Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Investigation with Punctuation


First the punctuation part.

I was encouraging my kids to do better in school. They say I was griping at them. If you have kids, or if you've been a kid, you understand I hope.

Anyway I was telling them to do better in school. Their mom agreed and said that they need to work a little harder.

Then the kids pointed out the posts at my blog. They said I needed to study too. I asked them what they meant. They told me that I don't punctuate my sentences right. They said I especially need to learn to use commas. So, their mom came over and looked at my blog then she looked through their English textbooks. Then she declared that the kids were right and gave me an earfull about setting a good example and writing better.

So, I'm trying to punctuate better. (They all agreed my spelling wasn't bad.)

Now the investigation part.

Some of these goofballs out there have these crackpot conspiracy theories. First they decide something stupid, like space aliens conspired with Israeli intelligence to start a war between the US and Iraq or something. Then they find evidence to support that, inventing it if necessary, and they disregard any evidence that doesn't fit their theory. Some of it is fun to read. The official government story about what happened on 9/11 fits into that category (it doesn't even talk about WTC 7, for example), except that it is not fun to read.

A good investigation follows the facts. You check facts and test them to see if they are really facts. The theory must explain the facts. It should also make some predictions that you can then go and check and test.

If the facts contradict the theory then you change the theory, not the facts (like the crackpots do and like the 9/11 Commission did). It is okay to have a working theory, or perhaps a few of them while you are looking into something. A working theory is good because it points to where you need to investigate more. What's important is to not fall in love with your theory so that you try to prove it despite where the facts lead. The theory should tell you the same story that the facts tell you.

This is interesting for my kids because science and their other subjects at school are kind of boring for them. It just doesn't seem to have anything to do with the real world. This has them motivated however and now they're looking into it. And they're trying to apply the Scientific Method which they've been explaining to me. It's good because I had forgotten some of that.

The truth is when I was a kid I used to cut up in school worse than they do, but back then you could there wasn't as much trouble to get into.


pela68 said...

Oh! I do not even get the Swedish punctuation right. The English punctuation are much different from the Swedish, but as long as you get the message out; then- what a heck!

You are a much better writer than you give yourself credit for. Go for it!

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