## Love and Math: Equations as an Equalizer for Humanity | Brain Pickings

#### Geege Schuman stashed this in Mathy

**Stashed in:** #love, Beauty, Awesome, Best Videos, Math!, life, @brainpicker

Mathematical knowledge is unlike any other knowledge. While our perception of the physical world can always be distorted, our perception of mathematical truths can’t be. They are objective, persistent , necessary truths. A mathematical formula or theorem means the same thing to anyone anywhere — no matter what gender, religion, or skin color; it will mean the same thing to anyone a thousand years from now. And what’s also amazing is that we own all of them. No one can patent a mathematical formula, it’s ours to share. There is nothing in this world that is so deep and exquisite and yet so readily available to all. That such a reservoir of knowledge really exists is nearly unbelievable. It’s too precious to be given away to the “initiated few.” It belongs to all of us.

Makes me wish more people could understand algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus.

They still seem inaccessible to many people.

I think it is more about teaching how math could help solve problems. Besides checking for most, mortages and stocks for others...math is not really present in our minds. I think fantasy football is probably the greatest math adult americans do.

Certainly sports -- including fantasy football -- make math more applicable to everyday lives.

But yeah, even knowing you're getting correct change requires basic arithmetic.

I definitely agree that mathematical knowledge is invaluable. But math like all human knowledge is a social construct. It is not composed of universal truths, but socially constructed frameworks. Within those frameworks its knowledge is objective and persistent. In fact, math is continually surprising in how it can reveal patterns, or the same pattern in very different ways. But like scientific models, mathematics is a human constructed reflection of reality. Unfortunately, many who are expert users of functional math are ignorant of its history and philosophy. A couple of good books "Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty" (http://goo.gl/ghGsbQ) and What is Mathematics Really? (http://goo.gl/UiuxLe) describe this far better than I can. It's important to understand how mathematics is "discovered", not just how to use the calculations.

All that said, math (particularly algebra, calculus and statistics) is something everyone should learn. Luckily with the rise of MOOCs (Udacity, Coursera, EduX, Khan Academy) learning math is getting easier for those with a computer and internet access.

Very interesting, I had some trouble loading the video, I'm guessing because it's 3 separate videos that play simultaneously. Got it to work :) Might have just been busy earlier, many people trying to watch ;)

It looks like 3 separate videos but it's actually just one video. A video worth watching for 2 minutes.

8:01 AM Nov 24 2013