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    Simon Jenkins writes a fair bit of anti-science (and maths) stuff every now and then.

    His best line has to be "No one dares mention the calculator." Hahahaha. If he thinks maths is about calculators it shows just how ignorant he is. I wonder if he ever studied it beyond primary school.

    "Instead Latin dominated the “grammar” curriculum into the 20th century, to the expense of all science. Today maths is the new Latin."

    So you want scientists...who don't know maths? That's like wanting translators who don't know a foreign language.
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    Good find, Zacken (even if it does claim maths is an art :shakecane: )
    I particularly liked the proof about the triangle in a semi-circle, I'd never thought of it that way!
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    Good thing indeed ...
    I personally like the Mathematics club to be as exclusive as possible ...
    I think we want as many people to do geography ...
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    I particularly liked the proof about the triangle in a semi-circle, I'd never thought of it that way!
    Geometry is so cool, right?
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    Ah, but in a system where maths is discouraged, we may lose a lot of talented people who'd have been great mathematicians, but who never had a chance to notice their talent
    I think everyone loves maths, but just don't know it. Take, for example, this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Witten
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    Now I'm mad.

    (Original post by Zacken)
    Something that's along the same lines but is actually a pleasant read: https://www.maa.org/external_archive...artsLament.pdf
    I do love the language here "Two weeks of content are stretched to semester length by masturbatory definitional runarounds." :rofl:
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    Ah, but in a system where maths is discouraged, we may lose a lot of talented people who'd have been great mathematicians, but who never had a chance to notice their talent
    You might have a valid point but one could say most people which are talented in maths will pick maths, no matter what systems are in place.

    At present the UK encourages Maths.
    Personally I am not convinced we get more or better mathematicians coming through, as a result
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    I really doubt that; even if it were true, many will have lost a few years studying other stuff, like Edward Witten. And losing a few good mathematicians is unacceptable.

    Besides, you may take pride in maths being an exclusive group, but it would be very damaging for the general UK population to have no contact with maths at all; no concept of logic, no understanding of statistics, no problem solving skills. Very damaging indeed, especially when it is the general population, not mathematicians, who elect the leaders, who would be free to use wildly distorted statistics, and quite staggeringly illogical policies.
    I do not wish to engage into a lengthy conversation into educational policy but I will give you some food for thought.
    Do you think the "UK" cares about the loss of scientists of any kind which we may no longer produce?
    Well if and when are needed we will steal them from countries which are now developing ...
    (the salary differential will attract them and we will save billions as we have not invested anything for their education)
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    If no-one comments with "(a+b^n)/n = x, hence God exists - reply!" then I will.
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    Agree with the article to an extent.
    But to think you could have a good scientist who can't do maths is delusional, unless you truly believe that geography is the hardest science.
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    (Original post by Quantex)
    you've still got The Sunday Sport, a paper that talks less crap than Simon Jenkins...
    I agree with the sentiment and remain shocked at the number of adults who verge on being proud of their innumeracy. Far too many adults have a shaky grasp of real basics like percentages.

    However, don't knock The Sunday Sport. I happened to be temporarily in the news some years ago and the only newspaper that didn't have a single factual inaccuracy about me was The Sunday Sport. It was deliberately misleading in the way it had arranged my picture and a different story's headline and was brimming with innuendo but not actually wrong - unlike The Times, Daily Mail, South China Morning News, Die Welt.. and every other newspaper I saw.
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    (Original post by TheBBQ)
    I do love the language here "Two weeks of content are stretched to semester length by masturbatory definitional runarounds." :rofl:
    That ending bit was my favourite!! "A senseless bouillabaisse of disconnected topics" :rofl:


    (Original post by the bear)
    thanks for that Zacken... i look forward to reading it at my convenience ( that is the best place to concentrate ).
    No problem, bearTM. :lol:

    (Original post by Marxist)
    Looks like an interesting read - thanks, Zain.
    How'd you enjoy it?
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    Article is a piece of crap. Normally I can at least sympathise with the 'Comment is Free' articles in the good ol' Grauniad, but this just highlights someone who really doesn't understand how maths works, or how a lot of it is applicable in every day situations. Sure, you will most likely never use circle theorems after finishing your GCSEs, but I use a lot of the way of thinking taught to me by studying maths in everyday situations. Without at least some knowledge of how probability works, for instance, one will be repeatedly fooled by many common fallacies (especially e.g. survivorship bias). My guess is this guy thinks he hasn't benefited hugely from learning maths just because he doesn't use trigonometry in his day-to-day life without thinking more about it.
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    While we're bashing Jenkins, here's a fun one from the past:

    Can you sort the spoof anti-science quotes from the real ones?

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/...-spoof-science
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    I've moved this to educational debate because I think it's more fitting there than maths study help.
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    (Original post by Marxist)
    Bloody leftards.
    Username checks out
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    How'd you enjoy it?
    I really liked it, mate.
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    I really doubt that; even if it were true, many will have lost a few years studying other stuff, like Edward Witten. And losing a few good mathematicians is unacceptable.
    I see what you mean. For example, a friend I know, much older than me, studied Medicine first and realised it was a huge mistake later on. I actually know several people like this who love Maths - everything about it - who end up doing Law/Accounting/Medicine. It's really frustrating, but there's not much you can do.
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    I don't think we are fixated on maths. In fact it is certainly not taboo to admit in public that you are hopeless at maths - can you imagine how people would react if you admitted you were essentially illiterate?

    To be honest, I can think of exceptionally few people that use above GCSE-level maths in their jobs or as part of adult life. That doesn't make it useless. Otherwise virtually all other subjects - English, social sciences, etc. - would be useless too. A lot of the value in teaching maths is, as clichéd as it sounds, as a mental exercise, in teaching logic and how to think and approach problems.

    The alternative is that we just shut down schooling above 11 and replace it with on-the-job learning. Because you can't pick on maths not being needed by most people but not virtually every other subject too.
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    English is far more important than Maths in my opinion. Are you doing Maths while reading this post? No. But English... Yes.
 
 
 

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