Cultural Dilemma LO5367

John Prins (
Mon, 05 Feb 1996 11:48:16 -0400 (EDT)

In LO5326, Jan Lelie wrote about teaching/learning [physics and logistics] --

Jan -

For what it's worth - your message brought to mind two things:

1) I always found that when I coached others in springboard diving, my
diving improved. This has been a valuable lesson in non-sports related

2) I don't know if it's completely dead yet, but the notion that the whole
world should be operating on the same metric-based measurement system is
one that should be quite simple. Forget the formulae, the conversions,
the monumental effort to formalize a change. Promote the basic
understanding that 0 degrees is freezing...You go outside and it's cold -
brrrrr... At the other end, when it's 34 degrees or so, it's pretty hot -
at least to the average human being. Now 100 degrees is hotter than what
might be considered comfortable summer weather. Secondly, if you place an
egg in water at that temperature it will cook...Everything in between is
simply relative.

Forgive the simplistic stream of consciousness ruminations, but I think
the various other kinds of measurement - linear, liquid...- could be much
the same.

I suppose I'll never really understand why we can't just switch from one
to the other...Is there another interest at work? I refuse to think that
we are not capable of learning what is really a very simple, slightly
different frame of reference.

Don't ask why these thoughts came to mind, but there they are...Thanks for
the spark...

Another thought has been rumbling around my mind that I may attempt to
develop further here or elsewhere. I think it is important to learning to
plan actual down time - for stimuli to sink in, for the mind to process
them with whatever else is in there...There are certainly other ways, but
one of the best for me - to date, in any case - is to take the train from
New Haven to New York or Boston...Even better is the train trip to
Washington. I feel like I am giving my mind a chance to "square the
deck," or to put all kinds of things into perspective. Crude I know. If
I were a practicing psychologist I might know the clinical or
physiological term for what's going on here. In any event, is there a way
to institutionalize this? The fact that it has happened on either leg of
a trip to a professional meeting or conference may or may not be

...better stop here...

John Prins Branford, CT USA

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