Henry Winkler and Geometry

harpazo

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How many here know the actor Henry Winkler who played THE FONZ on the famous sitcom Happy Days? I enjoy watching Henry clips online. Not too long ago, I saw an interview where Henry talked about his school days.

Henry aka THE FONZ talked about his fear of math, especially geometry. According to Henry, he just could not understand geometry. He talked about the Pythagorean Theorem and how this theorem made absolutely zero sense to him in high school. In fact, Henry took geometry about 3 or 4 times in high school before he finally passed the class with a D, which does not stand for dandy.

Looking back at his tv career, it is clear to see that geometry was not needed for him to shine as an actor, producer and I think he even directed one or two films. Henry Winkler and so many others have proven that math beyond the four basic operations including fractions is not needed for success after high school. What do you say?
 

topsquark

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I suppose that it depends on what kinds of jobs you can get without basic math skills. On the other hand, if you can't do the major operations then you can't even make change at a store, which is pretty much the least mathematical job. I'd opt to learn the Math... It's easier.

-Dan
 

Otis

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… Henry Winkler and so many others have proven that math beyond the four basic operations including fractions is not needed for success after high school. What do you say?
I'd say your proof is tantamount to proving that nobody needs to work at all because "so many others" have won a lottery.

;)
 

JeffM

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The question is not whether it is possible for an individual to be economically prosperous without an education. All of human experience shows that it is possible. So it is a silly question.

The question is whether an individual with an education is more likely to prosper economically than one without in a technological society.

Notice that I distinguish between educated and credentialed. The last thirty years have seen a constant substitution of credentials for education.
 

harpazo

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The question is not whether it is possible for an individual to be economically prosperous without an education. All of human experience shows that it is possible. So it is a silly question.

The question is whether an individual with an education is more likely to prosper economically than one without in a technological society.

Notice that I distinguish between educated and credentialed. The last thirty years have seen a constant substitution of credentials for education.
Can you further explain what you mean here?
 

harpazo

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I suppose that it depends on what kinds of jobs you can get without basic math skills. On the other hand, if you can't do the major operations then you can't even make change at a store, which is pretty much the least mathematical job. I'd opt to learn the Math... It's easier.

-Dan
I myself think that most people in our technically advanced society should at least know Algebra 1 and 2 very well, you know, like drinking water. What do you say?
 

harpazo

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About what!
You said:

"The question is whether an individual with an education is more likely to prosper economically than one without in a technological society."

Do you think a person with proper education can prosper after the campus life in a highly technological world? Same question in terms of people who are poorly educated.
 

Subhotosh Khan

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You said:

"The question is whether an individual with an education is more likely to prosper economically than one without in a technological society."

Do you think a person with proper education can prosper after the campus life in a highly technological world? Same question in terms of people who are poorly educated.
Depends on how you define "prosper"?

Peter Greene, the legendary guitarist of FleetWood Mac - quit the group at the top and became a night-janitor at one of the Seattle office buildings (at least thus the legend goes!). And then the FleetWood Mac became fashionable again in the 80 - 90 and the recording company cut a huge "royalty" cheque. The legend goes - Peter Green refused the cheque and said "I don't need that - I got all I need".

Did Peter Greene prosper? Was he happy? - he did not know geometry but surely could bend those chords!!

The point is - education gives you options! If you know geometry - you could be a high-school math-teacher or night janitor at the high school.

Without geometry - your only choice is to be night janitor at the high school.

Harpazo - Did not you ask the same questions (not very distant past) as MathDad in this forum?

Why are you trying to bring back the same topic?

If you need to "troll" - please bring in new topics!!
 

JeffM

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You said:

"The question is whether an individual with an education is more likely to prosper economically than one without in a technological society."

Do you think a person with proper education can prosper after the campus life in a highly technological world? Same question in terms of people who are poorly educated.
You have not paid attention to what I said.

First, I carefully limited myself to economic prosperity rather than to a more general evocation of a "good life." (See SK's response above.)

Second, I was discussing probabilities rather than certainties. People with virtually no education and little intelligence may have great financial success, particularly in sports or entertainment. However, if we take a random sample of 1000 people who never graduated from high school but have IQs over 140 and another random sample of 1000 people who graduated from Harvard Law and, on average, have the same IQ as the average for the first group, which group do you think would have, on average, higher income and higher net worth?

Third, I carefully distinguished between educated and credentialed. Having a degree in art history may very well be good for the soul. I wish that I had known of Hans Memling decades before I ever saw one of his pictures. But having such a degree does little to prepare you for succeeding economically in a technological world.

I went to Columbia back when it was still serious about a well rounded education. I am still convinced that such an education provides the best opportunity for a life that is fulfilling in many dimensions. I was forced to study classical music, European art, western ethical and political philosophy, foreign languages, and the canon of western literature in addition to pure mathematics and physical science. Not only do I view such an education as broadening the mind generally, but its breadth is an economic advantage that admittedly not everyone chooses to exploit because you have been trained to learn new things. I view with disgust universities changing themselves into trade schools and enclaves of dubious "social science." (I am not prejudiced against the social sciences when they are pursued rigorously and without ideological intent. I took several classes in sociology at Columbia when Daniel Bell, Amitai Etzioni, and C. Wright Mills were on the faculty. And I got my degree in history, which I consider a social science, and studied economics in graduate school.)

Do I think an education is necessary to be economically successful? No.

Do I think a serious, well-rounded education is more apt to lead to a fulfilling life? Yes.

Do I think a serious, well-rounded education is an economic advantage? Yes, but it may be a relatively small advantage.

Do I think being mathematically knowledgeable is a sizable economic advantage in a technological society? Yes indeed, but it is no guarantee.

Do I think degrees have any meaning? No, universities sell degrees like papal indulgences. When I was hiring people, I paid virtually no attention to what degrees they had been awarded. A marketing degree from West Virginia University says nothing about anyone's diligence, ethics, competence, collegiality, or intelligence. I hired a guy with a physics degree from Harvard. He was intelligent, abrasive, and unscrupulous. He soon left my employ.
 

harpazo

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Depends on how you define "prosper"?

Peter Greene, the legendary guitarist of FleetWood Mac - quit the group at the top and became a night-janitor at one of the Seattle office buildings (at least thus the legend goes!). And then the FleetWood Mac became fashionable again in the 80 - 90 and the recording company cut a huge "royalty" cheque. The legend goes - Peter Green refused the cheque and said "I don't need that - I got all I need".

Did Peter Greene prosper? Was he happy? - he did not know geometry but surely could bend those chords!!

The point is - education gives you options! If you know geometry - you could be a high-school math-teacher or night janitor at the high school.

Without geometry - your only choice is to be night janitor at the high school.

Harpazo - Did not you ask the same questions (not very distant past) as MathDad in this forum?

Why are you trying to bring back the same topic?

If you need to "troll" - please bring in new topics!!
1. Please ignore my posts from now.

2. This problem goes WAY BEYOND NOT KNOWING HIGH SCHOOL GEOMETRY.

3. Go back and read what I said again without your reply.

4. You enjoy bringing up the past. I suppose you are perfect, KHAN.

5. MOVING ON....
 

harpazo

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Messages
300
You have not paid attention to what I said.

First, I carefully limited myself to economic prosperity rather than to a more general evocation of a "good life." (See SK's response above.)

Second, I was discussing probabilities rather than certainties. People with virtually no education and little intelligence may have great financial success, particularly in sports or entertainment. However, if we take a random sample of 1000 people who never graduated from high school but have IQs over 140 and another random sample of 1000 people who graduated from Harvard Law and, on average, have the same IQ as the average for the first group, which group do you think would have, on average, higher income and higher net worth?

Third, I carefully distinguished between educated and credentialed. Having a degree in art history may very well be good for the soul. I wish that I had known of Hans Memling decades before I ever saw one of his pictures. But having such a degree does little to prepare you for succeeding economically in a technological world.

I went to Columbia back when it was still serious about a well rounded education. I am still convinced that such an education provides the best opportunity for a life that is fulfilling in many dimensions. I was forced to study classical music, European art, western ethical and political philosophy, foreign languages, and the canon of western literature in addition to pure mathematics and physical science. Not only do I view such an education as broadening the mind generally, but its breadth is an economic advantage that admittedly not everyone chooses to exploit because you have been trained to learn new things. I view with disgust universities changing themselves into trade schools and enclaves of dubious "social science." (I am not prejudiced against the social sciences when they are pursued rigorously and without ideological intent. I took several classes in sociology at Columbia when Daniel Bell, Amitai Etzioni, and C. Wright Mills were on the faculty. And I got my degree in history, which I consider a social science, and studied economics in graduate school.)

Do I think an education is necessary to be economically successful? No.

Do I think a serious, well-rounded education is more apt to lead to a fulfilling life? Yes.

Do I think a serious, well-rounded education is an economic advantage? Yes, but it may be a relatively small advantage.

Do I think being mathematically knowledgeable is a sizable economic advantage in a technological society? Yes indeed, but it is no guarantee.

Do I think degrees have any meaning? No, universities sell degrees like papal indulgences. When I was hiring people, I paid virtually no attention to what degrees they had been awarded. A marketing degree from West Virginia University says nothing about anyone's diligence, ethics, competence, collegiality, or intelligence. I hired a guy with a physics degree from Harvard. He was intelligent, abrasive, and unscrupulous. He soon left my employ.
As soon as I read the opening line about me not paying attention, I stopped right there. Thank you for agreeing with Mr. KHAN about me being a troll, whatever the heck that is. Moving on. People here take something so simple and turn it into a psychiatric session. Lord have mercy!!! Moving on....
 

JeffM

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Messages
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I have had it with you. I spent considerable time and effort writing seriously intended responses to your posts. But you get in a huff and admit you do not even read them. I did not call you a troll. But I suggest you do move on to some place where people will indulge your whining.
 

harpazo

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Messages
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I have had it with you. I spent considerable time and effort writing seriously intended responses to your posts. But you get in a huff and admit you do not even read them. I did not call you a troll. But I suggest you do move on to some place where people will indulge your whining.
I went back to read your post. Interesting information.
 
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