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Topic: Slightly OT : I hate math
Replies: 18   Last Post: Feb 6, 2010 11:52 PM

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Posts: 818
From: NYC
Registered: 6/21/09
Re: Slightly OT : I hate math
Posted: Feb 4, 2010 1:19 PM
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> Larry Hammick wrote:
> > "junoexpress" <> wrote in
> message
> >
> news:2e053960-13bb-4695-b7d2-b54782aa6447@n7g2000yqb.g

> >> 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.

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