[Squeakland] the non universals

Blake blake at kingdomrpg.com
Fri Aug 17 02:31:26 PDT 2007

On Wed, 15 Aug 2007 16:59:48 -0700, Alan Kay <alan.kay at squeakland.org>  

> In the early 80's I went to Atari as its Chief Scientist to try to
> get some of Papert's and my ideas into consumer electronics. The
> Atari 800 and especially the 400 were tremendous computers for their
> price, and Brian Silverman made a great version of Logo to go on
> these machines. (There were also Logos on most of the other 8-bit
> micros.) And, there was a Logo-vogue for a time, both in the US and
> in the UK. Many early adopter teachers got Atari's or Apple IIs in
> their classrooms and got their students started on it.

Wow, those Ataris were great! I had an Apple ][ (which was something like  
triple the price--some things never change, eh?) and the Atari was the  
only other machine that truly piqued my interest.

I had some poor math teachers in my day but on teaching my own kids, I've  
discovered how much I've backfilled over the years from computer  
programming. Concepts my teachers were unable to explain became intuitive  
when they translated into action.

At least one of my children is blessed with the ability to do "instant"  
math. Whereas most people think in symbols, like "2 + 2 = 4", instant math  
types think "\\ + \\ = \\\\". Most adults max out at about 8 or 9, I  
think, whereas babies (we are all born with the ability apparently) and  
those who retain the ability can see into the hundreds or a thousand or  

Instant-mathers get into trouble in school because they don't show their  
work--because there is no work to show, and most teachers can't comprehend  

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