"Understanding" and Occam's razor


At the beginning of the 20th century, the physicists Hendrik Lorentz and Albert Einstein both concluded independently that measurements of light speed would be the same for all observers. But while both arrived at the same results from their equations, Lorentz’s explanation relied on changes that take place in ‘the ether’. Because Einstein's paper On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies made no reference to a mysterious, undetectable substance, his explanation was accepted as being the most likely. Even after Einstein's theory of special relativity had been accepted, Lorentz wasn't willing to let go of his belief in 'luminiferous aether'. In 1909 he wrote, "Yet, I think, something may also [...]

"Understanding" and Occam's razor 2017-06-24T09:39:08+00:00

A summary of my arguments about education


And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, that one small head could carry all he knew. Oliver Goldsmith A tradition without intelligence is not worth having. T. S. Eliot Debating ideas in education - and anywhere else - is essential if we want to improve the lot of children and society. Over the past 6 years of so I've learned huge amounts from taking part in this back and forth and have, as well as becoming a good deal more knowledgeable, become a lot more adept at thinking critically about the ideas I encounter. My views have changed a [...]

A summary of my arguments about education 2017-08-16T13:59:14+00:00

Assessment: evolution vs. design


Optimization hinders evolution. Alan J. Perlis   As we all know, the DfE decided to ditch National Curriculum levels from September 2014 without plans for a replacement. Some have reacted to this with glee, others despair. On the one hand, we have Tim Oates, an assessment expert and advocate for the removal of levels, saying We need to switch to a different conception of children’s ability. Every child needs to be capable of doing anything dependent on the effort they put in and how it’s presented to them. Levels get in the way of this... The new national curriculum really does [...]

Assessment: evolution vs. design 2015-10-16T20:57:38+00:00