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Topic: descriptions of projects
Replies: 6   Last Post: Sep 7, 1995 11:18 AM

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Edward S. Miller

Posts: 15
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: [CALC-REFORM:2739] Einstein Revisited
Posted: Sep 5, 1995 9:29 AM
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On Tue, 5 Sep 1995, MADD wrote:

> I, of course, may be
> wrong, but obstinately maintain that an educational system which
> considers obsolete the using of brain power for anything that machines
> can solve and thus encourages students to indulge in comfortable
> retardation will not produce an enviable number of Poincares and
> Einsteins.

Speaking from the not-so-lunatic fringe of reform of all mathematics, I
agree completely with the above statement as written. However, it stands
out of context and I did disagree with the context (see message 2739).

I will now make an argument by analogy. The invention of the chain saw
no more made the axe or hand saw obsolete than did the invention of
symbolic algebra devices make the human algebra device obsolete. Chain
saws just make it easier for less physically fit individuals to prune or
cut down trees and allow the ordinarily abled logger to cut down more in
a fixed length of time. Misuse of chain saws and axes both cause serious
injury. Similarly, misuse of algebra by either method can lead to
mathematical injury.


Edward S. Miller

Division of Natural Sciences VOICE 208-799-2810
Lewis-Clark State College FAX 208-799-2064
500 8th Avenue
Lewiston ID 83501-2698 USA

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