Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Toni Airaksine — Prof blames mathematics for 'global disparities in wealth

First, Ernest asserts that “the nature of pure of mathematics itself leads to styles of thinking that can be damaging when applied beyond mathematics to social and human issues,” since math facilitates “detached” and “calculative” reasoning....
Second, he argues that the “applications of mathematics in society can be deleterious to our humanity unless very carefully monitored and checked,” worrying particularly about how math facilitates transactions of money and finance....
Finally, Ernest worries of the personal impact math has on “less-successful students,” especially women, since math is often perceived as a “masculine” and “difficult” subject....
Of course, the problem is not math per se but rather the mindset and application involved in its teaching and application in life. With overemphasis on quantitative thinking, taking qualitative thinking can suffer. The "morality" of math and science are philosophical and psychological issues having to do with quality that need to be taken into account in teaching and applying quantitative methods.

There are many more issue around the math and science and women's issues that just teaching. Women didn't suddenly get liberate when the got the vote. Cultural attitudes change slowly.

Campus Reform
Prof blames mathematics for 'global disparities in wealth'Toni Airaksinen, New York Senior Campus Correspondent

37 comments:

Matt Franko said...

“Ernest worries of the personal impact math has on “less-successful students,” especially women, since math is often perceived as a “masculine” and “difficult” subject....”

BS....

Matt Franko said...

“Survival of the fittest!” Didn’t come from math Darwin was a naturalist...

Tom Hickey said...

NCBI
The Science of Sex Differences in Science and Mathematics
Diane F. Halpern, Camilla P. Benbow, David C. Geary, Ruben C. Gur, Janet Shibley Hyde, and Morton Ann Gernsbacher

The evidence is inconclusive in that it is difficult to possible to separate biological difference ("nature" or natural conditions) from cultural factors ("nurture" or acquired conditions).

We conclude that early experience, biological factors, educational policy, and cultural context affect the number of women and men who pursue advanced study in science and math and that these effects add and interact in complex ways. There are no single or simple answers to the complex questions about sex differences in science and mathematics.

Kaivey said...

Darwin believed in the survival of the collective fittest, even dogs do better in packs.

Matt Franko said...

No Kaivey, he watched a spider devour a caterpillar alive over like 10 days section by section from the tail end working up towards the head and came up with "survival of the fittest!" and here we are...

So you guys are all Darwin people along with all the Ayn Rand people too...

"survival of the fittest!" you guys and the libertarians are on the same page here...

Matt Franko said...

" dogs do better in packs"

Well neoliberals do better working together too... what is the problem?

Matt Franko said...

Kaivey,

Dog packs have the alphas who get to eat first...

Just consider the neoliberals the alphas eating first and you should be ok...

Matt Franko said...

Tom the basic goal of all of the STEM education is skill development in abstraction, everybody can get better with increased repetitions...

We shouldnt let females off the hook...

Tom Hickey said...

Tom the basic goal of all of the STEM education is skill development in abstraction, everybody can get better with increased repetitions..

True and limited. There is no simple solution to complex issues.

Tom Hickey said...

IF we divide the educational "world" into arts and sciences for convenience in thinking, the sciences result in technology and the arts in culture, both of which are integral aspects of civilization.

The opposition of the arts and sciences in monetary production economies is mediated by business and government, the result of which is varieties of civilization.

The etymological root of "civilization" signifies urbanization.

The trend of development, which continues, is toward greater urbanization.

Cities are centers of education, business, the arts, etc., and they are the manifestations of "high culture" in great civilizations.

Matt Franko said...

Taleb today:

“The problem of the verbalistic (and the journalistic) is expressed in an aphorism in the Incerto:

mathematicians think in (well precisely defined and mapped) objects, philosophers in concepts, jurists in constructs, logicians in operators (…), and fools in words. Two people can be using the same word, meaning different things, yet continue the conversation, which is fine for coffee, but not when making decisions, particularly policy decisions affecting others.”

https://medium.com/incerto/we-dont-know-what-we-are-talking-about-when-we-talk-about-religion-3e65e6a3c44e

Matt Franko said...

The dialectic allows words with 2 meanings... the problem is the dialectic...

Matt Franko said...

“The opposition of the arts and sciences in monetary production economies is mediated by business and government,”

The arts are top heavy... iow if you added up all the $ that goes into the arts and divided by all artists imo they could all make a better living...

Leo Decaprio makes $16M base + % from Harvey Weinstein while community theater people don’t get shit and have to pour coffee or bartend/waiter...

The science side sees to it that their people make better $ even at entry levels...

So the artists are all f-ed up and trying to blame it on we Science people...

Tom Hickey said...

mathematicians think in (well precisely defined and mapped) objects, philosophers in concepts, jurists in constructs, logicians in operators (…), and fools in words.

I would include applied mathematicians and scientist with philosophers, in that math says nothing about how things stand or how events change in the world.

To apply math to the world, and formal logic also, concepts have to be defined technically, e.g., operationally, in terms of sets and systems that link the abstract to the concrete. Easier said than done in other than simple cases. Maintaining consistency of use is also a challenge.

Jurists are well aware of this because law is about not only evidence but also the meaning and intent of laws, e.g., as elaborated previously in precedent.

But many applied mathematicians and scientist are not not aware of this.

Since the advent of analytic philosophy especially, philosophers generally but they are also aware that in many situations precise specificity is not attainable.

Thus the need for and development of fuzzy logic. Modal logic and dialectical logic also existed previously to supplement categorical logic.

There is a huge literature on this and many issues remain controversial, but few are aware of this area if they have not studied it.

As a result, a lot of what is said or written is nonsense in Wittgenstein's sense of not giving adequate meaning to terms or switching among different meanings without knowing it (ignorance) or for rhetorical purposes, e.g., persuasion using sophistry (illogic masquerading as logical reasoning).

Matt Franko said...

When I think about two people using THE SAME WORD but each has their own meaning of that word I immediately think “that is the dialectic”... am I using that term correctly?

Matt Franko said...

Or “paradox”?

Tom Hickey said...

When I think about two people using THE SAME WORD but each has their own meaning of that word I immediately think “that is the dialectic”... am I using that term correctly?

This could be an aspect of dialect in operation when the different meaning are based on different POVs that are oppositional.

Dialectical logic is different from the historical dialectic, in that dialectical logic aims at finding complementarity of different views in relation to a whole. In the historical dialectic the resolution may be violent rather than based on working things out.

Tom Hickey said...

Finding complementary among different views involves assuming that the apparent contradictions are actually paradoxes that can be overcoming by understanding them.

Liberalism based on freedom of thought, speech, action and assembly, open inquiry, and informed and sincere debate are supposed to resolve peacefully what previously was settled by conflict.

But in modern liberal democracies, it is mostly factions of elites coming into conflict over distribution of the spoils among them, similar to feudalism.

So the historical dialectic is not based on logic alone, but is rather the result of "applied logic" wrt to oppositions and conflict among views and interests.

Tom Hickey said...

The dichotomy of arts and sciences can also be viewed in terms of the dichotomy of head (mind) and heart. The science based based on mind while the arts on heart.

According to perennial wisdom, the heart rules and the head serves.

IN the West, this is summarized in Jesus (who is also recognized as a prophet in Islam) when he quoted the Hebrew scripture when asked about the Law in Mt 22:36-40 (NSRV).

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”


"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" is the second sentence of the Sh'ma, which Jews are enjoined to repeat daily.

The first sentence is, "Hear, Israel, the Lord our God is one." According to Qabalah, one (Hb. echad) means not one in number but one it being. God is the only reality.

This is the essence of perennial wisdom found at the core of wisdom traditions.

Feeling for the unity of being is manifested in empathy and reciprocity. The degree of this manifested socially is the level of collective consciousness.

Growing in condition-less love manifests as deeper apprehension of universality as the unity of being.

This is not so much a matter of intellectual understand as it is of refinement of feeling. While culturing the heart is personal, humans are socially embedded and socially influenced so that culture has a impact on this, positive, negative or neutral.

The purpose of culture is to culture and to a great deal that is culturing the hearts of those influenced by the culture.

It's a lot less difficult to be a good person in a good society than in a bad one. One characteristic of bad societies with bad cultures is the culture doesn't soften the heart but leaves it indifferent, or, worse, hardens it.

There is not only individual karma (consequences of action) but also group karma.

Tom Hickey said...

As a result, a lot of what is said or written is nonsense in Wittgenstein's sense of not giving adequate meaning to terms or switching among different meanings without knowing it (ignorance) or for rhetorical purposes, e.g., persuasion using sophistry (illogic masquerading as logical reasoning).

BTW, the digital or information age is improving the situation, since GIGO. The hardware will execute precisely what the programming tells it to do. Programers have to be careful thinkers of necessity or the applications they write will fail their purpose.

Neil Wilson is a good example. He has actually thought through the issues in way that most economists have not. He understand how systems work operationally in minute detail, while retaining the big picture.

Matt Franko said...

“But many applied mathematicians and scientist are not not aware of this. “

But those people don’t go all around saying they are lawyers though... while you have lawyers going all around saying they are materially competent... this is the problem...

The unqualified need not apply...

Matt Franko said...

“information age is improving the situation”

Social media is amplifying the dissonance imo... look at the current Trump Derangement Syndrome on the left... no way it would be this bad without social media...

Tom Hickey said...

But those people don’t go all around saying they are lawyers though... while you have lawyers going all around saying they are materially competent... this is the problem...

Law school doesn't train in material competence in anything but legal systems.

STEM people, like all others not qualified in law, are advise to seek legal counsel when they have legal issues. They are not competent to understand them.

Matt Franko said...

Here is clarinet player Greenspan 2011:

“Greenspan said, adding that "until we begin to see an active relending of excess reserves (held by banks), we don't get much from expanding the monetary base."

https://www.google.com/amp/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSN1E7881G520110909

Yet the MMT people will STILL quote this asshole (dialectic) ... F him and the clarinet he rode in on... throw his ass the F out...

Tom Hickey said...

There's competence and competence. Competence is one area doesn't necessarily have any relation to other areas unless they are related sufficiently closely.

STEM people may be competent in material systems, but not necessarily. Depends on them and their training.

There is a huge range of fields and competence within them. In a system they are supposed to work together seamless. But owing to human foibles that doesn't happen all the time and as a result the historical dialectic driven by opposing forces takes over and forces some solution.

Tom Hickey said...

Social media is amplifying the dissonance imo... look at the current Trump Derangement Syndrome on the left... no way it would be this bad without social media..

Another paradox of liberalism.

When there is liberty there is the potential for different points of view and disagreement.

Democratic governance is supposed to deal with that through informed inquiry and open debate. But in most liberal democracies, the dialect operates in terms of rival factions of the elite that seek to influence voters to their position or else to work around the democratic process. So this game is not beanbag or softball.

Tom Hickey said...

But what I am talking about in specifically people becoming competent in computer programming, and that is now going on beginning in early education to an increasing degree. There are a tons of apps out there teaching kids to code and making it fun. That will sharpen thinking.

Tom Hickey said...

Not just Greenspan. Many PhD economists working in central banks, banking, finance, etc. The econ texts have been changed yet as far as I know.

As we know one big reason for this is that economists learn higher math rather than accounting. The problem is their STEM training rather than business school training where people learn to read accounting statements even if they don't learn accounting in detail.

But Beowulf (Carlos Mucha) understood this as a lawyer because he could and did consult the legal arrangements concerning operations.

jrbarch said...

”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.

For me, the above statement the very essence of Christianity and message of Christ – not many Christians in the world today yet, because of the process of transmuting >> transforming >> transcending the personality.

But ‘Lord your God’ ‘soul’ ‘mind’ ‘love’ even ‘neighbour’ are all word symbols, masking what meaning - what experience? In turn, meaning masks significance (Purpose). People’s minds carry whole religions, ideologies, learning, based on these symbols. Then the Upanishads will tell you ‘mind is the slayer of the real’. Why? The Ageless Wisdom that the mind has to be clear, calm, void of modifications, focused like a still lake - in preparation; that when the heart opens then and only then, can mind witness the Self. People haven’t learnt the Four Noble Truths and Eight Fold Path of the Buddha yet, let alone the message of Christ, meant to carry that teaching forward and make it easier – all word symbols, pointing to an inner reality. Love is the super highway, broad and clear; most enjoyable. The perfume of the heart is Peace. What this world needs is real peace.

How can you love someone you have never met? You have to meet them first; you have to find the Self within you first – then falling in love is quite automatic. Love needs reciprocation to expand. The heart bursts open, all by itself – all other loves (attachments) falling away. Just like the lotus blossom that has made it all the way up, out of the mud, through the swirling waters into the clear air above - and sunlight - bursts open. Then mind understands the word symbols: - ‘father’ ‘brother’ ‘neighbour is you’ ‘love’ ‘mind’ .... why the ‘soul’ seems to speak in word symbols, but is just painting pictures of a reality, as it must. Mind without the heart is a very dark place; whatever light you have in the mind is there because of the heart, although you don’t know it yet. But the sun is rising in us all. Perhaps you have never been introduced to your Self, but, you will be delighted. This heart is you – so Being is the key.

According to perennial wisdom, the heart rules and the head serves.

Yes – but we know that all service that comes from the heart is selfless; and all service that comes from the mind is tainted for most of us with egoism. Like my words that come through the mind and get tainted (sorry about that)! So I would say the better word symbols are: - the heart rules because it holds the hand of Life, and mind and emotions are partners through which that service is materialised – made extant in the world of the personality - or something like that. That would be both mentally and materially competent to me :-)!!

A really good comment though ...

Tom Hickey said...

Here is a nice quote:

"Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life."
— Proverbs 4:23 (NRSV)

Kaivey said...

I despair sometimes, Tom. You knew, Jeremy Corbyn is a real nice guy, and so are his team. I joined the Labour Party because of him, millions did. But the ruling elite run all the finance, commence, and the big businesses, but what do ordinary people know about this?

The ruling elite can snooker any Labour Government they don't like, and they always do. Fortunately, there are academics who are left leaning who can offer advice. But is it a match for the ruling elite? And yet we must break this stranglehold.

Ryan Harris said...

*sigh*. People attribute mystical god like qualities to unrelated things they don't understand. Nothing new. Frustrating though. Modern iteration.

Tom Hickey said...

I'm off to a family get-together. Probably won't be posting or commenting much or at all until Sunday.

Ryan Harris said...

Enjoy the fam and a rest from the wicked social media.

Kaivey said...

Gee!

Kaivey said...

Life is 50% competition and 50 cooperation. We're all competitive all the time, which can be fun and bring meaning to our lives.

My friend is a much better musician than me, in fact, he's gifted, but I program better music than him. I work hard at it and we are competitive. I enjoy it.

Kaivey said...

There's nothing nicer than meeting a stranger and really enjoying their company.

My car wouldn't start the other day and a black guy came up to me and said he would push it. I put it in first great, but he said no, put it in second gear. He then pushed and as the car started moving fast enough be shouted and told me to take my foot off the clutch. The car started and off I went and I did my best to wave hoping he would see me and I saw him waving in the distance. It was a lovely moment.