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do we rely on computers too much? Watch

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    I often think this, yes I think we do rely on computers too much. If computers are down it is a bad thing in our lives.
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    (Original post by Dez)
    Mathematicians are all lazy, by definition. When you're proving an equation you don't faff about doing extra calculations that you don't need, you distil it down to the bare minimum to prove the statement you were trying to solve. Once you've proven the quadratic equation for finding roots, for example, you can just use it thereafter without deriving it every time, since doing so would be a complete waste.

    Calculators and computers fit into this perfectly. We humans should not waste our time on things we already know the answer to. We can use computers to skip tedious work and concentrate on the stuff that's actually useful, discovering and inventing the things that will make the world a better place, instead of just grinding on the same mill.
    PRSOM.

    Humans are able to do more in less time because of computers. There is a heavy reliance on computers in daily life because our economies, our productivity, our well-being, our critical infrastructure is all built on computers. But this isn't an "over-reliance".

    An analogy to illustrate what I mean is that not 500 years ago, farmers would plough a field by hand or with an ox and the technology available at the time would limit the food yield from a given area of land. As technology has developed and its uptake increased, farmers are able to use tractors, specialised equipment, fertilisers, pesticides etc. to do more for less effort and lower cost.

    Modern life could not continue to function as it is today without computers. But we're not using computers for the sake of it, they are what enable us to live the lives we do.
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    To people of my age the calculator generation stand out a mile. It often crops up if there has been a gross error which remains unspotted because the user has no instinctive understanding of what the proper answer should be even roughly. Ask most youngsters what 15% of 3400 is and see what happens. That has a knock on effect in their confidence and ability at all levels of maths studies. A lot of people say they are "no good at maths". It is true. They aren't.
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    To people of my age the calculator generation stand out a mile. It often crops up if there has been a gross error which remains unspotted because the user has no instinctive understanding of what the proper answer should be even roughly. Ask most youngsters what 15% of 3400 is and see what happens. That has a knock on effect in their confidence and ability at all levels of maths studies. A lot of people say they are "no good at maths". It is true. They aren't.
    Calculating 15% of 3400 is not mathematics, it's just arithmetic.
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    (Original post by Dez)
    Calculating 15% of 3400 is not mathematics, it's just arithmetic.
    And your point is ?
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    And your point is ?
    That confidence in mathematical ability should not be influenced by how good someone is at arithmetic. In an ideal world.
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    And your point is ?
    My mental arithmetic is pretty bad so it'd take me about 30 seconds to do that.
    Of course, with paper the time is stripped immensely!
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    There is no doubt that computing and computer equipment in various guises have transformed our lives. For many people it has been for the better and for others, for worse.

    To me computers are simply a tool, like a screwdriver or hammer. Cars are also just a tool for me. They are pieces of equipment that enhance my life and enhance my performance and help to improve lifestyle and generate wealth.

    The work that i do is heavily influenced by computing . Huge numbers of people who used to do administrative tasks in offices have been taken out,lost their jobs, buildings closed down and their work has been automated to some degree and transported to my laptop.

    If the day comes when they can replace me, then i will be in trouble.

    We can become too reliant on computers. Witness the launch of the airbus at the Habsheim airshow.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9gELPxPG8Q

    The airbus, an aircraft now in common useage, was one of the first fly by wire aircraft. From what i have read there were early conflicts with pilots used to having more direct control of aircraft,struggling with the fly by wire technology. I think i read that this crash was as a result of such a conflict in which the computers conflicted with the pilot input and effectively crashed itself.

    The air france airbus that ditched in the sea was similar. Pilots get used to fly by wire and struggle with real world conflicts such as blocked pitot tubes feeding incorrect data to flight computers.
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    (Original post by Dez)
    That confidence in mathematical ability should not be influenced by how good someone is at arithmetic. In an ideal world.
    It is thinking like this which has caused the collapse of mathematical ability in our schools. A lot of people fall at the first hurdle in maths because they never develop a solid base of computational ability in their heads. It is ridiculous to suggest Maths should not require arithmetic ideally. Why not ?
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    It is thinking like this which has caused the collapse of mathematical ability in our schools. A lot of people fall at the first hurdle in maths because they never develop a solid base of computational ability in their heads. It is ridiculous to suggest Maths should not require arithmetic ideally. Why not ?
    Mathematics is the study of logic, proof and the fundamental basis of our universe. Arithmetic is literally just bean-counting. While a little is obviously needed to be able to function when studying numbers, you don't need to be perfectly brilliant at mental maths when you can simply delegate any big calculations to a nearby calculator. If a calculation is required often enough in Maths then a student will probably memorise it anyway, without having to dedicate time to it directly. Nobody should be put off studying maths just because they can't work out what 9x13 is in their heads, it's ludicrous.
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    Do we rely on computers too much?

    I'll bet the same thing was said of:

    abacus
    slide rule
    horse and cart
    telephone etc.

    get the general drift?

    Technology improves efficiency and frees up time to be spent on other things.

    One does not need to know how to drive a bus in order to use it: 1 driver for 50+ passengers, 1/51 learned how to do it. But the world survived just the same.

    Technology has a habbit of making us lazy and most people could not care less about how something works and have no need to know, just that it does.
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    (Original post by Limpopo)
    The airbus, an aircraft now in common useage, was one of the first fly by wire aircraft. From what i have read there were early conflicts with pilots used to having more direct control of aircraft,struggling with the fly by wire technology. I think i read that this crash was as a result of such a conflict in which the computers conflicted with the pilot input and effectively crashed itself.

    The air france airbus that ditched in the sea was similar. Pilots get used to fly by wire and struggle with real world conflicts such as blocked pitot tubes feeding incorrect data to flight computers.
    Well you know, human error is a major part of most accidents and training plays the major role in that. So was it technology or poor training that caused the crashes?

    Both incidents quoted were a result of several events leading up to catastrophe:

    In the former case, the test pilot tried to perform a manoeuvre the fly-by-wire system was never envisaged to perform. Pilot error (or sales pressure) or technology error?
    In the second case, the pilots failed to perform basic stall recovery procedure after the autopilot dissengaged following a pitot malfunction.

    This is not about becoming over reliant on technology, but about learning how best to make technology serve its masters and with complex machines, more things can go wrong.

    The incredible safety record of commercial aircraft is in most part due to learning from fatal mistakes and taking corrective action to avoid the same in future.

    That's why aircraft go through rigorous and exhaustive testing before they are licenced for commercial flight.
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    (Original post by Dez)
    Mathematics is the study of logic, proof and the fundamental basis of our universe. Arithmetic is literally just bean-counting. While a little is obviously needed to be able to function when studying numbers, you don't need to be perfectly brilliant at mental maths when you can simply delegate any big calculations to a nearby calculator. If a calculation is required often enough in Maths then a student will probably memorise it anyway, without having to dedicate time to it directly. Nobody should be put off studying maths just because they can't work out what 9x13 is in their heads, it's ludicrous.
    That is wrong. 9 x 13 is exactly the type of thing people need to know.
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    That is wrong. 9 x 13 is exactly the type of thing people need to know.
    Why though? If it was something we needed to know then people would end up memorising it out of convenience. But calculations like that crop up fairly rarely for most people so spending time on it is fairly pointless when you can just use a calculator.

    And certainly as far as mathematics study goes, calculating 9x13 is fairly useless information.
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    (Original post by Dez)
    Why though? If it was something we needed to know then people would end up memorising it out of convenience. But calculations like that crop up fairly rarely for most people so spending time on it is fairly pointless when you can just use a calculator.

    And certainly as far as mathematics study goes, calculating 9x13 is fairly useless information.
    Yes but the derivative of sin theta is also useless. No need for maths at all then.
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    (Original post by Old_Simon)
    Yes but the derivative of sin theta is also useless. No need for maths at all then.
    You've completely missed the point.
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    (Original post by Dez)
    You've completely missed the point.
    No I didn't. In fact the mental ability to calculate 9 x 13 is very useful not only in arithmetic but a lot of other aspects of maths. It is also extremely good exercise for the brain in general. Hence Maths is a very good degree even for non future mathematicians. 9 x 13 and the derivative of sin theta are both in modern calculators and computers but that does not mean there is no point in learning them.
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    (Original post by physics man)
    i'm studying physics and maths, i love star trek, star wars, star gate and most other T.V shows with 'star' in the name, and i hate sports; as you can see i am the model geek, so people are often confused when i say that i don't like computers and think we rely too heavily on them.

    now, this isn't to say that i don't think they're useful, on the contrary, they are vital to the modern world, but i think we are over-dependant on them even for simple tasks.

    take calculators for example, i could give you a complex equation to solve and you could give me an answer without any real thought at all if you know how to use your calculator, but do you really know what mathematical function the calculator just performed? if i gave you a pencil and paper (and enough time), could you work it out the old fasioned way without your computerised miracle worker? how many of those functions are just words to you? you might know ways you can manipulate the functions and know what the answer means, but do you really know what you did and why you could do it?

    this is my point, so many of us would be lost without computers and have no back up due to a superficial understanding that might get you through exams but doesn't really teach you.

    but enough of me ranting, what do YOU think?
    Get out of my brain!!

    No seriously I'm exactly the same

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    I googled it and the internet told me that we don't over-rely on computers, so that's my opinion
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    (Original post by 99DeadBaboons)
    I googled it and the internet told me that we don't over-rely on computers, so that's my opinion
    Hahaha, exhibit A:

    Posted from TSR Mobile
 
 
 
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