[LMB] Apologies was...OT: Fun

Pat Mathews mathews55 at msn.com
Sat Apr 4 17:12:04 BST 2009

> From: howard at brazee.net
> To: lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
> Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2009 08:45:29 -0600
> Subject: Re: [LMB] Apologies was...OT: Fun
> One thing I think education is poorer off for - and that is the death  
> of the slide rule.   Trying to teach the slide rule would get teachers  
> laughed out of the class room, but in order to learn to use the slide  
> rule, one learns the parts of math that for the most of us - is all of  
> the math we ever use as adults:
> 1.   We learn proportion & inverse proportion.   That is used not only  
> in math but in other concepts as well - A is to B as C is to D.
>         And it is how we figure out simple word problems such as  
> figuring out mileage.
> 2.  We learn significant digits.    Sometimes we even vote on bad  
> science because we have no idea what is really significant.
> 3.  We learn to estimate results.   Slide rules don't tell us where  
> the decimal point is.   So we have to use common sense to find what  
> the answer is to the nearest power of 10.   We don't just accept a  
> ridiculous answer because that's what the calculator says.
> How many adults need more math (not arithmetic) than that in real life?
> -- 

Can't speak for arithmetic, but anyone who has ever either sewed, gardened, painted a wall, or put in floor covering knows you also need simple plane geometry. 


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