Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master



  • @ScholRLEA said in Xanadu, Predicate Dispatch, and Schol-R-LEA's latest psychotic break:

    And yeah, he does a really, really shitty job of getting his ideas across - which is why I keep hedging my bets, because even though I have been interested in what he has to say since 1989 or so (when I first came across the Microsoft Press update to Computer Lib/Dream Machines), I am still not sure if I really understand what he and the people he thrashed this out with in the 1970s and 1980s really were saying, especially regarding the published code.

    This struck a chord with me. A friend just posted this article:

    It's about the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba (often referred to as O-Sensei). Aikido is based on Daito Ryu, as taught to t he public by Sokaku Takeda. Now, Ueshiba was reported able to do a lot of stuff that most (probably all) of his students never figured out. The best theory (which makes sense to me for a lot of reasons) is that a lot of the subtleties of Daito Ryu that Takeda taught to Ueshiba were not passed on by Ueshiba (and really that the stuff he was doing was actually very different from modern Aikido). However, no one seems to be sure why he didn't pass it on. Was he unable to communicate it? Did he not want to divulge the secrets?

    FTFA:

    Stan Pranin addressed the question of whether or not Aikido as we know it today is really the creation of Morihei Ueshiba in his article “Is O-Sensei Really the Father of Modern Aikido?“. In this article the basic approach to the argument is to examine the number of contact hours that each student actually experienced, but he also notes (referring to Morihei Ueshiba):

    “Even when he appeared on the mat, often he would spend most of the hour lecturing on esoteric subjects completely beyond the comprehension of the students present. “

    Students of the Founder who missed a lot – who got what they got by feel, through being thrown directly by the Founder, but were missing the keys to unlock what they received, because they could not understand the Kuden that were being given them by the Founder. Yasuo Kobayashi, who was one of those students being referred to in the quote above, put it this way:

    “O-Sensei would only show technique, with barely any explanation. He would often speak of the Kojiki or Omoto-kyo, but unfortunately for me understanding the content was like trying to grab clouds. At the time all I could think was ‘When is he going to start moving?’ (laughs). When I recall it now I wish that I had listened more at the time.”



  • @boomzilla I spent many years as a math tutor, and one thing I found I had to do was to state explicitly many small details of calculations that could throw off students. Things like, if you divide both sides of an equation by an expression, then that expression cannot be zero. x^2 - x = 0 --> x - 1 = 0 --> x = 1. It was very common that students would miss the x=0 answer due to dividing by x. A more subtle issue was how a proper proof works. When I was in high school, there would be problems involving showing that two trigonometric expressions were equivalent. I and most of my classmates would take the original equation and manipulate it until we got something like 1=1, which we took as proof that the first expression was true. But, since False => True is True, this is invalid.

    Also, in physics, the consequences of some idealizations are never made clear. If there is a rope going over a pulley, the pulley is usually stated to be massless. Why? It turns out that a massless pulley transmits the tension on the rope from one side to the other without loss, so the equations are simpler without considering the motion of the pulley. If this is not stated by the teacher, then when massive pulleys are introduced later, it will lead to confusion as to why the answer come out differently.

    A similar thing is described by E.T. Jaynes in his writing on music and music teachers (Ch. 5, quoting a letter by Amy Fay watching Franz Liszt play):

    I suddenly remembered that when he [Liszt] was playing scales or passages, his fingers seemed to lie across the keys in a slanting sort of way, and to execute these rapid passages almost without any perceptible motion. Well, dear, there it was again! As Liszt is a great experimentalist, he probably does all these things by instinct, and without reasoning it out; but that is why nobody else's playing sounds like his. Some of his students had most dazzling techniques, and I used to rack my brains to find out how it was, that no matter how perfectly anybody else played, the minute Liszt sat down and played the same thing, the previous playing seemed rough in comparison.

    It seems a lot of expert knowledge is gained by lots of trial and error that is forgotten when it comes time to teach the next generation. It's difficult to teach what you don't know you know. I wonder if this is why a lot of technical subjects (math, science, music, etc.) have this air of mystery about them so that people think that only "Good Will Hunting"-style innate geniuses can handle it. If you don't show a student where to put their hands and feet and only talk in abstractions, a lot of students will give up.



  • @boomzilla sometimes (often?) the best experts are also the worst teachers. Those to whom it comes naturally (or who have been doing something so long that they've forgotten all the errors they used to make) often have a hard time knowing how much detail is needed (and how much would be too much), as well as how to anticipate and avert common errors. Teaching is both a talent and an art. And one that's not really taught well except through experience.


  • kills Dumbledore

    @benjamin-hall said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    sometimes (often?) the best experts are also the worst teachers

    I swear there was direct correlation in my maths degree. There were lecturers who you could tell knew the subject inside and out, who'd spent their lives immersed in their branch of the field, but you could ask them how to add 2 + 2 and come out of it not sure if you understood why it wasn't 5



  • @benjamin-hall said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @boomzilla sometimes (often?) the best experts are also the worst teachers.

    I had a physics teacher like that. He clearly knew his stuff, but spent most of his time talking in a semi-nasal voice and at a sing-song tone and fairly high speed, while filling the blackboard from top left to bottom right, then erasing it all and doing it again. I didn’t learn much there, I do know that, and remember one guy putting his walkman on at one point (something I’d never seen before in class), probably to drown out the teacher.

    @jaloopa said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    how to add 2 + 2 and come out of it not sure if you understood why it wasn't 5

    Isn’t that English Literature instead of physics?



  • @gurth said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    Isn’t that English Literature instead of physics?

    Oh, well played



  • @mzh said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    It seems a lot of expert knowledge is gained by lots of trial and error that is forgotten when it comes time to teach the next generation. It's difficult to teach what you don't know you know.

    Very true. The lost skills of Ueshiba (though a few other students of Takeda had them, too, and I believe have managed to pass at least some of it on) even more so, because a lot of it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Honestly, if you saw a video of it you'd probably think it was fake. But if you ever had a chance to grab someone with that sort of skill you could feel it work, even if you couldn't understand it rationally.



  • @boomzilla said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    But if you ever had a chance to grab someone with that sort of skill you could feel it work, even if you couldn't understand it rationally.

    That goes to a more general point about teaching (and learning)--there's a paradigm shift involved that can't be explicitly taught or proved or put into words. You have to do the necessary actions enough, sometimes with a guide to put your hands in the right position, until it suddenly becomes clear.

    Same goes for learning anything. The basic cycle is:

    Teaching --> provisional acceptance --> practice --> 
                 understanding --> goto top
    

    This cycle breaks if the thing/technique being taught isn't true (won't actually lead to understanding if practiced). It also breaks if the student doesn't trust the teacher enough to at least provisionally accept the teaching. It's best if practices are taught, along with the knowledge (facts) that are necessary to use the technique elsewhere or expand on it.



  • I think there's a great abyss between the inability to explain a skill and the inability to explain a concept.

    That's why it's kinda understandable about the Aikido founder and Liszt. You simply cannot explain your exact muscle memory to anyone else. We don't have words for that, because inventing the necessary words would take us forever and stall us in the skill development. One may make up some funky philosophy around it in hopes it makes some synapses in the students' head to make that magic "click" after which they get it, but I say it's only marginally helpful, and the good old trial and error is still the key.

    Physics and math, on the other hand, are not skills. You gain the skills that help you see the patterns and be good at calculations, but ultimately it's knowledge that can be readily explained. If your teacher couldn't do it, he was a lousy teacher. Maybe he knows what he knows because he learned it by rote, I cannot say.



  • @wft said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    I think there's a great abyss between the inability to explain a skill and the inability to explain a concept.

    That's why it's kinda understandable about the Aikido founder and Liszt. You simply cannot explain your exact muscle memory to anyone else. We don't have words for that, because inventing the necessary words would take us forever and stall us in the skill development. One may make up some funky philosophy around it in hopes it makes some synapses in the students' head to make that magic "click" after which they get it, but I say it's only marginally helpful, and the good old trial and error is still the key.

    Physics and math, on the other hand, are not skills. You gain the skills that help you see the patterns and be good at calculations, but ultimately it's knowledge that can be readily explained. If your teacher couldn't do it, he was a lousy teacher. Maybe he knows what he knows because he learned it by rote, I cannot say.

    I strongly disagree. There's much more to physics and math than just knowledge. There's an intuitive grasp that allows you to know what to do and what it means. That part requires practice--it requires a paradigm shift. Memorization is useless for learning physics--the world doesn't give you nice exact problems that exactly match what you memorized. You have to understand the implications of the underlying structure and be comfortable mashing things together in ways that are completely new (to you). And that can only be acquired through practice.



  • To expand on my last point, there are basically 3 layers of learning for anything. Each builds on the last and so they must be mastered thoroughly to really continue (although there is horizontal overlap between different areas).

    1. Facts. Without a base of facts (multiplication tables, properties, definitions, etc), you can't do anything else in a reasonable amount of time, nor can you understand what you look up. Learned through memorization.
    2. Algorithms. These may be formulas, these may be processes, but they're ways of stringing together facts to reach new ideas/skills/concepts. Learned through memorization and practice (for speed and fluency).
    3. Meta-algorithms. These cover how to choose the appropriate algorithm. Like a builder choosing tools, you have to know what the tools can do and where they're useful. These are only learned through practice--the real world doesn't package questions neatly with "use method X." This is where true mastery is evident--a master programmer can choose the best tool for the job, where a less-skilled one has a favored tool that he applies everywhere, regardless of fit.


  • @benjamin-hall I set the border between "you can use words to transfer this knowledge with X success rate" and "you can use words to transfer knowledge with Y success rate", where X is something close to 1, and Y never leaves the first quartile at best.

    You can do that with physics: either you use only textbook definitions of everything and nobody's going to give a shit and put their music on, or you're going full R. P. Feynman on them and people get to really know the stuff. At least you can lead them up to that paradigm shift so closely their noses bump into it.

    You can do that with programming, although shit published by Packt can really make you think otherwise.

    You can do that with philosophy, although many philosophers don't really care and are too busy inventing their own worlds and living in them.

    You cannot really do that with piano playing: all you can do at best is show what you do, maybe tell why you think it's a good way to do it, and hope that some people who try hard enough will ultimately find their own way to do that. There's only so much stuff about motor skills you can externalize.

    If you have an example of piano teacher who is as good at explaining music and piano playing as Feynman was at explaining physics, SHOW THEM TO ME.



  • @wft said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @benjamin-hall I set the border between "you can use words to transfer this knowledge with X success rate" and "you can use words to transfer knowledge with Y success rate", where X is something close to 1, and Y never leaves the first quartile at best.

    You can do that with physics: either you use only textbook definitions of everything and nobody's going to give a shit and put their music on, or you're going full R. P. Feynman on them and people get to really know the stuff. At least you can lead them up to that paradigm shift so closely their noses bump into it.

    You can do that with programming, although shit published by Packt can really make you think otherwise.

    You can do that with philosophy, although many philosophers don't really care and are too busy inventing their own worlds and living in them.

    You cannot really do that with piano playing: all you can do at best is show what you do, maybe tell why you think it's a good way to do it, and hope that some people who try hard enough will ultimately find their own way to do that. There's only so much stuff about motor skills you can externalize.

    If you have an example of piano teacher who is as good at explaining music and piano playing as Feynman was at explaining physics, SHOW THEM TO ME.

    Two things--I agree that some things can be explained less. But I'm saying that to truly master anything requires practice and cannot be explained fully. I'd say that at best, you can explain only a tiny fraction of physics. Even Feynman could only give the basics--you walk away thinking "Oh, that makes sense." But then when you try to apply that "knowledge," you realize that there's a whole lot more to it than that. There's intuition--knowing what the answer should look like. There's mental heuristics. You have to build those--they can't be taught. They can be explained, but the student has to do the larger fraction of the work no matter the subject.

    Note--I have a PhD in Physics. Feynman, as brilliant as he was at teaching, could only go so far. And his audiences (the real ones) had a strong grounding in the facts. If you try to build a building of knowledge without that foundation, it'll all fall down. You only learn that by doing, same with any skill.

    And parameterizing knowledge transfer (which is only a tiny fraction of true learning) like that is not even wrong. You can introduce facts, algorithms and some meta-algorithms through words, but facts must be memorized and assimilated, algorithms must be practiced until mastery, and meta-algorithms must be adapted to individual thought processes through experience.



  • @benjamin-hall Yup, but still I think that knowledge transfer for complex motor skills has more "gaps" compared to cognitive skills. The gaps which are filled by trial and error, to a varying degree of success. If the gaps weren't there, I think we'd all have neater handwriting (granted, it would also be duller and more uniform).



  • What if this Ted Nelson guy is just a bullshit artist. Like Ray Ozzie. Companies keep hiring him because he's a "visionary", but the guy can't execute on shit-- the best thing he's ever made is Lotus Notes, and it's crap.



  • @blakeyrat said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    What if this Ted Nelson guy is just a bullshit artist.

    That happens, too, sometimes. I don't believe that was what Ueshiba was, however. Nor Feynman, since he was also mentioned in the thread.



  • @boomzilla said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @blakeyrat said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    What if this Ted Nelson guy is just a bullshit artist.

    That happens, too, sometimes. I don't believe that was what Ueshiba was, however. Nor Feynman, since he was also mentioned in the thread.

    Feynman was the real deal. If nothing else, the Feynman diagrams (a clever way of representing an infinite set of integrals in a way that can be solved) were genius and advanced the state of the art. Those diagrams, by the way, were a complete intuitive leap that came because he understood the underlying mechanics in a way that few have since. No one's quite sure how he got there, but it works.



  • @boomzilla said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    That happens, too, sometimes. I don't believe that was what Ueshiba was, however.

    No; but the explanation about muscle-memory makes perfect sense in Ueshiba's case.

    I don't know anything about Feynman other than his explanation of how a train stays on the tracks (which I knew before listening to his version, but it was still a good explanation).

    This Ted Nelson guy, though, I don't know. I mean Ray Ozzie's Lotus Notes is shit, but at least it's a thing. And back in 1989 or whatever it wasn't even terrible, at least not relative to other software at the time. I can't figure out what Ted Nelson's done to earn anybody's admiration. (Admittedly I haven't read his book.)



  • @blakeyrat said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    I can't figure out what Ted Nelson's done to earn anybody's admiration. (Admittedly I haven't read his book.)

    I have no knowledge of him other than what @ScholRLEA has written.



  • @blakeyrat At least Lotus Notes is (was) a thing. It's crap, but it's tangible crap and it sold.

    This Xanadu thing, on the other hand... It seems to me that this Ted Nelson must have some complexes of a swollen bruised ego. He made a fine concept of a cross-referenced distributed storage system, the better and more practical aspects of which got implemented in modern filesystems, full-text search systems, version control systems and whatnot. But he still thinks he can outrun them all and produce something really amazingly tremendous that will encompass all that. All because he was the first guy to come up with the idea of hypermedia! And dammit, he's going to climb the pedestal of glory and make the Next Big Thing leaving everyone else in awe.

    I'm willing to bet $100 that the project will never really deliver anything beyond half-assed prototypes and after Ted Nelson meets his maker, no one will carry it on.



  • @wft said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    At least Lotus Notes is (was) a thing.

    I like how we both expressed the same idea at more or less the same time using the same wording.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @wft said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    I'm willing to bet $100 that the project will never really deliver anything beyond half-assed prototypes and after Ted Nelson meets his maker, no one will carry it on.

    Not even @ScholRLEA?



  • @masonwheeler not even. If @ScholRLEA is truly insane, he will have his own grandiose ideas by that time, maybe start a religion of his own. ScholRLEA fhtagn and so on. But I think he's simply too easy to impress. More charismatic people could have him as their minion.



  • @wft Let's just be glad he was radicalized by Ted Nelson and the LISP community rather than some anti-West Imam.



  • @wft Reading this makes me gladder than ever that I turned down that offer from a Pakt stringer a few years ago. Mind you, he had asked me to write about Sugar CRM, apparently based on the fact that I had once posted a question asking for advice on books about it on the Sugar Google Group (I never really learned much about it). I later found out that he had spammed everyone who had ever posted on the group. undefined



  • @gurth said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @benjamin-hall said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @boomzilla sometimes (often?) the best experts are also the worst teachers.

    I had a physics teacher like that. He clearly knew his stuff, but spent most of his time talking in a semi-nasal voice and at a sing-song tone and fairly high speed, while filling the blackboard from top left to bottom right, then erasing it all and doing it again. I didn’t learn much there

    This sounds exactly like most of my undergrad professors, at least in math and the natural sciences. I finally stopped going to class, and it didn't seem to matter, as I hadn't learned anything from the lectures. By the time I went to grad school a couple of decades later (in CS), the professors would put their lectures in PowerPoint. This was a tremendous improvement, as it forced them to organize their thoughts better.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @chozang said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    This was a tremendous improvement, as it forced them to organize their thoughts better.

    About the only guaranteed improvement from using Powerpoint over the old hand-written stuff is that the fonts will probably be significantly more legible than the handwriting was.


  • area_pol

    @wft
    He failed to implement it (failed software projects are nothing new), but at least his idea is not "mobile app for [something you don't want]" or "uber for X".
    Given what weird ideas one can get investment funding for, he should get a few millions for "Xanadu 2.0" if he asked for it.



  • @dkf said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @chozang said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    This was a tremendous improvement, as it forced them to organize their thoughts better.

    About the only guaranteed improvement from using Powerpoint over the old hand-written stuff is that the fonts will probably be significantly more legible than the handwriting was.

    No, it seemed to be more than that. Let me give you a typical example. In a math class, a professor before PowerPoint, the prof would go through a problem linearly writing on the board as fast as he could. If at any point, I was thinking about a line longer than he was writing it, then he would get ahead of me. But when PowerPoint came along, the professors were actually distributing their notes, putting them on the class website. This forced them to be of a different nature, and a higher quality. If you have had technical courses with PowerPoint, and some without, then I would concede a valid difference of opinion.



  • @chozang said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    No, it seemed to be more than that. Let me give you a typical example. In a math class, a professor before PowerPoint, the prof would go through a problem linearly writing on the board as fast as he could. If at any point, I was thinking about a line longer than he was writing it, then he would get ahead of me.

    For me it was almost the other way around.

    With a blackboard, the lecturers had to slow down, because there's only so fast you can write stuff by hand. With PowerPoint you can almost reach integer slides-per-second if you're in a bit of a hurry.

    There are other reasons why I prefer blackboards (or whiteboards). If you have smaller classes, you can actually have the students (for example) solve the exercise together with you, perhaps in a different way than you would have done. With a PowerPoint, you're pretty much rail-roaded into the order of the slides and it's very hard to change something in reaction to input from the students.



  • @cvi, @chozang In undergrad I had a teacher who still used pre-printed overhead transparencies that he would write on (filling in details). He provided paper copies of those (with the blanks) to students. Once, he was up at the screen demonstrating something and, instead of going back and writing on the transparency, he wrote on the pull-down screen. That was amusing. 😺

    In grad school I had a teacher (with a heavy russian accent) who would fill a double-wide blackboard with dense mathematical equations in small, even rows multiple times over a 50 minute class period. That was rough.

    My current technique (in high school) is to provide a pdf of my powerpoints (with blanks in lecture materials and just the question for examples written out) online before the lecture. That reduces the tendency to simply transcribe (poorly) the whole lecture.



  • @benjamin-hall said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @cvi, @chozang In undergrad I had a teacher who still used pre-printed overhead transparencies that he would write on (filling in details). He provided paper copies of those (with the blanks) to students. Once, he was up at the screen demonstrating something and, instead of going back and writing on the transparency, he wrote on the pull-down screen. That was amusing. 😺

    In grad school I had a teacher (with a heavy russian accent) who would fill a double-wide blackboard with dense mathematical equations in small, even rows multiple times over a 50 minute class period. That was rough.

    My current technique (in high school) is to provide a pdf of my powerpoints (with blanks in lecture materials and just the question for examples written out) online before the lecture. That reduces the tendency to simply transcribe (poorly) the whole lecture.

    My experience was that high school teachers were better than my undergrad profs. My profs were busy aspiring for a Nobel (or whatever), and teaching was something they did so they wouldn't get fired. In addition, there was a tendency for them to speak towards the most advanced students in the class, as that was closest to where their interest was. Full-time teachers, like school teachers, OTOH, see themselves as teachers, and so take a greater interest in whether their students learn.



  • @chozang said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @benjamin-hall said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @cvi, @chozang In undergrad I had a teacher who still used pre-printed overhead transparencies that he would write on (filling in details). He provided paper copies of those (with the blanks) to students. Once, he was up at the screen demonstrating something and, instead of going back and writing on the transparency, he wrote on the pull-down screen. That was amusing. 😺

    In grad school I had a teacher (with a heavy russian accent) who would fill a double-wide blackboard with dense mathematical equations in small, even rows multiple times over a 50 minute class period. That was rough.

    My current technique (in high school) is to provide a pdf of my powerpoints (with blanks in lecture materials and just the question for examples written out) online before the lecture. That reduces the tendency to simply transcribe (poorly) the whole lecture.

    My experience was that high school teachers were better than my undergrad profs. My profs were busy aspiring for a Nobel (or whatever), and teaching was something they did so they wouldn't get fired. In addition, there was a tendency for them to speak towards the most advanced students in the class, as that was closest to where their interest was. Full-time teachers, like school teachers, OTOH, see themselves as teachers, and so take a greater interest in whether their students learn.

    It doesn't help that hiring, promotion, and retention of full professors (and tenure-track people in general) at many universities is entirely based on research and grants. Teaching only comes in when there's a huge problem (like failing every student in an intro calc class).



  • @adynathos said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    Given what weird ideas one can get investment funding for, he should get a few millions for "Xanadu 2.0" if he asked for it.

    Even idiot venture capitalists need to know what the thing is for.



  • @blakeyrat said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    Even idiot venture capitalists need to know what the thing is for.

    I think it's acceptable to substitute popular buzzwords for actual function.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @blakeyrat said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    Even idiot venture capitalists need to know what the thing is for.

    Do they really?

    👴: Xanadu Blockchain Edition.
    🤑:



  • @benjamin-hall said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    It doesn't help that hiring, promotion, and retention of full professors (and tenure-track people in general) at many universities is entirely based on research and grants. Teaching only comes in when there's a huge problem (like failing every student in an intro calc class).

    When I went back to school ten-ish years ago I took the mandatory "Statistics For Tech Majors Not Taking More Stats" class. The professor was obviously uninterested in teaching such a class: the lectures rarely had anything to do with the book, the tests rarely had anything to do with the book or the lectures, and nobody could get points on the tests until we convinced him to give us old tests as practice. Did I mention he'd regularly take phone calls during class?

    In the end it didn't even matter as we were graded on a curve. I earned an A with roughly 50% of the total points possible.



  • @parody I was fortunate--my undergraduate cared about teaching quite a bit, so the teachers were engaged with the subjects.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @masonwheeler said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    Xanadu Blockchain Edition

    You know what? That's not the most insane idea I've heard today.



  • @dkf said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @masonwheeler said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    Xanadu Blockchain Edition

    You know what? That's not the most insane idea I've heard today.

    Sadly, that's true for me too. But since this isn't the garage, I won't say what the most insane idea I heard was.



  • @benjamin-hall said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @parody I was fortunate--my undergraduate cared about teaching quite a bit, so the teachers were engaged with the subjects.

    I had a variety and this example was definitely the lowest end of the spectrum. Still, in many classes it was pretty clear that I was Learning Drone 9876543 and the sooner I moved on the better.


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    @benjamin-hall said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @dkf said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @masonwheeler said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    Xanadu Blockchain Edition

    You know what? That's not the most insane idea I've heard today.

    Sadly, that's true for me too. But since this isn't the garage, I won't say what the most insane idea I heard was.

    Aw, come on. Don't leave us hanging.



  • @pie_flavor said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @benjamin-hall said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @dkf said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @masonwheeler said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    Xanadu Blockchain Edition

    You know what? That's not the most insane idea I've heard today.

    Sadly, that's true for me too. But since this isn't the garage, I won't say what the most insane idea I heard was.

    Aw, come on. Don't leave us hanging.

    I'd have to put it in the lounge because it's pretty doxy, but one of my fellow teachers (fortunately in a different department) went full on racial social justice warrior at a faculty meeting. And then sent an all call email making it worse.



  • @chozang said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    In a math class, a professor before PowerPoint, the prof would go through a problem linearly writing on the board as fast as he could. If at any point, I was thinking about a line longer than he was writing it, then he would get ahead of me. But when PowerPoint came along, the professors were actually distributing their notes, putting them on the class website.

    One of my old lecturers solved that particular complaint by providing photocopies of the overhead projector sheets she had a habit of filling during the course of a lecture. She hardly ever used the blackboard but filled many a sheet, and after a while some students complained that they couldn’t make notes quickly enough to keep up. After she first said that, “you’re not supposed to copy this directly” she eventually gave in. (But all in all, another teacher that taught me little.)

    This forced them to be of a different nature, and a higher quality.

    That problem, though, her method didn’t solve because she was still writing everything down during the lecture rather than beforehand.



  • @benjamin-hall said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    Teaching only comes in when there's a huge problem

    You’re saying they’re all modelled on UU?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @gurth said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    You’re saying they’re all modelled on UU?

    Well, let's just say that UU reminds me of various places I've studied and worked…



  • @dkf said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    @gurth said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    You’re saying they’re all modelled on UU?

    Well, let's just say that UU reminds me of various places I've studied and worked…

    Except UU has better food.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @benjamin-hall said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    Except UU has better food.

    Food quality was one of the criteria I used for choosing where to study. 😉


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @wft said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    If the gaps weren't there, I think we'd all have neater handwriting (granted, it would also be duller and more uniform).

    Nah. Look at how many artists can do really good lifelike work (Picasso (at 15)), but choose to do stylized work instead(Also Picasso). Or just look up calligraphy and see all the different variations presented.

    I suspect doctors would still use dense blackletter because FUTW.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @dreikin said in Re: Ted Nelson and not understanding the master:

    Look at how many artists can do really good lifelike work (Picasso (at 15))

    Goodness me! He was absolutely amazing…


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