Me, I like puzzles and games, though I'm very often stumped by them. Tara and I did a walk through in Uru, everything already solved. I thank the hard work of those archeologists, who solved so many secrets of the D'nai -- so we didn't have to.
Likewise hats off to mathematicians of old, arithmeticians, algebraists, number jugglers, snake charmers... of many bygone eras. We started out so much further ahead, my generation did, and yours too, if yours is after mine -- or so you'd have a right to expect, given work done in the interim.
Martin Gardner was great. I love Vos Savant as well (she really *pisses* em off -- in a way I find hilarious).
I think some of these traditionalist curricula are too lacking in playful puzzle solving. But the constructionists are often much worse: nothing's even been constructed yet (the kids are supposed to be incredibly inventive and original) so not even the traditional story problems get addressed.
It's about what you're *for* not what you're against. No one will remember you for what you merely attacked. Somehow, women seem quicker to pick up on that (not too wrong for a stereotype I trust).
Do ya'll remember the story of John Saxon? He dared to include elves and fairies in his story problems until the Puritans complained. Here's this retired military guy, home from the wars, ready to share mathematics with the nation's children and what does he find?: that he's in an alien country, a stranger in a strange land, one wherein parents might cast stones at your car, should your math text dare to mention either Frodo or Gandalf.
Math and fantasy were set apart by a Great Wall. It was wrong. We smashed it down. Everyone stood to benefit.
================================================================= 4D Solutions: A Pioneer in Open Source Math through storytelling. Beyond flatland. Math through programming. =================================================================