Re: answers I'd like from an SI

From: Jeff L Jones (
Date: Mon Nov 12 2007 - 13:24:12 MST

On Nov 11, 2007 10:07 PM, Norman Noman <> wrote:
> It
> should be able to explain general relativity to an eight year old so
> well that their intuitive understanding of the skewing of reference
> frames is better than stephen hawking's.

I seriously doubt this is possible. Regardless of what input goes
into an 8-year old's senses, and regardless of how patient you are or
how good of an explainer you are, they have a lot of prerequisite
stuff to learn--years of it, in fact--that is going to take time to
sink in. Their own neural firing rates only happen at a certain rate.
 If you're a really good explainer, maybe you can speed up someone's
learning curve by a factor of 2 or 3, but not by a factor of 100 which
is more like what it would take to get your average 8 year old (or
even an exceptionally bright 8-year-old) to understand GR better than
an expert who has spent his entire life learning it and working in the
field, before they turned 9. Regarding your qualification "better
*intuitive* understanding" I think you gain intuition for a subject
the best by spending years working on it.


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