Revamping the numeric HUMAN ATTITUDE
Fri, 09 Feb 2001 11:26:39 +0000
Brian Boutel wrote:
> William Lee Irwin III wrote:
> > The Standard Prelude serves its purpose well and accommodates the
> > largest cross-section of users. Perhaps a Geek Prelude could
> > accommodate the few of us who do need these sorts of schenanigans.
And we will have The Prole, normal users who can live with incomplete,
sometimes contradictory math, and The Inner Party of those who know
Would you agree that your children be taught at primary school some
dubious matter because "they won't need the real stuff".
I would agree having a minimal standard Prelude which is incomplete.
But it should be sane, should avoid confusion of categories and
Methodologically and pedagogically it seems a bit risky.
Technically it may be awkward. It will require the compiler and
the standard libraries almost completely independent of each other.
This is not the case now.
BTW. what is a schenanigan? Is it by definition someething consumed
by Geeks? Is the usage of Vector Spaces restricted to those few
Geeks who can't live without schenanigans?
For some time I follow the discussion on some newsgroups dealing with
computer graphics, imagery, game programming, etc. I noticed a curious,
strong influence of people who shout loudly:
"Math?! You don't need it really. Don't waste your time on it!
Don't waste your time on cute algorithms, they will be slow as
hell. Learn assembler, "C", MMX instructions, learn DirectX APIs,
forget this silly geometric speculations. Behave *normally*, as
a *normal* computer user, not as a speculative mathematician!"
And I noticed that REGULARLY, 1 - 4 times a week some freshmen ask
over and over again such questions:
1. How to rotate a vector in 3D?
2. How to zoom an image?
3. What is a quaternion, and why some people hate them so much?
4. How to compute a trajectory if I know the force acting on the
To summarize: people who don't use and don't need math always feel
right to discourage others to give to it an adequate importance.
It is not they who will suffer from badly constructed math layer
of a language, or from badly taught math concepts, so they don't
care too much.