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Topic: [math-learn] Re: The world's biggest problem? Too many people
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Richard Hake

Posts: 1,228
From: Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Registered: 12/4/04
[math-learn] Re: The world's biggest problem? Too many people
Posted: Jul 24, 2011 10:20 PM
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att1.html (19.6 K)

If you reply to this long (11 kB) post please don't hit the reply
button - bane of discussion lists - unless you prune the copy of
this post that may appear in your reply down to a few relevant lines,
otherwise the entire already archived post may be needlessly resent
to subscribers.

Thus far (24 July 2011 18:40-0700) there have been 14 responses on
the PhysLrnR archives at <http://bit.ly/rglCZt > to my post "Re: The
world's biggest problem? Too many people" [Hake (2011)].

Here, as in the PhysLrnR post references below, to access the
archives of PhysLnR one needs to subscribe :-(, but that takes only a
few minutes by clicking on <http://bit.ly/nG318r> and then clicking
on "Join or Leave PHYSLRNR-LIST." If you're busy, then subscribe
using the "NOMAIL" option under "Miscellaneous." Then, as a
subscriber, you may access the archives and/or post messages at any
time, while receiving NO MAIL from the list!

The last response was by list manager Dewey Dykstra (2011) who,
agreeing with three of the responders who thought the thread was "off
topic" for PhysLrnR, wrote:

"Not to minimize the effect of population growth on our world in many
ways, but PhysLrnR was not started and is not continued to host
discussions off the topics of physics learning research, the data,
the philosophy, the methods. . . . . . Thank you in advance for
honoring the purposes of PhysLrnR by taking this sort of discussion
to PHYS-L."

Dewey may not be aware of Art Hobson's Physoc discussion list
dedicated to "Education about physics-related social topics" with
archives at <http://bit.ly/dVm2AM>.

I hope Dewey will allow at least two parting-shot comments on this thread:

111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
1. THE SUBJECT OF HUMAN POPULATION GROWTH HAS EVIDENTLY NOT ALWAYS
BEEN REGARDED AS "OFF TOPIC" FOR PHYSLRNR

To see this:

a. Go to the powerful but seldom used PhysLrnR search engine at
<http://bit.ly/ph6lFU>.

b. Type "June 2011" " (without the quotes) into the "Until" slot (so
as to exclude the July 2011 thread "Re: The world's biggest problem?
Too many people."

c. Type "Bartlett" (without the quotes) into the "String" slot to
obtain 60 hits.

d. Type "overpopulation" (without the quotes) into the "String" slot
to obtain 53 hits.

e. Type "sustainable" (without the quotes) into the "String" slot to
obtain 44 hits.

f. Type "Limits to Growth" (with the quotes) into the "String" slot
to obtain 20 hits.

g. Type "Population Bomb" (with the quotes) into the "String" slot to
obtain 5 hits.


2222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222
2. SOME CARELESS READERS ATTRIBUTE COMMENTS BY HARTE & EHRLICH TO HAKE

My post "Re: The world's biggest problem? Too many people" [Hake
(2011)] consisted almost entirely of an excerpt from a Los Angeles
Times Op Ed of the same title by Mary Ellen Harte and Anne Ehrlich.

Nevertheless, some PhysLrnR's seem to attribute the comments of Harte
& Ehrlich to me! For example:

a. CHRIS HORTON wrote: ". . . .when [Hake] makes a blatantly
political and morally loaded assertion disguised as a scientific
deduction, to let it go unchallenged is to allow it to take on at
least the appearance of a consensus."

b. ZEEV WURMAN (2011) wrote [my inserts at ". . . . .[[insert]]. . .
."]: . . . Further, I would point out that by capitalizing terms
like "PERPETUAL GROWTH IS THE CREED OF A CANCER CELL" in his original
post . . . . [[Wurman deceptively fails to point out that the
capitalized words are those of Harte & Ehrlich (2011), capitalized by
me so as to emphasize the view of Harte & Ehrlich, with no
implication whatsoever that I agreed with them]]. . . . ., prof. Hake
engaged in demagoguery. . . .[[NONSENSE - Wurman is a master of the
non sequitur]]. . . . Nobody, presumably including himself, believes
that human growth will continue unabated forever. The real question
is whether we will allow humanity to exercise the limits to its
growth in a free and distributed manner as is happening in every
society as it develops, or we will enforce it by some fascist system
like China does. At least we now clearly know prof. Hake's preference
on this matter.. . . .[[NONSENSE -Zeev Wurman continues the vacuous
rhetoric of the traditionalist Math Warriors of HOLD - Palo Alto
<http://bit.ly/qofqny> (of which he's evidently on the steering
committee), HOLD -NYC <http://www.nychold.com/>, and "Mathematically
Correct" <http://bit.ly/beOVtu> - see in this regard "The Math Wars"
[Schoenfeld (2004)] who wrote: "Has anyone noticed that the more
extreme members of Mathematically Correct have taken their strategy
and tactics, almost line for line, straight out of the creation
scientists' playbook?"]]. . . . . . . . . . . . .

c. John Clement (2011) wrote: "A common way of defending a paradigm
is to personally attack the bringer of the message. . . . .[[witness
Horton (2011) and Wurman (2011)]]. . . . I always consider such
attacks to be a sign of irrationality. So while Richard Hake may
have engaged in some purple prose, one cannot deduce that his concern
automatically leads to objectionable solutions to problems. Name
calling is persuasive, but not rational argumentation."

I wonder if John could indicate where, in my post Hake (2011), I
"engaged in some purple prose." Could John be referring to passages
that I quoted from Harte & Ehrlich (2011)?

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands
President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the
Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)
<rrhake@earthlink.net>
<http://www.physics.indiana.edu/~hake>
<http://www.physics.indiana.edu/~sdi>
<http://HakesEdStuff.blogspot.com>
<http://iub.academia.edu/RichardHake>

"Education for sustainability must start in our classrooms. We have
the obligation to work with the large numbers of students in our
introductory classes, to lead them to explore the meaning of
sustainability. . . . [[Dewey, is this not within the purview of
PhysLrnR]]. . . ., even though sustainability is not now in our
textbooks or curricula. . . . It may be that no other academic
discipline is seriously or realistically concerned with education for
sustainability. In which case, it's up to us (physicists)."
- Al Bartlett <http://www.albartlett.org/>

REFERENCES [All URL's accessed on 24 July 2011; some shortened by
<http://bit.ly/>.]

Dykstra, D. 2011. "Re: The world's biggest problem? Too many people,"
PhysLrnR post of 24 Jul 2011 13:49:51-0600; online at
<http://bit.ly/omO0Qv>. Here, as in the other PhysLrnR post
references below, to access the archives of PhysLnR one needs to
subscribe :-(, but that takes only a few minutes by clicking on
<http://bit.ly/nG318r> and then clicking on "Join or Leave
PHYSLRNR-LIST." If you're busy, then subscribe using the "NOMAIL"
option under "Miscellaneous." Then, as a subscriber, you may access
the archives and/or post messages at any time, while receiving NO
MAIL from the list!

Hake, R.R. 2011. "Re: The world's biggest problem? Too many
people,"online on the OPEN! Math-Teach archives at
<http://bit.ly/pNuO2U>. Post of 23 July 23, 2:01 PM (the MathForum
fails to indicate the time zone. Shamelessly cross-posted to
AP-Physics, Biopi-L, Chemed-L, Physhare, Phys-L, Physoc, MathEdCC,
Math-Learn, Math-Talk, & Natural Math.

Harte, M.E. & and A. Ehrlich. 2011. "The world's biggest problem?
Too many people: Our unsustainable population levels are depleting
resources and denying a decent future to our descendants. We must
stop the denial." Los Angeles Times OpEd, 21 July 2011; online at
<http://lat.ms/p4rOFa>.

Horton, C. 2011. "Re: The world's biggest problem? Too many people,"
PhysLrnR post of 23 Jul 2011 14:52:55-0700; online at
<http://bit.ly/pn5z88>.

Schoenfeld, A. H. 2004. "The Math Wars," Educational Policy 18(1):
253-286; online as a 160 kB pdf at <http://bit.ly/pgReV8>(160 kB).

Wurman, Z. 2011. "Re: The world's biggest problem? Too many people,"
PhysLrnR post of 24 Jul 2011 10:09:21+0000; online at
<http://bit.ly/rdI5IS>.








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