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Topic: Re: Why Do Americans Stink at Math? Some of the Answer.
Replies: 1   Last Post: Aug 23, 2014 4:46 PM

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kirby urner

Posts: 3,690
Registered: 11/29/05
Re: Why Do Americans Stink at Math? Some of the Answer.
Posted: Aug 23, 2014 12:53 PM
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On Sat, Aug 23, 2014 at 8:48 AM, GS Chandy <> wrote:

<< SNIP >>

> For instance, one useful 'Mission' for US stakeholders in education to
> undertake may well be:
> "To work to enhance the real effectiveness of our schools of education".

I'm still skeptical that "the US" or "US stakeholders" is the right set of

The US is too big and geographically diverse to intelligently manage at the
macro level, when it comes to education. There are no top down solutions
-- a premise one might begin with.

From my point of view, a lot of stakeholders waste a lot of energy by
barking up some tree in Washington DC, thinking "that's the capital so I
should take my case to 'them'". This mythical 'them' does not exist.

I think nationalism (= belief in nations, just as racism is belief in
races) has in many respects dumbed down human populations, making them wait
for distant power centers to solve problems, versus taking direct local
community action, with feedback loops intact.

> I'm pretty sure that would really be a very useful 'Mission' indeed to
> undertake, far from the useless 'slogan' that now seems to have 'lost some
> traction', as you may say - to an extent because I "poked with a stick".
> That "poking with a stick" most probably irritated Robert Hansen, Wayne
> Bishop, Haim, and even, possibly, you (and others at Math-teach) - but
> that irritation isn't the 'primary system issue' here.

<< SNIP >>

> But there is a trifle more work to be done.
> I recall from my advertising days, the A-I-D-A ('Attention - Interest -
> Desire - Action') hierarchy; I'sure you know a fair bit about this.

I've changed the flow to BE -> DO -> HAVE, which is similar.

Quoting from one of this GST web page (hyperlinks removed):

The BE DO HAVE projects completion cycle diagrams the flow of ideas from
inception through some kind of realization phase to become actual items in
inventory, available for the next round of projects completion.

In synergetics, thinking and planning (BE) involves apprehension, wherein
data is amassed, followed by comprehension, wherein systematic
understanding and appreciation for underlying principles is gained.

Using the metaphors of Theater, we may consider implementation phase (DO
phase) a time for players (e.g. World Game players) to demonstrate their
understanding through action, leading towards an increase in our supply
(HAVE) of recorded performances, the fruits of collaboration, stores of
worthwhile teachings and so on. Prayer, service, results.

In mentioning "Prayer" I am implicitly advertising my willingness to
recruit religiously-minded folk into this
Warfield-Peirce-Fuller-Boulding-inspired conspiracy aka the "design science
revolution" as Fuller called it. Marshall McLuhan also joined.

> Core themes in my writings here on math-teach but
> obscure otherwise. I
> can't blame you for being so manifestly inattentive.

> If these 'core themes' of yours have not had anything to do with
> developing *effective* means to promote math (or to develop systems to
> reduce the 'fear and loathing' that most students feel for math by the time
> they graduate school, I may well not pay much attention. I may well miss
> out on a few or even several important things - as I really am pretty
> heavily burdened. [By "*effective* means", I mean practical means,
> applying 'systems'].

I would argue that improved mnemonic systems i.e. ways of "wiring up" the
thoughts that we have is the business of culture and my way of linking
memes together has a streamlining effect within the STEM domain.

Polynomials and Polyhedrons, bridged by Phi, the golden mean, is not a
stupid way to go and when NCLB was getting so much attention, piggy-backing
on that campaign while relating Phi to The Pentagon also, was a means to
achieve more visibility.

One could argue that the value-added is mostly in retrospect i.e. people
mining the web for a history of ideas may come across these "meme chains"
and adopt and exploit them more fully in higher budget media campaigns.

I suppose heisting NCLB for my work *was* an attempt to steer more at the
"US" level, i.e. an attempt to buy into the "one nation, under God"
mythology as a stakeholder.

> (For instance: your basic ideas about Buckminster Fuller's 'synergetics'
> et al do, in my opinion, have a great deal to do with the 'natural
> engineering systems' of the world, so I do try to pay attention there. I
> observe that you've done nothing whatsoever to promote *effectively* any of
> his wonderful ideas on 'natural engineering' beyond proclaiming them).

> >

Learning about Fuller's "concentric hierarchy of polyhedrons" is step
number one for many.

I profess and proclaim but also nurture and encourage a subculture that's
already primed to communicate such information and continue the legacy and
propensity to explore further. One way I do this is through an "imaginary"
(drawing board) network of "coffee shops" that shows relevant content on
LCDs (large colorful screens) as a kind of background reverie. "Geometry
cartoons". I call it the Coffee Shops Network (CSN) and bank on the
associations between "coffee shop" and "place to have philosophical
discussions (and illuminations)." It's a philosophical initiative dressed
up as a business plan, with a little help from my friends.


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