For math, abstraction is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing, because the mighty of math comes from abstraction—his ubiquity rests on its transcending specific physical forms of the matter. It is a curse, because abstraction runs against the nature way of human thinking.

Although natural languages are a form of abstraction. Learning them involves trials and errors, the practice, the frustration, and the desire to express ourselves. When practice occurs daily, picking up a natural language comes naturally. For most people, however, that learning process stops once he master the natural language. But , like any other art form, math requires long, boring practice. Just as exercise strengthens one’s muscle, doing math thickens one’s logic fiber.  But because practice requires effort(let’s face it, we human are lazy), we won’t do it, if we can get by.

Then there is the misconception. Most people believe, wrongly, math is all about numbers and formulas. This misconception is largely our education’s fault. Indeed, before college, math hardly moves beyond numbers and formulas. But they are just a small part of the big math enterprise. If anything, math is about relations. The trouble is, they are about abstract objects, not sexy ones.


[Point Loma, San Diego,  CA, 12/2009]

4 thoughts on “WRITING 136: WHY PEOPLE DON’T LIKE MATH, 3

  1. “If anything, math is about relations. The trouble is, they are about abstract objects, not sexy ones.” Haha, that’s the best thing I’ve read all day! (And I do a lot of reading, about anything and everything.)

    Thank you so much for visiting and following my blog. I’ve been building and writing it for a long time but only today did I make it available without a password and begin to post my writings, and there you were!
    I thought I’d check out your blog and this was the first post I clicked on – your topics are really interesting, varied and well written, especially as it’s not exactly generic. (Some of the best things aren’t.)
    Again, thanks so much. I hope you find something interesting about mine in return!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Also, as a side note – I can totally relate to this post. I love the concept that math is so simple even though it looks so complicated, but the problem is I am disastrous at math, because the complicated wall of symbols, rules and formulas that surround it daunt me before I can even put pencil to paper. I cant look at a page of numbers without them swimming in front of me to to make extra sure they don’t make sense.
    I envy a brain that flows with math as much as I love to write, though I wouldn’t trade being an ‘artsy’ person for anything. I think some people can have both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My point is that, everything takes practice. Even those seemingly nature talents, they actually come from training/practice. Some may occur unconsciously. But one has to do it in order to be good at it.


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