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This Is Why I F***ing Hate Politics.


Leon Troutsky
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This might seem ironic to some people on the boards, but people who know me actually understand that I really do hate politics. By "politics", I mean the spitting at one another of memorized and regurgitated talking points that people heard from other people, without bothering to actually spend the time thinking about the merits (let alone logic) of the points being made.

Here is a fine example. This has been making the rounds on conservative websites about "Common Core":

2kifJAO.jpg

Wow, that seems totally stupid, right? Except when you dig deeper into the situation, you discover this:

http://reason.com/bl...-learn-the-comm

And here is another, if a bit hyperbolic take on the subject:

uePcpfB.jpg

Ignore the commentary in the text and just watch the video. It actually makes a lot more sense than the "Old Way" of rote memorization. In fact, this was the exact method that I was taught when I was a teenager working for Burger King on how to determine how much change was owed to a customer. We didn't have the fancy touch screen displays that automatically calculated cash back amounts, so we had to do it on our own in a matter of seconds.

Also, I vividly remember an "aha!" moment in elementary school where I "discovered" a property of multiples of 9 that were very important for calculations at the time. Specifically, all multiples of nine involve numbers that also add up to nine, with the sole exception of 1*9. Here is what I mean:

2*9 = 18

1+8 = 9

3*9 = 27

2 + 7 = 9

4*9 = 36

3+ 6 = 9

5*9 = 45

4 + 5 = 9

6*9 = 54

5 + 4 = 9

7*9 = 63

6 + 3 = 9

8*9 = 72

7 + 2 = 9

9*9 = 81

8 + 1 = 9

The point is that you didn't have to memorize any of the "nine times" portion of the multiplication tables. You just had to subtract 1 from the number multiplied by 9 and find what number added up to nine to get the answer to 9*number. I remember that my elementary school teacher asked me to explain this to the rest of the class as an "oral presentation" exercise, but spent the entire time at her desk furiously trying to verify that the algorithm that I created was in fact correct.

Today, this kind of simplifying shortcut would be condemned as "big government overreach convoluted book lernin' nonsense". In fact, it's actually quite useful in an age where calculators and computers do most of the computational work for us. I certainly don't want the clerk at McDonald's doing long hand division to determine how much change I am owed for my Combo #3 in the 45 second interaction we have while I'm ordering breakfast on my way out for a morning fishing trip. I just want my f***ing change and food and to be gone ASAP.

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I had an issue with it, I even posted about it. My problem is really around making kids learn to take a test instead of really teaching them. I don't believe everything is measurable (yay 6 sigma). I fell into the "there is only one way to solve this" trap. Forgetting that I deal with solving problems everyday where there is more than one solution to the same problem.

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Im just finishing up intro to c# and we have been doing mostly mathematical calculations. Prior to this course I did a lot of self study on number theory from MIT open courseware. When applying mathematics how we use them today you can't rely on those old school methods you have to find and understand the relationships of numbers. or maybe I'm missing the point.

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It isn't like they're forcing kids to use shortcuts instead of learning mathematical concepts. What's the difference between memorizing tables and memorizing rules that apply almost universally?

When my daughter has to do some or another multiplication issue that involves the number 9, she simply holds her fingers up and then folds others down, and she has the answer immediately. I'm not following why it's an issue to teach the same concepts in a more useable way. Oh, and not for nothing, they do still teach the multiplication tables and long division, so this is not either/or, it's both/and, and they do in fact tell them to use what works best for them.

If they were refusing to teach kids the concepts in order to let them use calculators or whatever instead, I'd be outraged too. But that's not what's going on. I have 3 kids in elementary school, and all 3 are farther along in mathematics than I ever was at their age. This includes some pretty difficult conceptual word problems. I have a lot of complaints about public education. The "new math" isn't among those complaints.

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Obsessed with conservatives, spends hours researching political points to make on a football mb, but he hates politics....

Oh and every American President, great inventor and captain of industry learned to do math the 'old way' The new way is just to help short bussers assimilate, which is cool by me.

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The point was that people are taking something that should be a commonly agreed upon value about teaching children and politicizing it to the point where it becomes something sinister. IOW, people have turned the idea of teaching children how math actually works in a usable way into evidence of incompetent government.

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The point was that people are taking something that should be a commonly agreed upon value about teaching children and politicizing it to the point where it becomes something sinister. IOW, people have turned the idea of teaching children how math actually works in a usable way into evidence of incompetent government.

"Sinister"? Lol...Maybe they were just trying to point out how government convolutes even the simplest of things, basic addition is a fine example imo.

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This might seem ironic to some people on the boards, but people who know me actually understand that I really do hate politics. By "politics", I mean the spitting at one another of memorized and regurgitated talking points that people heard from other people, without bothering to actually spend the time thinking about the merits (let alone logic) of the points being made.

Here is a fine example. This has been making the rounds on conservative websites about "Common Core":

2kifJAO.jpg

Wow, that seems totally stupid, right? Except when you dig deeper into the situation, you discover this:

http://reason.com/bl...-learn-the-comm

And here is another, if a bit hyperbolic take on the subject:

uePcpfB.jpg

Ignore the commentary in the text and just watch the video. It actually makes a lot more sense than the "Old Way" of rote memorization. In fact, this was the exact method that I was taught when I was a teenager working for Burger King on how to determine how much change was owed to a customer. We didn't have the fancy touch screen displays that automatically calculated cash back amounts, so we had to do it on our own in a matter of seconds.

Also, I vividly remember an "aha!" moment in elementary school where I "discovered" a property of multiples of 9 that were very important for calculations at the time. Specifically, all multiples of nine involve numbers that also add up to nine, with the sole exception of 1*9. Here is what I mean:

2*9 = 18

1+8 = 9

3*9 = 27

2 + 7 = 9

4*9 = 36

3+ 6 = 9

5*9 = 45

4 + 5 = 9

6*9 = 54

5 + 4 = 9

7*9 = 63

6 + 3 = 9

8*9 = 72

7 + 2 = 9

9*9 = 81

8 + 1 = 9

The point is that you didn't have to memorize any of the "nine times" portion of the multiplication tables. You just had to subtract 1 from the number multiplied by 9 and find what number added up to nine to get the answer to 9*number. I remember that my elementary school teacher asked me to explain this to the rest of the class as an "oral presentation" exercise, but spent the entire time at her desk furiously trying to verify that the algorithm that I created was in fact correct.

Today, this kind of simplifying shortcut would be condemned as "big government overreach convoluted book lernin' nonsense". In fact, it's actually quite useful in an age where calculators and computers do most of the computational work for us. I certainly don't want the clerk at McDonald's doing long hand division to determine how much change I am owed for my Combo #3 in the 45 second interaction we have while I'm ordering breakfast on my way out for a morning fishing trip. I just want my f***ing change and food and to be gone ASAP.

Let me take a wild guess.......You voted for Barak Hussein Obama

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How bout we teach kids not to need paper to solve simple math problems lol. Everyone's brain works differently. I'm sure all of us do math differently in our head

That's actually a lot of what Common Core math is. Teaching concepts rather that simply memorizing without an understanding of the concepts. It's been a long time, but my recollection is when I was in school, we didn't really begin learning concepts until middle school. Now, they're teaching them beginning in Kindergarten.

Also, the reading curriculum is much better. As much as they can, they try to incorporate subject lessons with reading. So you don't have "science" and "reading" with some sharp division between the two, but you have "science" and "reading," and a lot of the reading will involve science. Same with social studies, etc.

I'm not a Common Core advocate by any means. But some of the stuff they do is really well thought out. It's not what it's made out to be. It's not without its flaws, but anyone who doesn't appreciate the way they teach math is simply operating from a misunderstanding of what they are doing.

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I'm for anything that helps us close the gap with the rest of the world when it comes to math and science. Half of the PHd candidates in the country are foreign-born. Not too sound xenophobic, but it's quite alarming that we have to import 50 percent of our intellectuals.

That's my biggest gripe with the right. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, they have set themselves up as the side of anti-intellectualism.

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