primacy of arithmetic is simply an artifact of a curriculum that
denies entry to those who haven't acquired proficiency at arithmetic.
This statement by Lou needs to be backed up with examples of arithmetic-less children yet with mathematical development. The only way I can see doing this is to not teach children to count, but I suspect that he is talking about calculators. The problem with the belief that calculators hold some special magic is that they have been with us for 30 years and there are probably 2 or 3 in every house in the country. We probably have 5, not counting computers, and my son's favorite possession is his calculator watch. Ok, not his favorite possession, but its high on the list. In light of those numbers, if there was any magic to calculators, we wouldn't be here speculating about it. Wondering if calculators cure math woes is like wondering if water cures cancer. It obviously doesn't. Everyone drinks water. We still have cancer.