[OT] Supporting "homework" (was: Re: Checking a Number for Palindromic Behavior)

Dieter Maurer dieter at handshake.de
Thu Oct 22 07:04:17 CEST 2009

Steven D'Aprano <steven at REMOVE.THIS.cybersource.com.au> writes on 20 Oct 2009 05:35:18 GMT:
> As far as I'm concerned, asking for help on homework without being honest 
> up-front about it and making an effort first, is cheating by breaking the 
> social contract. Anyone who rewards cheaters by giving them the answer 
> they want is part of the problem. Whether cheaters prosper in the long 
> run or not, they make life more difficult for the rest of us, and should 
> be discouraged.

A few days ago, I have read an impressive book: "Albert Jacquard: Mon utopie".
The author has been a university professor (among others for
population genectics, a discipline between mathematics and biologie).
One of the corner therories in his book: mankind has reached the current
level of development not mainly due to exceptional work by individuals
but by the high level of cooperation between individuals.

In this view, asking for help (i.e. seeking communication/cooperation)
with individual tasks should probably be highly encouraged not discouraged.
At least, it is highly doubtful that the paradigm "each for himself,
the most ruthless wins" will be adequate for the huge problems mankind
will face in the near future (defeating hunger, preventing drastic
climate changes, natural resources exhaustion, ....); intensive
cooperation seems to be necessary.


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