> Larry Hammick wrote: > > "junoexpress" <email@example.com> wrote in > message > > > news:firstname.lastname@example.org > ooglegroups.com... > >> At social gatherings when people ask what you do, > if you say > >> mathematics, they'll often respond that they hate > math or were > >> terrible at in school, etc. Kind of a rude > response I think, as I > >> wouldn't come out and so openly diss someone's > profession like that. > >> And somewhat of a humorous response, since few > people would think to > >> confess that they were bad at English or could > barely read or put > >> together a coherent sentence, and yet they so > gleefully volunteer > >> that they are bad at math. I'm curious how people > who do math > >> respond to those types of comments. > >> > >> M > > > > The subject of math is associated in many people's > minds with > > frustration and humiliation, at an early age too, > unfortunately. It's > > the sort of subject in which, if you missed > Tuesday's class, you'll > > be lost in Wednesday's class, to put it a bit too > simply. And > > teachers who have no talent or interest will > probably pass on to the > > student their own dislike of the whole affair. If > the teacher hates > > the subject, and can barely work through the > grade-school lessons > > himself and only by conforming in every detail to > the recipes in the > > book, then the student's impression of mathematics > is bound to turn > > out lousy, unless he has some real innate talent or > he has some other > > adult influencing him. > > I'm not a professional in mathematics, which makes > it easier, in my > > case, to explain at the café why I'm so often > scratching away with > > diagrams and formulas. I've loved the subject since > childhood, still > > do, and that's all. If that makes the person > curious, which it often > > does, I can jot down for him any of many little > theorems and puzzles > > that are a lot easier to state than they are to > prove. Such things > > are a challenge, and the listener understands the > notion of a > > challenge. I can usally assure the listener quite > honestly that his > > anxiety about the subject, if he has any, is > acquired and not innate. > > > > Personally I would not call myself a mathematician > even if I were > > qualified to do so. I don't like that word. > > > > In some parts of the world, particularly Eastern > Europe and Russia, > > there is little or no stigma about mathematics. The > Swiss put Euler > > on their 10-mark banknote. The Germans had Gauss on > theirs, prior to > > the euro. I once saw a Soviet postage stamp > carrying a portrait of > > Muhammad al-Khwarizmi (from whom we get the word > "algorithm") who > > lived in what is now Kazakhstan. > > and maybe this is why US does so poorly in math? > Seems that the ignoramuses > of our society have stigmatized it precisely to > counter there stupidity? .
You like math.?. You must be an elitist.!
> i.e., "Math sucks, not me!" Now that I think about it > no wonder the US is > falling off the cliff... we got those people in > running our government now > too. >
Can you think of examples.? I think we have actually smart, well-prepared people, whether you agree with their politics or not.