What grinds me the most is that we’re sending kids out into the world who don’t know how to balance a checkbook, who don’t know how to apply for a loan, don’t even know how to properly fill out a job application, but because they know the quadratic formula we consider them prepared for the world?
With that said, I’ll admit even I can see how looking at the equation x – 3 = 19 and knowing x = 22 can be useful. I’ll even say knowing x = 7 and y = 8 in a problem like 9x – 6y = 15 can be helpful. But seriously, do we all need to know how to simplify (x – 3)(x – 3i)??
And the joke is, no one can continue their education unless they do. A student living in California cannot get into a four-year college unless they pass Algebra 2 in high school. A future psychologist can’t become a psychologist, a future lawyer can’t become a lawyer, and I can’t become a journalist unless each of us has a basic understanding of engineering.
Of course, engineers and scientists use this shit all the time, and I applaud them! But they don’t take years of theater arts appreciation courses, because a scientist or an engineer doesn’t need to know that The Phantom of the Opera was the longest-running Broadway musical of all time. Get my point?
The board of education should sit down with universities and high schools alike and create options for students. Let us take business classes that substitute all the same credits as algebra. I guarantee a semester of learning how to start a small business would benefit people much more than knowing: ax^2 + bx + c = 0
Chris Colfer, Struck by Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal (x)
I’m an engineer(ing student) and I approve this message.
Of course, you should only be enjoying the excretions of Saccharomyces cerevisiae should you be of legal imbibing age in your particular home country/state/anarcho-syndicalist commune. Right? RIGHT?! ;-)
Everything you ever wanted to know, and lots you didn’t about the science of drinking.
I love MinutePhysics, but I disagree with Neil deGrasse Tyson’s explanation in this video. Tyson’s proof is incomplete and over-exalts Tyson’s authority to answer this question.
Tyson discusses and disproves possible purposes for the universe presented, as he understands them, by the “remarkably persistent” religious texts that he believes to be poor evaluators. However, it is false to say that these are the only possible purposes or even the majority of possible purposes. I would expect a scientist who touts empirical evidence above all not to confuse a few examples with a “strong” case “visible to anyone who sees the universe as it is.” Three examples out of infinite possibilities is not 99.999%.
As in all science, it is impossible to say for sure whether the universe has a purpose. As Tyson says quite rightly, “Anyone who expresses a more definitive response to the question is claiming access to knowledge not based on empirical foundations.” He uses this statement to condemn those who believe a strong positive answer exists, yet he goes on to attempt to prove a strong negative answer to the unanswerable question.
I would say that this question goes further than science on the scale of unanswerability - strong probability can be determined in science, whereas a question like this may only be answered with data that, like Tyson’s, is incomplete. The existence of gods and grand purposes is outside of the scope of current science, and any argument on either side must include a degree of opinion and uneducated guesswork not based on empirical data. Just like trying to guess before July 2012 whether the Higgs Boson particle existed, these matters come down to personal belief.
Perhaps continued research will bring data that can near-conclusively prove or disprove the existence of a god or a purpose. But to attempt to answer the question as conclusively as Tyson does unfairly exaggerates the reach of current science and degrades those who, with our current inconclusive data, still choose to believe in a purpose.