Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hating Mathematics

It doesn't make sense to say that you don't like math. Math is simply a tool, an alphabet—if not a language*—which we use to convey our theories on the nature of the physical world in the most precise way we can. It isn't actually a thing that bears liking or disliking, except that one may like the skilful manipulation of the tool itself, or the beauty of the resulting theorems. One normally would not do the opposite, that is, dislike handling the tool badly, because if one is bad at wielding a tool one either learns quickly how to wield it well, or goes on to something one finds easier to do. Myself, I blame school for this irrational hatred of mathematics. It is one of those few environments where one may be forced to consistently do a job one is bad at, and therefore, one of the few places that one can learn to hate a means of communication.

1 comment:

  1. Mathematics is not merely a tool. It is a fortunate coincidence that its results can be used to describe nature. But Mathematics is the study of everything that follows logically from certain sets of arbitrary axioms, and this is done independently of any utility in conveying 'theories on the nature of the physical world'.