Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Who knew?

 Prof: Algebra, geometry perpetuate white privilege.

Wonder how she would explain my utter incompetence when it comes to math. Faced with math, not only do my eyes glaze over, but my entire pre-frontal lobe seems to shut down.


  1. White privilege is what makes people forget that "whites" did not develop algebra. The brown Babylonians did, which would be Iraq, Kuwait, Syria nowadays. Geometry originated there too, and in Egypt.

  2. But all those people are Causasians.

  3. Caucasian is a tough term. I had my DNA done, and found out that I am completely white, since Irish can be termed as white these last 100 years. Yet none of this "whiteness" comes from Caucasia. Okay, so I object to the sloppiness of the English language here. But this is just a lead-in for the next paragraph.

    The article does not talk about brown Caucasians, which we would have in the MIddle East and Northern Africa. It talks only about being white and European,and cites Euclid and Pythagoras as the only significant mathematicians.

    Here's a quote: "Gutierrez also worries that algebra and geometry perpetuate privilege, fretting that 'curricula emphasizing terms like Pythagorean theorem and pi perpetuate a perception that mathematics was largely developed by Greeks and other Europeans.'

    Am I wrong, or don't we teach across America that brown people invented these mathematical disciplines? Or do we falsely lead young students in some parts of the country to believe that algebra and geometry began with the Greeks?"

    Of course, like the Irish, Greeks weren't always the same race as other Europeans, but now I think they like we are generally consider so. Caucasian, ahem, yes, Caucasian. No Greek in me either.

  4. Andrew Hacker, whom I think of as generally sensible, wrote something in the last couple of years that amounted to a) not enough women learn algebra in high school, b) this limits their options in college, c) so let's stop requiring algebra on college applications. It seems to me that there is a lot of this in American schooling: it's difficult, let's skip it.

    As for Greeks and barbarians, what about Jews? The Bible gives the very approximate figure of 3 for pi. Are Jews underrepresented in the mathematical community? As measured by their presence on university faculties, I should guess not.

    And Frank can perhaps take comfort in a judgment of Schopenhauer's: http://dc20011.blogspot.com/2017/07/a-disinclination-for-mathematics.html . As for me, I never got terribly far in math. A friend insists that I helped her get through algebra in college. I don't remember this, but then I have had forty ears to forget this.

  5. I have the same problem. I absolutely do not like math. Best Writing Services describe how to better study mathematics

  6. According to Wikipedia: "Caucasian race, one of three racial classifications of human beings used in racial typology" Usually including "some or all of the ancient and modern populations of Europe, the Caucasus, Asia Minor, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western Asia, Central Asia and South Asia."

  7. The word "race" has been corrupted to include different groups based on ethnicity, language, national origins, and religions. In other words, the political interest in diversity has high-jacked and amended "race."