Re: NANFA-- Natives in the calss room
Wed, 20 Sep 2000 00:34:52 EDT

In a message dated 9/18/00 12:38:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< Some people may think that learning math is as unnecessary as learning
another language. That's so untrue. Math and statistics are:
1- ways to communicate ideas and observations.
2- ways to design experiments to test ideas, and prove or disprove claims.
3- ways to develop critical thinking skills to make better sense of the
world and filter out the everyday BS we have to deal with. There is so much
crap being fed us by television and other media. A basic understanding of
statistics will make you a smarter consumer and voter. >>

The 3rd example you mentioned I think is particularly essential, and I think
that it's a skill that most people don't have; the ability to think in a
logical manner. Like with pollution of water resources and and how that
effects groundwater that we drink or how we can't keep polluting the air
without some negative impact on us. Most people in that regard can't seem to
just "put 2-and2 together" and make it add up to 4; they seem to have a
"2-and-2=2"-type reasoning; i.e. "People can pollute their local water and it
won't poison their drinking resources" or "It doesn't matter how much carbon
dioxide and greenhouse gases go into the atmosphere; it won't create global
warming". Some of it is merely ignorance of the facts, while some of it is
this faulty reasoning, of not being able to add up their actions to come up
with the correct consequences of those actions. And some of it is the media
propaganda. I think that some of it too could be groups like PETA being
associated with environmental groups by default; a lot of people think that
animal rights and conservation is the same thing, and since PETA is
high-profile due to their media coverage and they make a lot of statements
that due to their extremity and ridiculousness turn a lot of people off, this
makes people tune out any pro-environmental messages.

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