Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 19 of 19

Math Help - Some philosophy abaout paradoxical statements. I need your opinion too

  1. #16
    MHF Contributor undefined's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 2010
    From
    Chicago
    Posts
    2,340
    Awards
    1
    @MoeBlee I was only pointing out how your language sounded, and would likely be interpreted by those reading. Normally one could reckon (vaguely) that "I dislike X" is more or less equivalent to "I think X is not okay." For example, "I dislike mustard" could be interpreted in context as "It is not okay for you to put mustard on my sandwich".

    I will reply to only one specific point of what you wrote because I don't think there's much to be gained from continuing much further.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoeBlee View Post
    And better would be to quote a well written book, published article, or even Internet site that is more reliably written and edited.
    Perhaps it boils down to convenience. If I were to quote from a textbook, then likely:

    (1) I would have to find the right textbook, which could take more time than a google search
    (2) I would have to find the relevant passage, which could take more time than hitting CTRL-F and searching by keyword
    (3) I would have to retype the relevant passage, possibly with typesetting that takes a little extra time compared with just typing words. If there is a diagram involved this could pose special difficulty.
    (4) The person on the other end might have difficulty verifying that I made a correct reference, or seeing the context of the passage I quoted.

    In my opinion it is worth considering the value of one's time, and whether these considerations are worth the trouble when a Wikipedia article may have comparable quality (or inferior quality, but nevertheless sufficient) for the same purpose.

    Regarding internet sites that are better written and edited than Wikipedia: my experience is that finding such sites can be difficult or next to impossible for certain topics. MathWorld frequently has good articles. If you have any resources you would like to share, please do.

    EDIT: I did not see your most recent post until after I had submitted mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoeBlee View Post
    P.S. What is especially annoying to me is that more and more there are people (I'm not at all saying you are one of them) who habitually cite Wikipedia (for mathematics) while not also getting a more integrated perspective. What happens is that you have people with these dangling, out of context, notions about this and that and they end up basically just throwing Wikipedia quotes at one another rather. And since the articles are not integrated or even uniformly edited in any way, quotes (especially definitions) from one article don't always line up with those from other articles. And worst are people who demand things like "You're not right unless you can show me in Wikipedia." So, in general, as I said at first, (regarding mathematics) I do dislike that people more and more turn to Wikipedia RATHER THAN better, more integrated, more careully edited, more carefully conceived books and articles.

    Even more fundamentally, it's interesting to me that I do very much appreciate hyperlinking, the "network" nature of our knowledge (refer even to Quine's notion of Neurath's ship built at sea), but that it doesn't always suit mathematics very well. I mean, I feel that it is better to learn certain mathematical subjects from the BEGINNING, adding definition and theorem along the way, in the traditional way, as opposed to working BACKWARDS to learn definitions and theorems and then learn the definitions and theorems that were used in regress. And Wikipedia is used too much by people in that backwards way. A made up example: What's the definition of "cardinal"?, so then have to look up the definition of "ordinal", so then have to look up the definition of "well ordered", so then have to look up the definition of "leastness", etc., rather than starting with the primitives and working FORWARD, which is much more EFFICIENT and intellectually organized.
    I have not experienced Wikipedia quoting arguments as you have described. Were they on this forum?

    Regarding learning backwards through Wikipedia: I think this is somewhat to be expected, in the following sense. In order to stay concise, it is reasonable for a technical article to assume some prior knowledge. As such, the article is of more use as a reference to those who are knowledgeable, than as a tool for learning to those who are not knowledgeable. So trying to learn a complex subject through Wikipedia could be like trying to learn medicine by reading a Physician's Desk Reference rather than going to medical school and reading the required textbooks. There's a point at which trying to use something for a purpose it wasn't designed for simply becomes impractical. But for simpler cases it might work out okay.
    Last edited by undefined; October 19th 2010 at 11:59 AM.
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

  2. #17
    Senior Member
    Joined
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    466
    Thanks
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by undefined View Post
    one could reckon (vaguely) that "I dislike X" is more or less equivalent to "I think X is not okay."
    Okay, but I wrote "I dislike" not alone but as a CLAUSE in a sentence that included the qualifier "RATHER than" [caps added].

    Quote Originally Posted by undefined View Post
    If I were to quote from a textbook, then likely:

    (1) I would have to find the right textbook, which could take more time than a google search
    (2) I would have to find the relevant passage, which could take more time than hitting CTRL-F and searching by keyword
    (3) I would have to retype the relevant passage, possibly with typesetting that takes a little extra time compared with just typing words. If there is a diagram involved this could pose special difficulty.
    (4) The person on the other end might have difficulty verifying that I made a correct reference, or seeing the context of the passage I quoted.
    Of course referring to a book may involve a certain amount more than grabbing a URL or Internet quote, but I haven't objected to sometimes just grabbing a URL or quote, when that's appropriate. What I objected to is doing that without ALSO having a more throrough reference in mind and also relying on Wikipedia as the general reference and even authority. Of course a given Wikipedia quote might be perfectly fine and adequate and illustrative. The original point was that someone was encouraged that more people refer to Wikipedia, while my reply was that I do not find that encouraging. That is not diminished by the fact that it may be easier to consult Wikipedia rather than good books. Also, remember that I did not say that ONLY books are a better alternative, but rather that even on the Internet, for certain subjects, there are better sources than Wikipedia.

    As I first said:

    "I dislike that people refer to Wikipedia, which is a hodgepodge of articles written and edited ad hoc, RATHER than vastly better sources both offline and ONline." [caps added]

    Quote Originally Posted by undefined View Post
    If you have any resources you would like to share, please do.
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is excellent. The Springer-Verlag encyclopedia is sometimes good. There are lots of PDF lecture notes from various authors and professors. And there are even free PDF versions of some good textbooks.

    I have not experienced Wikipedia quoting arguments as you have described. Were they on this forum?
    Not that I recall. I find that the quality of posting on this forum (at least in the Discrete, Sets, Logic section, since it is usually the only one I read) tends to be quite good, especially from the regular posters (though, I do get bugged by certain posters whining about use of ASCII rather than LaTex, and over-zealousness from certain moderators regarding such things).
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

  3. #18
    MHF Contributor undefined's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 2010
    From
    Chicago
    Posts
    2,340
    Awards
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by MoeBlee View Post
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is excellent. The Springer-Verlag encyclopedia is sometimes good. There are ots of PDF lecture notes from various authors and professors. And there are even free PDF versions of some good textbooks.
    Thanks. I had no idea Springer-Verlag encyclopedia existed and it looks very good.
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

  4. #19
    Newbie
    Joined
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    8
    I agree wikipedia is not perfect. I just like it as it fits my taste. But what I like most in wikipedia, (my personal impresion, not to be taken as a truth) it contains lots of state of the art information which is usefuly interlinked. Of course, there are many other great sources.

    I will mark the thread solved but further discussion may continue.

    Thx
    Follow Math Help Forum on Facebook and Google+

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Similar Math Help Forum Discussions

  1. [SOLVED] what is your opinion in that problem
    Posted in the Trigonometry Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: August 11th 2011, 06:20 PM
  2. Second Opinion On Hw Answer
    Posted in the Algebra Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: August 31st 2007, 03:15 PM
  3. my opinion about HP's
    Posted in the Calculators Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: August 14th 2007, 06:09 PM

/mathhelpforum @mathhelpforum