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Turn it around

by Fletch (Chancellor)
on Oct 26, 2001 at 01:32 UTC ( #121546=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to So it's homework - so what?

Who do you want designing the brakes on your car (or the flight control avionics on the 7\d7 you're getting on, or . . .)? The guy that cribs the answer from the copy of last years class notes and doesn't understand why that's the correct answer, or the one that takes the time to derive the correct answer himself from his understanding of the underlying principles involved?

Sure your hypothetical fourth student got the right answer easily, but they're not always going to be able to call mommie for the answer (or she may not be as good an expert on real time systems design as she is at cooking).

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Re: Turn it around
by tachyon (Chancellor) on Oct 27, 2001 at 14:02 UTC

    Who do you want designing the brakes on your car.....

    Well actually I would prefer the guy who goes with the established, tried and proven systems rather than the boy genius who wants to try his new wizz bang reinvention of the wheel on my ass. But that is just me. Must be getting old I guess :-)

    Part of being a professional *anything* is knowing where to look and/or who to ask to get the answers you need.




      Another part of being a professional is internally processing those answers into some form of lasting knowledge... "Homework" questions don't bother me because they're homework per se; they bother me because I don't think much learning is taking place. I have a sneaking suspicion that my answer is getting cut'n'pasted straight from the web to the assignment, w/o spending much time bouncing around in the questioners head.

      Its the difference between:

      • Can someone give me the answer to #3?
      • Can someone help me understand what question #3 is trying to teach me?

      I can almost *guarantee* that these nearly identical questions would evoke vastly different responses from the perlmonks community.


        <silly aside>Q: What is the definintion of a lecture? A: A means of transferring the notes' of the lecturer to the notes' of the student without passing through the minds of either.</silly aside>



      I'm not talking about reinventing the wheel, I'm talking about not understanding why the existing wheel works. Yes you need to know where to find prior art, but blindly relying on it without an understanding of what it's doing leads down the path to cargo cult or voodoo programming.

      Well actually I would prefer the guy who goes with the established, tried and proven systems

      But calling mom for advice is not doing that. It's seeking anecdotal support from a single source and I ate at enough friends houses as a boy to know that in addition to sounding contrived it has a good chance of being a big mistake. And while we're on it, the established, tried and proved systems include some that are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths a year. Bad prescriptions alone, in a heavily regulated, and long established system, kill 50+ persons per day in the US.

      Though I'm for the original point. I want knowledge out there and in the end it seems to me that it ultimately helps only those who meet it at least half-way.

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