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A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...

 
Anonymous Coward
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11/20/2012 07:37 AM
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A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
There is a secret to math.

They don't tell people this, because they don't want people learning math.

What is the secret?

Math is a language.

People do not see it as a language, because people rarely speak in 'math,' outside of describing quantities with numbers.

So math is a written language only

Definition of language - The method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.

But how can a 'language' be written only? Because spoken words are only one way to communicate images and ideas to another person's mind.

There are other ways to do this.

Sign language for example, does not have to be written or spoken.

So fine... math is a language. Why does it exist? It is so hard!

Well, it was a language developed to describe shapes, forms, and motions very precisely.

Basically, it is fine to say, "I threw the ball very fast!" When you are recounting the glory days of your high school football years. But if it is your job to figure out the precise angle and speed a rocket needs to go? Even if you could figure that out in your mind, just by looking... how do you communicate that precise arc to another man?

With math.

So Math is a language.

So is math that hard? Well, there are over a million words in the English language. And if you don't use correct grammar people won't be able to make sense of what you are saying. However, because you use it every day, you can speak fluently and effortlessly.

The reason math is so hard is how often do you need to calculate the trajectory of a rocket over a distance of fifty miles to within one inch? Answer. Never. So just like you don't know French because you never use it, math is equally mysterious because most people do not use it.

So why is math so hard to learn?

1. Because math is not taught in schools.

Huh?

That's right. Rather, mathematical GRAMMAR is taught in school.

This is equal to taking a class on French, but instead of speaking French you spend the entire class learning about direct objects and pronouns.

2. And because it is hard to learn something you have no use for.

The subconscious conserves energy. As soon as you feel that you are never going to use something or need it... it becomes very hard to learn.

And honestly this makes sense. If you don't need to know math... why learn it?

In addition, if you don't use a language or skill, it deteriorates. So is it worth learning advanced math to learn just one little thing? Probably not. Only if it is important.




So... who learns math easily? Geniuses? Brilliant people? Well, you do have to have a certain intellectual ability. But nothing special.

People who learn math easily and well are simply people who need to use it a lot. Scientists, nerds, and us engineers. They use it, learn it, and the grammar comes easily because they have a feel for it. Learning the correct grammar for a language you already know is infinitely easier.

<p>People who are fluent in math... when they look at a chalkboard full of mathematical symbols, see shapes and motions, just like a person reading a book sees shapes and motions in their mind</p>

So now that you understand math, understand that mathematicians are nothing special. And that all of that quantum crap they try to foist on people is no different than the priests of old, who were the only ones who could READ, and so were the only ones allowed to read the Holy Texts.

Many scientific things, like electrons, are defined mathematically, because they are too small or fast to sense. This is important to understand, because instantly you see that there is nothing 'fundamental' about these particles. An electron is about as fundamental as any other mathematical shape. Cubes, vortices, or spheres. It is just a way to describe reality. Not reality itself.


People don't just describe objects with language either. They use language to describe their logical thought processes.

-For example, if all cats have paws, and beasley is a cat, then beasley must have paws
-That is a logical conclusion

Today scientists perform experiments with super small and super fast mechanisms, so they must use math to describe the results. They must also then use math to make logical conclusions form their results.

But like anything in the universe, sometimes the logic is flawed or wrong.

So, just because scientists are using math to describe their observations and conclusions, doesn't mean that they are absolutely right.

Scientists often do this. They point to a chalkboard full of incomprehensible math and say... there is the mathematical proof.

Well, people have provided logical proofs for their conclusions in English and French for centuries. It doesn't mean they were right. Because sometimes, the observations or ideas they are basing their proofs on were incorrect.

So I hope this takes the mystery out of math, and makes you realize that math isn't that hard and it doesn't mean that you are less intelligent than some nutjob standing in front of a chalkboard because you found it hard to learn math.

peace out
Anonymous Coward
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11/20/2012 07:44 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
clappa
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11/20/2012 07:44 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
LIKE!
NonAlignedEntity

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11/20/2012 09:22 AM

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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
If this makes no sense to you, you need to read it.
Overstand, this isn't a sermon from the hill, but a 'Trespassers Will Be Shot' Sign.
Anonymous Coward
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11/20/2012 09:54 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
A few additions to OP, also from an engineer.

Not only is math a language, but science is considered somewhat disreputable unless it is described mathematically.

Why? Because math is precise, and math allows you to work out logical conclusions.

Math can be manipulated. Simple example is a story problem.

Joe is five years older than Fred. In three years, Joe will be twice as old as Fred.

and the question is:

How old are Joe and Fred?

So you set it up (J = Joe's age, F = Fred's age, everything is in units of years):
J = F + 5
J+3 = 2 (F+3)

and then manipulate it, one way is to realize that the second equation is equivalent to
J = 2F + 3

and then we have F + 5 = 2F + 3
so F = 2 and J = 7.

There's no easy way to get there other than math, unless you like a lot of trial and error. English can't be reliably manipulated like this. And if you can do this problem by trial and error, there are plenty of problems in science, engineering, economics, etc. that you cannot do in a hundred years by trial and error, but math will get you to the answer.
Anonymous Coward
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11/20/2012 10:00 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
By the way, the hardest thing for most people to learn in the example is how to "set up" the problem, i.e. translate from English to Math, take a two sentence story and turn it into two equations. This is the part we still require human intelligence for, and it's the part that always requires some attention even if you've been doing technical work for years.

The manipulation part we can do entirely by computer.
XSlyOneX

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11/20/2012 10:05 AM

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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
Stop smoking meth OP...
Ron Paul or Bust
Anonymous Coward
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11/20/2012 10:11 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
When OP says math is not taught in schools, it's because you can't do much with math until you get to a bit of calculus, and the way we have schools structured, most people never get that in school and the rest get it only in the final year, 12th grade.

I suspect this is because that's all the math our school teachers are able to teach, so they spread the material out over so many years to keep the students safely below the teachers' not-very-high level of knowledge.

Calculus isn't hard, definitely not harder than learning algebra. (this applies to the high school versions of both subjects.) But calculus lets you do harder problems, so maybe it feels hard.

And just a bit of calculus lets you start doing physics, and a bit more calculus lets you do electromagnetism in physics, so for those of us who study science, the calculus and physics courses work as a tandem in late high school / early college. For me, the reinforcement both ways was very important.

It's unfortunate that most students never get to the point of experiencing this synergy. Maybe if we could just move a bit faster in math and stop treating calculus as some mysterious amazing thing that most people never even get to touch, we might find that more people get to the point where math and science together become interesting, and they might decide to study those things further.
Anonymous Coward
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02/14/2013 05:39 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
bump
Anonymous Coward
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02/14/2013 05:43 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
Math made AMAZINGLY simple

www.sourmath.com
Anonymous Coward
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02/14/2013 05:46 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
wrong your math is off... Obama says our debt puts us in no danger of collapse... so minus 16 trillion really means plus 16 trillion
Anonymous Coward
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02/14/2013 05:46 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
Math made AMAZINGLY simple

www.sourmath.com
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 34341194


ahhhh! my eyes! you bastard!!
Anonymous Coward
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02/14/2013 06:37 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
Two more reasons math is hard.

There is no comprehensive dictionary,
and, math teachers put stumbling block
in front of students so they can't learn.

IE-Dictionary
any math symbol: 1. definition. 2. alternate definition, etc.

IE Stumbling block
Division. Teacher demonstrate division on the board, then
asks students to divide 22 into 44.
Easy.
Teacher does no demonstration and asks students to divide
22 into 23, or 21 on written test.
All students get low or failing grades on test (matter of
record)
Teacher then launches demostration for fractions and
negative numbers. Too much information.
Class clown disrupts class.
Bell rings. Math day lost.
Anonymous Coward
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02/14/2013 06:46 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
Cool, OP!

I never payed much attention in school and now 40 years ahead I know practically nothing about it anymore.
Lately I'm thinking to take up Mathematics and it's variants but have no idea where to begin for home study.

Maybe any tips on where to start? Some online material you know of?

hf
And a big
bump
Axo Azeratel

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02/14/2013 06:47 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
homeruhh

...

chuckle

peace
Anonymous Coward
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02/14/2013 06:51 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
great post there engineer

never to old to learn

appreciate
Anonymous Coward
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02/14/2013 06:53 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
Cool, OP!

I never payed much attention in school and now 40 years ahead I know practically nothing about it anymore.
Lately I'm thinking to take up Mathematics and it's variants but have no idea where to begin for home study.

Maybe any tips on where to start? Some online material you know of?

hf
And a big
bump
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1274009


Don't study math.

That is the point.

Math is a language. It is impossible to learn a foreign language by studying it.

You have to use it.

So figure out what you want to do... build an engine... write a physics engine in a computer... launch a rocket... etc. Then find the math that applies to that.

As you experiment to achieve your goal, learning the math will be effortless. Just like you will learn all the technical words as well.
Anonymous Coward
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02/14/2013 07:00 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
bump



hf
Anonymous Coward
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12/13/2013 01:39 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
I swear that my whole life, numbers always were a visual things for me. same with words. I think thats why learning guitar was such a breeze for me
numewenon

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12/13/2013 06:43 AM

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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
My students tell me all the time that they are "bad" at math. I tell them something along those lines. It's a language.

Music reading is a similar language.

You cannot compose a beautiful peice by just knowing the mechanical "grammar" of music, you need to have creativity.

Everybody can learn math, music, language/grammar... If they are interested enough.

Having the creativity to do great things with them is a different matter.
eekers
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12/13/2013 06:44 AM

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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
this is true. I had the hardest time with math while in high school, then after taking logic in college it all made sense. I totally grasped binary, octal and hexadecimal with no problem after that. math is more than just numbers.
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." - T. S. Eliot
Anonymous Coward
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12/13/2013 07:31 AM
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Re: A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to...
the antichrist, mr grigori perelman dominates math

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