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Re: Fw: QED & Marshall McLuhan

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Tue, 08 Jun 1999 11:01:10 -0400
Message-Id: <199906081455.KAA57309@relay.interim.iamworld.net>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 10:04 AM 6/8/99 -0400, Ann Navarro wrote:

>Should a web site dedicated to quantum physics start with an explanation
>that gravity is what makes a ball roll down hill? Should a math site
>discussing chaos theory take the time to explain how addition works by
>showing two piles of apples being combined into one? 

You have just proven Jonathan's point.  The bit about addition is the
traditional approach which presumes that the linguistic articulation is
required.  The educational facts of life are quite the reverse.  Immersive
verisimilitude is accessible.  Dealing indirectly through linguistic codes
takes lots of investment in cognitive infrastructure.  It is not the most
accessible path.

The message that is more easily grasped is the three-dimensional video of
what each of us has seen: a laminar stream of water hitting the floor of
the kitchen sink and fanning out to an annular jump after a while.  This is
how one introduces nonlinear dynamics and catastrophe/chaos theory.
Familiar scenes from life.  The more dimensions, color and smell the
better.  Not with the calculus of integers.  Why is the transition not
smooth?  Why is the jump so much the same no matter what direction the
water is running away in?  Does the water conspire to jump together?   How
do it know???


Received on Tuesday, 8 June 1999 10:55:52 UTC

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