learning-org-un-digest LO29461

From: AM de Lange (amdelange@postino.up.ac.za)
Date: 11/05/02

Replying to LO29418 --

Dear Organlearners

Andrew Campbell < ACampnona@aol.com > writes about
the old subject The Disposition of Information LO29413

>The God I know is a 'man'. I have seen him on my 'walks'.
>I saw him 'only' last week. The 'prophets' and 'seers' I
>'know' are all 'men' and 'women' and 'children'.

Greetings dear Andrew and greetings dear Dileep,

Dileep, i forgot to reply to your LO29413 and ask you to forgive me.

Andrew, in a sense you have made that reply easy. Those who love God and
Creation and thus do what such love requires, image God. Just yesterday i
saw God and God is a 'woman' ;-)

As with respect to knowledge you write:

>There are no 'discrete' grades '1' to '10'. I 'know' this
>because I have never counted them, knot as any number
>from 'zero' to 'ten' or '0' to '10' nor do I discount them
>for that.

In the sense of a living entity having wholeness i agree with you. When i
plant a young tree, is it less a tree than after it will have grown for
say ten years? And after another ten years, will it have become more of a

I find the grading of examination results in a scale of 0 to 10 a most
injurous practice. But it has become so engrained in education that nobody
(except me ;-) wants to get rid of it. Only one thing matters -- pass or
fail. Should we stop wasting so much time writing tests and use that time
for interactive feedback during learning, many more students would pass.

>I am no mathematician but I have something to say.
>If 'everything' in the 'universe' is 'connected' to 'everything'
>in the 'universe' then 'men', 'women', 'children' and 'mice'
>ARE 'zero' to 'ten' and back again and 'all' and 'inbetween'
>'ten' '10' to the power of [100x100].
>At, is that a large number?

Well, it is a 1 with 10 000 zeros behind it. Come to think of it, the
Romans with their numerical system would not have been able to even
express it. A man called Fibonacci learned from the Arabs the decimal
system in which zero is a number and then taught the medieval Europeans
it. The Arabs themselves learned it from the Indians who seemed to have
developed this system in the eigth century.

I cannot tell how large it is. But i can invite you to write or type a 1
with 10 000 zeros behind it and see how much time it takes ;-) To get an
idea how large it is, write or type ten ones for the last zero, a hundred
ones for the second last zero, a thousand ones for the third last zero,
etc. Tell us when you have reached "tiredfulness".

You are right -- counting the parts in something in which wholeness is
essential, is foolish. Any chemist knows this. Let's say that a chemist
needs 230 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 molecules of water H2O to do an
experiment. Will he sit down and count them one by one? No, he will weigh
18 gram of water in one single act. No, in the case of water, but not for
other liquids, he may even let 18 milliliter of water run out of a
burette. How is that for wholeness!

Knowledge ought to have wholeness and once we seek to increase that
wholeness, it is silly, no lethal, to fragment that knowledge so that it
can be counted. In my chemistry teaching, i sought chemistry knowledge
within my students, not "parcels" of chemistry information to be counted.
So i designed questions (which i called "moncat" questions) in which i
linked dozens of such "parcels" of information by sub-questions. The
answer to each sub-question contained data with which the next
sub-question can be answered.

I can assure fellow learners that every student who has completed such a
"moncat" question is deeply under the impression what the difference is
between knowledge and information. Before they got to my class, they were
trained to deal with "parcels" of information. In my class they learned
how to grow in chemical knowledge.

I must add that at first most students hated me for asking these "moncat"
questions. But later on many began to love these "moncat" questions
because truth has wholeness to it.

>in tiredfulness,

Same here. Thanks for taking up the quest for the wholeness of knowledge.
To "un-digest" takes a lot of effort, giving up Mental Model upon Mental
Model ;-)
With care and best wishes,


At de Lange <amdelange@postino.up.ac.za> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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