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    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...add-up-targets

    You know what is less useful than maths?
    -Physics (requires maths) -Biology (requires maths) -Chemistry (requires maths)
    -Design and technology
    -History
    -Geography
    -Art and design
    -Music
    -Religious education
    -English Literature
    -Business Studies
    etc.

    When will the average person ever use any of this knowledge?
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    At first I thought this was more league table nonsense, then I kept reading and my disgust grew exponentially, boycotting the guardian from now on, feel sick to my core


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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...add-up-targets

    I was so disgusted by this article that I thought I'd share it

    What an idiot.

    I tried to find something I agreed with in all of that, but no.
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    I don't really disagree with any of it.

    Most a-level maths is useless. Pure maths at degree level too has very few practical applications insofar as societal development goes.
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    Ah, Simon Jenkins, the man who famously declared geopgrahy to be queen of sciences. I stopped reading anything by him years ago because the guy always writes absolute drivel.

    (Original post by drandy76)
    At first I thought this was more league table nonsense, then I kept reading and my disgust grew exponentially, boycotting the guardian from now on, feel sick to my core


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    I take it you will also be boycotting The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Evening Standard, The Spectator and the Huffington Post. He has written equal turgid pieces for those publications. The guy gets about even though I can't fathom why anyone would employ him.
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    (Original post by Quantex)
    Ah, Simon Jenkins, the man who famously declared geopgrahy to be queen of sciences. I stopped reading anything by him years ago because the guy always writes absolute drivel.



    I take it you will also be boycotting The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Evening Standard, The Spectator and the Huffington Post. He has written equal turgid pieces for those publications. The guy gets about even though I can't fathom why anyone would employ him.
    It appears so, looks like it's just The sun left, joy


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    (Original post by drandy76)
    It appears so, looks like it's just The sun left, joy


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    It's not quite that bad, you've still got The Sunday Sport, a paper that talks less crap than Simon Jenkins...


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    (Original post by drandy76)
    At first I thought this was more league table nonsense, then I kept reading and my disgust grew exponentially, boycotting the guardian from now on, feel sick to my core


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    You reached your limit, eh?

    I really do wonder if the Guardian is becoming a satirical newspaper, like the Onion. At least, I hope they are only joking.

    (Original post by leavingthecity)
    What an idiot.

    I tried to find something I agreed with in all of that, but no.
    People like him will be the death of humanity

    He doesn't even know the area of a circle! Nor how to take an average! Shows you the quality of Grauniad journalism
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    (Original post by TorpidPhil)
    I don't really disagree with any of it.

    Most a-level maths is useless. Pure maths at degree level too has very few practical applications insofar as societal development goes.
    Most A-level maths knowledge is useless, yes. Most A-level maths skills are very useful indeed. A-level maths develops problem solving, logical deduction, and statistical understanding, in a way that no other A-levels do. I would be the first to argue that A-level maths needs to reform, to focus more on those skills than plugging numbers into formulae, but that's another debate; Mr Jenkins attacks maths itself, not the way it is taught.

    Pure maths has few immediate practical applications; remember, number theory used to be thought completely useless. Now we have computers, that has changed...
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    You reached your limit, eh?

    I really do wonder if the Guardian is becoming a satirical newspaper, like the Onion. At least, I hope they are only joking.



    People like him will be the death of humanity

    He doesn't even know the area of a circle! Nor how to take an average! Shows you the quality of Grauniad journalism
    He must be doing it just to be controversial....because seriously?!

    I need to visit the comments section if there is one....
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    I wouldn't say we're fixated upon maths given we're so bad at it.
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    (Original post by leavingthecity)
    He must be doing it just to be controversial....because seriously?!

    I need to visit the comments section if there is one....
    He probably genuinely believes what he's saying

    The comments section is the only reason I read the Guardian... yes, there is one on this article.
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...add-up-targets

    I was so disgusted by this article that I thought I'd share it
    maths is the only remaining bastion of rigorous thinking in schools. all the other subjects have been turned into a thin gruel of self expression and easily digestible factoids about so called global warming. despite regular attempts by the loony left to dilute the maths curriculum it still stands proud; a flinty monolith amidst a sea of lukewarm half truths.

    :hat2:
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    (Original post by Quantex)
    It's not quite that bad, you've still got The Sunday Sport, a paper that talks less crap than Simon Jenkins...



    :congrats:

    you win today's internet
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    I do actually agree with most of this article. It is true, particularly with respect to international league tables, that Mathematics is heralded as the pinnacle measure of education and I absolutely do not agree that this should be the case. Towards the end he makes a point which I think probably has a lot of truth to it - "Maths is merely an easy subject to measure... it thus facilitates the bureaucratic craving for targetry and control". He is absolutely correct when he presses the importance of the Humanities and Arts, neither of which are used for international comparisons and which are increasingly being stigmatised at the expense of STEM subjects.

    Unfortunately, what I can't agree with is when he says "There is no 'need' for more mathematicians". Mathematics is a brilliant and important subject and people definitely should be encouraged to go into these fields if they want to. What I don't agree with is this pressurisation and elitism surrounding the idea that the only reputable or respectable path is the STEM subjects.

    (Original post by the bear)
    maths is the only remaining bastion of rigorous thinking in schools. all the other subjects have been turned into a thin gruel of self expression and easily digestible factoids about so called global warming
    :rolleyes:
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    Maths is like computer science in that for a functioning society you need a small number of expert mathematicians, but for most people, you don't need half of what is taught even at GCSE and in fact good communication skills are probably more important.

    (Original post by TorpidPhil)
    I don't really disagree with any of it.

    Most a-level maths is useless. Pure maths at degree level too has very few practical applications insofar as societal development goes.
    Yes and no. Pure maths is one of those things where if you are really good, you could be working in information security at a top bank or in the military, but if you're not quite good enough, you're less useful than a paralegal with a 2:2 in law from the university of Ronald McDonald.
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    (Original post by Feel Tha Bern)
    Maths is like computer science in that for a functioning society you need a small number of expert mathematicians, but for most people, you don't need half of what is taught even at GCSE and in fact good communication skills are probably more important.



    Yes and no. Pure maths is one of those things where if you are really good, you could be working in information security at a top bank or in the military, but if you're not quite good enough, you're less useful than a paralegal with a 2:2 in law from the university of Ronald McDonald.
    Pursuing education shouldn't just be for a job.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    I do actually agree with most of this article. It is true, particularly with respect to international league tables, that Mathematics is heralded as the pinnacle measure of education and I absolutely do not agree that this should be the case. Towards the end he makes a point which I think probably has a lot of truth to it - "Maths is merely an easy subject to measure... it thus facilitates the bureaucratic craving for targetry and control". He is absolutely correct when he presses the importance of the Humanities and Arts, neither of which are used for international comparisons and which are increasingly being stigmatised at the expense of STEM subjects.

    Unfortunately, what I can't agree with is when he says "There is no 'need' for more mathematicians". Mathematics is a brilliant and important subject and people definitely should be encouraged to go into these fields if they want to. What I don't agree with is this pressurisation and elitism surrounding the idea that the only reputable or respectable path is the STEM subjects.

    :rolleyes:
    Exactly.

    He is wrong there, because there is much need for mathematics, but for most people to function in modern society, you need a concept of numerical size and basic arithmetic and unless you want a job with a specific mathematical demand, being able to communicate with others is so much more important.


    (Original post by Hussm)
    Pursuing education shouldn't just be for a job.

    Either way this proves my point, if education is being done for its own enjoyment value, forcing people to learn trig who don't want to is even more silly.
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    (Original post by the bear)
    maths is the only remaining bastion of rigorous thinking in schools. all the other subjects have been turned into a thin gruel of self expression and easily digestible factoids about so called global warming. despite regular attempts by the loony left to dilute the maths curriculum it still stands proud; a flinty monolith amidst a sea of lukewarm half truths.

    :hat2:
    Hear! Hear!
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    Something that's along the same lines but is actually a pleasant read: https://www.maa.org/external_archive...artsLament.pdf
 
 
 
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