June 7th, 2005 10:24 PM
Don't make them like that any more
I recently had a peculiar pleasure.
I got to spend only 10 minutes with it. It was an ugly yellow color, with many dog eared pages, but the printing was still crisp and clear, and nothing was scrawled in the margins. No stamps, no marker, no doodles on the spine.
As I thumbed through it, it was perfect. There was no mention of standardized testing. No multiple choice questions. No photographs of a group of 6 teenagers representing 7 different ethnicities.
There were formulas, charts, and problems organized in a way that made for a logical progression from page 1 to page 397. The symbols were standard notation, and the text minimal but appropriately so.
It was a math textbook from 1979 and it was perfect. It wasn't dumbed down, it wasn't focused on some political goal like scoring well on a standardized test, and it wasn't worried about making sure the characters in the story problems had exotic names from obscure cultures. It was just math, pure, simple, and correct.
I don't even use the textbooks very much. They tend to avoid many problems of substance while simultaneously including useless so called "enrichment" sections. I don't need a column on the history of Pacific Islanders in the development of some obscure branch of trigonometry, I need more word problems. They are aligned to the state's standards and not the university's standards.
Math grows daily, but it doesn't change. The equations the ancient Egyptians used to so carefully design and position their many architectural wonders still work today. Of course they had no idea what a parametric equation was, but their contribution still remains with us.
I don't want pictures of penguins and kittens and hot air balloons. I want a real textbook.
June 7th, 2005 10:37 PM
My Dad was an engineer, and he said the same thing--over 40 years ago.
He showed me books that extrapolated the possible loads to metal. The books of the 1930's were very slim. The books thereafter were thicker.
He explained that some buildings in Hiroshima were knocked down by workmen to avoid accidents later. Several workmen burned their arms on metal I-beams that were inside cold masonry.
The realization of metallic embrittlement.
Dad was always overly harsh about the cleaniness of my room and the tardiness of my chores. He didn't ride bikes, either.
I've never liked engineers since.
June 7th, 2005 10:41 PM
Well - that's me off your Xmas list LOL .
I've never liked engineers since.
Euc - despite my (many) math struggles at times over the years - wish I was as capable as you must be - I still tho treasure one or two real old tomes - possibly similar to what you describe . I guess one or two go back even further than yours.
There was a conciseness and good layout - the fact that I struggled with some areas was academic - they were still at least ''readable''.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
- a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
June 7th, 2005 11:14 PM
Don't worry, my Dad's footprints are all over my life.
You should see my gun-room. You can do inventory in a glance and surgery without checking for lint.
The bottom of my bike shines. Even my crappy blue jeans have holes in exactly the same places.
I married a woman whose Dad is also an engineer.
Her brother is a metalurgist.
I just had a colonoscopy. My doctor says there no pleats in my colon; everything is neatly pressed.
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