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View Diary: Math mania: Why teach math? Why sing? (92 comments)

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  •  IMO, every educated person. . . (6+ / 0-)

    needs to read Plato and Shakespeare and have a basic understanding of what calculus is and how it works.  That doesn't mean everyone will be proficient at using calculus but people need to understand that the mathematics of change is the great intellectual breakthrough that paved the way to the modern world.  Without that understanding we live in complete alienation from the knowledge basis of the world we inhabit and technology becomes a kind of incomprehensible magic.

    •  Ergo ... (4+ / 0-)

      My lost journalism major.  Coming from a family of engineers and not being intuitively brilliant at math, I still was shocked and apalled at the idea of graduating college without taking calculus!  So I had to switch my major to Psych.  And I got a nice chunk of statistics into the bargain, which has served me well ever since.  But it wasn't until I hit the internet during slow days on academic job, that I got introduced to Plato.  And that's a real shame, because Plato helps you understand the beauty in math, and the reason why it would be important whether you had to calculate statistical significance or orbital trajectories or NOT.

      Magic isn't incomprehensible.  Magic is ABOUT comprehension of how and why everything works.  Which is why my first teacher sat me down with a set of Isaac Asimov general science books on physics, chemistry, geology, astronomy, and math history and ran me through a full semester of science review and fundamentals before I ever cracked a volume of Crowley.  And why I won't teach Potions until a kid has finished Organic.

      Really.  The majority of trained ceremonial magicians in this country work as highly-paid IT specialists. Haven't you ever wondered why they call themselves "wizards" and make such outrageous salaries?

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