[R-SIG-Mac] learning R

Berend Hasselman bhh at xs4all.nl
Sat Dec 11 15:40:12 CET 2010

On 10-12-2010, at 22:25, Rolf Turner wrote:

> I agree with you completely about ``begging the question''.  The
> nearly universal misuse of this expression drives me crazy.  I'm
> not so sure about ``steep learning curve'' however.  My impression
> is that this phrase has *always* been used to convey the idea that
> a subject area is difficult to learn, whence to use it (as you suggest)
> in the sense that the subject area can be learned quickly would be to
> change the original meaning of the phrase.  That would be undesirable,
> even given that the original meaning is counter-intuitive.
> I recall having heard/read a ``justification'' for the original meaning
> to the effect that what is envisaged is plotting effort expended on
> the *y* axis and knowledge level on the *x* axis.  Thus a steep learning
> curve would entail expending a great deal of effort for a small increase
> in knowledge.

See  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_curve
especially section "Common terms".
And in particular the next to last paragraph:-) in that section.


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