Sunday, August 29, 2021

Finding Algebra After a Series of False Starts and Dead Ends

One of the items on my "to do" list is yellow weed digger. Our crab apple tree died last year. I chopped it down this spring. As it turns out, as many as 50 or more shoots are springing up where crab apples rotted and left their seeds in the yard. The yellow weed digger is an implement for uprooting and discarding these shoots. 

Because of the draught this past six weeks the ground had become hard, almost like concrete. Now that we've had a few days of rain I can make time to uproot those shoots in order to have a more normal-looking yard. 

Ideas are a little like all these new shoots. They seem to pop up on their own. Though they must come from somewhere it's hard to explain where or why. Being an avid reader with wide interests may be a contributing factor. My subconscious is constantly being fertilized. 

Here is a list of ideas that have been germinating this summer, producing a myriad quantity of false starts and incomplete or undeveloped blog posts. 

Why Punctuality Matters

Where Did Algebra Come From?


The EV Dilemma 

Jurassic Park

The PC Police and 1984 (Thoughts about freedom)

A Strategy for Standing Out from the Crowd

The Future of Education

The Board Game Market

* * * 

The word Algebra comes from an Arabic word, Al-Jabr, which means the reunion of broken parts.

Dylan has written more than once about the brokenness in our world, most directly in the song Everything Is Broken, which appeared on Oh Mercy. What kind of algebra would it take to reunite our multitude of broken parts, broken lives, broken dreams? I do not believe politicians can solve this problem. To achieve a more satisfying solution we need to look for something more transcendent involving faith, hope and love. 

1 comment:

LEWagner said...

Our University suggests that we give final grades according to this formula: Attendance 10%, Classwork 30%, Midterm 30%, and Final 30% (= 100%) :)
A couple of terms ago, I casually told the students that (because of mismanagement from above) we'd had no time to have a final exam, I would "weight the midterm and classwork" in figuring their scores.
Wow, I found that I had to come up with an algebraic equation to do that, and it took me a while.
After finally getting the equation right, I found it would take forever to run over 100 students' scores through that equation with only a calculator. So, I watched a couple of short tutorials on LibreOffice Calc, and used a computer spreadsheet for the first time in my life. Wow! again. What a savings in time!
Believe it or not, none of the other English teachers use a spreadsheet, but only a calculator. They tell me that they weren't good in math.

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