Saturday, June 18, 2011

Social Gravity III (Finger Painting on the New Abacus)

Social Gravity III (Finger Painting on the New Abacus)

I find it worth thinking about that our school systems are abandoning the teaching of cursive script. Like many things it was at first a challenge and not what a child may want to do when there is the whole world outside to play in. But in the end I think there was more than just some idea of hand and eye coordination and the coloring between the lines involved. Why should learning be easy? Why should we assume some are not capable of rising to the higher standards than all in the name of some sort of social leveling such discipline is abandoned as if a cure. Not that it makes sense to try to turn the left hander into a right hander so apply the ruler to the knuckles and so on.

I have a formal script I all Santo Domingo, and I can write in the shared script we saw above the chalk board (and even that was simplified after my time). And I rarely use the writing since high school preferring the print (including an italics one) for the sake of clear reading (myself included). And I can explore and write the joys of the various calligraphy's. Practicing drawing comes easier and there is a sense of something conveyed by the actual physical process of writing that is lost in say the typewriter, it comes out a little different. I have variations on even the print due to the type and moister of the paper or the nature of the pen, the narrow line of the ball point (I prefer the fountain pen but some new points do well for me) has it own variation of the basic strokes. But let us not go too far into variations of the colors of the ink for that brings too much of the artist out in me.

Well, the last time the abacus came around, the computers the modern abacus now, few people could do sums in their heads without such a machine. In general it is thought that mathematical progress suffered.

Am I just writing in a nostalgic mood? I think not from the general view if we try to look beyond our own generation. So, since the students use only texting and keyboards and rarely even print things, calculators now allowed on some exams, that is the reason cited for the abandonment of cursive writing. So what other things from my time (already I was behind in creativity and good jobs by those even five years born before me- that is in the ground of new trends to establish in our time) are also no longer part of the curriculum that we may have abandoned too soon?

For one thing, it was nice to become familiar with the Roman numerals.

And though difficult for the pounds, shillings and pence as well as the 60 base clock time, these processes of dealing with different bases were hard but made us stronger. In any case 240 pence seems to make more sense from a human level, much more than the confusing metric of 10 fold things, more ways to divide things, and a much better picture of some of the geometric structures of our universe. But back then there were Indian head pennies in the change and silver dollars and guinea of real silver. We have devalued the education long before we devalue the currency.

Another hard but useful project was the taking of square and even cubed root by hand.

Music, Art, Sports - why should these be the first to go in an economic pinch for next to go will come critical ideas of philosophy and science?

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