Xander Fulton
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The crash, which killed all 49 people on board as well as one person on the ground, should never have happened. A National Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded that the cause of the accident was pilot error. The captain’s response to the stall warning, the investigators reported, “should have been automatic, but his improper flight control inputs were inconsistent with his training” and instead revealed “startle and confusion.” An executive from the company that operated the flight, the regional carrier Colgan Air, admitted that the pilots seemed to lack “situational awareness” as the emergency unfolded.
...
Pilots today work inside what they call “glass cockpits.” The old analog dials and gauges are mostly gone. They’ve been replaced by banks of digital displays. Automation has become so sophisticated that on a typical passenger flight, a human pilot holds the controls for a grand total of just three minutes. What pilots spend a lot of time doing is monitoring screens and keying in data. They’ve become, it’s not much of an exaggeration to say, computer operators.

And that, many aviation and automation experts have concluded, is a problem. Overuse of automation erodes pilots’ expertise and dulls their reflexes, leading to what Jan Noyes, an ergonomics expert at Britain’s University of Bristol, terms “a de-skilling of the crew.”
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Boaty McBoatface
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I agree we are becoming too reliant on IT in general. We are losing many of our cognitive facilities as we become more reliant on calculators, timers, ready meals and any other manner of 'labor saving' devices. W

I cannot help but see a world not unlike "the machine stops" and I suspect that many people are already there.
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There's a lot to be said for this warning. Just as written language and then the printing press reduced the human need to build skill and competence with their memories, electronics have the unfortunate side-effect of dumbing down the connection between the human and his/her environment.

No longer do we have to walk three times around our most revered church or structure and memorize in detail each room, each nook, each cranny so later, when we commit to learning, we can store what we've learned in those memory rooms. Now we just Google it and accept what the internet tells us.

The positives still outweigh the negatives, by a huge margin, but I don't think electronic devices are an excuse for not building mental prowess and awareness.
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DWTripp wrote:
Just as written language and then the printing press reduced the human need to build skill and competence with their memories [...]

Written language and the printing press had an incredible effect on humanity's "skill and competence". You can also train your memory much more efficiently by reading books than by listening to the village elder's same old stories. Before we look down on these pilots, I challenge anyone to fly a 500+ passenger jet for 10+ hours on manual control alone.
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I think Tripp's point can be given by a simple example. A professor of mine once pointed out that what the Greeks and Romans considered the most minimal childhood education would today be the envy of any living Classical scholar. Why? The Greeks and Romans so thoroughly memorized the Homeric epics that they made a parlor game out of reciting them and trying to throw the next person off when they had to pick up from where the previous person let off. A well educated Greek or Roman would also have memorized works of drama, history, philosophy, etc., probably at least comparable to our entire extant corpus of Classical literature. What do I do when I want to enjoy the Odyssey? I pull out my book or an online version of the text and look it up.

Yes, I do believe modern education is superior to the ancient education system in many other important ways but effectively a choice was made to de-emphasize rote learning and memorization so that we as a society ae far less trained to do it.
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It's MORE DUMBERER.


geez
 
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whac3 wrote:
I think Tripp's point can be given by a simple example. A professor of mine once pointed out that what the Greeks and Romans considered the most minimal childhood education would today be the envy of any living Classical scholar. Why? The Greeks and Romans so thoroughly memorized the Homeric epics that they made a parlor game out of reciting them and trying to throw the next person off when they had to pick up from where the previous person let off. A well educated Greek or Roman would also have memorized works of drama, history, philosophy, etc., probably at least comparable to our entire extant corpus of Classical literature. What do I do when I want to enjoy the Odyssey? I pull out my book or an online version of the text and look it up.

Yes, I do believe modern education is superior to the ancient education system in many other important ways but effectively a choice was made to de-emphasize rote learning and memorization so that we as a society ae far less trained to do it.


This exactly. Clearly there are so many advantages to language and printed words and now electronic codes that you can't easily compare the two. But the OP isn't talking about what's positive about electronic devices or fly-by-wire systems, he's speaking about the unintended consequence of reducing the mental training that rote memorization and memory building training can have. Just as you can train your muscles to act faster via repetition and that can be a life saver in an emergency when they respond as trained, you can do the same with a memory. If you haven't trained it, it will respond poorly. Death or other tragic results can and do often happen because people forgot shit that was life-or-death critical.
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DWTripp wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I think Tripp's point can be given by a simple example. A professor of mine once pointed out that what the Greeks and Romans considered the most minimal childhood education would today be the envy of any living Classical scholar. Why? The Greeks and Romans so thoroughly memorized the Homeric epics that they made a parlor game out of reciting them and trying to throw the next person off when they had to pick up from where the previous person let off. A well educated Greek or Roman would also have memorized works of drama, history, philosophy, etc., probably at least comparable to our entire extant corpus of Classical literature. What do I do when I want to enjoy the Odyssey? I pull out my book or an online version of the text and look it up.

Yes, I do believe modern education is superior to the ancient education system in many other important ways but effectively a choice was made to de-emphasize rote learning and memorization so that we as a society ae far less trained to do it.


This exactly. Clearly there are so many advantages to language and printed words and now electronic codes that you can't easily compare the two. But the OP isn't talking about what's positive about electronic devices or fly-by-wire systems, he's speaking about the unintended consequence of reducing the mental training that rote memorization and memory building training can have. Just as you can train your muscles to act faster via repetition and that can be a life saver in an emergency when they respond as trained, you can do the same with a memory. If you haven't trained it, it will respond poorly. Death or other tragic results can and do often happen because people forgot shit that was life-or-death critical.


Still, I wager there are an order of magnitude fewer deaths as a result of avionics than the deaths caused due to rusty reflexes or critical thinking on account of avionics.
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That's probably correct but nonetheless there is a reason that the process is not full automated and pilots do still come along for the ride.
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whac3 wrote:
I think Tripp's point can be given by a simple example. A professor of mine once pointed out that what the Greeks and Romans considered the most minimal childhood education would today be the envy of any living Classical scholar. Why? The Greeks and Romans so thoroughly memorized the Homeric epics that they made a parlor game out of reciting them and trying to throw the next person off when they had to pick up from where the previous person let off. A well educated Greek or Roman would also have memorized works of drama, history, philosophy, etc., probably at least comparable to our entire extant corpus of Classical literature. What do I do when I want to enjoy the Odyssey? I pull out my book or an online version of the text and look it up.

Yes, I do believe modern education is superior to the ancient education system in many other important ways but effectively a choice was made to de-emphasize rote learning and memorization so that we as a society ae far less trained to do it.

They probably memorized the Iliad because there was hardly anything else available to memorize. But I guess it's unfair to compare the education of the elite of an ancient civilization (or any time really) to modern public education. Of course Alexander was better educated than your modern ghetto kid. Guess who of the two had Aristotle as a teacher. Apart from the fact that if you added up all ancient history institutions around the world together, that number could probably rival the amount of classically educated people living in Greece back at the day, I'm pretty certain there are groups of nerds around the world who have fun quoting the complete Star Wars trilogy script to each other.

Most importantly, memorization doesn't even factor into the air plane crash above. As is stated in the article: "his improper flight control inputs were inconsistent with his training". So he was trained in how to react but messed it up regardless. I don't think we can blame an iPhone passenger jet piloting app here.

Instead of this silly debate about memorization and ancient education, what we should focus on is that regional carrier pilot is one of the crappiest jobs around, where pilots spend more time in the air than a teamster spends on the road, along with a mediocre salary and shortened training time. Of course a pilot like this might be overwhelmed by a once in a lifetime flight situation. They usually pilot two or more flights a day. Accidents happen and they happen more frequently where people are overworked.

But let's go back to the Luddites complaining about modern technology on an internet forum.
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BS

There was Hesiod, all the plays, poems and treatises of which only a pitiful trickling survive. What do you think the library at Alexandria housed?
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whac3 wrote:
BS

There was Hesiod, all the plays, poems and treatises of which only a pitiful trickling survive. What do you think the library at Alexandria housed?

Wait, ancient civilizations had so much knowledge they wrote it down and stored it away in a library?

Lazy bastards, why aren't they using their brains to record information!?

What is this world coming to?
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Simon Mueller wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I think Tripp's point can be given by a simple example. A professor of mine once pointed out that what the Greeks and Romans considered the most minimal childhood education would today be the envy of any living Classical scholar. Why? The Greeks and Romans so thoroughly memorized the Homeric epics that they made a parlor game out of reciting them and trying to throw the next person off when they had to pick up from where the previous person let off. A well educated Greek or Roman would also have memorized works of drama, history, philosophy, etc., probably at least comparable to our entire extant corpus of Classical literature. What do I do when I want to enjoy the Odyssey? I pull out my book or an online version of the text and look it up.

Yes, I do believe modern education is superior to the ancient education system in many other important ways but effectively a choice was made to de-emphasize rote learning and memorization so that we as a society ae far less trained to do it.

They probably memorized the Iliad because there was hardly anything else available to memorize. But I guess it's unfair to compare the education of the elite of an ancient civilization (or any time really) to modern public education. Of course Alexander was better educated than your modern ghetto kid. Guess who of the two had Aristotle as a teacher. Apart from the fact that if you added up all ancient history institutions around the world together, that number could probably rival the amount of classically educated people living in Greece back at the day, I'm pretty certain there are groups of nerds around the world who have fun quoting the complete Star Wars trilogy script to each other.

Most importantly, memorization doesn't even factor into the air plane crash above. As is stated in the article: "his improper flight control inputs were inconsistent with his training". So he was trained in how to react but messed it up regardless. I don't think we can blame an iPhone passenger jet piloting app here.

Instead of this silly debate about memorization and ancient education, what we should focus on is that regional carrier pilot is one of the crappiest jobs around, where pilots spend more time in the air than a teamster spends on the road, along with a mediocre salary and shortened training time. Of course a pilot like this might be overwhelmed by a once in a lifetime flight situation. They usually pilot two or more flights a day. Accidents happen and they happen more frequently where people are overworked.

But let's go back to the Luddites complaining about modern technology on an internet forum.
Saying we have become over reliant on technology is not the same as saying we must destroy it. There is real reason to believe that ready meals are withering coking skills in many households. Hell I am about the only person I know (beyond trained chefs) who can make soup (and I don't even cook that much). The same with maths ( my self am now maths lazy, due to calculators).
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As a student much older than the average university student, I am apalled by the average unability to use a computer correctly - they were born with modern computers and all own one!! The average student use his/her computer as a typewriter and for facebook. Most of them can't use wordprocessors or latex in an efficient way, just know the basic of spreadsheet and think "database" is a rude word. As for getting stuff from the internet, most of them only know of wikipedia and can't even use it correctly; they are unable to use a search engine besides typing a few random words.

As for mental arithmetics... I got eyes when I compute a square root or a log without a machine. They all think it's a completely useless geek skill. When I fumble my hand calculator, I immediately know I did something wrong.
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DWTripp wrote:
There's a lot to be said for this warning. Just as written language and then the printing press reduced the human need to build skill and competence with their memories, electronics have the unfortunate side-effect of dumbing down the connection between the human and his/her environment.

No longer do we have to walk three times around our most revered church or structure and memorize in detail each room, each nook, each cranny so later, when we commit to learning, we can store what we've learned in those memory rooms. Now we just Google it and accept what the internet tells us.

The positives still outweigh the negatives, by a huge margin, but I don't think electronic devices are an excuse for not building mental prowess and awareness.


Ahhhh. One of Tripps non confrontational and sensible contributions.

There is little doubt that modernity has given us a great deal to our benefit. It is, as Tripp notes, not without it's consequences.

I was troubled when the Navy officially discontinued celestial navigation from it's required officer curriculum. What happens if EMP effects bring down satellite positioning data temporarily?

Modern farming technology as made food production ever more efficient and yet we are all ever more distant from the means and knowledge to produce, or even preserve, our own food in the event of disruption in the food chain.

It is hardly the argument of a Luddite that some of our skills are eroded by increasing reliance on sophisticated, and sometimes undependable, technology. I for one would like a pilot who is able to disconnect an autopilot at a moments notice and revert to highly trained manual flight control.

Accept tech by all means but, keeping some essential skills alive might be good for our knowledge diversity, eh?
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Rulesjd wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
There's a lot to be said for this warning. Just as written language and then the printing press reduced the human need to build skill and competence with their memories, electronics have the unfortunate side-effect of dumbing down the connection between the human and his/her environment.

No longer do we have to walk three times around our most revered church or structure and memorize in detail each room, each nook, each cranny so later, when we commit to learning, we can store what we've learned in those memory rooms. Now we just Google it and accept what the internet tells us.

The positives still outweigh the negatives, by a huge margin, but I don't think electronic devices are an excuse for not building mental prowess and awareness.


Ahhhh. One of Tripps non confrontational and sensible contributions.

There is little doubt that modernity has given us a great deal to our benefit. It is, as Tripp notes, not without it's consequences.

I was troubled when the Navy officially discontinued celestial navigation from it's required officer curriculum. What happens if EMP effects bring down satellite positioning data temporarily?

Modern farming technology as made food production ever more efficient and yet we are all ever more distant from the means and knowledge to produce, or even preserve, our own food in the event of disruption in the food chain.

It is hardly the argument of a Luddite that some of our skills are eroded by increasing reliance on sophisticated, and sometimes undependable, technology. I for one would like a pilot who is able to disconnect an autopilot at a moments notice and revert to highly trained manual flight control.

Accept tech by all means but, keeping some essential skills alive might be good for our knowledge diversity, eh?
I would add most people now throw away perfectly edible food because the labeling tells them it's not longer any good, they have lost the ability to judge foods edibility by smell and texture.
 
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Rulesjd wrote:
I was troubled when the Navy officially discontinued celestial navigation from it's required officer curriculum. What happens if EMP effects bring down satellite positioning data temporarily?

[...]

Accept tech by all means but, keeping some essential skills alive might be good for our knowledge diversity, eh?

There is no hidden entity forcing us to forget "essential skills". It's still out there and can be learned. In case of the Navy I assume very much it was simply a case of prioritisation. You've got missile systems on board that are a hundred times more complex than using a sextant.

Same goes for learning poems by heart. Which is all good and fine if you can impress the ladies on a dinner party with it. But what makes that an "essential skill" more important than say linear algebra - which the ancient Greeks knew jack shit about.

The focus of education hasn't for a very long time been on teaching students "essential skills". Instead it's about educating them with the skills necessary to pick up increasingly specialised jobs. And I honestly don't see many people having a problem with that. Lest our children waste their time in school learning something that won't bring financial reward... who here hasn't complained about the overwhelming number of college graduates with lib. arts degrees? *

*) Some of which are capable of performing ancient dramas.
 
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Simon Mueller wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
I was troubled when the Navy officially discontinued celestial navigation from it's required officer curriculum. What happens if EMP effects bring down satellite positioning data temporarily?

[...]

Accept tech by all means but, keeping some essential skills alive might be good for our knowledge diversity, eh?

There is no hidden entity forcing us to forget "essential skills". It's still out there and can be learned. In case of the Navy I assume very much it was simply a case of prioritisation. You've got missile systems on board that are a hundred times more complex than using a sextant.

Except that modern technology has removed the need for those skills. That is the point, we do not need to know how to skin a rabbit so can't.
 
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Simon Mueller wrote:
Rulesjd wrote:
I was troubled when the Navy officially discontinued celestial navigation from it's required officer curriculum. What happens if EMP effects bring down satellite positioning data temporarily?

[...]

Accept tech by all means but, keeping some essential skills alive might be good for our knowledge diversity, eh?

There is no hidden entity forcing us to forget "essential skills". It's still out there and can be learned. In case of the Navy I assume very much it was simply a case of prioritisation. You've got missile systems on board that are a hundred times more complex than using a sextant.

Same goes for learning poems by heart. Which is all good and fine if you can impress the ladies on a dinner party with it. But what makes that an "essential skill" more important than say linear algebra - which the ancient Greeks knew jack shit about.

The focus of education hasn't for a very long time been on teaching students "essential skills". Instead it's about educating them with the skills necessary to pick up increasingly specialised jobs. And I honestly don't see many people having a problem with that. Lest our children waste their time in school learning something that won't bring financial reward... who here hasn't complained about the overwhelming number of college graduates with lib. arts degrees? *

*) Some of which are capable of performing ancient dramas.


It's unclear to me what you're so annoyed about here. Perhaps you feel older people are picking on you because of your youth?

Not a single post here has declared that we ought to pretend it's 1920 and teach children how to harness a 4-mule plowing team. What the OP and the rest of us have been saying is that technology, when it's relied upon almost exclusively, has the potential for dire consequences. Most of which could easily be avoided with a little hands-on training and teaching of physical skills and memorization of basics.

Until my son was born one of the joys in my life was solo camping in remote and semi-remote locations in the Western USA. I didn't own a GPS, although they were available. What I do own is a map a compass and some basic orienteering skills. Not top notch, just basic, enough to get out of a desert or off a mountain before running out of water or suffering from exposure. I wouldn't go more than a few miles from a road if I was in an unfamiliar part of the world and had to rely on someone who only had a cell phone and a GPS for guidance. One the other hand, now that the technology has advanced and cheap devices are available and functional in numerous locations I'd throw one in the backpack. With my maps and compass.
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Something that I find interesting is the virtual disappearance of 'General Trivia' games. Hasbro has been sitting on the Trivial Pursuit line for a couple of years now. About the only ones that you can find are the specialty ones- TPisney, TP:90's, TP: Rolling Stones, etc. And no one else is really making any big new ones to fill the market.

Rather, what you see a lot of are copies of Apples to Apples and the like- party games where there are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers. Dixit, Would You Rather, and, of course, Cards Against Humanity come to mind. Wits and Wagers is about the only 'trivia' game out there that comes to mind, but no one is expected to actually have the right answer; you're just betting on who is closer to having the right answer.

My hypothesis is that this is because iPhones and the like are making trivia games obsolete. Who cares if you can remember the state flower of Washington (the Rhodedendron) in the age of Google?

Anyway, I find it curious.

Darilian
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Darilian wrote:
Something that I find interesting is the virtual disappearance of 'General Trivia' games. Hasbro has been sitting on the Trivial Pursuit line for a couple of years now. About the only ones that you can find are the specialty ones- TPisney, TP:90's, TP: Rolling Stones, etc. And no one else is really making any big new ones to fill the market.

Rather, what you see a lot of are copies of Apples to Apples and the like- party games where there are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers. Dixit, Would You Rather, and, of course, Cards Against Humanity come to mind. Wits and Wagers is about the only 'trivia' game out there that comes to mind, but no one is expected to actually have the right answer; you're just betting on who is closer to having the right answer.

My hypothesis is that this is because iPhones and the like are making trivia games obsolete. Who cares if you can remember the state flower of Washington (the Rhodedendron) in the age of Google?

Anyway, I find it curious.

Darilian


Pub quizzes, University Challenge and suchlike are still popular.

Maybe people find a game like Apples to Apples simply more fun than Triv? I know I do - partly because I know little about pop music or sport and so tend to do exceptionally badly at it.
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DWTripp wrote:
What the OP and the rest of us have been saying is that technology, when it's relied upon almost exclusively, has the potential for dire consequences. Most of which could easily be avoided with a little hands-on training and teaching of physical skills and memorization of basics.

The point is that the pilot was trained for that situation and messed it up anyhow. I've named a couple of reasons why that could happen, which got ignored. The pilot was 47 years old when he died, so hardly of the iPhone generation. USA Today had this to say: "Investigators also turned the spotlight onto Colgan Air, which operated under contract with Continental Airlines. Low pay scales, red-eye commutes and a lack of places for pilots to sleep created the risk of dangerous fatigue at the regional airline, according to testimony."

I may still be relatively young, but I'm already tired of this discussion on technology. The world changes, professional skills change. We could all spend our time memorizing stuff, but at some point in history someone decided that time is money, so to hell with spending time on stuff that won't pay.

I don't see anyone bringing forth a lot of resistance to the ongoing removal of arts and music from the class rooms. In fact I'm pretty sure some of the people in this thread would be for that, if it saved them tax money. But when a 47-year old crashes his plane, it's of course the fault of the uneducated iPhone generation.

By the way, I don't own an iPhone or any other smart phone.
 
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Ed_the_Red wrote:


Pub quizzes, University Challenge and suchlike are still popular.

Maybe people find a game like Apples to Apples simply more fun than Triv? I know I do - partly because I know little about pop music or sport and so tend to do exceptionally badly at it.


Yeah, here in Austin also. Organized trivia contests are still pretty popular. At least one husband/wife couple makes a living going around to pubs in Austin putting on a trivia contest.

But in terms of what I see people buying/asking about at FLGS', Barnes and Nobles, Half Price and the like, I'm struck at how there just doesn't seem to be that much traction for classic (and difficult) trivia games.

Darilian
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Darilian wrote:
But in terms of what I see people buying/asking about at FLGS', Barnes and Nobles, Half Price and the like, I'm struck at how there just doesn't seem to be that much traction for classic (and difficult) trivia games.

Darilian

So when was the last time you played a trivia game?
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Koldfoot wrote:
Simon Mueller wrote:
Darilian wrote:
But in terms of what I see people buying/asking about at FLGS', Barnes and Nobles, Half Price and the like, I'm struck at how there just doesn't seem to be that much traction for classic (and difficult) trivia games.

Darilian

So when was the last time you played a trivia game?
RSP isn't a trivia contest for certain users?


I think of it as a poor substitute for CEDA.

Darilian
 
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