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Teachers not teaching Tue, Aug 09, 2016
I'll never forget the time I failed to learn an important school/job skill:  Interpolation, which is a fairly simple mathematical operation to get a specific value from a table of numbers.  I was in class in college, and the professor said something about using interpolation to find a number.  One of the students raised their hand and asked him to explain.  He responded, "You know what interpolation is.  I'm not going over it."  And that was that.  Several students complained, but the professor just moved on without teaching it.  The concept itself isn't all that complicated, and it can be taught pretty easily, especially to engineering students who are already well-versed in math.  I ended up learning it on my own and still use it today on a very regular basis.  I still can't believe I had the privilege of paying to not learn something. 

It happened again another time in college, when I first encountered the concept of a hyperbolic trigonometric function.  It happened the same way, with the professor casually breezing through a part of a problem that had to do with hyperbolic functions.  I'd heard of them before, but had no real idea how to use them or what they were for, and several people in class agreed with my ignorance.  The professor said something along the lines of, "You should already know that," and simply moved on.  To this day, I still have no idea what a hyperbolic function is or what it can possibly be used for, and not only do I not care, I firmly blame that educator for my lack of knowledge. #education

Large groups and cliques Mon, Aug 08, 2016
I was hanging out with a big group of people this weekend (around 50), and several of them lamented the fact that there were cliques.  I've heard this complaint before, and it's never made any sense to me.  How are large groups of people supposed to spend time?  Sitting in a giant circle, with everyone splitting the airtime evenly between everyone's individual interests?  It makes no sense mathematically.  Large groups split into smaller groups very naturally, as people find shared interests and relatable personalities.  It's not a negative thing, as in, "You can't join our clique because you were in that other clique."  It's simple logistics:  Not everyone is identical, and time can't be split between more than say 6 or 8 people.  Any more, and one or two people will dominate the group while the rest sit around and listen.  Trust me as a quiet person, I can only listen to you for so long.  Not to mention the fact that a person like me will almost never say or do anything in front of a group of people that large.  Cliques make large groups of people operate in a realistic setting. #sociology

Extroverts are selfish Thu, Aug 04, 2016
Last week at work, a bunch of people were out of the office either on vacation or taking training.  More than one remaining person came to my desk to talk, lamenting the fact that so few people were around.  These remainders were extroverts, seeking to "recharge" by interacting with other people.  The other people they were interacting with (me) were introverts, who like to "recharge" by not interacting with other people.  I said to my extrovert wife later that extroverts are kind of selfish to force interactions with people who don't want to interact.  The extrovert in her said that introverts are selfish for wanting to keep to themselves instead of giving extroverts someone to interact with.  I guess we're all a little selfish. #sociology

Word quantity vs. quality Wed, Aug 03, 2016
I know a guy who talks a lot.  He has no internal monologue, so every idea that comes to his mind comes straight out his mouth, and every action he takes has its own play-by-play commentary. 

I, on the other hand, don't typically have much to say.  And because of my lack of abundance of words, I tend to try to make my words count.  It's almost like my friend is rich, so he doesn't mind wasting money on stupid stuff, while I'd rather spend my money wisely.  I'm not saying I'm better; it's just my observation. 

But a corollary to this is that I think word quality decreases as quantity increases.  As in, the ratio of useful to worthless words coming out of my friend's mouth is probably around 1:10, while my ratio is something more like 1:4. 

I'm reminded of the title of a book I didn't read (so I have no comment on):  Talk Less, Say More. #sociology