Friday, August 24, 2007

Auto Mechanics to Quantum Mechanics: Back to School Edition

Yup, it's that time again. The school year starts next week and I have a schtick I do at the beginning of every class where I invite any question: auto mechanics to quantum mechanics, if there's anything you ever wanted to know, let me have at it. As a tune up for the semester, the offer is made here on the Playground. Anything in the world you are curious about, never been able to figure out, or think would make for good conversation, let'er rip. I will try to answer as many as I can this week, so fire away.

My question to you this time: if we all agreed tomorrow to change the way we write the letters "S" and "E" and all started writing them backwards, would that make it easier for children to learn how to write or would they suddenly all start writing it our current way and still get it backwards? If it would be an easier path to writing the Latin alphabet, doesn't that mean in some sense that we currently have it backwards, that we're the ones who have it wrong? Sure, it's a mere convention, but surely some conventions are better than others. Right?