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Random Rant Thread

This is a discussion on Random Rant Thread within the The Official Puff Pipers Non-Pipe Related Banter Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; Originally Posted by markov Calculus is good example. Students here now use matlab, mathematica or similar software at every calculus ...

  
  1. #211

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by markov View Post
    Calculus is good example. Students here now use matlab, mathematica or similar software at every calculus class. All assignments and problems are done on computer and not on paper. While it surely speeds up the process, students actually have no idea what's happening in the background and how computer gets these results.
    I went to school when handheld calculators were just making their appearance. Everybody had slide rules for chemistry or physics, but in other subjects you had to know basic arithmetic. Your observation deepens the mystery, however: If they save all that time with instant answers and no longer need labor over plotting the witch of Assisi, on what do they spend the extra time? I still cannot for the life of me figure out what consumes their study time these days, since it clearly isn't used up grinding out equilibrium reactions and calculating ion concentrations by hand any more.
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  2. #212

    True Derelict Fuzzy's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    My work season is over.

    Why am I overqualified for the job applied for? For f< sake, I knew it was a part time job working the night shift! Figured the night shift at a quickie mart or some other place would be the slowest shift hence, less to do for less money. Even agreed that would be the time for cleaning and maintenance with the spare time. Just wanted something to pass time and make some cigar money. I did not want to advance and take over some under qualified manager's job, Just wanted something to do for twenty or so hours a week.

    The job market is tough and it seems looking for a part time job is a full time job.
    I don't always drink beer,,,
    OK, yes I do

  3. #213

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish Xodar's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    I read an article a while back that having the wealth of human knowledge at our fingertips was changing the ways our brains store information. (article can be found here BBC News - Internet's memory effects quantified in computer study We register that some of those things will be easily accessible and don't commit them to long term storage. I remember when I could memorize a phone number after only a couple tries... Now think about how many current numbers you know by rote in this day and age of contact lists.

    I had a physics class in high school where we had graphing calculators. To be in this class you had already chased math up through trig and analysis, so everyone had a pretty firm grasp on the circle and the triangle. Our teacher would let us use shortcut programs in the programmable calculators IF you wrote the program. Once you had the mastery of, say, the pythagorean theorem to a degree that you could write a little program to do the math for you it was evident you grasped the theory. The problem comes from giving you the program and letting you use it without ever grounding you in the theory involved. We seem to often use the "take this by this to get this" without ever explaining what is actually happening in that process = /

  4. #214

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish RupturedDuck's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    A couple of things here. Firstly Jim, the percentage of a population that "believes" in evolution or global warming is a poor metric as to the level of education of said population. Although those may be the prevailing theories of our time, neither are scientifically proven facts and should not be presented as such. Until such time that either of these theories are proven, the distinction should be made that they are indeed theories. The problem as I see it is that such a high number of American's are ready to state a belief one way or the other (i.e. they do/don't believe in evolution and/or planetary warming...although now we are calling it "climate change") without doing any research other than digesting the opinions presented by the mainstream media, their parents, church, etc.

    Also, I think that it is fair to say as subjects are being curtailed or eliminated, there are additional subjects that are added to the curriculums. From an engineering standpoint, I think that subjects such as Programming Languages (Assembly Language/Machine Language, and at least one 3GL language such as C++ or whatever they are teaching the kids these days), CAD, Database Design, even how to use Matlab and Mathmatica are requirements for today's workforce. My alma mater has added a Cybersecurity curriculum requirement for all graduates.

    I think it is a fair question to ask where everyone is spending their time these days if not grinding out equilibrium reactions. Today's common software applications (even the open source versions available free to anyone with an internet connection) make lab report creation a much simpler task than in days of old (not to mention, loosing a week's worth of work due to Floppy Disk failure (or punch card tragedies!) is a thing of the past). I believe the speaker in the video that Marko posted had it right when she spoke with regards to the education system causing students to focus on small goals (passing tests, class rank) rather than creating interest in subject matter, and a desire to learn more about the environment around them. The question, of course, is how do you change that? Competition is good. For me it was a major driver to working harder in school. The question is, how do you use that driver to better advantage? I'm not sure. I think that tests are probably good in theory (here we go back to theory again), but probably there is a better way to use them. I don't think that giving everyone a Star for coming to class is a fair measure of learning.

    One school with an alternative approach to learning is St. John's (two years of ancient Greek, and two of ancient French). Personally, I would love to attend a school where learning was emphasized for learning's sake. The problem is, I feel it is my responsibility, not that of my parents (or of you or your parents) to provide my lodging, clothing, and food (not to mention my pipe and tobacco collection). Without and conclusive studies conducted on my part, I feel that my education provides me with a better opportunity to do this than an education at St. John's would have.

    Does it have to be all or none? I don't think so. But I think there has to be a motivation other than just allowing students to learn what interests them. I really enjoyed my Philosophy classes, more so than Kinematics. But all of these years later, I'm glad that I did not major in Philosophy. I don't think that a nation of philosopher poets would be very successful.

  5. #215

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Xodar View Post
    I read an article a while back that having the wealth of human knowledge at our fingertips was changing the ways our brains store information. (article can be found here BBC News - Internet's memory effects quantified in computer study We register that some of those things will be easily accessible and don't commit them to long term storage. I remember when I could memorize a phone number after only a couple tries... Now think about how many current numbers you know by rote in this day and age of contact lists.
    And passwords. sigh.
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  6. #216

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by RupturedDuck View Post
    A couple of things here. Firstly Jim, the percentage of a population that "believes" in evolution or global warming is a poor metric as to the level of education of said population.
    While not perfect, it's probably as good as any. But I do see your point, ie, propaganda will prevail over thinking a lot of the time.
    Although those may be the prevailing theories of our time, neither are scientifically proven facts and should not be presented as such.
    Both evolution and global warming are proven to limits of science as we know it and rejecting either is rejecting science, in the case of evolution, rejecting virtually all of science in toto, from physics, chemistry and geology to gene sequencing and breeding cattle. In the case of global warming, ignoring the simple physics of the greenhouse effect and the evidence of our own eyes (watching glaciers recede, sea waters rise and average temperatures climb), rejects even common sense, never mind science. Indeed, evolution is not a theory at all at this point, more like a law, as in the Law of Gravity and the Laws of Thermodynamics.

    I do see what could consume so much time now, though. Learning to use the answer machines. Of course. What else?
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  7. #217

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish RupturedDuck's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Ruling out aliens and creationism, I don't see any credible alternative to evolution (although I, for one, don't believe that evolution proves the non-existance of God any more than the law of gravity should). That being said, if a credible alternative theory presented itself, I would listen to the argument. As far as climate change goes, the global climate has never equilibrized, so to me, that by itself is not proof that an increase concentration of carbon dioxide in the air is wholly responsible for planetary warming.

    For my purposes, accepting the very real possibilities that evolution and planetary warming are real phenomenon works. I don't get into arguments to defend one side or the other (this discussion being about whether the acceptance of either theory is a sign of education or not). My belief in a higher power is independent of the theory of evolution. And I do my part in reducing greenhouse gasses and conserving the rainforests, etc. I know it is hard to put into practice, but scientific theories should be able to be investigated without folks being labeled as uneducated because they are trying to prove a theory that goes against prevailing theories (see Copernicus, Galileo, Mpemba...).

    RD

    RD

  8. #218

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish Xodar's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Particularly in the arnuments involving evolution or man-influenced global warming, I think it's critical to see where the dissenting voices are coming from. If the all powerful church, which has a vested interest in promoting abiogenesis, is arguing against evolution there motives may be called into question (Galileo back at you, lol).

    Same with man-influenced global warming, if the science and studies arguing against it consistently come from industry and politics closely associated with limiting pollution controls in favor of profits, their take needs to go with the proverbial grain of salt.

    Or to simplify, the foxes opinion of whether or not we should lock the hen house is probably not unbiased.

  9. #219

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish RupturedDuck's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Xodar View Post
    Particularly in the arnuments involving evolution or man-influenced global warming, I think it's critical to see where the dissenting voices are coming from. If the all powerful church, which has a vested interest in promoting abiogenesis, is arguing against evolution there motives may be called into question (Galileo back at you, lol).

    Same with man-influenced global warming, if the science and studies arguing against it consistently come from industry and politics closely associated with limiting pollution controls in favor of profits, their take needs to go with the proverbial grain of salt.

    Or to simplify, the foxes opinion of whether or not we should lock the hen house is probably not unbiased.
    I totally agree. This goes back to people who read whatever they wanted to hear, forever holding on to it as truth without investigating the science behind the argument. Carry this a step further, is Ron Paul a crackpot because you read he was in the Chicago Tribune? Was Dan Quail an immature kid because Garry Trudeau always drew him with a teddy bear? Does a big defense budget really make for a safer America? Today's populace already knows what it wants to believe. For the most part, people limit their "news" or current event intake to the sources that agree with them, and cannot be swayed from their opinions regardless the evidence presented.

    RD

  10. #220

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
    I went to school when handheld calculators were just making their appearance. Everybody had slide rules for chemistry or physics, but in other subjects you had to know basic arithmetic. Your observation deepens the mystery, however: If they save all that time with instant answers and no longer need labor over plotting the witch of Assisi, on what do they spend the extra time? I still cannot for the life of me figure out what consumes their study time these days, since it clearly isn't used up grinding out equilibrium reactions and calculating ion concentrations by hand any more.
    I won't be joining the crusade against calculators myself. We must be fairly close in age; I had a slipstick in high school, and drooled over that HP programmable that came out in the seventies. $800 (if I remember correctly) seemed a bit steep at the time...
    However, when I returned to college (no one told me partying wasn't a real major!) and used a TI-82 and could see those equations plotted on a graph, believe me, the quadratic equation became a lot more interesting!
    ********.com

  11. #221

    Nee "Tashaz" Mante's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    For the most part, people limit their "news" or current event intake to the sources that agree with them, and cannot be swayed from their opinions regardless the evidence presented.
    I tend to believe that the vast populace is not that naive but alas, I am yet to be proven right on this.

    The older I get the more pessimistic & critical I get but that in no way means I have the right to become apathetic as society demands that we speak our opinions, indeed it functions on such. The issue I have is why are the younger generations not questioning our leaders like most did in the past? I am not talking about the OWS rent a hippies or minor targeted protests more the fact that the younger generations are self absorbed in the now instead of what "can" be their future.

    Therein lies a tragedy methinks.
    Refuses to remain the Droid they were all looking for.

  12. #222

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Tashaz View Post
    The older I get the more pessimistic & critical I get but that in no way means I have the right to become apathetic as society demands that we speak our opinions, indeed it functions on such.
    I find it ominous that the internet has moved from being a free-for-all, flamewarring opinion-fest to groups like this forum, where discussing religion and politics are verboten. During the 60s, 70s and 80s, people at parties, in the bars, and at work discussed politics and even philosophy, but now such conversations have become taboo, except for the occasional snide remark or joke directed at one of the parties or political figure. This is a particularly strange development in the face of TV having become laced with political talk shows. I guess people have become "political discussion voyeurs" now, since they are socially barred from such conversations in real life.
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  13. #223

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
    I find it ominous that the internet has moved from being a free-for-all, flamewarring opinion-fest to groups like this forum, where discussing religion and politics are verboten. During the 60s, 70s and 80s, people at parties, in the bars, and at work discussed politics and even philosophy, but now such conversations have become taboo, except for the occasional snide remark or joke directed at one of the parties or political figure. This is a particularly strange development in the face of TV having become laced with political talk shows. I guess people have become "political discussion voyeurs" now, since they are socially barred from such conversations in real life.
    I'm certain that if everyone had the maturity level of guys like you and many of the other well-spoken, wise, leaf-lovers here; Puff as a no-holds-barred forum wouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately, many people (ESPECIALLY those at my age) learn all their political beliefs from their parents. They either passionately regurgitate their parents viewpoints as the gospel truth or they disagree with everything they say for the sake of subconscious rebellion. The reason we don't talk about politics is because very few people base their politics on fact and philosophy. It's all passion and propaganda.

    Having said that, VERY few people on both sides of this forum strike me as fools. This community is blessed with a great group of people. But it only takes one apple to ruin the bunch. It only takes one vocal ignoramus to turn a nice, informed discussion into a mudslinging free-for-all.

  14. #224

    Evolving Lead Puffer Fish RupturedDuck's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by karatekyle View Post
    I'm certain that if everyone had the maturity level of guys like you and many of the other well-spoken, wise, leaf-lovers here; Puff as a no-holds-barred forum wouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately, many people (ESPECIALLY those at my age) learn all their political beliefs from their parents. They either passionately regurgitate their parents viewpoints as the gospel truth or they disagree with everything they say for the sake of subconscious rebellion. The reason we don't talk about politics is because very few people base their politics on fact and philosophy. It's all passion and propaganda.

    Having said that, VERY few people on both sides of this forum strike me as fools. This community is blessed with a great group of people. But it only takes one apple to ruin the bunch. It only takes one vocal ignoramus to turn a nice, informed discussion into a mudslinging free-for-all.
    And boy do I hate arguing with idiots, or people who choose not to think.

    It isn't that I expect everyone to hold my viewpoint, but it is frustrating to have a discussion with a closed mind.

    RD

  15. #225

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: Random Rant Thread

    It's also pointless. Fortunately, most internet groups have an ignore feature...

    Jim, I think you have your causality backwards there. I think that it was the rise of the obnoxious television shows (anyone remember Morton Downy, Sr.? The template for what followed...) that led to the death of political discussion in public. There are so many people now that think that is the way to discuss politics now, and frankly, the rest of it just got tired of it. Throw in the people on the net that seem to think they're performing for an audience, and those that think political discussion is the same as doing the dozens, and it's just become a hopeless mess.
    ********.com

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