Saturday, August 01, 2015


There are  people who say I should be "nicer".

Should an elementary school teacher be nicer to students that do not do their homework and lie about it?  No, there are consequences for ignorance and deceit.

Students that do not do their arithmetic homework,  do not become competent in math, and are cheated by merchants.  In society, deceit is punished under the law. The  elementary school teacher  merely tries to instill a respect for the consequences of ignorance and deceit.

I do not know about your freshman professor in your major, but mine were absolutely cruel in their demands.  They set a standard for rigor in thinking and diligence in effort that has served me well.  Not too long ago, a fellow wanted to show me how to prove the formula for the volume of a sphere.  Forty-five years after taking  calculus, off the top of my head, I could show him another 5  equally valid techniques for deriving the formula for the volume of a sphere.  The moral of the story is that there is very rarely a single path to the truth.  Every truth will be supported by several lines of evidence, and contradicted by no good evidence. Having followed one line of good evidence, one can look back and find other lines of evidence.

I like honest searches for the truth.  I like good questions. Good questions are always the most important part of doing one's homework.  Feynman like to teach lower level students, because " They have the good questions."

Folks at advanced levels tend to forget about the unspoken assumptions of the field. The questions of beginners force us to reconsider and justify all assumptions.  Good questions lead to "Pure Wisdom".

However, if people want me to be nice to them, they must do their homework.  My bio professor demanded written questions on every lecture - along with the answer we had found or -- a list of at least 100 journal papers where we had looked for the answer.  I thought he was a nice guy.


Holin Kennen said...

Yes, Aaron, there are consequences for ignorance. You are getting the consequences in the form of disagreement and, at this point, ridicule from a large number of fiber experts who are recognized as such in their field. Instead of really practicing spinning and knitting finished objects, you choose instead to fiddle around with imaginary mathematical formulae to no purpose at all. did not do homework.

Good students are creative, but if they are superior students, they soon understand that they don't know everything and never will. Good students ask questions. You, on the other hand, never ask questions, you disagree with thousands of years of historical evidence, and you assume that you know everything. When you don't know, you invent a half-truth or a downright falsehood and couch it in technical jargon to make it look impressive. Or you steal someone else's work, modify it without their permission or without noting where you modified it, and claim it as "Pure Wisdom." This is a grown up equivalent of "my dog ate my homework" with more than a touch of plagiarism and pure fantasy dressed up in multisyllabic nonsense. And yet, you want those of us who actually know how to spin and knit to respect you? Whatever for?

Poor research skills, lack of logic, misrepresentation of facts, invalid conclusions, pedantry, plagiarism, and incomplete or assignments. Hmmmm.... what is a teacher to think?

Here's your grade, Aaron: F.

Aaron said...

No, I disagree with myths made up by Victorian ladies that accepted the idea that God created the earth in 7 days during the year 4004 BC.

Now that we know there were farmers in Israel some 23,000 years ago, we have to reconsider their ideas.