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Author: Subject: Chemistry Crisis in UK Universities
DerAlte
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[*] posted on 23-7-2007 at 12:35


@ Sandmeyer & Sergei_Eisenstein:

I did not wish to imply that UK universities ever used IQ trests. As far as I know they didn't and don't now. I haven't been in te UK since the 1970's so am out of touch except for media. I won't tell you what I think of media sources...

The infamous 11+ test was partly an IQ test, though.

I agree that IQ tests are not of any real value in determining anything except the ability to do well on IQ tests. Perhaps they test reasoning ability.

The converse of what Sandermeyer said is generally true - if you test low then you will have difficulty mastering mathematics, but it does not follow that if you test high you will be necessarily be good at it. Motivation and a host of other factors matter equally, more perhaps..

In my case I once scored around + 3 sigma. IQ as defined is only meaningful up to age 20, if that old. Most of the world's best scientists were in their 20's when they make their breakthoughs. After that a gradual deterioration and academic conformity sets in. Since I am now 70, maybe there's only a shadow left!

It's a mixed blessing. After going to private school it took me 3 yrs college and 2 in industry to sort myself out and realize that there were times one should not be too smart...

damnant quod non intelligunt - they curse what they do not understand. OR, since Latin order is random, a less likely translation is - they don't understand what they curse!

Regards,

DerAlte
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vulture
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[*] posted on 23-7-2007 at 13:43


Mr. Wizard:

Quote:

In a larger context, civilization itself is no more guaranteed than anything else. It has to be nourished and protected.


I wouldn't be too sure of that. I'm always very wary of people that claim to protect our civilization/society. They're mostly taking your rights away using questionable, to say the least, logics. The best example are the tree huggers protecting us against global warming (which I'm not conviced of either) by closing down nuclear plants.

Ofcourse China and India have less stringent environmental laws than we do. But that's only a part of why they're outproducing us. There's a reason why many good scientists are coming from over there.




One shouldn't accept or resort to the mutilation of science to appease the mentally impaired.
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[*] posted on 23-7-2007 at 14:12


What I am reading here about chemistry is even stronger in electronics and computer technology (which I studied, starting at 1984, finishing in 1990). If I look at the programme/courses at 2007 and compare them to the courses of around 1985, then it makes me sad.

I had to learn in depth the inner workings of semiconductor devices, but also sophisticated programming constructs and data representation methods. Nowadays, even inserting a single object in a linked list is asking too much for people who passed the information technology degrees. People are thought to talk about electronics (most likely, computers, infrastructure and so on), but they can't work anymore with them beyond the level of doing common office tasks like reading email, writing documents and so on. Nowadays, we have business and management schools. Also, working in IT has changed accordingly. In 15 years I have seen the work changing. Now we have a work : overhead ratio of 40 : 60. This used to be something like 80 : 20. For every hour I work, almost 1.5 hour of overhead is created! This is insane, but it is real. I truly understand why people in India, China or Malaysia are asked to do the real work.

Of course, some overhead is required (project bookkeeping, progress monitoring), but I sometimes have the feeling that many managers are not there to serve the people, who do the work, but they are there to keep their own position firm and strong. Of course, that requires other managers, etc.




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Sandmeyer
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[*] posted on 23-7-2007 at 14:19


Yeah, everybody seems to study stuff like "International Media Design" for some reason, who is going to quench the fires, cut hair, or make compounds 20 years from now?

[Edited on 23-7-2007 by Sandmeyer]




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chemrox
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[*] posted on 23-7-2007 at 17:24
chemistry in the US


What I've seen in the US is chemistry labs are a thing of the past in high school and have become 50% or more devoted to spectroscopy "experiments" in undergrad courses. We call it the "lawyer tax."
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[*] posted on 23-7-2007 at 18:13


Quote:
Originally posted by vulture
Mr. Wizard:

Quote:

In a larger context, civilization itself is no more guaranteed than anything else. It has to be nourished and protected.


I wouldn't be too sure of that. I'm always very wary of people that claim to protect our civilization/society. They're mostly taking your rights away using questionable, to say the least, logics. The best example are the tree huggers protecting us against global warming (which I'm not conviced of either) by closing down nuclear plants.

Ofcourse China and India have less stringent environmental laws than we do. But that's only a part of why they're outproducing us. There's a reason why many good scientists are coming from over there.


So you doubt that civilizations can founder and be lost? Maybe I misunderstand your meaning? I don't think the danger should be used to facilitate government , but you have to see the signs of decay and disruption. I see them in the city I live in, the daily swill on television, and in the movies.

As a starting point for discussion, I will list these:

From "The Story of Civilization" by Will Durant.
This is a 10 volume set started by Will Durant that had it's first volume, "Our
Oriental Heritage" published in 1934. In the last chapter he predicts our war
with Japan. As you know this came true 7 years later. The list of essential
elements of civilization starts on page 934. I'll only give the highlights.

1. The first element is labor-tillage, industry, transport and trade.
2. The second element is government-organization and protection of life and
society through the clan and family, law and the state.
3. The third element is morality- customs and manners, conscience and
charity; a law built into the spirit, and generating at last that sense of right
and wrong, that order and discipline of desire, without which a society
disintegrates into individuals, and falls forfeit to some coherent state.
4. The fourth element of civilization is religion- the use of man's
supernatural beliefs for the consolation of suffering, the elevation of
character, and strengthening of social instincts and order.
5. The fifth element in civilization is science- clear seeing, exact recording,
impartial testing, and the slow accumulation of a knowledge objective
enough to generate prediction and control.
6. The sixth element of civilization is philosophy the attempt of man to
capture something of that total perspective which in his modest intervals he
knows that only Infinity can possess; the brave and hopeless inquiry into the
first causes of things, and their final significance; the consideration of truth
and beauty, of virtue and justice, of ideal men and states.
7. The seventh element of civilization is letters- the transmission of
language, the education of youth, the development of writing, the creation of
poetry and drama, the stimulus of romance, and the written remembrance
of things past.
8.The eighth element of civilization is art- the embellishment of life with
pleasing color, rhythm and form.
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[*] posted on 24-7-2007 at 15:04


Quote:
Originally posted by Sergei_Eisenstein
The Euro situation is becoming dangerously similar to the US, and it won't be long until the best PhDs will be Singhs and Wangs, "imported" to keep science alive.


Only for a short time. Eventually, Mr. Singh and Miss Wang will work in their own countries, whilst the US and European economies shrivel.




1f `/0u (4|\\| |234d 7|-|15, `/0u |234||`/ |\\|33d 70 937 0u7 /\\/\\0|23.
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[*] posted on 25-7-2007 at 12:54


Quote:

So you doubt that civilizations can founder and be lost? Maybe I misunderstand your meaning? I don't think the danger should be used to facilitate government , but you have to see the signs of decay and disruption. I see them in the city I live in, the daily swill on television, and in the movies.


I don't disagree that civilizations can collapse or can be destroyed.
It's just that "protecting civilization" is usually a pretext used by those who subsequently attempt to destroy it.
Quote:

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."


Furthermore, "civilization" or "society" is itself the root of the problem. People expect that there is a network in place that'll cover for them whilst they stroll through life.



[Edited on 25-7-2007 by vulture]




One shouldn't accept or resort to the mutilation of science to appease the mentally impaired.
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