My interest in slide rules is academic and historical. As a technical person, I admire the ingenuity of such a simple device, nothing more than two specially scaled rulers strapped together, which can perform the calculations necessary to send men to the moon. Slide rules are perfect calculation instruments, they are as accurate as your eyesight and steadiness of hand.
The slide rule is a relic of a bygone era, almost certainly never again to reappear with any sort of popularity. However, the skill needed to operate a slide rule requires an understanding of the concepts of mathematics which is largely lacking today, when you can simply type in your question into a dollar store calculator and the answer is instantly given to you. With computational tools this cheap and this easy to use, why even think about something as archaic and cumbersome as a slide rule? Because, I believe, there is more to math than getting the answer, and calculating by hand, with nothing to guide you but your own knowledge, your own reasoning, and your own scaled stick, results in being able to go beyond doing the math, and on to seeing the math.
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