Sunday, December 15, 2013

Math

Bee thinks some people are bad at math just because they don't use it.

“I was always bad at math” is an excuse I have heard many of my colleagues complain about. I’m reluctant to join their complaints. I’ve been living in Sweden for four years now and still don’t speak Swedish. If somebody asks me, I’ll say I was always bad with languages. So who am I to judge people for not wanting to make an effort with math?

People don’t learn math for the same reason I haven’t learned Swedish: They don’t need it. It’s a fact that my complaining colleagues are tiptoeing around but I think we’d better acknowledge it if we ever want to raise mathematic literacy.

I think she is a bit delusional on this point. Math, unlike language, is an unnatural activity in the sense that our remote ancestors almost never needed it.