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Singapore Tuition, O, A Levels

Thank you for visiting us! In addition to the information given on this website, we also blog regularly on education, society, life, faith, love, philosophy, human nature and all that make up what Plato and Aristotle called ‘the good life’. Beyond the mundane and material life that surrounds us, we hope this blog can serve as a little oasis to share a more excellent way of thinking, doing and living our lives. So starting from the most recent posts below, do follow us on this journey! And we hope you will drop us a comment or two at ask@irwins-study.com to let us know your thoughts or just to let us know how we are doing. =)

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Knowing the right answers or asking the right questions?

Is too much information good or bad for us? This was the question I posed in my O-level English tuition and GP tuition classes last year. As an article in TIME recently puts it, our smartphones today give us easy access to billions of times as much information as was held in all the libraries on earth in Seneca’s day. Seneca was that Roman philosopher who worried about information overload nearly 2,000 years before it was cool. “What is the point of having countless books and libraries whose titles the owner could scarcely read through in a whole lifetime?” he wondered. Now, we can find out in real time what’s happening with Ukraine, our high school friends or the price of soybean futures. We’re a swipe away from knowing the best way to get somewhere, the best temperature to grill burgers or the best deal on a new laptop. We can track the progress of any commercial flight, the crime in your city or the path of Orion across the night sky.

Yet, information is not knowledge or wisdom, and data can mislead. The Internet’s lack of filters or referees, while liberating, has helped birthers, truthers, antivaccinators and climate-change deniers increase their numbers. Privacy can also be a problem in a digital world where everything we’ve clicked, liked, posted and favorited online can potentially be used to sell things to us, evaluate us, embarrass us or oppress us. Our digital footprints – just like our carbon ones – tend to be permanent.

But we gladly exchange all these for the convenience that the Internet brings. Spoilers, pop-up ads, Internet hoaxes and other inconveniences of the answers age are small prices to pay for instant access to infinite information. It’s fundamentally convenient that we no longer need to carry maps, compasses, calendars, address books, calculators or watches now that our phones perform their functions through the magic of ones and zeros. Photo albums, music collections and video libraries–as well as newspapers, magazines and books–no longer need to occupy physical space either.

If there’s a cost to the age of answers, it’s probably our loss of serendipity. We’ve honed our daily news feeds to send us stuff that already interests us, so we’re less likely to stumble upon a quirky story on page B-13. We gravitate toward online cocoons of like-minded people who don’t challenge our assumptions. We may come to realise that optimizing isn’t always optimal.

But for the most part, answers are good to know. We just have to ask the right questions.

GP tuition

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How Mathematics is like ‘The Hobbit’

So what is the use of studying all the theorems and proofs in JC Maths & H2 Maths?

According to Professor Marcus du Sautoy of Oxford University, mathematicians are storytellers. He says, “Our characters are numbers and geometries. Our narratives are the proofs we create about these characters.” Interestingly, he likens the study of Mathematics to ‘The Hobbit': “Like the story of Frodo’s adventures in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, a proof is a description of the journey from the Shire to Mordor.”

To read more about his exciting view of Mathematics, read his address at the launch of the Humanities and Science programme, led by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities at Oxford University, on 20 January here.

JC Maths tuition, H2 Maths tuition

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