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Old 2008-09-11, 01:06   #1
Jwb52z
 
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Default Silverman Memorial Lectures on Due Diligence

Moderator Note: This thread has been split off from the thread which it originally hijacked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R.D. Silverman View Post
Except that 2 year olds don't ask physics questions of college professors.
Yet in this forum we frequently get the equivalent. People with a low
level of knowledge and preparation posing poorly phrased questions to
the professor and expecting not only that the professor will make sense
of gibberish, but that the professor will explain in a way that makes
sense to the poster when the poster lacks the background to
understand an answer.


The post I am replying to is very interesting. I start a purely philosophical
discussion about who deserves the award, and it turns into a personal attack
on me.

"Bob is arrogant"
"Bob is rude"

etc.


Can you say "hypocrisy"??? Can you say "groupthink"?
You are doing the exact same thing that you claim I do.


When a 2-year old asks an adult a question, and the adult says "the
question makes no sense, ask when you are older", does the two year
old run off and say "you're rude!"??


I try to enforce some intellectual honesty and diligence.

The teacher said I lack the pre-requisites. Boo hoo. Boo hoo. The teacher is mean!
The teacher says I don't know enough to understand an answer. How
dare the teacher tell me that I don't know! Boo hoo. Boo hoo. The teacher is mean!
The teacher says I didn't do my homework first. Boo hoo. Boo hoo. The teacher is mean!
The teacher says that I am intellectually lazy. Boo hoo. Boo hoo. The teacher is mean!
The teacher says that I should have first tried to find the answer
myself . Boo hoo. Boo hoo. The teacher is mean!
The teacher says that what I wrote is gibberish. Boo hoo. Boo hoo. The teacher is mean!
The teacher says that I didn't proofread my question.... Boo hoo. Boo hoo. The teacher is mean!

Boo hoo! Boo hoo! The teacher is mean. The teacher is rude.
The teacher is arrogant.

I wrote down some rules of what not to do in asking a question.
I assigned a point scale. One of those things was "don't invent
new terminology". Yet people continue to ignore these rules.
(see the 'rare' primes thread)

Boo hoo. The teacher gave some rules regarding intellectual discourse
in math and I ignored them. The teacher criticized me. Boo hoo.
The teacher is mean.

I often get criticized for not "interpreting" someone's question.
It is said "others interpreted my question correctly, why didn't you?"
The answer is that I can't be bothered trying to interpret a poorly
written question. What everyone fails to realize is that when someone
writes/publishes something in a public forum, it is the

job of the AUTHOR

to make clear what is meant. It is not the job of the reader to
"interpret". Failure to proofread and failure to take the time to
clearly formulate a question is intellectual laziness and (IMO)
merits disdain.
When you use words like "gibberish", you prove my point. A good teacher should be able to find an example or method of explanation that is simple enough for the person asking the question to understand. A person who can't do that isn't the right person to be answering if they can only answer a question on one level of discourse. It's the same reason they limited Stephen Hawking to one equation per page in his book, "A Brief History of Time" so he would have to work at explaining things in a language and experience that other people might just have a stab at understanding. If a 2 year old asked me a question, I would not say that the question makes no sense and tell the child to ask when they are older. I would go from what I did understand about what the child asked and then make my answer based on that until the child was satisfied with the answer. I'm not being a hypocrite. Your "enforcement" is not in your authority to do so, really. I can understand what you are trying to achieve, but I simply consider your efforts misplaced unless you are in an academic environment where people are there to actually learn the ideas behind the practice. I don't think the majority of GIMPS participants care anything about the "why" or "how" of it, at least not to have to learn a whole new kind of math to understand even the basics. You don't seem to have, or care to try, the ability to go with people on their terms of thought, and yes inventing a term in their own mind that they didn't know already existed in some form is one of them. Instead of explaining to them what they should have said or thought of in "math terms", you could try going along with them and asking them for more definitions until you have weeded through their thoughts to truly understand them and the way they are coming at the problem through their supposed lack of mathematical precision and understanding. If you "can't be bothered" that's not a good thing if you really care to understand. If not, you're not really the one to ask things because you don't really care about the person asking and such. Yes, good communication is best when the author can and does use the proper terms and definitions of words and puts them in a coherent manner, BUT, as humans we shouldn't hold people to a set standard 100 percent of the time just because it is someone's idea of best or better. We work with people where they are, not where we want them to be or think they should be at any given moment, or at least it would be nice if you would. Meriting disdain from such things is, as I said, academic elitism and therefore, bad.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2008-09-12 at 17:37
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Old 2008-09-11, 02:45   #2
Fusion_power
 
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jwb,

I have to respectfully disagree with your last post.

What on earth makes you think Bob is your teacher? or mine? or anyone else on this board?

I write programs from time to time. Quite often, I get requests to 'help' people who don't even know how to set up a simple loop. Do you think I want to spend time 'teaching' them the ins and outs of programming that I personally had to devote hundreds of hours to learning? I will go out of my way to help, but there IS a limit.

DarJones
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Old 2008-09-11, 02:53   #3
Jwb52z
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
jwb,

I have to respectfully disagree with your last post.

What on earth makes you think Bob is your teacher? or mine? or anyone else on this board?

I write programs from time to time. Quite often, I get requests to 'help' people who don't even know how to set up a simple loop. Do you think I want to spend time 'teaching' them the ins and outs of programming that I personally had to devote hundreds of hours to learning? I will go out of my way to help, but there IS a limit.

DarJones
That's just it. I don't think he is a teacher. I just feel as though he seems himself as the one to teach everyone when they are wrong in his estimation, so I was trying to get him to see that he might not be of as much help as he thinks he is with the manner that he chooses to interact with people. I think that if he seems himself that way, there is a much more friendly way to do it.

Last fiddled with by Jwb52z on 2008-09-11 at 02:54
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Old 2008-09-11, 03:38   #4
cheesehead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
What on earth makes you think Bob is your teacher? or mine? or anyone else on this board?
Dr. Silverman has frequently and explicitly portrayed himself as being in the role of teacher of folks posting questions in forums here.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2008-09-11 at 03:41
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Old 2008-09-11, 13:17   #5
R.D. Silverman
 
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Default Silverman Memorial Lectures on Due Diligence

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
jwb,

I have to respectfully disagree with your last post.

What on earth makes you think Bob is your teacher? or mine? or anyone else on this board?

I write programs from time to time. Quite often, I get requests to 'help' people who don't even know how to set up a simple loop. Do you think I want to spend time 'teaching' them the ins and outs of programming that I personally had to devote hundreds of hours to learning? I will go out of my way to help, but there IS a limit.

DarJones
When anyone comes into this forum asking a question,
then anyone who answers assumes the role of a teacher.
The mere asking of a technical question creates the environment.

I am quite willing to answer questions. But it is my right to assume that
anyone asking questions had already done his/her homework. I have
a right to expect 'intellectual diligence'.
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Old 2008-09-11, 13:20   #6
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Old 2008-09-11, 14:26   #7
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When lightning strikes on a dry California summerday a Fire will likely be started as this summer louldly proclaims.
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Old 2008-09-11, 18:26   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mini-Geek View Post
(first image)
Cool!
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Old 2008-09-11, 20:11   #9
Jwb52z
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.D. Silverman View Post
When anyone comes into this forum asking a question,
then anyone who answers assumes the role of a teacher.
The mere asking of a technical question creates the environment.

I am quite willing to answer questions. But it is my right to assume that
anyone asking questions had already done his/her homework. I have
a right to expect 'intellectual diligence'.
Why do you think you have "the right" to assume something? There are those of us who just come up with a question and ask it without any previous thought on the subject.
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Old 2008-09-11, 20:38   #10
Housemouse
 
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Smile Right to intelectual diligence

RDS You have obviously never taught at the junior college level.

There is no limit to how dumb a question can be.

But I never berate a student, like you do here.
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Old 2008-09-11, 20:51   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwb52z View Post
There are those of us who just come up with a question and ask it without any previous thought on the subject.
Your quote above clearly indicates where the problem here is; it is unfair of you to waste our time with your brain farts.

Last fiddled with by masser on 2008-09-11 at 20:51
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