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2:03 AM
@VictorEijkhout Yes, a General (Napoleon) wanted the table of logarithms calculated. Encryption was considered 'munitions'. GPS was created by the military. Perhaps if we learned to get along with each other, all progress would stop. Thinking about the end of the movie Arrival again...
 
 
2 hours later…
4:02 AM
Yes @BenI. «But the real mathematical story that I love is much more exciting, and starts with Godel and winds up at Von Neumann»

Particularly neat your way of putting: «They were concerned with fabric-of-the-universe stuff. They wanted to figure out what was knowable and what was definitely unknowable»

But...
I have a beef!!
Hi-story is always a story. In the crucial sense that starting point is chosen not objectively but quite arbitrarily. After all...

- Gödel/Turing were essentially RESPONDING to Hilbert/Brouwer
- in the context of Russell/Whitehead's Principia And Frege's Predicate Calculus
- Who were responding to the Kronecker/Cantor fracas over legitimacy of set theory/logic

... Which is really REALLY heartland of mathematics

This is the way I would wish the story were told
http://blog.languager.org/2015/03/cs-history-0.html
 
 
9 hours later…
12:53 PM
I tend to go by what Pascal said, something like: geometry is not true, it is convenient. I remember a manager getting actually angry at me when I was trying to assert what I thought was a vital point about a system or program. He wanted something effective, not something meaningful. As an engineer, this is a good guideline. I used to tell my students, "You will not be paid to have opinions."
Paying people to have opinions seems like a dangerous practice. Please give counterexamples if I'm wrong. (Other than news-reporting, please)
 
 
2 hours later…
2:40 PM
@ctrl-alt-delor Thank you for doing that. I'd forgotten about those questions 🤪
 
3:02 PM
@BenI. Actually, it needs further edit. I assume DSA is Data Structures and Algorithms and CP might be Concurrent Programming, but I can't say.
 
3:43 PM
CP = «competitive programming»! See cseducators.stackexchange.com/questions/7252/…
 
4:04 PM
@Buffy Royal doesn't make typewriters anymore, I guess, but they do make shredders! I just realized that was the brand name on mine. It is responsible, to help clean up the problem you helped create. What will Intel and Microsoft be making in the future, I wonder?
 
 
1 hour later…
5:05 PM
@Buffy Agreed. That's why I closed both of his "what comes after C++" questions
I get the feeling he's a middle school student and he thinks he's talking to other middle school students
 
 
1 hour later…
6:33 PM
@BenI. Apparently "class 12" in Pakistan is 12th grade - last year of high school. In many parts of the world, anything computer-related is probably seen as the most likely route away from a conventional life with unrewarding or low paying work. So, they are very desirous of being successful. I recall reading about "cram school" in South Korea. The competition is unimaginable to people in the US I think.
 
6:46 PM
@ScottRowe I briefly worked at a South Korean cram school here in the USA. I don't know how similar it was to the ones in South Korea, though the owner (and many of the clients parents, and some of the students) grew up in Korea, so I imagine it's not tremendously far off.
There was a lot of emphasis on having a lot of work to do, and it seemed to me that it was focused on about a 60/40 split between understanding and rote.
Sort of like, understanding was a good goal, but not at the cost of progress.
 
Japan has a pretty intense pre college cram culture. I recall a movie about it, but don't remember the title.
 
That was just my impression, and I didn't work there long.
They might have a very different take on it themselves. Or they might not -- it's hard to say! They were very practical-minded.
I also got the impression that they tolerated my approach to some degree because I teach at a prestigious school.
 

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