Home | Jeremy Côté
Bits, ink, particles, and words.
I’ve long been a proponent of using analogies while discussing concepts that are highly abstract or technical. They allow one to understand what an expert is saying without necessarily having to learn all the background information required to truly understand.
I’ve often heard of praise for teachers who work tirelessly to help that one student who is having trouble. The teacher puts in the hard work over a long stretch of time, and eventually reaps the rewards when the student finally catches on to the content being taught in class. This teacher is then lauded as a great person for investing all that time into a student who needed help.
I once had a mathematics teacher who would say something that bugged me: what we’re doing is easy. I am barely being hyperbolic when I say that this teacher would say this for every single concept we learned. Therefore, I couldn’t help but think that surely not everything could be this easy.
Despite people in the sciences are supposed to be rational, changing one’s mind on a topic is just as difficult (if not more difficult) as in non-scientific settings. Often, I’ll watch some sort of academic debate where the debaters will talk for over an hour on a topic, yet they still won’t listen to each other in a way that accomplishes the goal.