## South African Skeptics

May 01, 2017, 04:20:08 AM
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brianvds
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 « Reply #120 on: April 24, 2017, 09:41:42 AM »

As for the “O” in BODMAS, it stands for “orders,” as in exponentiation, which takes precedence over multiplication and division.

Indeed, but as I noted, I now see in primary school math textbooks that it stands for "of." Which is problematic, because I tutor once a week at a home schooling centre where they use one of these textbooks.

Of course, "of" really means multiplication, so "half of 6" is pretty much the same thing as "half x 6", so if you use your BODMAS rule like that you'll still get correct answers, but only if you treat "of", x and divide as equals (and therefore evaluate them from left to right). And I don't think that is the way they do it in schools.

I get the impression that at school level (or at least in many schools), the BODMAS rule (or PEMDAS, or whatever else they use as mnemonic) is taken too literally, as a sort of rigid rule that must be followed precisely as stated, i.e. always doing division before multiplication, rather than treating them as equals. And as we can see, in some cases that will result in wrong answers.

And why does this happen? Because the teachers and the authors of the textbooks have "qualifications" in education rather than in math. That's my theory, anyway. :-)
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BoogieMonster
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 « Reply #121 on: April 24, 2017, 10:04:30 AM »

MY JoFB this week is the general clusterfuck my FB wall has become due to Potato-Head causing a herd of sheep to gather in the desert and celebrate their ignorance together. If atheists were really as evil as they believed the place would be a crater by now.

TL;DR: Clever pastor realises if you make everyone kneel those who are standing up will feel the wind more.
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brianvds
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 « Reply #122 on: April 24, 2017, 10:12:33 AM »

Angus' great gatherings strike me as yet more horizontal prayer (which that Jewish carpenter guy explicitly rejected). Furthermore, apparently he also said some things that are actually against the law to say in public, such as "no to homosexuality." Of course, being the staunch supporter of free speech that I am, I don't think it should be illegal to say such things (or to suggest that white men should be disenfranchised). But still - if some right wing nut said it, someone would drag him in front of court faster than you can say "Heil Hitler."

My problem isn't really with religion as such, mind you. More with this sort of simplistic theology, that sees God as a sort of super-technology which you use to do things indistinguishable from magic. I don't know if God is laughing or frowning at the whole thing. :-)
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Mefiante
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In solidarity with rwenzori: Κοπρος φανεται

 « Reply #123 on: April 24, 2017, 10:19:56 AM »

Indeed, but as I noted, I now see in primary school math textbooks that it stands for "of." Which is problematic, because I tutor once a week at a home schooling centre where they use one of these textbooks.

Of course, "of" really means multiplication, so "half of 6" is pretty much the same thing as "half x 6", so if you use your BODMAS rule like that you'll still get correct answers, but only if you treat "of", x and divide as equals (and therefore evaluate them from left to right). And I don't think that is the way they do it in schools.

I get the impression that at school level (or at least in many schools), the BODMAS rule (or PEMDAS, or whatever else they use as mnemonic) is taken too literally, as a sort of rigid rule that must be followed precisely as stated, i.e. always doing division before multiplication, rather than treating them as equals. And as we can see, in some cases that will result in wrong answers.

And why does this happen? Because the teachers and the authors of the textbooks have "qualifications" in education rather than in math. That's my theory, anyway. :-)
The essential problem with BODMAS/PEMDAS et al. is that such mnemonics fail to indicate that multiplication and division are two sides of the same coin, as are addition and subtraction.  Without this insight, BODMAS wrongly indicates that division precedes multiplication, while PEMDAS wrongly indicates the opposite, and both wrongly indicate that addition precedes subtraction.

One can revise the mnemonics to BODA/BOMA/BODS/BOMS and PEMA/PEMS/PEDA/PEDS on the understanding that “M” (or “D”) specifies both multiplication and division, and “A” (or “S”) specifies both addition and subtraction.  Alternatively, one could be explicit about it with BODaMAaS or PEMaDAaS where the lower case “a” means “and”.

In any case, once a person properly understands the precedence rules and the reasons for them (mostly notational compactness and non-ambiguity), such mnemonics are entirely superfluous.  In fact, it’s my considered view that they are actually an impediment to such proper understanding because it’s easier memorising a mnemonic than penetrating to the proverbial grass roots of the matter.

As to why the confusion happens, it’s very likely as you say, namely that understanding of the subject matter is far less important than the hazy, imprecise wafflings of pedagogic theory.

'Luthon64
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Mefiante
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In solidarity with rwenzori: Κοπρος φανεται

 « Reply #124 on: April 24, 2017, 11:25:49 AM »

Speaking of Uncle Spudley, here’s some proposed new legislation that I could support were it not yet another attempt by our megalomaniacal (and ineffective) government to interfere in people’s private lives.  You’d have thought that by now they would have learnt that you can’t legislate away the stupid.

'Luthon64
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BoogieMonster
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 « Reply #125 on: April 24, 2017, 12:05:03 PM »

Hmm I doubt they landed a private "jet" on a farm. I saw a pic of a chopper though (could be a "jetranger").

The real solution is to tax religion like everything else.
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brianvds
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 « Reply #126 on: April 24, 2017, 12:14:38 PM »

Speaking of Uncle Spudley, here’s some proposed new legislation that I could support were it not yet another attempt by our megalomaniacal (and ineffective) government to interfere in people’s private lives.  You’d have thought that by now they would have learnt that you can’t legislate away the stupid.

'Luthon64

Quote: According to the Argus, numerous well-known figures were in attendance including Mmusi Maimaine, wife Natalie, TV personality Michael Mol and ACDP leader Kenneth Moshoe.

Michael Mol once had a pastor bless his house after African masks that he had used as decorations served as doorways for demons to come through. And this is a bloke who trained as medical doctor, though I suppose it lends support to my notion that doctors aren't scientists.

I have often wondered whether America is so religious not despite the absence of a state church but precisely because of it. In a society of completely free religion, religions begin to compete for the attention of spiritual seekers, which in turn leads to churches doing ever more outrageous things and making ever more outrageous claims. (Almost like newspapers, in a system with freedom of the press, publish ever more outrageous click bait to increase readership). In Europe, with its rather bland state churches, the church is just another part of the state bureaucracy, so it's not taken so seriously!

Anyway, you are right: the state cannot legislate stupid out of existence. Perhaps they should just begin to strictly apply existing laws against fraud and false advertising. If you claim your snake oil or prayer cures cancer, it had better do so or you get put behind bars for fraud or practicing medicine without a license. On the other hand, prosecuting religious leaders may achieve little more than make martyrs out of them. Perhaps it would be better to let Darwin sort it out...
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BoogieMonster
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 « Reply #127 on: April 24, 2017, 15:36:44 PM »

Michael Mol once had a pastor bless his house after African masks that he had used as decorations served as doorways for demons to come through. And this is a bloke who trained as medical doctor, though I suppose it lends support to my notion that doctors aren't scientists.

Maybe qualified doctors who apply themselves as TV presenters aren't the best.
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Mefiante
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 « Reply #128 on: April 24, 2017, 16:36:28 PM »

Maybe qualified doctors who apply themselves as TV presenters aren't the best.
Yup, that’s more my thinking too.  There must be at least some desire for public presence, i.e. egocentricity, in such individuals that’s more important to them than the quiet and sober Hippocratic discipline of curing the sick.  The best and most interesting interactions with medical professionals I’ve had have invariably occurred when I accidentally-on-purpose let slip that I’m concerned about CAM and/or anti-vaxxers.  One particularly memorable experience happened at a Dis-Chem outlet when I asked for some off-the-shelf symptomatic flu relief.  The attendant offered me a 200C homoeopathic Oscillococcinum preparation (that’s duck liver in a 1:10⁴⁰⁰ dilution).  My response—“No thanks, I can mix up my own placebos.  I want real medicine.”—elicited hearty-but-barely-suppressed giggles from two pharmacists at the adjoining dispensary.

'Luthon64
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BoogieMonster
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 « Reply #129 on: April 24, 2017, 17:35:45 PM »

I flat out asked a GP who had a homeopathic certification hanging on his wall to explain his script to me "to make sure it's all real medicine".

I have no shame.
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Tweefo
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 « Reply #130 on: April 28, 2017, 19:00:24 PM »

My jongste FB spat. Ter inleiding: Die Observer, die plaaslike korant het oom Angus se Bloemfontein safarie hoog aangeslaan. Ek is natuurlik geroepe gevoel om te antwoord.

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Rigil Kent
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 « Reply #131 on: April 29, 2017, 06:39:13 AM »

Van diesulkes wat jou vraag wel probeer antwoord heg baie waarde aan hulle gevoelens en subjektiewe interpretasie van hul emosies. Hulle sien die as voldoende bewys van god. Hoekom hierdie lighoofdigte euforiese gevoel noodwendig geïnterpreteer moet word as die werk van die heilige gees, as daar net sowel 'n neurologiese verklaring kan wees, bly natuurlik 'n ope vraag. Dis dalk omdat die hele wêreld as 'n reël betrag word deur die godsbrilletjies wat as kind vir hulle opgesit is. Hartseer, eintlik.

ETA: Mens kan dalk uitwys dat intense emosionele ondervindings nie uitsluitlik aan die heilige gees gekoppel hoef te word nie. Daar is immers talle volke wat soortgelyke gevoelens induseer deur om vure te dans, bostromme te slaan of sampioene te eet terwyl hulle glad geen kennis van die Chritendom dra nie. Hulle interpreteer nou weer hulle emosies aan die hand van ander spoke en of gode.
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Tweefo
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 « Reply #132 on: April 29, 2017, 07:24:22 AM »

Van diesulkes wat jou vraag wel probeer antwoord heg baie waarde aan hulle gevoelens en subjektiewe interpretasie van hul emosies. Hulle sien die as voeldoende bewys van god. Hoekom hierdie lighoofdigte euforiese gevoel noodwendig geïnterpreteer moet word as die werk van die heilige gees, as daar net sowel 'n neurologiese verklaring kan wees, bly natuurlik 'n ope vraag. Dis dalk omdat die hele wêreld as 'n reël betrag word deur die godsbrilletjies wat as kind vir hulle opgesit is. Hartseer, eintlik.

ETA: Mens kan dalk uitwys dat intense emosionele ondervings nie uitsluitlik aan die heilige gees gekoppel hoef te word nie. Daar is immers talle volke wat soortgelyke gevoelens induseer deur om vure te dans, bostromme te slaan of sampioene te eet terwyl hulle glad kennis van die Chritendom dra nie. Hulle interpreteer nou weer hulle emosies aan die hand van ander spoke en of gode.
Dankie Rigil, ek gaan dit gebruik. Daar is nog twee antwoorde vanoggend, ek sal dit later hier update. Ek het darm so 'n paar likes ook gekry, dalk is ek nie aleen hier op die Hoëveld vlaktes nie.
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Tweefo
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 « Reply #133 on: April 29, 2017, 15:56:07 PM »

Die hele sad storie het nou bietjie te lank geword om alles hier in te sit, so hier is die link. Ek het Rigil se bydrae net so oor gecopy,
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Tweefo
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 « Reply #134 on: Yesterday at 08:27:12 »

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