large degree of math the needs to be known for surviving managing in non-math fields. He would also probably agree that since many university graduates will not take theory-intensive jobs (not necessarily non-math-intensive), teaching them theory has either no or greatly diminishing returns.

Jorpho would probably agree that in order to come up with creative solutions to problems, one needs to understand the mechanics behind the things the computers do. He would probably also say that computers either do or will soon eliminate a large number of jobs where not needing this kind of logical creativity is an option, so withholding these skills from anyone is counterproductive.

My personal opinion: I love learning, and knowing is pretty cool too. So I come from the position where if there is more to learn, why not? I am lucky enough and proactive enough to today be surrounded with people of a similar mindset. However, it is very unrealistic to expect that all college students* have that mentality, or that all environments foster excitement about learning. I think that influence in my life is a bit too overpowering to make a significant difference to the conversation.


So my questions:

Isn't it reasonable to say that industrialization of the work force will provide fewer opportunities to those who do not have the kind of support to be able to work with and not simply at their tools, which rely increasingly on computers? And wouldn't that require they understand the processes - often complex and algorithmic - that their tools use or could use to accomplish their tasks? How can this be reconciled with navigatr's view?

Isn't it reasonable to say that creativity of all types will be needed in an increasingly globalized world, and logical creativity is easily developed at calculus or sub-calculus understandings of mathematics? Wouldn't that imply that time in math classes diminishes the amount of time spent honing other relevant skills, which may not have had the benefit of twelve years of grade school to impress their methods and significance on young minds? How can this be reconciled with Jorpho's view?

And finally, since it is getting harder for either students or professors to predict what skills graduates will need at the same time that the depth of skills needed in many fields is increasing, is specialization an antiquated, irrelevant, or necessary part of the college experience? (I put this one separate because I don't think it's easy to answer from either perspective, although I believe it has a bit of pro-navigatr bias)

Side note: I prefer to refer to people in the third person in debates rather than 'you.' For me it takes off the personal edge that arguments can have, but I can understand if for someone it makes them feel like I am slighting them by not addressing them directly, and I apologize for this. And, sorry also if you're a 'she.' This website attracts a small subset of an already small subset of people, and there aren't a lot of girls in it.

* EDIT 2: I forgot about the star. Interestingly, all human babies are born with a desire for learning anything. It is only when learning becomes associated with failure that some swear off it. By college, most people's minds are pretty much set about what they like and don't like learning. And the brain finishes developing at 25, so after that it gets harder still. Random trivia, now you know, etc. etc.
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