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Kimon
09-14-2015, 10:09 PM
Or at least lazy...

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34174796

Investing heavily in school computers and classroom technology does not improve pupils' performance, says a global study from the OECD.
The think tank says frequent use of computers in schools is more likely to be associated with lower results.
The OECD's education director Andreas Schleicher says school technology had raised "too many false hopes".

"If you look at the best-performing education systems, such as those in East Asia, they've been very cautious about using technology in their classrooms," said Mr Schleicher.
"Those students who use tablets and computers very often tend to do worse than those who use them moderately."

The report says:
Students who use computers very frequently at school get worse results
Students who use computers moderately at school, such as once or twice a week, have "somewhat better learning outcomes" than students who use computers rarely
The results show "no appreciable improvements" in reading, mathematics or science in the countries that had invested heavily in information technology
High achieving school systems such as South Korea and Shanghai in China have lower levels of computer use in school
Singapore, with only a moderate use of technology in school, is top for digital skills
"One of the most disappointing findings of the report is that the socio-economic divide between students is not narrowed by technology, perhaps even amplified," said Mr Schleicher.

He suggests that classroom technology can be a distraction and warns of pupils cutting and pasting "prefabricated" homework answers from the internet.
The study shows that "there is no single country in which the internet is used frequently at school by a majority of students and where students' performance improved".
Among the seven countries with the highest level of internet use in school, it found three experienced "significant declines" in reading performance - Australia, New Zealand and Sweden - and three more had results that had "stagnated" - Spain, Norway and Denmark.

Pretty interesting, and damning study. The school I teach at has transitioned over to ipads. It does have certain benefits, though there are definite headaches, not least of which is one that they don't touch on - Pearson, the primary publisher of etexts is completely inept with truly awful customer service, something which is difficult to avoid as they have what essentially amounts to a monopoly, leaving us with little choice but to endure their seeming complete disdain for whether everything works. That and any internet issues suddenly become a serious problem, forcing teachers into scrambled emergency plans. But hey, at least the kids don't have to carry around all those heavy books.

ShadowbaneX
09-14-2015, 10:18 PM
fuck the books. I'd have killed any number of cute organisms for an cross-linked index and a search feature in my dead-tree format research days.

Khoram
09-14-2015, 10:39 PM
As much as I love books, Google and JSTOR made it that much easier for me when I was doing any research. I miss being able to access all those articles. :/

Kimon
09-14-2015, 10:51 PM
As much as I love books, Google and JSTOR made it that much easier for me when I was doing any research. I miss being able to access all those articles. :/

I agree on JSTOR. I just wish Pearson would offer the Ecce Romani series (what I use to teach Latin I and II) as a real ibook so that it could be downloaded onto the ipad rather than only offer it through the app and requiring internet. As when the internet is down, massive problem.

There was one other interesting comment in that article that caught my attention:

He said making sure that all children have a good grasp of reading and maths is a more effective way to close the gap than "access to hi-tech devices".

I think we focus too much on math, a subject which is completely useless beyond elementary school level for the majority of the population after they finish high school, and not enough on English.

Terez
09-14-2015, 11:37 PM
fuck the books. I'd have killed any number of cute organisms for an cross-linked index and a search feature in my dead-tree format research days.
I still have to use dead trees for the most part because academic books, particularly ones that are more than 10 years old, are almost never available in ebook format. Unless they're public domain, in which case I can usually find them online. So I waffle between being very appreciative of the advantages of the internet age and very frustrated that it does me no good about half of the time. But, yay WorldCat.

Weird Harold
09-15-2015, 01:00 AM
think we focus too much on math, a subject which is completely useless beyond elementary school level for the majority of the population after they finish high school, and not enough on English.

I disagree. I may not use much "math" beyond a five function calculator, but the way of thing required to formulate or follow proofs and the methods of solving problems has applications far beyond the "mere numbers" aspect of Mathematics.

Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and the other "hard sciences" rely on the same basic principles of problem solving as mathematics -- from "story problems" to advanced Calculus.

FWIW, I learned more about speaking English properly in various Math classes and Spanish class than I ever did in English class.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-15-2015, 01:09 AM
I disagree. I may not use much "math" beyond a five function calculator, but the way of thing required to formulate or follow proofs and the methods of solving problems has applications far beyond the "mere numbers" aspect of Mathematics.

Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and the other "hard sciences" rely on the same basic principles of problem solving as mathematics -- from "story problems" to advanced Calculus.

FWIW, I learned more about speaking English properly in various Math classes and Spanish class than I ever did in English class.

you know, I was just thinking the other day: thank goodness for my HS maths teacher. She cajoled, pushed, joked, and kept on and on and on until we got there. Now I have a job that heavily relies on logic and being able to create patterns and spot variations. In fact, I recently got a question on whether I'd be interested in getting more involved with data analysis - apparently I'm good at it. To which my first response was "ooh, cool, numbers!" and my second response was "ooh, dammit, I'm going to have to learn more about numbers, I don't know enough". To this day I don't know *why* I did the maths national exam, and even though it was my lowest score of the exams I took (and I knew it would be when I chose to go for it) I am so glad I pushed myself to do it anyways.

GonzoTheGreat
09-15-2015, 04:01 AM
Pretty interesting, and damning study. The school I teach at has transitioned over to ipads. It does have certain benefits, though there are definite headaches, not least of which is one that they don't touch on - Pearson, the primary publisher of etexts is completely inept with truly awful customer service, something which is difficult to avoid as they have what essentially amounts to a monopoly, leaving us with little choice but to endure their seeming complete disdain for whether everything works. That and any internet issues suddenly become a serious problem, forcing teachers into scrambled emergency plans. But hey, at least the kids don't have to carry around all those heavy books.
What happens with the test results?
Over here, in the Netherlands, there has been a bit* of a scandal because it turned out that every test those children took on their computers was sent back to the publisher, allegedly to allow him to improve the method. The problem was that those kids had to log in with a personal ID, so it was possible for the publisher to keep track of precisely how well every single pupil was doing. If he stored that in a database, that would be quite valuable a decade or two later, when employers wanted to know about a possible new hire.

So, what specific privacy measures standards are there, and how well are they enforced?

* Only a bit, of course, because there were other things for people to worry about, like Zwarte Piet and such.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-15-2015, 04:58 AM
The problem was that those kids had to log in with a personal ID, so it was possible for the publisher to keep track of precisely how well every single pupil was doing. If he stored that in a database, that would be quite valuable a decade or two later, when employers wanted to know about a possible new hire.


to be fair, test scores in high school (or university or... well, any test scores, really) have little to nothing to do with how well a person would perform in a real life job. I've just seen in the news that a kid from my class, who used to barely scrape through several subjects has invented a new type of fabric that could save lives of people with severe burn wounds. I also know a guy whose IQ scores were off the charts, who never finished his degree... and he's completely dropped off the radar. Honestly, it's more about persistence and work ethic than brilliant scores.

GonzoTheGreat
09-15-2015, 05:15 AM
to be fair, test scores in high school (or university or... well, any test scores, really) have little to nothing to do with how well a person would perform in a real life job. I've just seen in the news that a kid from my class, who used to barely scrape through several subjects has invented a new type of fabric that could save lives of people with severe burn wounds. I also know a guy whose IQ scores were off the charts, who never finished his degree... and he's completely dropped off the radar. Honestly, it's more about persistence and work ethic than brilliant scores.
True. Then again, that raises the following questions:
1. Do potential employers know that? If not, then this could still come back to haunt people decades later.
2. Is it possible (or may it be believed to be possible, which is the important thing when selling such data) to derive such "work ethic" info from what the software is sending back to the publisher?

yks 6nnetu hing
09-15-2015, 05:52 AM
True. Then again, that raises the following questions:
1. Do potential employers know that? If not, then this could still come back to haunt people decades later.
2. Is it possible (or may it be believed to be possible, which is the important thing when selling such data) to derive such "work ethic" info from what the software is sending back to the publisher?

1. I would hope that the employers are aware of this. In my experience, most of them are. When assembling their team, managers pay attention to people's personalities as much as their qualifications. Well, good managers do, anyways.

2. you'd need an expanded data set, covering several years worth of test results, maybe also including timestamps of how long the person spent to arrive at the answer.

GonzoTheGreat
09-15-2015, 07:18 AM
2. you'd need an expanded data set, covering several years worth of test results, maybe also including timestamps of how long the person spent to arrive at the answer.
Oh dear, that would require quite a lot of data over a fairly long time. Like, for instance, tracking how well pupils do on the various tests and how much time they spend consulting the ebooks. Which it just so happens is the kind of info that these publishers can actually gather, so that's solved, isn't it?

ShadowbaneX
09-15-2015, 11:07 AM
The number of times I'd been searching through a book for some info and my brain just goes: "well this is taking too long. Just bring up the search tool so we can get back to writing this paper" is excessive.

Khoram
09-15-2015, 11:20 AM
The number of times I'd been searching through a book for some info and my brain just goes: "well this is taking too long. Just bring up the search tool so we can get back to writing this paper" is excessive.

So you looked in the index?

GonzoTheGreat
09-15-2015, 11:42 AM
So you looked in the index?
Popish herecy! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_Librorum_Prohibitorum)

ShadowbaneX
09-15-2015, 12:38 PM
So you looked in the index?

Yes. It said look in chapters 5, 6, 13, 24-27 & 35. My mind then said "well, keyword search" as I'm flipping through the pages...

The Unreasoner
09-15-2015, 02:31 PM
It's about the level of mental exertion. When your brain has to work harder, it leaves a deeper impression. So more effort=more retention/understanding.

Computers may/do make something like writing a paper easier, but two years later you'll only have the gist of it.

There's no substitute for the mechanical/tactile feedback from turning physical pages, or the interpersonal feedback from tracking down an expert to discuss the topic with, the actual discussion, the walking through the library to get the book he recommended...it may be exhausting, but the brain will adapt for understanding the topic in a more holistic manner in response.

The Unreasoner
09-15-2015, 02:41 PM
I think we focus too much on math, a subject which is completely useless beyond elementary school level for the majority of the population after they finish high school, and not enough on English.
I agree that there should be a stronger focus on English, but you're way off base on the issue of mathematics. It's just that our focus is misdirected in that arena. The ability to properly 'execute' things like simple algebra and calculus, convert logarithms, perform arithmetic operations...these are not particularly helpful for the general population.

But gaining the abilities to make rigorous arguments, to have an intuitive grasp of geometry (both Euclidean and hyperbolic), to understand how to precisely translate 'real' relationships to mathematical abstractions, and to know how algorithms work is all the result of a good mathematical education. It's a pity you need to major in it in the first place to get any value from the subject in this day and age.

Kimon
09-15-2015, 03:38 PM
I agree that there should be a stronger focus on English, but you're way off base on the issue of mathematics. It's just that our focus is misdirected in that arena. The ability to properly 'execute' things like simple algebra and calculus, convert logarithms, perform arithmetic operations...these are not particularly helpful for the general population.

But gaining the abilities to make rigorous arguments, to have an intuitive grasp of geometry (both Euclidean and hyperbolic), to understand how to precisely translate 'real' relationships to mathematical abstractions, and to know how algorithms work is all the result of a good mathematical education. It's a pity you need to major in it in the first place to get any value from the subject in this day and age.

You've just described the difference between the ACT/SAT and the GRE (Grad Record Examination). It is somewhat telling that while the verbal and analytical sections become significantly more sophisticated in complexity from the former to the latter, that the reverse is true for mathematics. Algebra, Trig, and Calc are very important if you plan on becoming an engineer, or are seeking a PhD in math or physics. Pretty useless for everyone else. Command of English (or insert any native language) by contrast is an important skill for the whole populace across the full range of professions. That is not to say that language classes (be they English, German, Latin, or Greek - and the last two were picked up starting in undergrad) were the only that I found useful. A knowledge of history and science (more so biology than chemistry or physics) is also useful for all. I simply can't say the same for the algebra, trig, and calc classes I took in high school. They served but one purpose - hoops one had to jump through, and master, for the ACT and or SAT. After which they could be discarded from usefulness forever.

It begs the question, does it not? Is it really efficient to expend so much effort to mastering a skill that we openly intend for even the vast majority of college bound students to immediately discard from subsequent use? Could that time perhaps not better be served honing skills that we intend them to keep?

Khoram
09-15-2015, 04:40 PM
So you're suggesting that, if they really are interested in pursuing professions where any advanced math is needed, they will decide to take those introductory math courses in university, along with the classes where they are already expected to at least have a basic understanding of the curriculum?

That would require a complete overhaul of the way kids are taught.

The Unreasoner
09-15-2015, 05:00 PM
It begs the question, does it not? Is it really efficient to expend so much effort to mastering a skill that we openly intend for even the vast majority of college bound students to immediately discard from subsequent use? Could that time perhaps not better be served honing skills that we intend them to keep?
My point is that there are skills that should be honed that fall under the 'mathematics' umbrella, and which would benefit society as a whole if they were more ubiquitous.

I may outline what I would consider a superior curriculum for mathematics in a bit, for for now I'll just use an analogy to describe the current state of K-12 mathematics education:

Suppose English education exclusively consisted of studying grammar rules and exceptions, vocabulary, spelling, etymology, and pronunciation. Could a person with such an education write? Sure, if by 'write' you mean put grammatically correct sentences to paper. Could they read? Sure, if something was placed before them. But suppose they had no familiarity with articles, novels, poems, or essays; and they would only be introduced to the varied uses of English if they stuck with it until college. English would appear almost useless to the layperson; who, while (perhaps) retaining the ability to write, would have no idea what could be written (or even what practical purpose writing serves).

It's obviously not a perfect analogy, because English education is (hugely) supplemented by daily life (so applications are clear). But imagine learning Latin in that way (if Latin hadn't left it's mark on English): Only vocabulary/grammar, and you don't even hear about the great works written in Latin until college (assuming you made it that far). No classics, no medieval works, no context whatsoever. You have a vague idea that there exist people who say it's worth learning, and enjoy it; but you can't see why. And after 13 years of mandatory Latin courses (which mostly amount to memorization of (apparently) useless vocabulary and rote conjugations), most people who had trouble with conjugating to the subjunctive or remembering endless lists of now obsolete words will drop the subject at the first opportunity, and never read a line of Historia Calamitatum.

Kimon
09-15-2015, 05:18 PM
So you're suggesting that, if they really are interested in pursuing professions where any advanced math is needed, they will decide to take those introductory math courses in university, along with the classes where they are already expected to at least have a basic understanding of the curriculum?

That would require a complete overhaul of the way kids are taught.

No, I'm suggesting that perhaps calc and trig should be viewed similarly to an elective in high school - like classes in computer science and programming. Things would only really change however if the ACT and the SAT change. Right now everyone needs to take them, because you need to ensure that all are prepped adequately for all the math that is on those exams. So those classes seemingly exist almost exclusively for the purpose of prep work for the ACT. I'm just not convinced that there is enough intrinsic value in advanced math to make that worthwhile.

Kimon
09-15-2015, 05:26 PM
But imagine learning Latin in that way (if Latin hadn't left it's mark on English): Only vocabulary/grammar, and you don't even hear about the great works written in Latin until college (assuming you made it that far). No classics, no medieval works, no context whatsoever. You have a vague idea that there exist people who say it's worth learning, and enjoy it; but you can't see why. And after 13 years of mandatory Latin courses (which mostly amount to memorization of (apparently) useless vocabulary and rote conjugations), most people who had trouble with conjugating to the subjunctive or remembering endless lists of now obsolete words will drop the subject at the first opportunity, and never read a line of Historia Calamitatum.

They read "modern" (i.e. recently composed) Latin Freshman and Sophomore year. Starting Junior year they are reading real Latin - Caesar, Cicero, Sallust, Pliny, Horace, Catullus. Senior year, AP, is Vergil and Caesar. Oh, and why would anyone bother reading the Historia Calamitatum? It's Church Latin. That would be like arguing to add Christopher Paolini to a Great Books Curriculum.

Terez
09-15-2015, 05:42 PM
My ultimate life's goal is to develop a mathematics discipline appropriate for musicians. Most of the advanced math courses I took were totally useless for music, but that doesn't mean that math in general is totally useless for musicians. Much of the way music operates is mathematical, in a way I don't think has been fully fleshed out yet. Music theory is made up of a number of shortcut tricks and mnemonic devices that don't convey a real understanding of the underlying math.

Khoram
09-15-2015, 06:30 PM
My ultimate life's goal is to develop a mathematics discipline appropriate for musicians. Most of the advanced math courses I took were totally useless for music, but that doesn't mean that math in general is totally useless for musicians. Much of the way music operates is mathematical, in a way I don't think has been fully fleshed out yet. Music theory is made up of a number of shortcut tricks and mnemonic devices that don't convey a real understanding of the underlying math.

My dad, who has not a lick of musical talent, taught himself to play guitar using math. Now, he doesn't have the dexterity or the rhythm to play anything too complex, but he understands the math behind it, and thus can figure out the chords.

Weird Harold
09-15-2015, 06:48 PM
Much of the way music operates is mathematical, in a way I don't think has been fully fleshed out yet. Music theory is made up of a number of shortcut tricks and mnemonic devices that don't convey a real understanding of the underlying math.

I got what little music theory I encountered in school in Physics class. The necessary Math was incidental.

Terez
09-15-2015, 06:53 PM
We had a debate at Malazan recently about the relative musical value of different genres of music. I want to make a numerical representation of the Top 40 charts so that they can see visually how repetitive pop music is these days compared to in the past. I am certain all of them can recognize the number patterns, even if they can't discern them aurally.

But the number patterns of scale degrees are just the most basic element of music. It gets way more complex than that, even in simple music. It's a matter of how different frequencies interact with each other. The math of consonance and dissonance, and the math of how tension and release interact cumulatively over the course of a piece or song.

The Unreasoner
09-15-2015, 06:57 PM
They read "modern" (i.e. recently composed) Latin Freshman and Sophomore year. Starting Junior year they are reading real Latin - Caesar, Cicero, Sallust, Pliny, Horace, Catullus. Senior year, AP, is Vergil and Caesar. Oh, and why would anyone bother reading the Historia Calamitatum? It's Church Latin. That would be like arguing to add Christopher Paolini to a Great Books Curriculum.
...

I think you (seriously) missed my point. It doesn't seem to be in your character to feign stupidity just to be obnoxious.

As for the Historia Calamitatum: I confess I only read the translation, but I liked it. Abelard's intelligence (and arrogance) is clearly evidenced in it. And the story itself is entertaining.

The Paolini comparison is bullshit. I don't have the Latin skills to evaluate or compare Latin prose, but Abelard's story is at least composed (and purportedly lived, though that's not something I ever looked into) by him, not some Frankenstein's abomination sewn together from parts of the corpses of better works. And while you (seem to) have some knowledge of the Church's history, it's pretty clear that you never delved too deeply into its theology. Abelard's ideas in that field are intriguing (and original for the time). I suppose it would be hard to fully appreciate them though, for someone who dismisses most/all theology as nonsense. But it's not a coincidence that many of the greatest mathematical minds in history were also gifted in (and appreciated) theology. Nor does it appear that your (ignorant) dismissal of an entire field of study (one at least as rich as any language, with its own great works and sub-cultures) is a coincidence either.

And I will note that I believe I would benefit from, and be enriched by, a Latin education, so I won't even dismiss 'modern' Latin as a frivolous enterprise.

The Unreasoner
09-15-2015, 07:01 PM
We had a debate at Malazan recently about the relative musical value of different genres of music. I want to make a numerical representation of the Top 40 charts so that they can see visually how repetitive pop music is these days compared to in the past. I am certain all of them can recognize the number patterns, even if they can't discern them aurally.

But the number patterns of scale degrees are just the most basic element of music. It gets way more complex than that, even in simple music. It's a matter of how different frequencies interact with each other. The math of consonance and dissonance, and the math of how tension and release interact cumulatively over the course of a piece or song.
If you're serious about this, you can always ask me for help. I too have given this (some) thought, as you may remember. Though you showed me I was asking the wrong questions.

Do you have some idea 'what' is being studied? By which I mean: what sort of questions might your discipline be used to answer? How specific (or vague) are they?

Kimon
09-15-2015, 07:04 PM
...

I think you (seriously) missed my point. It doesn't seem to be in your character to feign stupidity just to be obnoxious.

As for the Historia Calamitatum: I confess I only read the translation, but I liked it. Abelard's intelligence (and arrogance) is clearly evidenced in it. And the story itself is entertaining.

The Paolini comparison is bullshit. I don't have the Latin skills to evaluate or compare Latin prose, but Abelard's story is at least composed (and purportedly lived, though that's not something I ever looked into) by him, not some Frankenstein's abomination sewn together from parts of the corpses of better works. And while you (seem to) have some knowledge of the Church's history, it's pretty clear that you never delved too deeply into its theology. Abelard's ideas in that field are intriguing (and original for the time). I suppose it would be hard to fully appreciate them though, for someone who dismisses most/all theology as nonsense. But it's not a coincidence that many of the greatest mathematical minds in history were also gifted in (and appreciated) theology. Nor does it appear that your (ignorant) dismissal of an entire field of study (one at least as rich as any language, with its own great works and sub-cultures) is a coincidence either.

And I will note that I believe I would benefit from, and be enriched by, a Latin education, so I won't even dismiss 'modern' Latin as a frivolous enterprise.

Your point seemed to be a what if - what if they only studied the rules of the language, rather than the language itself. Which I suppose might have been deserving of a more nuanced response, but for your reference to an obscure vulgar Latin text. Church Latin is a bastardization of Latin. Comparing Church Latin to real Latin, is like comparing Paolini to Tolkien.

Terez
09-15-2015, 07:18 PM
As for the Historia Calamitatum: I confess I only read the translation, but I liked it. Abelard's intelligence (and arrogance) is clearly evidenced in it. And the story itself is entertaining.
I probably need to read that. (In translation.) Abélard plays a role in the book I'm going to write about Chopin.

If you're serious about this, you can always ask me for help. I too have given this (some) thought, as you may remember. Though you showed me I was asking the wrong questions.
I don't remember, actually.

Do you have some idea 'what' is being studied? By which I mean: what sort of questions might your discipline be used to answer? How specific (or vague) are they?
They are very specific. That's the point; music theory as it is taught today is way too vague to do the discipline justice. As for the questions, the main question is this: what is it, exactly, about academic music that is considered superior to run-of-the-mill popular music? Academic musicians certainly don't believe that the answer is "nothing", but they can only answer the question in subjective terms. Is there an objective answer? If there is, it can only be expressed in mathematics.

The other main question, which might or might not be related (depending on whatever correlations exist between popular-among-talented-musicians music and the math): how can music be measured in all its dimensions? How can a piece of music be expressed mathematically in its sum, not just in its parts? And perhaps most importantly, what implications do the answers to these questions have in practical physics?

Nazbaque
09-15-2015, 07:40 PM
Ever thought of evaluating languages as if they were musical instruments, terez? In my opinion, and I'm a complete layman, the rule is: "The more vowels the better". Japanese in particular is a great language for singing.

The Unreasoner
09-15-2015, 07:44 PM
Your point seemed to be a what if - what if they only studied the rules of the language, rather than the language itself. Which I suppose might have been deserving of a more nuanced response, but for your reference to an obscure vulgar Latin text. Church Latin is a bastardization of Latin. Comparing Church Latin to real Latin, is like comparing Paolini to Tolkien.
Even if you didn't want to respond, you didn't have to be an asshole. (And don't even say I'm treading on your turf, because you tread on mine first).

Comparing your 'mathematics' education to mathematics proper is at least as obscene a comparison, but I took the time to give you an honest response.
I probably need to read that. (In translation.) Abélard plays a role in the book I'm going to write about Chopin.
This is the one I used:
http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/abelard-histcal.asp

I don't remember, actually.

It was about chords, I wanted to know how to convert chords from a guitar of a certain tuning to their equivalents on various 3-string guitar box guitars. I had the Fourier analysis set up to deconstruct the various frequencies, but I didn't know how to 'reconstruct' them on the other end, so to speak.
They are very specific. That's the point; music theory as it is taught today is way too vague to do the discipline justice. As for the questions, the main question is this: what is it, exactly, about academic music that is considered superior to run-of-the-mill popular music? Academic musicians certainly don't believe that the answer is "nothing", but they can only answer the question in subjective terms. Is there an objective answer? If there is, it can only be expressed in mathematics.
Hmm. How would you compare Chopin to, say, Kanye West? I mean: would you take a a recording of a specific performance, or put Through the Wire in a sort of sheet-music form?
The other main question, which might or might not be related (depending on whatever correlations exist between popular-among-talented-musicians music and the math): how can music be measured in all its dimensions? How can a piece of music be expressed mathematically in its sum, not just in its parts? And perhaps most importantly, what implications do the answers to these questions have in practical physics?
My expectation is that music is already represented in its 'simplest' mathematical object in its raw state. Entropy analysis on the sort of 'molecular' structure of a given piece may offer a more compressed version, but it would almost certainly be non-intuitive, and probably would render any generalized tools you develop useless.

Terez
09-15-2015, 08:13 PM
Hmm. How would you compare Chopin to, say, Kanye West? I mean: would you take a a recording of a specific performance, or put Through the Wire in a sort of sheet-music form?
Sheet music is just written language; it is both simpler (i.e. easier to read) and more complicated than the pure math of music. It would be easier for this purpose to skip the "sheet music" visualization of the music, but I suppose it serves as a useful metaphor.

There are a number of ways to compare them; what I'm looking for is again a sum rather than an analysis of the parts, which is what music theory generally does. There are some "sum" approaches (e.g. Schenkerian analysis) but they're all simplifications.

I could compare them as I mentioned above, just in terms of the simple number patterns of the melody and the chords, but the kind of analysis I want to do is more complicated and more decisive. It still needs a lot of work. If it was easy it would already have been done.

In my view, there is a theoretical expression of this kind of comparison that can be derived from sheet music, and a practical expression that derives from any given performance, which will be based either on the sheet music version or memory/ear. In other words, the two are directly related. The analysis of the theoretical is more generalized and the analysis of the nuances of any given performance is more specific. It's like rounded measurements vs exact measurements, with the usual questions about how exactly anything can be measured with the available instruments.

My expectation is that music is already represented in its 'simplest' mathematical object in its raw state. Entropy analysis on the sort of 'molecular' structure of a given piece may offer a more compressed version, but it would almost certainly be non-intuitive, and probably would render any generalized tools you develop useless.
This doesn't really make any sense to me. Perhaps you could explain what you are talking about in a different way?

Kimon
09-15-2015, 08:17 PM
Even if you didn't want to respond, you didn't have to be an asshole. (And don't even say I'm treading on your turf, because you tread on mine first).



I was merely intending to be blunt, not an asshole. If I came off as the latter, I apologize.

Terez
09-15-2015, 08:18 PM
Ever thought of evaluating languages as if they were musical instruments, terez? In my opinion, and I'm a complete layman, the rule is: "The more vowels the better". Japanese in particular is a great language for singing.
I am more interested in evaluating music as a language, because that's what it is, really, though the rules are much simpler and more intuitive than language rules. That's why it works so well as a universal language, though there are certainly some major differences that crop up across cultures.

Nazbaque
09-15-2015, 08:38 PM
I am more interested in evaluating music as a language, because that's what it is, really, though the rules are much simpler and more intuitive than language rules. That's why it works so well as a universal language, though there are certainly some major differences that crop up across cultures.

Ah well I'm on firmer ground there. All languages including mathematics and I suppose music, though I never considered it from that point of view, are means of expressing thoughts and emotions. Any evaluation must be done from that basis. How well are those thoughts and emotions conveyed? I've always thought of mathematics as the universal language, but now that I look a it from this point of view music might be another one. Only where mathematics is about logic, music is about passion.

The Unreasoner
09-15-2015, 09:15 PM
Sheet music is just written language; it is both simpler (i.e. easier to read) and more complicated than the pure math of music. It would be easier for this purpose to skip the "sheet music" visualization of the music, but I suppose it serves as a useful metaphor.
Maybe I should have called it 'generalized sheet music'. I was primarily interested in whether we were comparing specific clips of audio (which still offers a number of ways to represent it in a rigorous fashion, for instance: you might have a two dimensional image, with the Y-axis corresponding to time, the X-axis corresponding to frequency, and the color corresponding to volume. You could even separate color into RGB to add two more parameters. The scale should probably correspond to something smaller than the limits of human perception with respect to each parameter).

There are a number of ways to compare them; what I'm looking for is again a sum rather than an analysis of the parts, which is what music theory generally does. There are some "sum" approaches (e.g. Schenkerian analysis) but they're all simplifications.
But a sum will always be a simplification. To compress a song's worth of information into a single (scalar) value is less 'rich' in a sense by necessity. Keeping the song in a more general form will retain all of the information. Then you can apply various metrics you develop.

For instance: when comparing two different (rectangular) boxes, if their shapes are sufficiently different, they might have the same volume, but different surface areas. The averages of their dimensions will be different too. More complex things may differ even more radically in even more ways.

Perhaps you could find a metric that accomplishes some measurement (quality seems overly vague, but perhaps a sufficiently rigorous definition of quality (or a specific contextual quality. Best Song For a House Party might be substantially different than Most Music-Theoretically Perfect) could be done) in a single value, but unless that single value is the only thing you intend to ask this field of mathematics to provide, it makes more sense to apply the new metrics to the generalized structure.
I could compare them as I mentioned above, just in terms of the simple number patterns of the melody and the chords, but the kind of analysis I want to do is more complicated and more decisive. It still needs a lot of work. If it was easy it would already have been done.

The 'decisive' property causes me some hesitation. Is Red better than Green? What about cultural context? Is it irrelevant? Should it be? Is there some consensus among experts concerning the specific issues you want to address? What is the nature of the dissent?
In my view, there is a theoretical expression of this kind of comparison that can be derived from sheet music, and a practical expression that derives from any given performance, which will be based either on the sheet music version or memory/ear. In other words, the two are directly related. The analysis of the theoretical is more generalized and the analysis of the nuances of any given performance is more specific. It's like rounded measurements vs exact measurements, with the usual questions about how exactly anything can be measured with the available instruments.

They're correlated, certainly. But in math you try to keep compared objects in a single 'category'. And I honestly don't know: is a Sinatra song better when sung by Martin or Buble? Is the recording equipment the issue? The producer?

Mathematics is typically the study of theoretical results, not experimental ones. But if we say 'two recordings of the same song are distinct objects' we keep things in the theoretical (and rigorous) realm.
This doesn't really make any sense to me. Perhaps you could explain what you are talking about in a different way?
It sort of goes back to the surface area/volume point. When there are a variety of questions that can be asked about an object, with no deterministic relationship between the answers, keeping it in its raw form may be best. It may be that some information is superfluous in a given context (or group of contexts), but until you know what is valuable and what isn't, there is no point in trying to compress it. An individual item might be compressed by looking at it on its own (repeated notes, for instance, might be replaced by the note once, followed by info on its spacing and quantity) but you would need a separate algorithm to decode each piece to a usable form.


Sorry if that's unclear: I can give a clearer example if you want.

The Unreasoner
09-16-2015, 12:47 AM
Two things:

One, I looked into Schenkerian analysis, and (as far as I can tell) it's a sort of non-rigorous, non-precise, semi-intuitive eigenanalysis. And if that's what you meant by 'sum', we can absolutely do that in a far superior way. You'd get something almost like an 'eigenface' at the end that represents the underlying 'signature' of the piece analyzed. And you could compare the results between songs, look at the relative complexity, internal variance, and (with some kind of entropy metric) even get a rough measure of what might be called 'originality' (iow, how much new the song introduced, and how much it just repeats itself). We'd need some basic rules on how to define a song (or piece of music). And we might want to introduce a sort of taxonomy (pieces that are strictly on the piano, pieces that are piano and other stringed instruments, pieces that have a full orchestra, pieces that have a full orchestra plus a choir, pieces that use 'other' effects) to keep things simple in a local sense (what we might call 'interspecies metrics' would become more complex, but we can probably get around that with some sort of manifold), instead of trying to unite 'quantum' music and 'Newtonian' music with some Grand Unified Theory.

I could put together a rough description of what I have in mind, but I don't have the musical background to know what parameters to choose. Could you give me a list of the distinct properties of, say, piano music? By which I mean: the sort of things you want to take into account, the sort of things that you want to affect the 'signature', the sort of things that makes one piano piece different from another (not different performances, but different songs)?

If we want to put years(and I do mean years) into this, we could start breaking music up into its fundamental pieces, some sort of prime elements/monads. Or like atoms: then each piece of music could be described as a sort of (presumably hyperdimensional) molecule, with a chemical formula describing the 'signature' and the full molecule (specific configuration, chirality) completely describing the song.

It's ambitious, certainly. Lol.


The second thing is that there has been a somewhat rigorous analysis of popular music, though it was more statistical than mathematical. The findings (iirc) said a song's popularity was largely determined by simplistic things (like volume, the presence of a catchy refrain). But maybe it's like comparing The Starry Night to a picture of Emma Watson in a short skirt and biting her lip. They're both nice to look at, but our baser selves may show a preference for the latter. I almost think that classical music makes more demands on the listener in terms of engagement: iow, listening is not a passive process. Katy Perry music makes almost no demands on its listeners; the maximum enjoyment the music can provide is rarely more than it provides when experienced passively. Bach may have far more to offer, but only with some measure of engagement.

The Unreasoner
09-16-2015, 03:08 AM
I was merely intending to be blunt, not an asshole. If I came off as the latter, I apologize.
I missed this the first time through. I'm sorry I called you an asshole.

But you really missed my point: learning Latin from K-12 with nothing but a dictionary (and no 'new' words) and it being a required subject; while the curriculum has no works to read, no writing, no conversations, and no translations of anything longer than a single English sentence is a fair equivalent to the state of mathematics education in this country. People would hate that class. They would dismiss the usefulness, even the value, of such a subject and drop it at the first opportunity. A few kids who were good at it might amuse themselves by using it as a secret language amongst themselves, but, much like Pig Latin, the novelty would wear off. Students might be told in criminally vague terms that in college, Latin gets more exciting, but few will believe it (or care).

Dismissing Latin's value because of that hypothetical K-12 curriculum's weakness is more or less the same as what you are saying here about math. And I think most people would agree that mathematics is more valuable than Latin (or even English).

Terez
09-16-2015, 04:38 AM
Ah well I'm on firmer ground there. All languages including mathematics and I suppose music, though I never considered it from that point of view, are means of expressing thoughts and emotions.
I think that this is the primary function of music as we know it, but I'm not so sure it's the only function, that the physical processes and properties of music don't have some sort of as-yet-undiscovered connection to the natural world outside of the (largely mysterious) nuances of sentience. Perhaps I will never discover such a connection, but it is my goal to eventually lay down the mathematical properties systematically so that such inquiries will be easier for future generations.

Any evaluation must be done from that basis. How well are those thoughts and emotions conveyed? I've always thought of mathematics as the universal language, but now that I look a it from this point of view music might be another one. Only where mathematics is about logic, music is about passion.
Music is about passion, but it is also about logic. In a sense, it is the logic of passion, when expressed theoretically (as opposed to practically), as counterintuitive as that concept might seem to you.

As I said before in different words, music can essentially be boiled down to a progression of tensions and resolutions, not unlike the plot of a story, but more primal. Tensions and resolutions are products of the way different frequencies (as in hertz) interact with each other. To demonstrate, when two singers are singing the same note ("unison") but one of them is out of tune, a musician can hear the "beat" of clashing frequencies. When singers are singing in tune together, but singing different notes, this "beat" is still distinguishable to certain degrees depending on which notes are being sung together, and in which registers.

For example, two notes a tone (half-step) apart are dissonant, with clashing frequencies. A half-step is, after all, not that far different from two singers singing the same note out of tune with each other. The half-step is called a minor second (i.e. the first scale degree together with the flattened second scale degree). A major second (whole step apart) is also dissonant. A minor third is relatively consonant, as is a major third. The next interval is a perfect 4th (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_fourth), so-called because it can be derived mathematically with a perfect ratio (4:3), just as the perfect 5th (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_fifth) can be so derived (3:2). They are also consonant in terms of the harmony of their frequencies (and the harmony of the overtone series (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic_series_(music))). (Check out overtone singing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC9Qh709gas). Note that it is physically impossible for her to violate the rules of the overtone series.)

Because 4ths and 5ths are "perfect", they cannot be major and minor. The interval one tone smaller than the 4th is a major third, and the interval one tone larger than the 5th is the minor 6th, with the exception of certain harmonic contexts. There is an interval in between the 4th and the 5th, however, that is the most dissonant interval aside from the 2nd(s). By itself it's called a tritone. In musical context, it's either an augmented 4th or a diminished 5th.

The octave (2:1) is probably the most basic unit of functional harmony. On a guitar, the fret that marks the octave above the tone of the open string is exactly halfway from one end of the string to the other. It is the same note in a higher register. The sound of this interval is not much different from a unison.

For this reason, I tend to think of tones, mathematically, as a spiral. One can draw a straight line through a tone in all its octavian iterations (any frequency doubled, then doubled again, etc.). But that is more of an analogy than a true representation of the mathematics.

Music theory is generally taught as a sort of hierarchy of principles which are not entirely distinct from each other, like this:

1. Form - this is the top of the music theory hierarchy, in purely organizational terms. It is the overarching "plot" of a piece or a song, but it is distinct from whatever lyrics a song might have. (It exists even when there are no lyrics.) IMO the best songs are the ones where the music and the lyrics tell the same story, with the notable exception of ironic (even sarcastic) contrasts.

For an example of ironic contrast between lyrics and music, see #s 16 and 17 of Schubert's song cycle Die schöne Müllerin: "Die liebe Farbe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGE7VV203JA)" and "Die böse Farbe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_HbNRFBpt0)". The cycle tells the story of a man who falls in love with the miller's daughter, who is eventually seduced away by Der Jäger (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f6CQ5s6l2U) (#14), which along with #15, "Eifersucht und Stolz (Eifersucht und Stolz)", is the turning point of the cycle, from hope to chaos. 16 and 17 are the onset of despair. This is incredibly obvious in the music of #16, but the lyrics (http://musicalanalysisforsingers.blogspot.com/2012/05/schubert-die-schone-mullerin-part-1-die.html) are much more ambiguous in the beginning. Even as the lyrics become more obvious, the refrain maintains that ironic contrast to the music throughout. In #16, the narrator/singer attempts to hold on to his delusion of love—he is still in a state of denial about his loss, even though he has already made up his mind (perhaps subconsciously) to kill himself. In #17, the music "attempts" and "fails" to suppress the bitterness which is so clear in the lyrics (http://musicalanalysisforsingers.blogspot.com/2013/06/die-schone-mullerin-part-2-die-bose.html). (The musico-theoretical analysis at these lyrics links is really bad, with actual mistakes—though it will give you some idea of what kind of analysis music students are expected to do—and the translations are loose, for those who don't know enough about German to sort that out.)

Die schöne Müllerin is an example of a cohesive multi-part musical work. In other words, each song can be treated as a musically-distinct entity, and many of them can be highly regarded as individual works. But the larger work has a cumulative story to tell which is not entirely incomprehensible without the lyrics. Multi-movement works are also common in non-lyrical music, and often work in concert (metaphorically) even without repeated themes (melodies etc.). But repeated themes are a common way of stringing multiple movements together into a cohesive whole. Another iconic example would be Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8ei1NF0oic), strung together by way of varying yet always recognizable versions of the same promenade. However, the non-promenade movements have their own coherent progression toward the climax in "The Great Gate of Kiev".

2. Counterpoint. This is next in the hierarchy because the art of counterpoint is the essence of musical logic. Simply put, it is the way distinct voices interact with each other. J.S. Bach was the undisputed master of counterpoint. A simple contrast: his chorales vs the average church hymn. Bach's chorales are contrapuntal, meaning each voice in the choir (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) is singing something like a melody which would be coherent on its own. These melodies, sung together, interact with each other to create harmony.

Bach in particular often took on the most difficult logic puzzles of music, strict contrapuntal forms like the fugue (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugue) and the canon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_(music)). He sometimes even wrote them in riddle form (http://www2.nau.edu/tas3/musoffcanons.html). But counterpoint need not be so strict; the chorales are a good example of free counterpoint, which is still difficult to do well.

3. Harmony. If counterpoint is horizontal (i.e. defined by its cohesiveness as a progression, or a melody), then harmony is vertical (i.e. the sum of all voices at any given instant in the music). But harmony itself also has a horizontal progression with its own standards of cohesiveness, present even when counterpoint is weak (i.e. voices aren't all independent). In common parlance, "chord progressions".

4. Melody. Very rarely is music made up solely of melody, but it can be, such as when one singer does the Star-Spangled Banner a capella at a football game. A musician might hear the implied harmony even if they're not already familiar with the music with accompaniment. But there are options, and popular tunes such as these will often be performed with varying harmonies. And of course the melody itself can be embellished.

5. Rhythm. The exact frequency of notes, or sounds generally.

6. Meter. This is almost always duple or triple. It's analogous to meter in poetry, i.e. where is the (regular) emphasis?

These are the basic elements of music theory, but they are generally taught in a pseudoscientific manner. It doesn't have to be that way.

More later.

GonzoTheGreat
09-16-2015, 05:05 AM
No, I'm suggesting that perhaps calc and trig should be viewed similarly to an elective in high school - like classes in computer science and programming.This would, obviously, also mean dumping physics, where you need trigonometry until you can make every thing always move at straight angles and abolish most natural laws to boot. Then, since they depend at least in part on physics, you would have to kick chemistry, biology and geography out of the curriculum too. Why not simply abolish high school altogether? That'd save a lot of money in the short term, and it would do all you ask for here.

Kimon
09-16-2015, 06:51 AM
This would, obviously, also mean dumping physics, where you need trigonometry until you can make every thing always move at straight angles and abolish most natural laws to boot. Then, since they depend at least in part on physics, you would have to kick chemistry, biology and geography out of the curriculum too. Why not simply abolish high school altogether? That'd save a lot of money in the short term, and it would do all you ask for here.

We take physics after chemistry, biology, and geography Gonzo. And physics was an elective when I was in high school. Albeit an elective which I took.

Kimon
09-16-2015, 07:00 AM
I missed this the first time through. I'm sorry I called you an asshole.

But you really missed my point: learning Latin from K-12 with nothing but a dictionary (and no 'new' words) and it being a required subject; while the curriculum has no works to read, no writing, no conversations, and no translations of anything longer than a single English sentence is a fair equivalent to the state of mathematics education in this country. People would hate that class. They would dismiss the usefulness, even the value, of such a subject and drop it at the first opportunity. A few kids who were good at it might amuse themselves by using it as a secret language amongst themselves, but, much like Pig Latin, the novelty would wear off. Students might be told in criminally vague terms that in college, Latin gets more exciting, but few will believe it (or care).

And I think most people would agree that mathematics is more valuable than Latin (or even English).

How is that longer explanation any different from my description of your hypothetical as learning the rules, but not the language? I didn't miss your point. I simply responded instead that initial time to your reference to reading Church Latin as if it was the same as Classical Latin. Which would be like claiming that modern and ancient Greek were one and the same. Or that koine and ancient Greek were one and the same. It is similar to the difference between Middle and Modern English. I simply found that more interesting than your other point, hence responding to that, rather than to the point about form rather than substance.

And I think most people would agree that mathematics is more valuable than Latin (or even English).

Clearly for me that is not the case. For you seemingly it is. But neither of those are the issue. I was suggesting that for most the study of language (which would include study of one's native tongue, for us English, and foreign languages - especially sibling languages like Latin, German, French, Spanish - in part so as to enhance the understanding and mastery of your own language) may be more useful, as it is something used by all, and for the entirety of their life, than the study and mastery of mathematics.

GonzoTheGreat
09-16-2015, 07:10 AM
We take physics after chemistry, biology, and geography Gonzo. And physics was an elective when I was in high school. Albeit an elective which I took.
Maybe, just maybe, having a rational school system would be a good idea.

The Unreasoner
09-16-2015, 10:48 AM
@Kimon
I was typing a longer response, accidentally hit the back button, started over, then realized my points can be summed up in bullet form (and you won't bother to respond anyway. You're almost as bad as Southpaw on occasion; with your continued denial of objective fact without substantive argument, non-responses only meant to troll others, and war criminal fanboyism).



Mathematics is the study of all languages, at its core. Specific sub-fields tend to focus on simple languages designed specifically for rigor, utility, and efficiency; but mathematics itself imposes no limits. Languages can have infinite alphabets, pictures as words, and any conceivable grammar.
While I phrased the 'mathematics is more valuable than Latin' as something other than a fact, that was merely me maintaining the overall intended tone of the post. A fact it is, and I'd be shocked if anyone who wasn't mentally challenged (or Southpaw) disputed it. If tomorrow mankind had to choose between (permanently) getting rid of all of our natural languages save one and getting rid of the sum total of our mathematical progress, it would be criminal to choose the latter. Mathematics has saved billions of lives. Latin is probably a net negative, tbh.
Maybe I'm not sorry.
There's no fucking calculus on the SAT

Nazbaque
09-16-2015, 01:14 PM
I think that this is the primary function of music as we know it, but I'm not so sure it's the only function, that the physical processes and properties of music don't have some sort of as-yet-undiscovered connection to the natural world outside of the (largely mysterious) nuances of sentience. Perhaps I will never discover such a connection, but it is my goal to eventually lay down the mathematical properties systematically so that such inquiries will be easier for future generations.


Music is about passion, but it is also about logic. In a sense, it is the logic of passion, when expressed theoretically (as opposed to practically), as counterintuitive as that concept might seem to you.

As I said before in different words, music can essentially be boiled down to a progression of tensions and resolutions, not unlike the plot of a story, but more primal. Tensions and resolutions are products of the way different frequencies (as in hertz) interact with each other. To demonstrate, when two singers are singing the same note ("unison") but one of them is out of tune, a musician can hear the "beat" of clashing frequencies. When singers are singing in tune together, but singing different notes, this "beat" is still distinguishable to certain degrees depending on which notes are being sung together, and in which registers.

For example, two notes a tone (half-step) apart are dissonant, with clashing frequencies. A half-step is, after all, not that far different from two singers singing the same note out of tune with each other. The half-step is called a minor second (i.e. the first scale degree together with the flattened second scale degree). A major second (whole step apart) is also dissonant. A minor third is relatively consonant, as is a major third. The next interval is a perfect 4th (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_fourth), so-called because it can be derived mathematically with a perfect ratio (4:3), just as the perfect 5th (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_fifth) can be so derived (3:2). They are also consonant in terms of the harmony of their frequencies (and the harmony of the overtone series (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic_series_(music))). (Check out overtone singing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC9Qh709gas). Note that it is physically impossible for her to violate the rules of the overtone series.)

Because 4ths and 5ths are "perfect", they cannot be major and minor. The interval one tone smaller than the 4th is a major third, and the interval one tone larger than the 5th is the minor 6th, with the exception of certain harmonic contexts. There is an interval in between the 4th and the 5th, however, that is the most dissonant interval aside from the 2nd(s). By itself it's called a tritone. In musical context, it's either an augmented 4th or a diminished 5th.

The octave (2:1) is probably the most basic unit of functional harmony. On a guitar, the fret that marks the octave above the tone of the open string is exactly halfway from one end of the string to the other. It is the same note in a higher register. The sound of this interval is not much different from a unison.

For this reason, I tend to think of tones, mathematically, as a spiral. One can draw a straight line through a tone in all its octavian iterations (any frequency doubled, then doubled again, etc.). But that is more of an analogy than a true representation of the mathematics.

Music theory is generally taught as a sort of hierarchy of principles which are not entirely distinct from each other, like this:

1. Form - this is the top of the music theory hierarchy, in purely organizational terms. It is the overarching "plot" of a piece or a song, but it is distinct from whatever lyrics a song might have. (It exists even when there are no lyrics.) IMO the best songs are the ones where the music and the lyrics tell the same story, with the notable exception of ironic (even sarcastic) contrasts.

For an example of ironic contrast between lyrics and music, see #s 16 and 17 of Schubert's song cycle Die schöne Müllerin: "Die liebe Farbe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGE7VV203JA)" and "Die böse Farbe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_HbNRFBpt0)". The cycle tells the story of a man who falls in love with the miller's daughter, who is eventually seduced away by Der Jäger (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f6CQ5s6l2U) (#14), which along with #15, "Eifersucht und Stolz (Eifersucht und Stolz)", is the turning point of the cycle, from hope to chaos. 16 and 17 are the onset of despair. This is incredibly obvious in the music of #16, but the lyrics (http://musicalanalysisforsingers.blogspot.com/2012/05/schubert-die-schone-mullerin-part-1-die.html) are much more ambiguous in the beginning. Even as the lyrics become more obvious, the refrain maintains that ironic contrast to the music throughout. In #16, the narrator/singer attempts to hold on to his delusion of love—he is still in a state of denial about his loss, even though he has already made up his mind (perhaps subconsciously) to kill himself. In #17, the music "attempts" and "fails" to suppress the bitterness which is so clear in the lyrics (http://musicalanalysisforsingers.blogspot.com/2013/06/die-schone-mullerin-part-2-die-bose.html). (The musico-theoretical analysis at these lyrics links is really bad, with actual mistakes—though it will give you some idea of what kind of analysis music students are expected to do—and the translations are loose, for those who don't know enough about German to sort that out.)

Die schöne Müllerin is an example of a cohesive multi-part musical work. In other words, each song can be treated as a musically-distinct entity, and many of them can be highly regarded as individual works. But the larger work has a cumulative story to tell which is not entirely incomprehensible without the lyrics. Multi-movement works are also common in non-lyrical music, and often work in concert (metaphorically) even without repeated themes (melodies etc.). But repeated themes are a common way of stringing multiple movements together into a cohesive whole. Another iconic example would be Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8ei1NF0oic), strung together by way of varying yet always recognizable versions of the same promenade. However, the non-promenade movements have their own coherent progression toward the climax in "The Great Gate of Kiev".

2. Counterpoint. This is next in the hierarchy because the art of counterpoint is the essence of musical logic. Simply put, it is the way distinct voices interact with each other. J.S. Bach was the undisputed master of counterpoint. A simple contrast: his chorales vs the average church hymn. Bach's chorales are contrapuntal, meaning each voice in the choir (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) is singing something like a melody which would be coherent on its own. These melodies, sung together, interact with each other to create harmony.

Bach in particular often took on the most difficult logic puzzles of music, strict contrapuntal forms like the fugue (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugue) and the canon (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_(music)). He sometimes even wrote them in riddle form (http://www2.nau.edu/tas3/musoffcanons.html). But counterpoint need not be so strict; the chorales are a good example of free counterpoint, which is still difficult to do well.

3. Harmony. If counterpoint is horizontal (i.e. defined by its cohesiveness as a progression, or a melody), then harmony is vertical (i.e. the sum of all voices at any given instant in the music). But harmony itself also has a horizontal progression with its own standards of cohesiveness, present even when counterpoint is weak (i.e. voices aren't all independent). In common parlance, "chord progressions".

4. Melody. Very rarely is music made up solely of melody, but it can be, such as when one singer does the Star-Spangled Banner a capella at a football game. A musician might hear the implied harmony even if they're not already familiar with the music with accompaniment. But there are options, and popular tunes such as these will often be performed with varying harmonies. And of course the melody itself can be embellished.

5. Rhythm. The exact frequency of notes, or sounds generally.

6. Meter. This is almost always duple or triple. It's analogous to meter in poetry, i.e. where is the (regular) emphasis?

These are the basic elements of music theory, but they are generally taught in a pseudoscientific manner. It doesn't have to be that way.

More later.

Not really what I meant. I'm still recuperating from the flu so I'm not sure I can get this all down coherently, but I meant both math and music as cut off from all other languages. Working independantly mathematics is still capable of expressing quite advanced logical thoughts, but not emotions with any degree of passion. Likewise music as pure sound can convey very deep emotions with great passion, but not logical thought. They both reach higher when they borrow from other languages. This doesn't mean that music isn't governed by logic or that mathematics is completely devoid of passion, they are simply poor tools for expressing these things independtly.

Kimon
09-16-2015, 03:55 PM
@Kimon
I was typing a longer response, accidentally hit the back button, started over, then realized my points can be summed up in bullet form (and you won't bother to respond anyway. You're almost as bad as Southpaw on occasion; with your continued denial of objective fact without substantive argument, non-responses only meant to troll others, and war criminal fanboyism).



Mathematics is the study of all languages, at its core. Specific sub-fields tend to focus on simple languages designed specifically for rigor, utility, and efficiency; but mathematics itself imposes no limits. Languages can have infinite alphabets, pictures as words, and any conceivable grammar.
While I phrased the 'mathematics is more valuable than Latin' as something other than a fact, that was merely me maintaining the overall intended tone of the post. A fact it is, and I'd be shocked if anyone who wasn't mentally challenged (or Southpaw) disputed it. If tomorrow mankind had to choose between (permanently) getting rid of all of our natural languages save one and getting rid of the sum total of our mathematical progress, it would be criminal to choose the latter. Mathematics has saved billions of lives. Latin is probably a net negative, tbh.
Maybe I'm not sorry.
There's no fucking calculus on the SAT


What does any of this have to do with my questioning of whether most students will use the math they take in high school?

Nazbaque
09-16-2015, 04:31 PM
What does any of this have to do with my questioning of whether most students will use the math they take in high school?

I'd say that was Unreasoner going off the deep end. Again. See how he rutinely refers to southpaw? It's like he's addicted to hating him. He's gone so far you can actually deduce his anger level from how many times he mentiones southpaw in his posts. If southpaw stopped posting for good Unreasoner would be heartbroken.

Aside from that, it's his head and it's his arse, if he wants to keep one in the other, it's his business. It really is best to ignore him when he gets like this.

The Unreasoner
09-16-2015, 06:19 PM
What does any of this have to do with my questioning of whether most students will use the math they take in high school?
Reread your own posts. You weren't questioning the curriculum's merit, but that of the subject. Maybe you meant what you've said here, though your repeated mentions of the SAT are a bit bizarre, especially given the nature of the actual math section of the SAT. It's the easiest subject on there (and the numbers back that up. And I got a 800/750/800 for CR/M/W, so this isn't my numbers I'm talking about). There's no calculus, very little trig, and very little serious algebra. You could miss all of the trig questions (and all zero calc questions as well) and still get north of 700.

The real issue is most Americans are mathematically illiterate. Would society benefit from a more well-rounded Language Arts curriculum? I have no doubt. Would it benefit far more from a more well-rounded Mathematics curriculum? Of course.

The Unreasoner
09-16-2015, 06:37 PM
I'd say that was Unreasoner going off the deep end. Again. See how he rutinely refers to southpaw? It's like he's addicted to hating him. He's gone so far you can actually deduce his anger level from how many times he mentiones southpaw in his posts. If southpaw stopped posting for good Unreasoner would be heartbroken.

Aside from that, it's his head and it's his arse, if he wants to keep one in the other, it's his business. It really is best to ignore him when he gets like this.
Actually, I have always gotten a little ticked off when people ignore the content of a post in their response and focus on the least essential throwaway line. Years ago with Terez, frequently with you, occasionally with fionwe, always with Southpaw. And now with Kimon. The fact that I was listening to one Rise Against song and not another when writing the post and consequently chose Historia Calamitatum and not Metamorphoses (the latter of which I actually tried to read in the original Latin, thinking years of French and Spanish would let me hack it, but I ended up going with a translation instead) was entirely peripheral to my point. Kimon could have rejected the validity of the comparison or declared that he saw such a curriculum as satisfactory, but no. He just ignored it, and maintained his preposterous premise.

Kimon
09-16-2015, 06:49 PM
Reread your own posts. You weren't questioning the curriculum's merit, but that of the subject.


No, I was questioning the curriculum's merit. Math can be useful without it being useful for most of the populace to study. I'll make another comparison. Medicine, I imagine we can both agree, is also very useful to society. Yet should all high school students be forced to learn Biochemistry, Genetics, Organic Chemistry, and various other advanced science classes that students interested in medicine will take in college? You might counter, but should they not all take biology in high school? Yes. But what about anatomy and physiology? That was an elective at my high school. Which I took, but many didn't. What about genetics? That too was an elective. We had various other science electives, but only biology and chemistry were required for all students. Which gets us back to math. Sure it is also useful for society. Sure it is useful for students who will major in engineering, or medicine, or physics. But for the rest? Will they ever use any of that information in any (and I do mean any - algebra too, not just calc and trig) of their high school math classes ever again. The answer is probably no. They should be offered. And most kids should take them. I'm just not sure that they should be required, nor even emphasized. I think most kids would get more lasting value out of English, and History, and Biology, and basically everything more so than they will from math. Does that mean that math is useless? Again, no. Only, that most of us won't use it ever again.

Maybe you meant what you've said here, though your repeated mentions of the SAT are a bit bizarre, especially given the nature of the actual math section of the SAT. It's the easiest subject on there (and the numbers back that up. And I got a 800/750/800 for CR/M/W, so this isn't my numbers I'm talking about). There's no calculus, very little trig, and very little serious algebra. You could miss all of the trig questions (and all zero calc questions as well) and still get north of 700.

I keep mentioning them because they have a huge role in dictating the development of curricula. Mostly the ACT though. Most kids in the Midwest only take the ACT. Though some nearby states seem to be starting to trend in the opposite direction, or so at least is the rumor that I have been hearing about Michigan.

Nazbaque
09-16-2015, 07:25 PM
Actually, I have always gotten a little ticked off when people ignore the content of a post in their response and focus on the least essential throwaway line. Years ago with Terez, frequently with you, occasionally with fionwe, always with Southpaw. And now with Kimon. The fact that I was listening to one Rise Against song and not another when writing the post and consequently chose Historia Calamitatum and not Metamorphoses (the latter of which I actually tried to read in the original Latin, thinking years of French and Spanish would let me hack it, but I ended up going with a translation instead) was entirely peripheral to my point. Kimon could have rejected the validity of the comparison or declared that he saw such a curriculum as satisfactory, but no. He just ignored it, and maintained his preposterous premise.

See now he complains about certain people doing something that annoys him. And while complaining about it he does that very same thing. It's so cute.

The Unreasoner
09-16-2015, 08:07 PM
No, I was questioning the curriculum's merit.

I think we focus too much on math, a subject which is completely useless beyond elementary school level for the majority of the population after they finish high school, and not enough on English.

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but it sounds like a dismissal of the subject and not a criticism of the curriculum.

It begs the question, does it not? Is it really efficient to expend so much effort to mastering a skill that we openly intend for even the vast majority of college bound students to immediately discard from subsequent use? Could that time perhaps not better be served honing skills that we intend them to keep?

This is oddly phrased (for instance, what singular 'skill' are you referring to?), but seems to allow for consideration of an alternate curriculum. And considering this post in the context of your earlier one, you seem to be advocating less mathematics, not different mathematics. Also (while it's admittedly vague) I expect the 'skills we intend them to keep' were not mathematical skills in your mind.

I'm just not convinced that there is enough intrinsic value in advanced math to make that worthwhile.

Again, this is oddly phrased (it's not clear from context what 'that' is), but it sounds like a dismissal of the intrinsic value of advanced mathematics. Note that while calculus could arguably be considered 'advanced' mathematics, no one could honestly claim trigonometry is. Trigonometry may be useless for the general public (at least as it is currently taught. I doubt you'd deny the value of a more 'bare-bones' approach that essentially taught students how to recognize if they had enough information to find an altitude's length. No identities or half-angle formulas), but some calculus forms a valuable life skill that lets people find solutions to certain problems without memorizing endless lists of formulas. Most formulas people use in their daily lives are easily derived from calculus, and knowing (and understanding) where they come from (instead of mindlessly regurgitating the output of some formulas memorized by rote) leads to a sharper mind in general. Other advanced math is even more useful. It's not covered in high school, but it could be. And it has 'intrinsic value'.


I'll respond to the rest in a bit, I have a dinner meeting to go to.

@Nazbaque
Could you clarify my alleged hypocrisy?

Nazbaque
09-16-2015, 08:15 PM
Well you complained about concentraiting on throwaway lines, while you yourself were concentraiting on a throwaway line, i.e. the comment on your love of hating southpaw. The point was your inability to hold onto your cool and you completely ignored it.

Kimon
09-16-2015, 08:41 PM
Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but it sounds like a dismissal of the subject and not a criticism of the curriculum.


I believe you mentioned cherry-picking above, and accused many of us of it, yet how is your highlighting of but half my phrase anything but a blantant mischaracterization of my point. I said it was useless for most students. Which it is. Not that it was useless in of itself.

This is oddly phrased (for instance, what singular 'skill' are you referring to?), but seems to allow for consideration of an alternate curriculum. And considering this post in the context of your earlier one, you seem to be advocating less mathematics, not different mathematics. Also (while it's admittedly vague) I expect the 'skills we intend them to keep' were not mathematical skills in your mind.

My point seems quite clear. Math is useful enough to include it as an elective on the curriculum. For students intending to pursue studies in fields that require math, many math classes should be taken. But is it really efficient, or needed, for all students to take those classes? How was that point unclear? I don't think many of us continue using math after high school. How then is it any different than requiring all kids to take Chinese, but then never intending most of them to use Chinese again after high school? Sure they might remember a little Chinese (just like we remember a bit of math - mostly the simplistic elementary school stuff), but if we don't use it, what lasting benefit was there really to the years spent studying it? At least with foreign languages similar to English, even if mostly forgotten, they have enhanced our English vocabulary and our understanding of English grammar and syntax. But Math? It's in many ways just another foreign language, but like Chinese, one completely unrelated to English.

Again, this is oddly phrased (it's not clear from context what 'that' is), but it sounds like a dismissal of the intrinsic value of advanced mathematics.

Here's my original post, from which you lifted just that last line.

No, I'm suggesting that perhaps calc and trig should be viewed similarly to an elective in high school - like classes in computer science and programming. Things would only really change however if the ACT and the SAT change. Right now everyone needs to take them, because you need to ensure that all are prepped adequately for all the math that is on those exams. So those classes seemingly exist almost exclusively for the purpose of prep work for the ACT. I'm just not convinced that there is enough intrinsic value in advanced math to make that worthwhile.

With the full statement there, the antecedent should be obvious.

Terez
09-16-2015, 09:48 PM
More later.
Nevermind.

The Unreasoner
09-17-2015, 12:30 AM
Well, I'll start by saying I'm in a better mood now. I've been a little anxious the past week or so, but things are moving 'better', in a sense. I'm sorry if I've come across as overly combative, but at the same time there is a real disagreement here. Perhaps I can express my point more artfully. Let's see...

Well you complained about concentraiting on throwaway lines, while you yourself were concentraiting on a throwaway line, i.e. the comment on your love of hating southpaw. The point was your inability to hold onto your cool and you completely ignored it.
I think you missed my point. I had an issue with Kimon (and in general have an issue with people) responding to a post with 'meat' to it by criticising the placement of parsly on the plate (and nothing else). It stifles debate, is insulting, and wastes energy. If anything, my post was the opposite of hypocritical. It acknowledged me losing my cool and even pointed out a pattern of similar events. While Southpaw's name was mentioned, he was hardly the central character of that post. He only featured as prominently as you, as a matter of fact.

Speaking of you, you have a confessed hobby of needling me (and even if you hadn't confessed it, it's superficially obvious to the most casual observer), so you will understand if I focus on intelligent engagement with Kimon, and ignore further commentary on style from you. Intelligent posts will be welcome, especially any further insight you can provide for developing Terezian Analysis (tuh REE zhun. It's good, right?).

I believe you mentioned cherry-picking above, and accused many of us of it, yet how is your highlighting of but half my phrase anything but a blantant mischaracterization of my point. I said it was useless for most students. Which it is. Not that it was useless in of itself.
It wasn't exactly cherry-picking I was objecting to, as you will note. And perhaps a little clarification and precision on both of our parts can serve us well.

I could have emphasized the entire quoted text and my opposition would be just as strong. As I said (and you denied, though the quotes don't back you up), you seem to be objecting to mathematics, not its current curriculum. The subject, not trig classes. 'useless...for the majority of the population' is what I disagree with. The caveat that you acknowledge it has value is a cop out. The knowledge to properly run a nuclear reactor has undeniable value, but little ubiquitous utility. I assume we agree on that. But replace 'the knowledge to properly run a nuclear reactor' with 'any mathematics taught after fifth grade' ...and now we don't agree.

My point seems quite clear. Math is useful enough to include it as an elective on the curriculum. For students intending to pursue studies in fields that require math, many math classes should be taken. But is it really efficient, or needed, for all students to take those classes? How was that point unclear? I don't think many of us continue using math after high school. How then is it any different than requiring all kids to take Chinese, but then never intending most of them to use Chinese again after high school? Sure they might remember a little Chinese (just like we remember a bit of math - mostly the simplistic elementary school stuff), but if we don't use it, what lasting benefit was there really to the years spent studying it? At least with foreign languages similar to English, even if mostly forgotten, they have enhanced our English vocabulary and our understanding of English grammar and syntax. But Math? It's in many ways just another foreign language, but like Chinese, one completely unrelated to English.
Part of the lack of clarity is you seem to consider 'calc and trig classes' and 'mathematics' interchangeable. They are not. 'Mathematics should be an elective' is another point I disagree on. For the majority of a student's K-12 education they lack the ability and knowledge to make informed choices about their educations. Mathematics is a mandatory element in any strong educational foundation. This is not to say that there could not be electives within mathematics. In fact, my ideal K-12 mathematics curriculum is exclusively made up of elective courses in the Junior and Senior years. At my own high school, the type of mathematics was elective in Junior and Senior years, but the subject itself was mandatory. Some students took a course that was essentially just word problems (this was considered the easist course), but benefited from it. Some students took statistics, a fascinating field with interesting applications; but lacking the technical complexity that made calculus so daunting. And of course others took calculus (whose merits I won't debate here).

Your issue seems to be primarily with the current 'teach to the test' style of education (for which I believe we share a deep contempt), but that is not on mathematics. The elephant in the room you are ignoring is this: more kids are going to college these days than ever before. Way more. Whether it makes sense to give a higher education to so many people (when many jobs do not require education beyond high school) who aren't quite bright enough to benefit from it is a question for another day (and student loan debt has to be mentioned in that debate). But the result is this: with so many kids applying to schools, schools can afford to be picky. I don't know if you've read The Gatekeepers, but even liberal arts schools would prefer a student take calculus these days, and for a simple reason: it's an easy way to narrow the field. They don't really care about the subject itself, but it's a relatively challenging hoop to jump through so they conclude that it's a useful metric. I don't know about the ACT, but I do know that high school guidance counselors almost always advise taking calculus for students pursuing selective schools. The 'pressure' to take calculus (which seems to factor hugely in your position, given your repeated mentions of the ACT) comes from more than one source. Either colleges need to develop a new way to evaluate applications, or we need to keep more kids out of college. And good luck accomplishing either.

Your point about languages having some deeper value because they give a student insight into English is absolutely true. Your point that mathematics somehow does not do the same is ridiculous. In this very thread, people have mentioned how mathematics made them better writers. Even Chinese (by which I assume you mean Mandarin) has enormous value, and even if you never encounter a need for it. It is actually the very fact that it is different than English that gives it such power: it adds a whole new dimension to your thought process. Relationships that escape notice in one mode of thought may become intuitively obvious in the other.

Mathematics is just like that. Except it is an enormously general-purpose language, it's almost like lifting weights regularly (for tone, not mass). And you say 'what's the point of lifting weights? The majority of the general public will never encounter the need to lift something heavy repeatedly in real life,' while remaining completely oblivious to health benefits, what it does for the figure, and how much easier a host of other tasks becomes.

With the full statement there, the antecedent should be obvious.
Not sure 'antecedent' is the right word here. I asked what 'that' was referring to. The sentence I quoted talked about math's intrinsic value, the preceding one about math drawing value from the ACT. One might read your paragraph and conclude that you are saying 'there may not be enough intrinsic value in math for it to make sense to have math classes whose only purpose is to prepare students for the ACT.' That is a bizarre statement. As I said, it's oddly phrased. If I misinterpreted it, I am eager to hear the correct interpretation. What is 'that'?

One advantage of a mathematics education is it often leads to more precise writing.

Nazbaque
09-17-2015, 12:56 AM
Well, I'll start by saying I'm in a better mood now. I've been a little anxious the past week or so, but things are moving 'better', in a sense. I'm sorry if I've come across as overly combative, but at the same time there is a real disagreement here. Perhaps I can express my point more artfully. Let's see...
You've been a total ass and so far the apologies have been half hearted at best.

I think you missed my point. I had an issue with Kimon (and in general have an issue with people) responding to a post with 'meat' to it by criticising the placement of parsly on the plate (and nothing else). It stifles debate, is insulting, and wastes energy. If anything, my post was the opposite of hypocritical. It acknowledged me losing my cool and even pointed out a pattern of similar events. While Southpaw's name was mentioned, he was hardly the central character of that post. He only featured as prominently as you, as a matter of fact.
You do realize that the post under analysis was this one:@Kimon
I was typing a longer response, accidentally hit the back button, started over, then realized my points can be summed up in bullet form (and you won't bother to respond anyway. You're almost as bad as Southpaw on occasion; with your continued denial of objective fact without substantive argument, non-responses only meant to troll others, and war criminal fanboyism).



Mathematics is the study of all languages, at its core. Specific sub-fields tend to focus on simple languages designed specifically for rigor, utility, and efficiency; but mathematics itself imposes no limits. Languages can have infinite alphabets, pictures as words, and any conceivable grammar.
While I phrased the 'mathematics is more valuable than Latin' as something other than a fact, that was merely me maintaining the overall intended tone of the post. A fact it is, and I'd be shocked if anyone who wasn't mentally challenged (or Southpaw) disputed it. If tomorrow mankind had to choose between (permanently) getting rid of all of our natural languages save one and getting rid of the sum total of our mathematical progress, it would be criminal to choose the latter. Mathematics has saved billions of lives. Latin is probably a net negative, tbh.
Maybe I'm not sorry.
There's no fucking calculus on the SAT


See what I mean?

Speaking of you, you have a confessed hobby of needling me (and even if you hadn't confessed it, it's superficially obvious to the most casual observer), so you will understand if I focus on intelligent engagement with Kimon, and ignore further commentary on style from you. Intelligent posts will be welcome, especially any further insight you can provide for developing Terezian Analysis (tuh REE zhun. It's good, right?).

Ah so criticism on your emotional control is not intelligent discussion even when it is quite clearly affecting your judgement?

And you shouldn't get conceited. I have a hobby of needling everybody. I even do it to myself. Or my selves do it to each other.

The Unreasoner
09-17-2015, 01:53 AM
You do realize that the post under analysis was this one:

See what I mean?
You do realize the post you quoted when you said See now he complains about certain people doing something that annoys him. And while complaining about it he does that very same thing. It's so cute
is different than the one that goes in the gap above, right?

And this:
Well you complained about concentraiting on throwaway lines, while you yourself were concentraiting on a throwaway line, i.e. the comment on your love of hating southpaw. The point was your inability to hold onto your cool and you completely ignored it.
implies that I 'concentraited' (why spell it like that? Did I make a typo somewhere?) on your throwaway line about me loving to hate Southpaw. Which was made after the post that goes in the gap up top.

In fact, the only post I made after your throwaway line but before you accused me of hypocrisy was this one (the one you quoted when you accused me of hypocrisy):
Actually, I have always gotten a little ticked off when people ignore the content of a post in their response and focus on the least essential throwaway line. Years ago with Terez, frequently with you, occasionally with fionwe, always with Southpaw. And now with Kimon. The fact that I was listening to one Rise Against song and not another when writing the post and consequently chose Historia Calamitatum and not Metamorphoses (the latter of which I actually tried to read in the original Latin, thinking years of French and Spanish would let me hack it, but I ended up going with a translation instead) was entirely peripheral to my point. Kimon could have rejected the validity of the comparison or declared that he saw such a curriculum as satisfactory, but no. He just ignored it, and maintained his preposterous premise.

You may notice that this post matches the description I gave it in my last post.


So the post you quoted in the gap up top is just quoted to...what? Point out that I get angry on occasion? Guilty. But I don't really lose my temper. This image you seem to have of me (and are trying to sell to TLand at large) ranting at the computer, foaming at the mouth when Southpaw's name is mentioned...it has no basis in reality. As I've said. It's hard to convey tone, but my posts you read as angry are more often than not better read as disgusted.

If we're just bringing up posts to make the other look unbalanced, I can quote you passionately advocating the frequent rape of children who were mean to you.

Or if you'd rather put on your logical mask again, maybe read the rest of my last post and tell me what's wrong with my argument.

GonzoTheGreat
09-17-2015, 04:18 AM
What does any of this have to do with my questioning of whether most students will use the math they take in high school?
Bonus question: why is that important?

I've noticed that when I do not regularly use some area of knowledge, I have a tendency to forget a lot of it. For instance, I've had German in school, and at the time I also spoke a lot of German during the holidays. But when I went to Germany about a decade ago on a holiday, I found that I needed a day or two to get back into using it with reasonable confidence again.
It is the same with math, at least for most people. If they learn the absolute minimum they will eventually need now and then, then they will have forgotten that by the time they actually do need it. But if they have to learn a lot more, and then forget much of that, there is still a fair chance that they will remember just enough to manage when it is necessary.

So, do Americans remember everything they're taught in school for the rest of their lives?
If so, then your idea of only teaching what is needed (assuming that can be accurately predicted in advance) makes sense. But if they are like other people, then they need a big buffer of forgettable knowledge in order to have some chance of remembering what they need to remember.

Terez
09-17-2015, 04:24 AM
I think some of this argument might stem from the fact that Kimon teaches an elective which many students would like to take but can't because they are obliged to take so many classes which are not relevant to their interests.

Nazbaque
09-17-2015, 10:40 AM
You do realize the post you quoted when you said
is different than the one that goes in the gap above, right?
Look

1. you made the bullet point rant
2. Kimon asked how it was relevant
3. I quoted Kimon in order to talk over your head but it was still about your bullet point rant and I commented on how you start mentioning southpaw when you get angry.
4. You complain about throwaway lines.
5. I call you a hypocrite
6. You ask me to be clear
7. I explain
8. You get confused

The original comment on southpaw fixation was about the bullet point rant not the post that came after it.
And this:

implies that I 'concentraited' (why spell it like that? Did I make a typo somewhere?) on your throwaway line about me loving to hate Southpaw. Which was made after the post that goes in the gap up top.
see the list above

My native language is written phonetically. The English language sometimes drops and sometimes adds letters to where they shouldn't be. My mind wants that i there inspite of knowing that the English language can't spell.
In fact, the only post I made after your throwaway line but before you accused me of hypocrisy was this one (the one you quoted when you accused me of hypocrisy):


You may notice that this post matches the description I gave it in my last post.


So the post you quoted in the gap up top is just quoted to...what? Point out that I get angry on occasion? Guilty. But I don't really lose my temper. This image you seem to have of me (and are trying to sell to TLand at large) ranting at the computer, foaming at the mouth when Southpaw's name is mentioned...it has no basis in reality. As I've said. It's hard to convey tone, but my posts you read as angry are more often than not better read as disgusted.
No it's the other way around. First you get angry (oh right disgusted first then angry) then you start mentioning southpaw.

The big point is that you can't control that anger. And none of the apologies you've made ever had the sense that you'd actually learned from a mistake and were determined not to repeat it. It's always "I got angry, sorry, it's the way I am, by gones."

And again see the list above.
If we're just bringing up posts to make the other look unbalanced, I can quote you passionately advocating the frequent rape of children who were mean to you.

Or if you'd rather put on your logical mask again, maybe read the rest of my last post and tell me what's wrong with my argument.

You will go and dig up an old post which you misinterpreted to make me look unbalanced? Go ahead.

And the rest of your last post was for your argument with Kimon which was the reason I didn't comment on it.

The Unreasoner
09-17-2015, 12:04 PM
4. You complain about throwaway lines.
5. I call you a hypocrite
6. You ask me to be clear
7. I explain
8. You get confused
You don't explain. For me to be a hypocrite, I would need to respond to a throwaway line while dismissing the essence of the post I was responding to. What was the throwaway line? What was my response to it?
The original comment on southpaw fixation was about the bullet point rant not the post that came after it.
Naturally. No one as ethical as you would abuse time-travel technology just to be obnoxious on the internet.
see the list aboveSee my reply above. There are probably dozens of appropriate insults you could throw at me for my posts. But it's not clear to me that 'hypocrite' is one of them.
My native language is written phonetically. The English language sometimes drops and sometimes adds letters to where they shouldn't be. My mind wants that i there inspite of knowing that the English language can't spell.Ah. Urals like their languages consistent and logical. Makes sense. At least you didn't type 'Morghase' twenty times like some other posters I could name.
No it's the other way around. First you get angry (oh right disgusted first then angry) then you start mentioning southpaw.

The big point is that you can't control that anger.This is pretty much all conjecture. I have explained in the past why and how this is not accurate when we've had this discussion before. You didn't believe me. So, we're at an impasse. I know your position in its current form is invalid but can't prove it, and you can't take my word for it.
And none of the apologies you've made ever had the sense that you'd actually learned from a mistake and were determined not to repeat it. It's always "I got angry, sorry, it's the way I am, by gones."I'm not sure my transgressions warrant the level of contrition you seem to expect, since I have never argued for the pure, cold, reason approach to anything. I use logic, but I also use other tools. Emotional context is there too, on occasion. Maybe it helps people understand my argument better, maybe not. It certainly gives you fuel for your Obnoxious Condescension Ray.

You will go and dig up an old post which you misinterpreted to make me look unbalanced? Go ahead.
As I think my post makes clear, I was legitimately baffled as to why you quoted the 'bulletpoint rant', as you call it. You'll note I didn't dig up the post, though there isn't a lot of room to misinterpret it. I could find a dozen other posts as well where you seem to forfeit the high ground of cold reason you presume to attack me from. That last bit is my point: stones and glass houses and all that.

But I am legitimately more interested in the debate with Kimon, and didn't want to (completely) derail this thread before its time.
And the rest of your last post was for your argument with Kimon which was the reason I didn't comment on it.
So you only will respond to me when you can be critical?

Nazbaque
09-17-2015, 12:33 PM
But you see I'm not all that interested in a discussion on the curriculum of the American highscools. I don't have direct experience with it, the effects of any changes in it won't reach foreign politics levels for at least a decade and this discussion won't bring any changes by itself. It isn't a subject that I as a foreigner should have any interest in and while I quite often take a serious interest in something similarily distant to my life it happens on a whim, it is not there in this case.

But on the subject of taking an interest in each other's whims. Have you figured out the terms "yaoi", "tsundere" and "uke"?

Khoram
09-17-2015, 12:38 PM
But on the subject of taking an interest in each other's whims. Have you figured out the terms "yaoi", "tsundere" and "uke"?

I certainly hope you don't consider your relationship with Unreasoner to be one based on yaoi. And I can only assume you mean for him to be tsundere.


And I'm not gonna look up uke, for fear of what I might find. At least I knew what the first two terms meant.

The Unreasoner
09-17-2015, 12:47 PM
on the subject of taking an interest in each other's whims. Have you figured out the terms "yaoi", "tsundere" and "uke"?
Did we agree to take an interest in each other's whims? I don't recall making such a pledge, but it sounds like something I might have done.

As for looking up those specific terms: I haven't, yet. And frankly, given Khoram's response, I'm not sure I should.

Nazbaque
09-17-2015, 12:57 PM
I certainly hope you don't consider your relationship with Unreasoner to be one based on yaoi. And I can only assume you mean for him to be tsundere.


And I'm not gonna look up uke, for fear of what I might find. At least I knew what the first two terms meant.

No it just so happens that we have these moments that could so easily be twisted into a yaoi fic, if a resident fujoshi were inclined to write one. In such a fic Unreasoner would most likely be the uke, though if the fujoshi in question were terez, I wouldn't put it past her to write me as the uke.

ETA:
Did we agree to take an interest in each other's whims? I don't recall making such a pledge, but it sounds like something I might have done.

As for looking up those specific terms: I haven't, yet. And frankly, given Khoram's response, I'm not sure I should.

Well the individual concepts aren't all that shocking. Tsundere isn't at least. It's more their combination in this context that you might find disturbing.

Khoram
09-17-2015, 01:35 PM
Did we agree to take an interest in each other's whims? I don't recall making such a pledge, but it sounds like something I might have done.

As for looking up those specific terms: I haven't, yet. And frankly, given Khoram's response, I'm not sure I should.

As Naz said, tsundere isn't in and of itself a bad, or uncomfortable term. It just means that the person starts off being cold or hostile, but over time, comes to show their kinder, or warmer, side.

Yaoi is boy love.

Uke I don't know.

Nazbaque
09-17-2015, 02:25 PM
As Naz said, tsundere isn't in and of itself a bad, or uncomfortable term. It just means that the person starts off being cold or hostile, but over time, comes to show their kinder, or warmer, side.

That isn't quite it. The term is broader than that. Tsun is to be unfriendly and this takes many forms from coolly distant to openly hostile. Dere is to be friendly and that too has different forms. In between is the correct polite behaviour which is neither arrogantly familiar nor directly insulting.

Tsuntsun and deredere are extreme manifestations of each behaviour. Tsun and dere squared if you will. Tsundere is a term for going from tsuntsun to deredere. Originally it just meant the story development, but now it also refers to character types for whom the development is natural. However these characters aren't limited to going from tsuntsun to deredere.

Nynaeve and Lan are both tsundere types though different ones. I suppose you could call that a double tsundere development. Aviendha is a classic tsundere. Siuan too. Jordan clearly had a thing for it, but there were other types too. Min and Elayne are different dere types. Lanfear is a yandere which pretty much explains what a yandere is and Faile is another one.

Kimon
09-17-2015, 03:52 PM
It wasn't exactly cherry-picking I was objecting to, as you will note. And perhaps a little clarification and precision on both of our parts can serve us well.

I could have emphasized the entire quoted text and my opposition would be just as strong. As I said (and you denied, though the quotes don't back you up), you seem to be objecting to mathematics, not its current curriculum.

Perhaps the crux of this debate is that I am focusing specifically on use of study as it relates to all students. That does not mean that those courses would be made unavailable to all students, nor that the study of them is useless either for society or for individuals. Computer Science is useful for society, and could be quite useful for an individual to study. But should everyone be forced to study it? I think having such a subject as an elective makes the most sense. I clearly think the same is true with trig and calc. Algebra and geometry, while also likely subjects (along with trig and calc) left collecting dust in the depths of the animus following high school, are at least useful in a few other classes most kids will take in high school - chemistry and physics being the most obvious overlaps. And those two also make up most of the math needed for the ACT and SAT. But trig and calc? Most won't need it during or after high school. That sounds like prime candidate for elective to me. Likewise, I see no reason why the little trig on the ACT and SAT couldn't be excised without compromising the veracity of those tests. Kids interested in them could still take them. And likely quite a few colleges would strongly encourage that prospective applicants take them. But is it really worthwhile for all kids to take those types of math classes unless they are looking to a future in something like engineering. I think those kids might benefit more from taking a second foreign language, or econ, or an art class, or music, or psychology, or an elective in history, English, or science. Or they could take trig and calc. I just think the option makes more sense.

By contrast, you seem to see that stance as a declaration that if something isn't worth everyone studying, that it is somehow useless. Which isn't what I'm saying.

The Unreasoner
09-17-2015, 04:42 PM
Perhaps the crux of this debate is that I am focusing specifically on use of study as it relates to all students. That does not mean that those courses would be made unavailable to all students, nor that the study of them is useless either for society or for individuals. Computer Science is useful for society, and could be quite useful for an individual to study. But should everyone be forced to study it? I think having such a subject as an elective makes the most sense. I clearly think the same is true with trig and calc. Algebra and geometry, while also likely subjects (along with trig and calc) left collecting dust in the depths of the animus following high school, they are at least useful in a few other classes most kids will take in high school - chemistry and physics being the most obvious overlaps. And those two also make up most of the math needed for the ACT and SAT. But trig and calc? Most won't need it during or after high school. That sounds like prime candidate for elective to me. Likewise, I see no reason why the little trig on the ACT and SAT couldn't be excised without compromising the veracity of those tests. Kids interested in them could still take them. And likely quite a few colleges would strongly encourage that prospective applicants take them. But is it really worthwhile for all kids to take those types of math classes unless they are looking to a future in something like engineering. I think those kids might benefit more from taking a second foreign language, or econ, or an art class, or music, or psychology, or an elective in history, English, or science. Or they could take trig and calc. I just think the option makes more sense.
What are we talking about? The ACT? College admissions? The current mathematics curriculum? You keep moving goalposts (and dismissing the bulk of my posts. Again. I went into some detail aboutthe serious and specific errors in your thinking, and I get the above response), without clear purpose or argument. Is this about calc and trig? I've stated my position on them (to recap: make it an elective and mostly scrap it, respectively). But reread your own posts. Read the rest of mine. Read the posts of others in this very thread. It doesn't sound like this is about calc or trig. If anything, you have only made the case for you not having a say in the curriculum's restructuring. You don't seem to understand the material well enough to judge its merit.
By contrast, you seem to see that stance as a declaration that if something isn't worth everyone studying, that it is somehow useless. Which isn't what I'm saying.That is obviously not what I have been saying. You may notice the word 'elective' pops up a few times in my posts, and in a similar (though not identical) context. One key point of contention is that I am advocating more math (and different math). You're removing huge swathes deemed (by you) to have little utility without any replacement.

Why isn't chemistry or biology seen in this 'useless' light? How many times in your life have you needed to refer to the specific cellular structures of something, needed to recall the precise amount of energy provided by the Krebs cycle, or even used much basic anatomy? A little anatomy in a first aid context might be helpful, but the proportion of people that benefit from the full year of biology (and 'the scared lovers tried positions they couldn't handle') is almost certainly smaller than the one that would benefit from a year of statistics, probability, and basic combinatorics.

And if you tell me that there has ever been a person in the arena of everyday life who has said the words 'thank God I knew the number of valence electrons an atom of selenium possesses!' or 'Sterilizing this wound is so much easier knowing the molar ratio of the water and oxygen produced by the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide!'...well, then I'll know you for a liar and I'll know this argument can be more or less written off.

Figbiscuit
09-21-2015, 07:59 AM
Threads which descend into post after post of people picking apart other peoples posts to declare just why they had the right to feel offended and misunderstood and what they actually meant are boring. And the posts are always so LONG. Just sayin.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-21-2015, 08:21 AM
Threads which descend into post after post of people picking apart other peoples posts to declare just why they had the right to feel offended and misunderstood and what they actually meant are boring. And the posts are always so LONG. Just sayin.

AKA the WoT* syndrome.


Wall of Text

The Unreasoner
09-21-2015, 02:26 PM
Threads which descend into post after post of people picking apart other peoples posts to declare just why they had the right to feel offended and misunderstood and what they actually meant are boring. And the posts are always so LONG. Just sayin.
Oh, come on. That was days ago.

It's all about Terezian Analysis now.

fdsaf3
09-22-2015, 11:45 AM
First, a small nitpick: I am very certain (unless the tests have changed) that neither the ACT nor the SAT have any calculus problems in them. When I took both tests in the early 2000s, the ACT for sure was limited to a handful of trigonometry questions. Students were able to achieve good scores on at least that exam without having taken Trigonometry (which, in my district, was ordinarily taught to high school Juniors).

So, I won't go into a long-winded speech about my feelings on teaching math compared to other subjects. Personally, as a math major in undergrad and someone who has worked in applied statistics and biostatistics since 2007, I don't agree that math beyond what we called "algebra 2" (i.e. algebraic systems of equations) should be an elective. I would argue that "advanced" math like trigonometry or calculus is more useful on a daily basis than the equivalently "advanced" English topics. The average layperson doesn't really want or need to know about gerunds or dangling participles, but most people think about rates of change, optimization, and marginal rates of whatever on a daily basis. But again, I am far from a neutral observer in this case.

My skill set doesn't really afford me much insight on how to establish high school curricula. I don't know if it's better to give students the opportunity to take a bunch of electives and tailor their high school coursework, or if it's better to structure coursework much like mine was. I'll leave that to those who have more thoroughly studied educational policy. But I will say that stats gets a bit of a bad reputation in my opinion. If I could wave a magic wand, I would rather high school students learn statistics than calculus. I know there's an AP option for stats, but at least for my generation of students we were all shoved down the path of learning calculus first. I think statistics is one of the most widely useful (and misused!) tools in mathematics. Statistics goes hand in hand with so many aspects of daily life that it's almost mandatory these days to have a handle on the subject to talk about anything (from sports to politics and beyond).

Anyway, that's my two cents on the subject. Sorry to get in the middle of what seems to be a pretty vigorous pissing match.

Davian93
09-22-2015, 12:49 PM
When I took the SATs back in 1998 (God I'm old), there was no Calc involved. At most it was Trig and Algebra II level types of maths.

sleepinghour
09-22-2015, 03:30 PM
No it just so happens that we have these moments that could so easily be twisted into a yaoi fic, if a resident fujoshi were inclined to write one. In such a fic Unreasoner would most likely be the uke, though if the fujoshi in question were terez, I wouldn't put it past her to write me as the uke.

As a resident fujoshi, I can't say the idea ever occurred to me, but if it did, I would need some additional information about your respective heights, blood types, and hair colors before we decide who is to be the uke. :)

Nynaeve and Lan are both tsundere types though different ones. I suppose you could call that a double tsundere development. Aviendha is a classic tsundere. Siuan too. Jordan clearly had a thing for it, but there were other types too. Min and Elayne are different dere types. Lanfear is a yandere which pretty much explains what a yandere is and Faile is another one.

I've sometimes wondered if RJ was a fan of anime/manga, or at least familiar with the character types. He did have "sekuhara" listed among words to modify for use in WoT.

Nazbaque
09-22-2015, 05:59 PM
Ever read Watashi ga Motete Dousunda, sleepinghour?

As a resident fujoshi, I can't say the idea ever occurred to me, but if it did, I would need some additional information about your respective heights, blood types, and hair colors before we decide who is to be the uke. :)

182 cm. O negative. Don't know what you'd call my hair colour, but it's pretty much the same as Clint Eastwood's in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Also my eyes are blue and I wear thin rimmed square glasses. And I have a short beard. If I dyed my hair black I'd look like Gendo Ikari.

I've sometimes wondered if RJ was a fan of anime/manga, or at least familiar with the character types. He did have "sekuhara" listed among words to modify for use in WoT.

Now that is a disturbing shadowspawn.

sleepinghour
09-22-2015, 06:58 PM
Ever read Watashi ga Motete Dousunda, sleepinghour?

No, I don't think so. I'm mostly just an occasional WoTaku these days, but I'll check it out. :)

Don't know what you'd call my hair colour, but it's pretty much the same as Clint Eastwood's in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

I suppose in Clint's case it would be Dirty Hairy; otherwise, dirty blonde.

Now that is a disturbing shadowspawn.

RJ must have been saving it up for the Last Battle. Not even Shaidar Haran would have been nearly as disturbing as the female version, Seku Haran.

Nazbaque
09-22-2015, 07:06 PM
No, I don't think so. I'm mostly just an occasional WoTaku these days, but I'll check it out. :)

Also goes by "Kiss him, not me!" The set up is absolutely hilarious.

I suppose in Clint's case it would be Dirty Hairy; otherwise, dirty blonde.

So that's dirty blond. I always wondered.

RJ must have been saving it up for the Last Battle. Not even Shaidar Haran would have been nearly as disturbing as the female version, Seku Haran.

Someone rep her! I'm not allowed.

The Unreasoner
09-23-2015, 04:55 PM
Someone rep her! I'm not allowed.
Got it.

I'm also O-, and maybe a centimeter or two shorter than Naz. Black hair, green eyes, no glasses. Rather pale.

I am curious to see how blood type (of all things) comes into play.

Nazbaque
09-23-2015, 06:08 PM
Got it.

I'm also O-, and maybe a centimeter or two shorter than Naz. Black hair, green eyes, no glasses. Rather pale.

I am curious to see how blood type (of all things) comes into play.

Japanese have certain theories on how blood type affects personality. Can't say it's completely without foundation as the body's affect on the mind is undeniable, but there are way too many variables unaccounted for to my mind. And these days it's more something they make fun of. The joke is usually along the lines of two people discussing a third person's character. In TL context this might be Dav and Terez discussing your sanity for example. Terez would argue that you have to be insane because you are O-, then Dav would ask what that had to do with it and Terez would point out that you've got the same blood type as me which Dav would accept as proof.

But anyway have some rep for repping sleepinghour for me.

Figbiscuit
09-24-2015, 04:56 AM
AKA the WoT* syndrome.


Wall of Text

How have I missed this?? :D

Oh, come on. That was days ago.

It's all about Terezian Analysis now.

:rolleyes:;)