Talk:1050: Forgot Algebra

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 01:17, 19 January 2022 by Who, me? (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Actually, I always use Megan's argument whenever I'm in World History Class.--Jimmy C (talk) 21:34, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Yes, because what intelligent people did in the past when faced with complex decisions can have NO bearing on anything in my own life. 08:17, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

It allways seems strange to me that there are places in the world where preparing your own meals is not an everyday task to most people. Living in Norway it just seems extremely decadent! 20:44, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

I don't think that by "learning to cook" he means to prepare food, but to do it well and to enjoy it. Many people can prepare very limited food, causing them to not enjoy cooking and to believe that they cannot cook. Theo (talk) 21:06, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
No, he meant "learning to cook". We learn math, not necessarily so we can enjoy it but so that we can function as a modern human being. You don't have to enjoy cooking, but by god's sake you should at least learn the basics. We can't all be generation Y, you know; things would cease to function. 08:17, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
I think the point is that being able to cook, play an instrument, or speak a foreign language is generally seen as positive even if it doesn't benefit the person judging (they aren't expecting to eat the cooking or need an interpreter). "I can do integral calculus" will not get you the same sort of reaction. 20:54, 18 January 2022 (UTC)

Fortunately for mathophiles, it appears that this sentiment fades with age. In an August 2013 Gallup survey of American adults, respondents were asked which school subject they considered most valuable in their daily lives, and Math took the top spot. Frijole (talk) 23:39, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

A google search of "when am I ever going to use X?" reveals that "math" and "algebra" get tens of thousands of hits, physics gets hundreds, while just about everything else is under 100. I think the extreme dislike of math (edweek survey notwithstanding, and probably self-serving) is in a different league from what others have discussed here. The explanation should reflect. Jd2718 (talk) 03:16, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

It was a Gallup survey, and how can the choice of "math" be self-serving anyway?? It is an educational journal, for pete's sake! The only choices were school subjects.
My own reasoning is that people have an unnatural fear of math simply because it *is* a pure science, it *is* abstract. The idiotic thing is that people use math all the time, they just don't call it that. Trying to work out how many drinks you can buy and still have cab fare? Algebra, b*tches! 08:17, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Counterpoint: Unlike music and foreign language, math is a required course throughout school, which must be infuriating for those who struggle with it. My belief for what are currently the core classes is that students should be taught the material that will help them "in real life" and in a variety of jobs, and probably a bit of extra knowledge beyond that; but the much more complex and abstract topics should be optional. ~AgentMuffin

Counter-counterpoint: You have to balance the 'need' for abstract topics with the advantage that young minds have in learning. Generally speaking, as you get older it becomes more difficult to learn new things. So the most advantageous time to learn those difficult/abstract topics is when your mind is (statistically) best capable of learning them.

Counter-counter-counterpoint: abstract topics are actually specifically the sorts of things that "young minds" (up through middle school, at least, and sometimes into high school) struggle to learn (or comprehend) more than more older minds. It's why teaching algebra to middle schoolers (in general and on average) is generally avoided. (Source: professional development as a middle school teacher) On an unrelated note, the depressing thing about this comic is that I have heard students make the same complaint (i.e. when am I ever going to need this) about music, cooking, AND speaking a foreign language. Who, me? (talk) 01:14, 19 January 2022 (UTC)