Wednesday, May 17, 2017

QOTD - Mathematics Is Oppressive

Having made most of my living by knowing simple math, I never thought it was all that oppressive or difficult, but then this is a journalist talking. She cites a new paper covering "intersectional mathematics". The lines quoted in the article read:
Mathematical ethics recognizes that, for centuries, mathematics has been used as a dehumanizing tool. Does one’s IQ fall on the lower half of the bell curve? Mathematics tells us that individual is intellectually lacking.

And here I thought that psychologists defined what constituted "intellectually lacking" and the math was only to figure out the degree to which you were afflicted.

The thing about mathematics is that it can be used by almost anybody to add a sometimes much needed patina of legitimacy to an otherwise completely hare-brained theory of anything from global warming/cooling to even suggesting an economic validity to a government budget request. As long as half of ones constituents fall on the wrong side of that bell curve, adding a few formulae to an otherwise dull Power Point presentation will fool 50% of the voters into thinking you're on to something. Include a bribe for one or two people who can see what you're doing and voila! you get your grant.

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