Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Einstein's ETH Zurich develops girl physics

Renato Renner works as a professor of quantum information (he is also if not primarily involved in irrational "interpretations" of quantum mechanics) at ETH Zurich, the Swiss polytechnic where both Albert Einstein and Mileva Marič studied. A few days ago, Erwin showed us this wonderful video.

The guy who speaks at the beginning sounds more or less like a professional but the testimonies get increasingly female and ludicrous.

Renner was praised by the women – he makes a totally female environment for us. We can do whatever we want in any hours and drink coffee. In fact, I am just pregnant for the second time, and if I need a third baby, I will simply tell Renato. And so on. The video reminded me of the dystopia about equality. If the video above isn't enough for you to see that the women are there mainly for the gender quotas, you must have watched a different video.

It just happens that the same ETH Zurich just developed an amazing new educational method:
New physics lessons help girls catch up (see also Phys.Org)
That's cool. Unfortunately, it's hard to find what's their "secret juice" that allowed them to shrink the gender gap. A paper tells us that the education was "enriched with evidence-based cognitively activating methods, such as inventing with contrasting cases or metacognitive questions". It sounds almost identical to the famous long would-be technical phrase that has impressed Feynman and that meant "people read".

I would bet that people who write in this pompous language with a visibly low concentration of any substance cannot possibly understand physics themselves. I have both theoretical reasons that they can't and empirical reasons, too: I have never met a counterexample. So how can they design better methods to teach it?

But even if you assumed that some change of the style makes the gender gap smaller, is it what the efforts of "reformers of education" should be doing? I don't think so. The purpose of schools should be to maximally enrich and extended the students' interest, knowledge, understanding, and skills, among other things. The methods shouldn't selectively help some students to do better.

All these articles contain quite some evidence that all these activities boil down to ideologically driven lies. For example, Ms Elsbeth [sic] Stern boldly asserts:
“Our research shows that when good students don’t understand physics, it’s mostly due to the teaching methods.”
Oh, really? How can any research show a logical proposition that is a contradiction? (Similar self-contradicting statements are made about the "intelligent" girls who simply can't understand physics.) If a student doesn't understand physics, it shows that he or she isn't quite as good because a good student – at a school where physics is taught and expected – has to understand physics (aside from other subjects). In fact, physics is almost certainly a better litmus test for the students' quality and intelligence than almost all other subjects. But in some cases, you can't accept facts and the reality, can you, Ms Stern? It's easier for you to spin or rewrite the reality.

So the students with As from gender education or environmentalist courses or other worthless junk must be good – and the physics courses must be bad. Their instructors must be the villains. Great. So the teaching must be adjusted so that the bad students become good – and perhaps vice versa.

It's surely possible. Instead of "a truck accelerates at a constant acceleration which is \(g\) times a function of the angle", students may learn "look, daddy truck carries the baby truck" which is what one of the twin girls of Larry Summers told the other when they were given toy trucks as a part of the emancipated education. (When Summers recalled this story in 2005, Ms Nancy Hopkins of MIT needed to throw up, so she left the conference and immediately called her comrades in the big U.S. newspapers. After a frustrating year, the continuing nationwide hysteria of the brain-dead feminist led Summers to resign from a job that he had really liked and was very good at.)

Stern and Sarah Hofer wrote a 2016 paper that is all about "intelligent girls" who must be geniuses in physics except that they aren't, so it must be the fault of the evil reality.

What I am so annoyed by is that schools like ETH Zurich don't even try to pretend that they're making sure that the kids are still actually learning physics. I don't see a single comment about this obvious complaint. And I think that there is no one at ETH Zurich – and no one with any significant influence in Switzerland – who would be going after the neck of such efforts and who would be trying to make sure that the education is still physics and not some garbage. It looks like it would be considered politically incorrect to even ask whether the quality and validity of the content is actually preserved when the modifications are applied. They would almost certainly be as shocked by these questions as the defenders of the Czech SJW-style Hejný's method in mathematics. "Why didn't you warn us, director Dr Rákosník, that someone could dare to disagree with the method over here?" they whined.

When it happens at schools like ETH Zurich, it makes me doubly upset because due to the connections with Einstein (and dozens of other Nobel prize winners in the past), it's sort of a symbol. Einstein met Marič there. She could study there, she was good enough, she was respected enough. But no one would try to create special conditions that would be more beneficial for her than for the boys. Despite claims to the contrary, such organizations were much more fair towards groups and meritocratic 110-120 years ago than they are today.

As long as the students' learning is the goal, the modifications of the intuition don't really help. If there is a correlation between some physical intuition and the choice of empirical examples, the correlation applies to the people's understanding, too. When people find the physical intuition natural, they are likely to understand the examples or metaphors and vice versa. There could be other metaphors but the metaphors were invented by some people who have understood the physics knowledge. So if some other people would choose totally different metaphors but they didn't, it probably means that people who prefer such different metaphors aren't those who have a big chance to understand the physics concepts, anyway, simply because they apparently haven't. For these reasons, even if the metaphors etc. were "male", girls must simply learn the same ones. There is some "male bias" in physics at some level, whether you like it or not, and the girls and women in physics simply learn to be "honorary boys and men" to a limited extent. It makes absolutely no sense to try to delay this revelation by the replacement of trucks with lipsticks.

ETH Zurich and lots of other institutions are being turned into pseudoscientific institutions where politically organized morons with worthless degrees from humanities are increasingly allowed to counterfeit and screw the reality, the truth, and the progress, and intimidate the people who actually belong there.

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