Date: Aug 29, 2013 9:21 PM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: Will Richardson Why Schools and Algebra 1
> Bourbaki was not a real person so this is more a
> poke at a "corporate person", more like Exxon, which
> personhood does "pro math" commercials I'd consider
> "Bourbakian" in some ways -- lots of symbols flying
> by on screen, connoting "a cryptic language you may
> never crack but that we insiders know" ("crypto-fascist"
> some call it)).
Just to back that up with a real example:
Here you see Exxon sharing the stereotype that mathematics
is all about this insider language that the initiates all
know, and if you don't you're out in the cold. Look at
the girl at 33 seconds: she's maybe 13.
What's that stuff she's writing, on the see-through white
board? The 13 year old watching has no clue. "This
isn't me, that will never be me" and "all the grownups
in the commercial must have been like her".
The commercial is both terrifying and demoralizing. But
the corporate personhood behind it imagines it's doing us
a favor. Pretty funny if you ask me. The real message
is: "we're a giant corporation with all the smart people
so don't you dare question our judgement little human".
Of course nobody alive is consciously thinking that way
probably, it's just an aura left over from Standard Oil,
S O, or Esso, later changed to Exxon to be more
deliberately meaningless (like they changed EPCOT to
Epcot, to rub out the memory if possible).