Basic Stupidity

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49 Replies - 6391 Views - Last Post: 17 July 2012 - 01:05 PM

#1 fromTheSprawl  Icon User is offline

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Basic Stupidity

Posted 10 July 2012 - 06:21 PM

Hey there. I was just wondering if I tried, on my age(2 and 1) I relearn Mathematics from the ground up again. I feel like I'm very stupid when it comes to this branch of knowlege.

Well, hear me out:
Once upon a time back in high school I pretty much love studying, to the point where I get honors and reach the top of my class. Then came a year where I enrolled in another school which is very shady. No proper teachers. no proper curriculum, basically I think I went to a colorum school. After that harrowing year I went back to my previous school and found out my thinking has diminished and my love for studying dwindled like a lit candle on its last inch. Even my teachers were surprised and dissapointed on what I've become.

Basically, I don't know a thing about Trigonometry. My teacher on that shady school taught us about postulates and stuff, but never thought us what sine, cosine and tangent means, or even that socatoa thing. I was lost. All my previous schoolmates on my school knows Trig and I don't. This even got to college where I have to do things I wouldn't imagine doing just to pass my Trigonometry class.

So yeah, basically again my question is, if I relearn Math, can I do it, on my spare time, and if I did, can I reach on to a level where I'll basically branch of to Physics and Chemistry and other branches of science?

The reason that I resolved to relearn stuff again is when I'm looking at macosxnerd101's Java challenge, the encryption thing. I wanted to participate so I went out and checked some algorithms but there where some formulas and theorems I have to know to be able to write the code and I felt sorry for myself that I can't comprehend what they mean. :(

We only live once, you know. I want to make the best of it and learn all the stuff I can.

Any advice is appreciated. :)

By the way, if you're going to use "You could have studied yourself on that colorum school" on me, I'm very sorry, what's done is done. If I could go back in time, I'll drag myself not to enroll to that school, or at least hit myself in the head with another Trigonometry book.

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Replies To: Basic Stupidity

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Basic Stupidity

Posted 10 July 2012 - 07:14 PM

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colorum school

What? My rum is typically colored dark... and mixed with coke.

Quote

So yeah, basically again my question is, if I relearn Math, can I do it, on my spare time, and if I did, can I reach on to a level where I'll basically branch of to Physics and Chemistry and other branches of science?

I don't know - can you? People learn new things all the time - why is math any different? I could care less what you should have done I am more interested in this defeatist attitude at the start.

So pick up a book and start crack'n.
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#3 fromTheSprawl  Icon User is offline

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Re: Basic Stupidity

Posted 10 July 2012 - 07:49 PM

Turns out "colorum" is a slang in my country from Latin:

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I WAS told that the Filipino slang, "colorum," is a corrupted version of the Latin phrase "saecula saeculorum" that appears usually in the ending part of a liturgical prayer, "Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus. Per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen." (Trans.: For ever and ever. Amen.)

It seems that when Masses were still said in Latin, most people just mumbled the Latin prayers without really knowing what they meant, much less, how they were grammatically constructed.

The whole phenomenon later became known as "colorum," that obtained other nuances of meaning like poor imitation, a fake, and so on until it acquired its more recent and popular signification of anything that is illegal or unlicensed, as in a "colorum" jeepney.


So basically, illegally operated. Well, Math is learned most of our lives beginning from when we were kids, basically the education system slowly ups the difficulty as we go along each stages of education, so I kinda thought I should have done it long ago.

Nevertheless, I will find a Math book now! Hmmm, found this:
Ten Must Read Books About Mathematics

I guess I'll shoot for number 5. Hey, thanks. :)

This post has been edited by fromTheSprawl: 10 July 2012 - 07:50 PM

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#4 totgeburt  Icon User is offline

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Re: Basic Stupidity

Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:02 PM

i failed FST (functions, statistics and trigonometry) my senior year of highschool... mostly because i didn't try or do my homework since i thought i was going to die in Iraq anyway. i have gotten back into math courses in college after my military service (almost 5 years out of school) and i am doing very well. you can learn whatever you want, any time you want. just put the energy into it.
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#5 Utael  Icon User is offline

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Re: Basic Stupidity

Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:27 PM

Let's look at my world... I barely passed hs,I dropped college... Now I'm a rigger in theater. Rigging requires calc, trig, and basic algebra. This all was self taught in a six month period. So yes you can just do it.
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#6 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Basic Stupidity

Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:28 PM

You can certainly learn that stuff, and if you want to learn it you should.

To my mind, there's really two sorts of math, not widely separated. There's arithmetic, basically, and there's math. Arithmetic in this sense is doing stuff with numbers - it runs out to calculus on the high school track. Then there's the math side of things, which is basically abstract relationships, and the numbers are not the important part. This is stuff like number theory, set theory, group theory, logic, and so forth. The two do intersect, they cut across each other a lot, but basically, if you get all the way through your calculus courses you're still going to be wondering why a Rubik's cube is math. (see group theory)
As a programmer, some of the other areas are really interesting, and you might think about looking at some of the "advanced" stuff as well. For me, it's a lot more fun, and it's a lot more about solving puzzles, the way programming is. For example, if you look at a book on computation, you're going to find a lot of math, but very little by way of trig and calculus. You don't need cosines to understand the Königsberg Bridge problem.

Not to say that trig and calculus aren't worth doing, mind you, but they're not the only fruit on that bush.
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#7 baavgai  Icon User is online

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Re: Basic Stupidity

Posted 11 July 2012 - 04:56 AM

Basic algebra and the thought process behind it is the extent of most computer program's requirements. For games, of course, the math requirements can be sky high.

I fumbled through Calc I in college. I had the great joy of teaching that professor BASIC programming the next year. :P I am not a math person, but I sympathize with the desire to fix the holes left by standard education. Almost everything I know about higher math is self taught, mostly to write computers games and solve other programming problems.

You want to learn more, do it. If you ever feel you don't need to learn more, you can tear up that geek card. Programmers should always want to learn more.

I found Khan Academy helpful in both cleaning out the cob webs and finding new stuff.
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#8 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Basic Stupidity

Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:00 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 10 July 2012 - 10:14 PM, said:

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colorum school

What? My rum is typically colored dark... and mixed with coke.



actually most rum is clear--- only spiced rum is dark or special vintages--
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#9 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: Basic Stupidity

Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:10 AM

Trig is conceptually pretty easy. It's all about triangles and circles and if you learn it that way first -- graphically rather than with formulas -- then all the formulas will fall into place later.

I remember my maths teacher dictating some notes: "THE SIN FUNCTION IS THE HORIZONTAL PROJECTION OF A CIRCULAR MOTION ..." It turns out that's one of the simplest, most common sense explanations imaginable. It took me two years to work out what it meant though. If only he had spent 15 mins explaining it on the board!
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#10 baavgai  Icon User is online

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Re: Basic Stupidity

Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:18 AM

View PostDarenR, on 11 July 2012 - 08:00 AM, said:

actually most rum is clear--- only spiced rum is dark or special vintages--


Completely off topic: this is entirely incorrect. Dark rum needn't be spiced. Crap rum is clear. Clear means they probably just used sugar water. Or filtered it...
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#11 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Basic Stupidity

Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:23 AM

View Postbaavgai, on 11 July 2012 - 08:18 AM, said:

View PostDarenR, on 11 July 2012 - 08:00 AM, said:

actually most rum is clear--- only spiced rum is dark or special vintages--


Completely off topic: this is entirely incorrect. Dark rum needn't be spiced. Crap rum is clear. Clear means they probably just used sugar water. Or filtered it...



actually you are 100% wrong bag

"Rum is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane byproducts such as molasses, or directly from sugarcane juice, by a process of fermentation and distillation. The distillate, a clear liquid, is then usually aged in oak barrels. Rum can be referred to in Spanish by descriptors such as ron viejo ("old rum") and ron ańejo ("aged rum")." wiki


To get the colored ones they ferment them in burnt barrels and are actually a small percentage of what is made. and all real rum comes from sugar.
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#12 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Basic Stupidity

Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:55 AM

I don't know a thing about rum particularly, but in my experience distilled spirits are typically clear, and color only comes from barrel aging or from additives. Whiskeys, for example, get their color from the barrels they're aged in and not from the grain they spring from.
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#13 baavgai  Icon User is online

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Re: Basic Stupidity

Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:57 AM

View PostDarenR, on 11 July 2012 - 08:23 AM, said:

To get the colored ones they ferment them in burnt barrels and are actually a small percentage of what is made.


Thanks for agreeing. If it's not aged, it's not rum. Moonshine, maybe.

View PostDarenR, on 11 July 2012 - 08:23 AM, said:

and all real rum comes from sugar.


Not quite. Or rather, not directly. You could argue that real rum comes for molasses, a by product of making sugar. Molasses is not sugar, but it is the fermentation media used for rum.

I'm done. You may continue to disagree, but I shan't abuse this thread any further.
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#14 Skydiver  Icon User is online

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Re: Basic Stupidity

Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:41 AM

Slightly off-topic:

Having grown up in the Philippines and done most of my pre-college schooling there, I can sort of understand where the OP is coming from in feeling "dumb" because of having the holes. Education in the Philippines tends to put a lot of emphasis on "book" learning, but not necessarily what you an an individual got from the experience of learning.

I'm not sure if that last sentence makes sense, so I'll try to describe a concrete example. In the Philippines, you will get a good grade in English, and teachers and students will look at you with great respect if you can quote huge swaths of Shakespeare. They couldn't careless though if you can write or explain in great detail why the characters and themes in Shakespeare's plays are an amazingly accurate reflection of the human experience.

Back on topic:

Now that you are out of school, you have more freedom to focus on particular topics that interest you. If you feel that you must learn something to say that you know something, feel free, but personally, I would rather spend the time learning something if it builds up towards something that you have a lasting interest in, or helps in a particular task or job.

For example, I just recently finally grokked what standard deviation values really meant, by going back and learning about the basis for the computations and how the arithmetic fits in with the mathematics. I wasn't learning abound SD's just for the sake of learning SD's though. I was trying to figure out if the bullets that I was making was within a tolerance of quality that I wanted to achieve for a sport that I compete in.

Take time to learn. Learn something new everyday. Be jealous of your time, though, and focus on learning about things that matter to you.
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#15 fromTheSprawl  Icon User is offline

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Re: Basic Stupidity

Posted 11 July 2012 - 06:36 PM

jon.kiparsky thanks for that distinction. I will start arithmetic first then go into Math once I feel I'm comfortable with the former.

cfoley that was the problem, no one bothered to teach us what those meant, and when the time came to use them, I was completely lost. My fault too, I should have tried harder back then to understand the subject.

Utael I hope I can do much too with that span of time. :)

totgeburt thanks! I will give my energy to it, and good luck with your studies!

baavgai yeah, I pretty much like learning stuff. This is just the first time I resolved to relearn and add more to my working knowledge of math. I'm not even sure I can add improper fractions. Yes, that bad.

Skydiver spot on, dude. Every year we buy all these books and those are followed like religion by the teacher, even if the teacher doesn't exactly know the topic.

Take time to learn. Learn something new everyday. Be jealous of your time, though, and focus on learning about things that matter to you. 


Knowledge matters to me. Well, I guess I'll build up those things that will benefit my profession first but still interests me, then I'll do the trivial ones when I'm really free with other stuff. (Like learning Astronomy, so I can finally write that seed of a story I wanted to.)

All great, inspirational posts guys! Well, except for the rum, I didn't get anything from it, I don't drink. :)

Cheers! ^^
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