Drexel dragonThe Math ForumDonate to the Math Forum



Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by Drexel University or The Math Forum.


Math Forum » Discussions » Education » math-teach

Topic: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
Replies: 19   Last Post: Oct 4, 2013 9:29 PM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
GS Chandy

Posts: 7,563
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
Posted: Oct 2, 2013 9:52 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

Kirby Urner posted Oct 1, 2013 12:33 PM (http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9288007) - GSC's remarks interspersed:
> On Tue, Oct 1, 2013 at 1:14 AM, GS Chandy
> <gs_chandy@yahoo.com> wrote:

> >
> > (I believe there is another, with more of his

> original writings, but I
<snip>
>
> Yeah wow! That's quite an accolade. And so
> reminiscent
> of the Bucky Fuller eulogies, other hagiographic
> retro-
> spectives. A Renaissance Man. Like Arthur Loeb
> (another
> contributor to the two-volume Synergetics tome). [0]
>

I've been through your "An Introduction to Synergetics" as well as the Wikipedia entry to Synergetics provided there. I believe it might be more appropriately called 'An Introduction to An Introduction to Synergetics'. I've also been through the 'Synergetics Figure Index', and I'm currently wading through (whenever I have the energy) the 'Synergetics Dictionary Online'

The Wikipedia article does tell me plenty of interesting (and useful) things about Synergetics; it does NOT show me how to understand Synergetics in such a way that I can start using it myself. As you've implied (I think), Synergetics is DIFFICULT stuff (for beginners, at least). Yes, Professor (?) EJ Applewhite DOES imply that his 90-page Index at the end of Synergetics 2 along with his dictionary constitute an effective 'learning guide' to Synergetics. This is not a justifiable claim (I believe, from my own experience with these documents). However, I shall continue my 'wading' in the hope that I shall one day learn to swim. [I must note that I currently do not have access to the 2 volumes of 'Synergetics]. All said and done, I believe the world still awaits (in my case, most eagerly indeed) an effective "Introduction to Synergetics" that can encourage and enable people to take up the study of both the Synergetics volumes.

I've also been through "Leveraging Python" and a few other of your 'Grain of Sand' entries. Shall do more later.
>
> I'd say every so often a thinker strikes oil -- with
> some
> immediately thinking "snake oil" -- wherein the
> thoughts
> just come blasting out, often on myriad subjects, as
> if from that hole on the Earth BP made (all negative
> imagery, sorry).
>

I am convinced that Bucky Fuller did strike a real gold mine (not just oil) - but the huge task of refining the ore he dug out to enable us actually hold and use the gold is yet to be done, I'm afraid.
>
> Maybe negative imagery is appropriate because the
> default setting of the original sin switch is
> "curse", i.e.
> a mortal human imbued by the muses in this highly
> volatile way is prey to an infinity of aberrations
> such
> as are listed in the DSM. Some of these may be
> coped with, but the monsters of the deep (ala 'Cabin
> in the Woods', a Joss Whedon semi-parody) will take
> one out, knock one out of commission.[1]
>

I've not yet been able to look at/hear 'Cabin in the Woods' - shall try to do that in due course.
>
> I'm just going to need to buckle down and read more
> CS Pierce, that's all there is to it. He's been on
> my
> radar for a long time. Thanks for the web links.
>
> Back to Fear versus Longing (the spectrum), Fuller's
> view was Malthusian despair over "not enough to
> go around" might overtake the "doing more with less"
> trend, e.g. Moore's Law on the grander scale of
> getting closer to bare principles. As mastery /
> insight
> improves, unnecessary wastefulness is mitigated,
> provided optimization is not premature.
>

Indeed. I believe that it is the need of the era to *enable* all (who are willing to try to learn how to think [more effectively than our educational systems have mistrained us to do]) to gain that needed mastery/ insight. I claim that the OPMS approach does provide the needed tools for that.
>
> In his book 'Critical Path' Fuller talks extensively
> about the ongoing project to omnitriangulate the
> whole Earth, meaning get it saved in databases
> and cross-checked to where satellite photos
> might be accurately mosaiced and so on. He
> uses his peculiar synergetics-informed polymath
> language to discuss this, but between the lines,
> and in retrospect, you can see Google Earth in
> formation, and/or Microsoft's TerraServer etc. [2]
>

I've been looking at the TerraServer and Google Earth - and I can see the potential of these constructs.
>
> With our greater technological powers, Fuller
> felt it realistic to tip towards Longing over Fear
> as populations leveled and even dropped thanks
> to dropping infant mortality and women choosing
> motherhood less frequently when having more
> choices. Electrification of the whole Earth was
> associated with these latter trends, and he
> charted the spread of electrical grids, especially
> intercontinental and/or long distance inter-ties,
> what today we call HVDC (high voltage DC
> connections). Things are not "running out", we
> just need to be smart and humans have shown
> some smarts as a species. Fuller was not a
> misanthropist. The political action group GENI
> continues to promote global electrification and
> smart energy solutions. [3]
>

"We just need to be smart" - indeed!

The question is, how to stimulate *us* (i.e., human beings at large - this I'm sure is essential) into doing the hard work of 'becoming smart' (or, at least, *somewhat smarter* than we have been showing ourselves to be since the age of Newton)???

I'd suspect that this is the real issue of this era. We do have practically all the needed tools - but I do despair sometimes that we'll ever do the needed hard work to *escape the abyss* lying just ahead of us.

And yes, as you've noted below, in many schools, the 'prevalent culture' is to set the kids up to succumb to Malthusian despair. Once that's more or less *ingrained in a person's thinking*, it's well-nigh impossible - at least it's EXTREMELY, SUPREMELY difficult - to get him/her out of that way of thought. (And then not to forget that we do have the relatively less dangerous problem of the 'sloganeers' around us!!! Yes, they're rather less dangerous, but they are definitely sizable barriers to be overcome).

GSC
>
> In some schools, such an effective job is done
> by the teachers to persuade junior that the
> world ahead is so bleak, so hopeless, that it's
> hardly worth lifting a finger to fight back. Were
> I the District Superintendent of Schools I'd
> want a measure of how "fatalistic" each school
> seemed to be, on a scale of one to ten. But of
> course nobody knows how to take such measures
> or assemble such numbers, which is probably
> why I won't have that title on my future resume.
>
> Kirby
>
> [0]
> http://worldgame.blogspot.com/2013/09/an-introduction-
> to-synergetics.html
>
> [1] http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0923736/
>
> [2]
> http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa226316%28v=s
> ql.70%29.aspx#msterra_info
>
> [3] http://geni.org



Date Subject Author
9/24/13
Read Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
Richard Hake
9/25/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
Wayne Bishop
9/25/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
Jonathan Crabtree
9/25/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
Louis Talman
9/26/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
Wayne Bishop
9/25/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
GS Chandy
9/26/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
kirby urner
9/27/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
GS Chandy
9/27/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
kirby urner
9/29/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
GS Chandy
9/29/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
kirby urner
9/30/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
GS Chandy
9/30/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
kirby urner
9/30/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
GS Chandy
10/1/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
kirby urner
10/1/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
GS Chandy
10/1/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
kirby urner
10/2/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
GS Chandy
10/3/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
kirby urner
10/4/13
Read Re: Why Have K-12 Educators Ignored Benezet's Breakthrough?
GS Chandy

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© Drexel University 1994-2014. All Rights Reserved.
The Math Forum is a research and educational enterprise of the Drexel University School of Education.