[Edu-sig] How do we tell truths that might hurt

Arthur ajsiegel at optonline.net
Wed Apr 21 22:27:52 EDT 2004

> Learning to print 'Hello World' in a programming language is comparable
> learning the Latin name for 'foot' - interesting, but not useful unless
> the
> knowledge is built into something more robust. 

I think you misinterpret me, because you seem to be arguing against the gist
of my post, when I seem to see myself in some fundamental agreement which
much of what you are saying.

Programming, as such, is not the point to me, at all.  And I see myself very
much off the CP4E bus. And am vocal about it - knowing quite well that it
would easier, here, to be less so.

The fascination with programming as a children's activity repeatedly
expressed here a major issue of concern particularly mystifies me. I will
leave it at that.

What I do think is important is a vastly improved math and science
curriculum, particularly for the non math and science specialist.  And I
think about it mostly at the college level. 

Bertrand Russell, again: 

I am convinced that all higher education should involve a course in the
history of science from the seventeenth century to the present day and a
survey of modern scientific knowledge in so far as this can be conveyed
without technicalities.


It is simply part of being awake in the world.  Or should be. 

The people calling the shots - with all the best intentions let's assume -
are the lawyers, the MBAs, the journalists, etc.  Not the mathematicians and

It would better for all of us, if they were more awake.  And if the
educational process, in fact, insisted upon it.

I believe a rudimentary understanding of programming - in a language like
Python - can be leveraged to achieve much more important goals, in the
educational process, than that of a rudimentary understanding of programming
in and of itself. In math and science education.

This may be nothing more than my own version of the pie-in-the-sky that
seems to be the bread and butter of edu-sig. But I haven't given up on my
sense of things here, as of yet.


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