Friday, July 13, 2012

Social stuff more important than math and science?

Discovery of evidence of the Higgs Boson.

I find it sad that there is evidence of the Higgs Boson and our news sites have headlines about celebrities behaving badly and other narcissistic stuff.

True it could be an imposter particle, and true we don't know if it is the real Higgs Boson either because there are a lot of particles in the particle zoo. The Higgs Boson tied the Standard Model of Physics together.

As Carl Sagan wrote in "The Demon Haunted World" we have moved away from math and science and the youth have lost interest in it.

I can myself see that many benefit from the technologies that science provides even if they don't understand how they work. I myself have made a living fixing computers and writing programs for people who have no clue how a computer works.

 I've talked to recent college graduates who claim they don't know why they cannot find a job, and I found they don't know how the law of thermodynamics works and cannot figure out simple math. I guess they have done too much work copying and pasting from Google, Wikipedia, and other students for their work, or maybe our colleges don't do a good enough job to teach them.

For example one recent graduate told me when I explained there was ice on our Moon, that ice cannot exist in the vacuum of space as it would evaporate into nothing. Huh? Many others called me a liar and using pseudoscience. But NASA did find ice on the Moon. Yet I am called stupid and crazy for saying there is ice on the Moon. This is something I reasoned out of high school in 1985 using high school Physics, and eventually NASA proved me right even if I was bullied and made fun of for it by classmates at the time.

I asked about a simple Math question, 2 + 1 + 4 * 0 and many answered that the result was 0 because the last number is multiplied by zero. Nope you do the multiplication first and then the addition next. 4 times 0 is 0, but 2 plus 1 is 3. Order of operations has to be followed and if it was using parenthesis like (2 + 1 + 4) * 0 then the result would be zero.

How do people pass college without knowing these simple things about math and science? Are they too busy partying, or playing video games, or social activities? When I was young my father told me to not use a calculator as it was a crutch and he was right. My math scores increased as I did my own work on paper instead of a calculator or computer. Has making things easier for people to use cut down on their skills and abilities? We see that with automobiles, people no longer walk down the street when they can drive and thus don't get exercise anymore and thus drive to the coffee store for a $5 cup of coffee. For $5 they can buy a bag of coffee from the super market and then use a coffee machine to brew all the coffee they want, but they would rather waste the gas driving down the street for a $5 coffee? People no longer call each other on the phone or write letters, they use text messaging or a social networking site like Facebook. Well what of others who don't use them? They get left out. Plus the message is just not as intelligent as it used to be, using acronyms and thinking with emotions instead of critical thinking, logic, and reason.

No the problem is not religion, the problem is not science or technology, it is in the way people have socially evolved. People have socially evolved to use technology as a shortcut to make things easier. Why write a birthday card when they can leave a message on someone's Facebook wall? Why the need for math when a program can figure out the math for them and all they have to do is press buttons and fill out forms? Why the need for science when they clearly don't understand it anymore and have a science fiction version of it? Why help out the less fortunate when they can listen to music and watch movies and TV shows and keep buying them to have corporations reach record profits?

Are we a Demon haunted World, or have we just reached a level of ignorance about technology, math, and science?

1 comment:

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