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    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?
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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?
    I guess to an extent we do rely on computers too much, however most of us, if not all rely on the internet much more than anything.

    Regarding myself, I really have no room to rant on this subject, since I'll be making a living from it.
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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?
    I think people can be over reliant on calculators. Some of my classmates have calculators that can do various things with matrices, complex numbers and so on. I do not have a calculator that does those things, so I have to understand how it all works. Now, I'm not saying that my friends don;t understand it, but it can be very easy to become too reliant on calculators.
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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?
    When you posted this did you really know what you did, why you could do it and how it works? If not maybe you should go back to using a pen and paper and send it to TSR headquarters. I'm sure they'll have someone who knows how it works so they can post it for you.
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    (Original post by Kool_Panda)
    When you posted this did you really know what you did, why you could do it and how it works? If not maybe you should go back to using a pen and paper and send it to TSR headquarters. I'm sure they'll have someone who knows how it works so they can post it for you.
    i'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say here, but using computers for communication like this is obviously a good use of computers, and in this case an understanding of the workings isn't important (although i do have a basic understanding of how this works); however, too often people rely solely on computers of communication. recently all the computers have been down in my school for upgrading and everything has gone to pot because everyone was so reliant on an elaborate email system that they had no real backup plan for delivering information around the building (even though they had warning of the impending loss of the computers).
    do you see my point?
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    Nope, we need more computers since humans are becoming more and more stupid.
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    (Original post by EXTREMEninja)
    I think people can be over reliant on calculators. Some of my classmates have calculators that can do various things with matrices, complex numbers and so on. I do not have a calculator that does those things, so I have to understand how it all works. Now, I'm not saying that my friends don;t understand it, but it can be very easy to become too reliant on calculators.
    I once saw someone comment on a Youtube video saying "Why do mathematicians still exist when we have calculators to do maths now?" :erm:
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    (Original post by UniMastermindBOSS)
    Nope, we need more computers since humans are becoming more and more stupid.
    Agreed. I'll take a million HAL 9000s over your typical scouser.
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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?
    Yes, I can design the calculator from scratch... well, from transistors at least. Nanotechnology is not my specialty, so I only have a general understanding of the construction of transistors (from doped silicon, which you can purify from sand/silica).

    From discrete transistors to logic gates, to functional blocks, to a processor. I can also design SRAM blocks from flip flops which can be made out of logic gates and hence transistors.

    I can make a battery out of a potato to power the circuit.

    Output is a little more difficult. Nowadays the easiest way is probably using LEDs, which are constructed like diodes (half a transistor... more or less), just with different semiconductor materials.

    I can also construct flash storage using MOSFETs.

    With these components, we can build very basic computers. And I can also write code to run on those computers to give you calculators.

    It will just take a few years of work (with discrete components).

    However, I would not expect most people to know how to do these things.

    Just like how I don't have a very deep understanding of aerodynamics even though I travel by airplane all the time, and I am a pilot.

    What I am getting at is, what someone very famous once said -

    Back in the days, the ratio of amount of knowledge the most knowledgeable person has to the sum of human knowledge approached 1. In the modern day, the ratio approaches 0.

    Sophistication has to be built from abstraction. Layers and layers of abstraction. That's engineering. That's how all the complex things around us are built.

    If every Boeing engineer worked on the level of nuts and bolts, we would never have a 787. They used nuts and bolts to build basic blocks, and used those blocks as abstraction to build more complicated blocks, then even more complicated blocks. That's how we can actually design things with millions of nuts and bolts, and not be bogged down by all the detail.

    So no, I don't think reliance on computers is a bad thing. It's an enabling technology that allows us to build a lot of really awesome things on top of.

    I do happen to know the theories and fundamental working of maths up to lower undergraduate level (some multi-dimensional calculus), but I obviously don't know as much as maths majors, and I use maths mainly as a tool, instead of a subject of study.

    People should be intimately familiar with the inner working of things they are studying or working on, but for things that are no more than tools (maths for me, for example), a lot of times we just have to trust the work of others, if we actually want to get things done. That's a fortunate (or unfortunate) side effect of having a huge total knowledge base between all humans.
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    (Original post by physics man)
    i'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say here, but using computers for communication like this is obviously a good use of computers, and in this case an understanding of the workings isn't important (although i do have a basic understanding of how this works); however, too often people rely solely on computers of communication. recently all the computers have been down in my school for upgrading and everything has gone to pot because everyone was so reliant on an elaborate email system that they had no real backup plan for delivering information around the building (even though they had warning of the impending loss of the computers).
    do you see my point?
    Nah, just joking.
    Seriously though, if they are quicker then what's the problem? As long as you understand what's going on in terms of say a calculation then it's fine. I see your point about people just inserting numbers into a calculation with no real understanding of what's going on. But I think computers even more important as a learning tool. Before, you had to go to a library and borrow a book to learn about something. Now you have the whole world at your fingertips and you can learn anything you could possibly want to without even leaving your house.
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    I think a calculator is useless when solving complex equations.




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    (Original post by UniMastermindBOSS)
    I once saw someone comment on a Youtube video saying "Why do mathematicians still exist when we have calculators to do maths now?" :erm:
    Statements like that make me think there is no hope for humanity :/
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    We'l the computers rely on me to program it and my survival relys on my job which relys on you relying on the computers.

    So no we don't.
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    We do rely on computers why to much! Think about society... everyone is always on either their cellphone or their computer or some other technological devices. In the school I went to everything was computer based (homework, books, etc.).
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    (Original post by sucess)
    I think a calculator is useless when solving complex equations.




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    Pretty much what I was thinking. You can program graphical calculators to solve equations, but for A level, aside from working out arithmetic and trigonometry, calculators don't really do any of the solving
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    I think we do rely on them to much but I think we now rely on them so much we couldn't go back to living without them.

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    (Original post by EXTREMEninja)
    I think people can be over reliant on calculators. Some of my classmates have calculators that can do various things with matrices, complex numbers and so on. I do not have a calculator that does those things, so I have to understand how it all works. Now, I'm not saying that my friends don;t understand it, but it can be very easy to become too reliant on calculators.
    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.
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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.
    Yes, but I'm talking about if you do not understand how results are derived etc. If you know where the quadratic formula comes from, then it helps your understanding. You don't need to derive it every time, but not understanding it isn't good.
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    (Original post by EXTREMEninja)
    Yes, but I'm talking about if you do not understand how results are derived etc. If you know where the quadratic formula comes from, then it helps your understanding. You don't need to derive it every time, but not understanding it isn't good.
    Why, exactly? I'm not saying having that knowledge is a bad thing, but I don't think it's a requirement to perform any higher maths (although it'd be a bit weird not to study something that basic). Would Newton's discovery of Calculus have been any less profound if he didn't happen to understand binomials?
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    (Original post by Dez)
    Why, exactly? I'm not saying having that knowledge is a bad thing, but I don't think it's a requirement to perform any higher maths (although it'd be a bit weird not to study something that basic). Would Newton's discovery of Calculus have been any less profound if he didn't happen to understand binomials?
    Well understanding how things are derived probably helps you improve your maths. I suppose it isn't a requirement, but understanding is certainly better than just memorising.
 
 
 
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