13 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 The Importance of Mathematics in Seafaring

Before there was an accurate seafaring clock, the sailor seeking his bearings had to be a trained mathematician. The accepted way to find longitude at sea was by precise observations of the moon, which required refined instruments and subtle calculations. An error as small as 5' in observing the moon meant an error of 2V2. degrees of longitude, which on the ocean could be as much as 150 miles—enough to wreck a ship on treacherous shoals. Fatal miscalculation might come from a crude instrume...
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Sailors had to be mathematicians in order to keep their bearings on the ocean.

02 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Reasoned Debate Online

I find that the biggest barrier to a reasoned debate is time rather than space, restrictive though it may be. Everything goes so fast that there is pressure to react sooner rather than later without allowing time for reflection. People then fall back on popular "truths" that can quickly be thrown out there. You can see this on Slashdot too where people pounce on articles to post the established group-think for a quick ' 5' (as well as the ubiquitous "frist psots".) Those who come relatively l...
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Is hampered by the need to get opinions out quickly before the discussion goes cold, reducing the propensity for reflection and thoughtful discourse.