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    ashley #240260 10/26/17 04:12 PM
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    Oops. Another 5-second internet search has revealed that the Babylonians and the Egyptians were the first ones to estimate pi. Maybe they were really white people in disguise who had infiltrated Babylon.

    Uh-oh. That same reference mentions a Chinese mathematician who lived between 429-500 CE. Again, maybe he was a Greek in disguise who happened to speak and write perfect Chinese.

    Then there was the Indian guy in the 15th century. Again, obviously an ancient Greek risen from the dead.

    Last edited by Val; 10/26/17 04:16 PM. Reason: added "first"
    madeinuk #240264 10/27/17 04:51 AM
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    Ah, this discussion has been very cathartic! But I do apologize for gross grumpiness leading me to gross generalizations - of course lots of manuscripts were saved by the Byzantines, by western monks, by lots of folks as well as by Islamic leaders. The last is just the one I for which I have seen many random "for instances" over the years. Yay - everybody wins!

    For the curious, though Wikipedia is hardly the last word, a quick google found me a brief on one of the examples I've seen before (Aristotle) and a broader outline of everybody's role role (and when, JonLaw!) that seems reasonably useful (though I only got as far as specifically-Greek manuscripts - gotta do some real work today smile :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recovery_of_Aristotle
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmission_of_the_Greek_Classics
    https://www.qdl.qa/en/why-were-so-many-greek-arabic-translators-christians

    p.s. and I learned but should have known that "Europeans learned about Indian numerals via Arabs, which is why they were mistakenly called Arabic numerals in the West."

    madeinuk #240265 10/27/17 05:40 AM
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    Field report from the northern front of the war on mathematics...

    A local school board brought in a mathematics education expert a couple years ago. A superintendent raved and raved about her and told me to check out her work and attend a talk for parents that they were sponsoring. Of course, my first step was to google her credentials and find out that she had a BA which of course I was impressed by (I did later find out that it was a BA in English AND Math which I didn't realize was a thing, I always thought math ∉ BA, I'm now smarter).

    My favourite example from her about something teachers could do to help kids love math -

    Paraphrasing -
    Kids need to not fear numbers. Get them to have fun with numbers. (sure, I'm with you so far) Have them write a poem about their favourite number and how it makes you feel. (oh for &^%#$# sake) She then proceeded to read us a poem about the number 7 and how it made the kid feel. I just pictured my math-loving kids rolling their young eyes and my 2E DS shutting down completely.

    Let's turn math class into English class and then kids will love it. Oh wait, except for the kids that hate English class and love math..... Good thing those kids don't exist because EVERYONE hates math right? It is so very scary, how could they not?

    madeinuk #240267 10/27/17 06:47 AM
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    Good grief. Here's yet another episode of an educator completely missing the point. Math is a complete abstraction. You shouldn't be feeling anything about numbers except in context.

    Seven what?? Dollars left in my bank account? Buxom lasses attending my every whim? Because I feel very differently about those things.

    Dude #240269 10/27/17 09:22 AM
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    Originally Posted by Dude
    Good grief. Here's yet another episode of an educator completely missing the point. Math is a complete abstraction. You shouldn't be feeling anything about numbers except in context.

    Seven what?? Dollars left in my bank account? Buxom lasses attending my every whim? Because I feel very differently about those things.

    I feel that math, even in it's alleged "complete abstraction" form, is an existential threat to the American Dream.

    That's how I *feel* about numbers and math. And when I *feel* something this strongly, I know that I can and must *act*.

    I say that we take off and nuke math from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

    madeinuk #240270 10/27/17 09:28 AM
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    You're going to need a lot of math to get up into orbit and back down again. Best to just enjoy the show and then freefall. It's the only complete solution.

    Dude #240271 10/27/17 10:10 AM
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    Originally Posted by Dude
    You're going to need a lot of math to get up into orbit and back down again. Best to just enjoy the show and then freefall. It's the only complete solution.

    That's the beauty of my plan.

    I am going to use math to destroy itself once and for all!

    JonLaw #240272 10/27/17 10:38 AM
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    Originally Posted by JonLaw
    Originally Posted by Dude
    You're going to need a lot of math to get up into orbit and back down again. Best to just enjoy the show and then freefall. It's the only complete solution.

    That's the beauty of my plan.

    I am going to use math to destroy itself once and for all!

    You are a strange loop.


    What is to give light must endure burning.
    madeinuk #240273 10/27/17 11:12 AM
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    Beyond history, isn't she missing the fact that if whites (in her culture frame) are seen as better at math, it's because of the systemic issues of racism and poverty that show as an achievement gap across the board (the disparity is not math specific)? And that race as a social construct goes back to around the 1500s-1600s, after the history of maths you all have recounted above?

    Deal with racism and poverty, don't just give everyone a pass and decide math shouldn't be required because some people don't think it has value in life (or don't understand where its value lies, much less its potential). Math education is different when taught by teachers (and supported by others) who appreciate its beauty and encourage kids rather than let them fall into the 'math is hard/boring/sucks' trap.

    madeinuk #240274 10/27/17 11:33 AM
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    Thank you everyone, I haven't laughed so much in a while. And BONUS I get to rampage algebra (on my bucket list).

    And to those of you with serious comments, I get it, and I think that caucasians have been in charge of the history books to the detriment of other races and women for far too long ....spoiler: I am caucasian.

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