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Oct. 13: Return of the God Hand!
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John in Tronna



Joined: 03 Jul 2012
Posts: 71
Location: Not in Tronna anymore

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen wrote:
Excellent point, and one we obviously have no means of testing in either direction, so we're at a logical draw. Who knows how smart people were thousands of years ago? No one, that's who!

I like the idea that people were smart, got dumb, and are getting smarter again. Maybe that means we'll find Atlantis and the aliens will come back to visit us and protect us from the reptilians who are running the NWO and pushing Agenda 21 to take away our guns!

Because Jesus do we need some more smarts.


"And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space/
'Cause there's bugger all down here on earth."
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Gibson22



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen wrote:
You guys missed the part where we talked about how IQs are increasing over time, both in things like vocabulary (which is related to better education) and things like logical reasoning, pattern recognition, and novel problem solving (fluid intelligence; not directly related to better education). They have to recalibrate IQ tests continuously or people would start falling off the top of the charts. Conversely, your great great grandparents who got through life just fine might be mentally retarded on a current test.

Theories were floated (better nutrition, access to vast amounts of information, we take so many tests that we're just better test takers now, etc), but no one knows why. We just know that people all over the world are scoring higher on IQ tests all the time.


I remember watching a movie called "The Gods Must be Crazy." It's a pretty silly movie, but I used to watch it all the time as a kid. I remember re-watching it fairly recently and something it said in the introduction made me see something in a different manner. If I recall correctly, the narrator was comparing the life of a tribe of bushman verses life in Johannesburg about three hundred miles away: "Life in the city is different; it is a constant tumult of activity and new dealings, where man is forced to adapt every day." -Adapt is what got me. In a world where things are becoming more and more faster paced, we have to learn new things and habits. Maybe we are great test takers because our minds adapt quickly because of our environment yet we do not have "disciplined" learning.

In other words, our environment encourages fast learning instead of deep-rooted memory. That would make sense in a few ways, especially concerning a news story I read about how people's ability to memorize phone numbers have decreased drastically.
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...more like people never bother memorizing numbers of any kind, much less phone numbers. I don't think that's a bad thing at all. The more we can offload on our environment, the better.

I even offload most of my long-term memorization. Anki tells me when I need to review some of the things that I want to keep cooped up in my head, at least the things that I won't necessarily be seeing regularly in my day-to-day life but that I want to commit to long-term memory anyway. It's way better at that kind of thing than I'll ever be. I put about twenty minutes a day into reviews.

I do have one stupidly long number memorized-- my library card number. Memorized that one by accident. Don't even know my own cell phone's number, but I know my old library card number that I don't even use anymore. I used to have to type it into things all the time. I guess that's the same reason people used to learn phone numbers--back when they actually dialled them. Obviously they aren't going to commit them to long-term memory if they don't go through the motions of dialling them on a regular basis.

Also, the more phone numbers you have memorized thoroughly, the easier it is to memorize more, because then you already have patterns to work with and recombine to fit the new numbers. I know... uh... three currently active telephone numbers, so I wouldn't be anywhere near as good at memorizing new telephone numbers as I would be at memorizing, saaaaay, new Chinese characters, since I already have a few thousand of those to work with.

One of my passwords involves mostly numbers with a few letters thrown in. Do passwords count? Just like telephone numbers, passwords aren't hard to engrave into long-term memory if you have to type them in regularly.

and my social security number, I guess

THIS CONCLUDES A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL OF THE NUMBERS I HAVE MEMORIZED
okay no it doesn't but I'm not going to go into full depth with things like "such and such programming language starts indices at 0 but this other one starts at 1 because it's stupid, and here's a bunch of powers of two, and water boils at 100 degrees and and body temperature is 37 but it fluctuates a bit throughout the day and a blah blah blaaaaa blaaa"
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LadySunami



Joined: 04 May 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, cell phones have kinda made the memorizing phone numbers thing a little irrelevant. Just click on the persons name and call them!

I don't think I even remember my own cell phone number consistently. I know all the numbers now (finally) but I tend to get confused about the order. I find that happens with my social security number too... I scramble numbers waaay too easily.

I know my parent's home phone number by heart though. I was made to memorize my home phone number as a kid, for obvious reasons.

I could probably spout off some chemistry related numbers as well, no problem. Like Kelvin is Celsius + 273.15 and Avogadro's number is 6.022 x 10^23...
I had to look up how to spell both Celsius and Avogadro though. Dyslexia sucks like that.
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, no, Avogadro's number is 69^pi^5^(1/2)
or at least my estimation of it is much, much closer than yours, teehee

I think we should switch to a system of measurement where it's some nice even power of ten*, though. Metric could definitely be improved upon. yes, yes I know it's nice for water, of course it's nice for water



*or some other base; I don't like the decimal number system, either. Ten doesn't have enough factors. Particularly factors of two. And maybe three, depending on my mood. And the factor of five is just silly.

Octals would be way easier to teach to little kids.


don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print
don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print
don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print don't bother reading the fine print

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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heretical Rants wrote:

Octals would be way easier to teach to little kids.


I stand by this statement wholeheartedly, by the way. The decimal number system is a stupid relic of a stupid past.

We can't go to binary or hexadecimal for common usage, though. Writing big numbers in binary takes too many digits, and I wouldn't expect anyone to learn multiplication tables or anything in hexadecimals.

Octals seem optimal. Lots of factors of two available, simpler to teach to kids than decimals(fewer multiplication/addition facts to memorize and things like that), and they just make more sense to use in general.

The US o' A cain't even switch to metric, though, so we cain't jus go fiddlin' with their danged 'rithmetic.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gibson22 wrote:
In a world where things are becoming more and more faster paced, we have to learn new things and habits. Maybe we are great test takers because our minds adapt quickly because of our environment yet we do not have "disciplined" learning.

In other words, our environment encourages fast learning instead of deep-rooted memory. That would make sense in a few ways, especially concerning a news story I read about how people's ability to memorize phone numbers have decreased drastically.

This doesn't make any sense. First, as HR points out, who cares about phone numbers? People point this out to me all the time, like if we don't know phone numbers we should all be wearing helmets. Why would you learn something you don't need to know, and which does nothing to enrich your life or that of anyone else? Are you unable to learn phone numbers, or do you have no reason to learn phone numbers? I'm betting it's the latter. I have a great memory for numbers. I can tell you my credit card numbers, my student ID at both colleges I attended, the 4-digit extensions for 20 or 30 people at the hospital where I work, and every home phone number I had growing up (four)... but I can't tell you my sister or my brother's current cell phone numbers. Because I've only ever dialed each of them once, to put them into my phone.

Anyway... what do you mean by, "disciplined learning," and, "deep-rooted memory?" We have a lot of learning in our lives - people on average attend more school now than we have in generations (and I would bet more than at any time in history, but I don't have that data). Compare that with increasing IQ scores - not just on academic scales, but also things like logic and pattern recognition - and I'm not sure what you mean by a lack of "disciplined learning."

Similarly, there's no evidence I'm aware of that the way we remember has changed. There are a variety of processes of learning, and of course memory is actually a multi-step process of perceiving, encoding, storing, and then retrieving. You don't really store memories, but traces of memories that you then reconstruct every time you try to remember an event. But I digress. The closest term to "deep-rooted" I'm familiar with is called "deep processing," but it's something we all do everyday. In order to retrieve memory you need a cue, and deep processing is simply to ponder a concept deeply and compare/contrast/integrate it with other concepts. It's not really a skill... it just happens that if you attach an idea to a lot of other ideas then it becomes easier to recall later. But, again, this isn't lacking... everyone does it at times. Some more than others, but it's something everyone can do.
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John in Tronna



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dogen wrote:
I have a great memory for numbers. I can tell you my credit card numbers, my student ID at both colleges I attended, the 4-digit extensions for 20 or 30 people at the hospital where I work,


Yeah? Prove it. What are your credit card numbers? Bet you can't remember.

Or if that's too tough, try your SSN and mom's maiden name.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You sound like the nice man going door to door in the retirement community in Florida selling roof insurance before a hurricane. Now hold on, sonny, I just have to remember... let's see... I used a substitution cipher using the alphabet -2 and drop the 10's... the code is

FUCK YOUR MOMS FACE

which means the number is

4831 5518 3539 4135!

See? Told you I could remember!
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Adyon



Joined: 27 May 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always find I've had the unique ability to process VAST ammount of things and remember them...temporarily. I'm very good with short term memory...but I suck at long-term. I don't know why. Perhaps I run into things with my head too much. =/

Compare that to my wife and her nearly eidetic memory. She doesn't have a truly eidetic memory, but it's close. I have no idea if there's a term for it. I know I can tell her a an address to put in the GPS or a number for some reason, and as long as she tried to remember it, she can even tell me that random number 2 weeks later. The mind is fascinating. I wish I had that little trouble memorizing new information.

Though as for the debate on intelligence over time, I do believe in some sort of minor evolution at the very least, so to me, the concept of evolution goes against the idea that we haven't gotten any smarter, even if it's marginally so. I do agree though with what people have said that we might have gone through periods of stupidity. To that end, maybe periods of environmental and food factor in to why those occur. But, if others don't know, I can definitely guess I wouldn't know the answer either. Still fun to theorize over. If not that, did we just happen to have particularly well devloped societies or even just individuals, such as now. In that, many people today would be smart enough to go "I discovered gravity!", but it took a genius then? I don't know. Just wanted to chime in too.

(And didn't want to get in the middle of it before when HereticalRants was going all scary on us. =P It's okay...everyone has their "hot button". Most people here get wound up around misogyny. Hers is just anything at all related to religion.)
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You probably have a type of memory that you excel at that you don't notice because no one asks you to use it the way we ask people to use numbers. If I had to venture a guess, as an artist I would imagine you probably have a fairly good memory for visual and spatial information. They test this in people by having them walk into a room they've never seen, look around for a set amount of time (15 seconds, 30 seconds, etc), then come out. They give them a blank map of the space and have them draw all the items they can remember into the space in the correct locations. Sometimes they even do it in 3D, to see if you can remember relative heights. Artists are usually good at it. Regular people tend to move things into quadrants (you know, top left, top right, etc) or follow rules, like something near the center of the room gets moved to the center, things get lined up more, etc.

Anyway, to minimize my bragging from before, despite being good at remembering numbers I suck at math. I took five math courses in college, and the only thing I can still do by hand is calculate a standard deviation and a Student's t-test... and it amazes me I can do those because I can't remember how to factor a polynomial, which seems like it should be easier to me, but isn't.
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adyon wrote:
I always find I've had the unique ability to process VAST ammount of things and remember them...temporarily. I'm very good with short term memory...but I suck at long-term. I don't know why. Perhaps I run into things with my head too much. =/

Compare that to my wife and her nearly eidetic memory. She doesn't have a truly eidetic memory, but it's close. I have no idea if there's a term for it. I know I can tell her a an address to put in the GPS or a number for some reason, and as long as she tried to remember it, she can even tell me that random number 2 weeks later. The mind is fascinating. I wish I had that little trouble memorizing new information.


I don't know how I'd describe my memory. I think it's pretty thorough compared to most people, but on the flip side sometimes it takes me a very, very long time to remember things. Or maybe my memory is just bad and I'm just good at piecing the weak and fragmented little bits of it together.
I was always the last person to finish any exam that involved having to remember any sort of detailed information. I might score the highest but also take the longest. Tools like Anki ultimately just help me remember things in a more timely manner.

Dogen wrote:
I can't remember how to factor a polynomial, which seems like it should be easier to me, but isn't.


pshhh, no one bothers factoring big polynomials by hand

Anything worse than factoring out a redundant term or maybe a basic quadratic and you just grind that little bitch through a computer.

I mean, you could look for rational roots, pull those out with long division, yadda yadda yadda... and there's a lot of other things you could do if you don't limit yourself to the real numbers, too.... Tedious algebra is just a waste of time, though, so uhhhh
yeah.
computer.

Also, for some inexplicable reason this made me really curious as to how a number system based on every prime might work out... *HR bashes head against the wall and then gets back to work on things that are actually productive*


Adyon wrote:
(And didn't want to get in the middle of it before when HereticalRants was going all scary on us. =P It's okay...everyone has their "hot button". Most people here get wound up around misogyny. Hers is just anything at all related to religion.).


Rabble rabble rabble. Rabble!
ALL HAIL THE RABBITICORN
MAY THE GREAT GNOME BE BORN AGAIN FROM MY MORTAL DEBRIS
LIVE LONG AND GALLOPFREY

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Dogen



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heretical Rants wrote:
Dogen wrote:
I can't remember how to factor a polynomial, which seems like it should be easier to me, but isn't.


pshhh, no one bothers factoring big polynomials by hand

What's big? I've never seen a polynomial outside of school, except one time when this lady at work was like, "Really? You can't factor a polynomial? What about this one?" and couldn't believe I didn't know how to figure it out.

I remember the quadratic equation song, so I guess I could use that on every polynomial I encounter from now on. Which, hopefully, will be none.
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things like n^4 + n^3
or n^2 + 1
or -16t^2 + 64t
or 3 * cat ^2 * dog + 3 * cat * dog ^ 2 + dog ^ 3 + cat ^ 3
would fall under "super easy to factor."

6x^7 + 4x^6 + 128x^5 + 340x^4 + 210x^3 + 24x^2 + 20 x + 3 would fall under "naaaah, I don't even know for sure if that's factorable without using complex numbers, I'll just feed that to the computer." Also it isn't very often useful to factor such things anyway, and such problems are usually just given to kids as an exercise in basic algebra.

Things like a taylor series approximation with arbitrarily many terms would fall under "Hahaha what why would you even want to factor that."

I don't have the quadratic formula memorized, btw, so you know more about that than I do. I could derive it, though. The only thing it's really useful for is programming old graphing calculators to solve quadratics for you, an activity that I do not often engage in.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was okay until we started factoring animals... I have conceptual issues with feeding them into the quadratic equation.
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