Mathematical Society of America Demands Critical Race Theory

Rear view of a puzzled businessman in front of a huge blackboard try to solve hard mathematics calculation, formula and equations. Thinking of project ideas and business planning concept.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon, Campus Reform; According to the Mathematical Society of America, the largest body of mathematicians in the world, mathematics carries “inherent human biases” which can only be addressed by “engaging in critical, challenging, sometimes uncomfortable conversations about the detrimental effects of race and racism on our community.”

ANTI-SCIENCE POLICY AND THE CENSURE OF DISCOURSE ON RACE AND RACISM

October 2, 2020

A statement from the MAA Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics

We stand in the midst of a year of transitions. We have long been aware of broad shifts in the postsecondary education landscape, but 2020 has also been marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and emergency distance/online/hybrid teaching. Each of these new challenges for higher education has evolved alongside a movement to stand up for Black lives. The data are clear: these issues are inseparable. Black, Latinx, and Indigenous lives are the most affected by policing, health, and education policies.  

Policy must be informed by facts and science. Thanks to science and mathematics, we understand now that masks, social distancing, frequent, rapid, mass testing, and contact tracing are all fundamental to keep our communities safer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet policies at the federal level have not consistently reflected these facts; for example, choosing not to incorporate a mask-mandate in the US has had serious consequences. As Michael Dorff and Michael Pearson stated in a recent Math Values blog, “We encourage MAA members, regardless of political persuasion, to speak out for the value of science and mathematics, and hold our leaders accountable to make use of the best possible scientific evidence in policy decisions.” The social sciences are part of this community, helping us understand how to effectively communicate these practices to people, while also simultaneously analyzing our practices and policies with a critical lens. Critical race theory, referenced in recent Executive statements by the President of the United States, is an established social science inquiry which is grounded in decades of scholarship. It is misguided, at best, to reduce this theory to the race-blaming of white people and to define it and the discussion of systemic racism as a “divisive concept.” Furthermore, banning training utilizing this scholarship to raise consciousness, from federal and federal contractor workplaces, is an encroachment on science and the academy. At the first presidential debate this year, President Trump’s refusal to disavow white nationalism and his encouragement of groups that the FBI has identified as the greatest threats of domestic terrorism, only serves to reinforce the sense that his administration seeks to reverse decades of progress on civil rights for all citizens. These actions frame a current United States leadership that consistently promotes policy in direct opposition to data and science-based evidence. 

Although mathematics, science, and higher education develop fact-based theories and practices that should inform policy, they are also political because they exist within a highly politicized system.   Acknowledging that the United States has serious systemic discrimination has somehow leaped from a political issue to a partisan issue. More alarmingly, what we see is a series of pronouncements apparently designed to suppress conversation and action on race and racism in the United States.  The American Educational Research Association recently released a statement that clearly addresses this troubling pattern of the federal response to racial justice unrest in the US, which reframes the conversation on race and racism as “unAmerican.” We borrow from and add to their list of recent, deliberate actions taken by the federal government:

  1. A September 4th Executive Memorandum to all Executive Departments and Agencies states that “all agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on “critical race theory,” “white privilege,” or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil. In addition, all agencies should begin to identify all available avenues within the law to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert Federal dollars away from these unAmerican propaganda training sessions.”  
  2. On September 6th, President Trump tweeted that the Department of Education was investigating schools using the 1619 project – a Pulitzer-Prize winning project meant to help fill a gap in mid-20th century US history by providing educational materials on slavery – and would withdraw funding.
  3. The September 16th launch of a Department of Education investigation into Princeton University weaponized a recent letter from Princeton’s President describing Princeton’s efforts to move forward with structural reform in response to reflection on their past. “On September 2, 2020, you admitted Princeton’s educational program is and for decades has been racist. Among other things, you said “[r]acism and the damage it does to people of color persist at Princeton …” and “[r]acist assumptions…remain embedded in structures of the University itself.”  
  4. The September 22nd Executive Order is framed by a preamble centering white men as being hurt by blame for racism in the US, which effectively extends the September 4th ban on racial equity training to all Federal contractors. It then defines a list of “divisive concepts” which, for example, includes the idea that the meritocracy is “racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race, as well as new terms such as “race and sex stereotyping” and “race and sex scapegoating” which seek to renarrate white fragility as racism against white people. 
  5. The September 28th Executive memorandum, which directs Federal funding agencies to “identify all programs for which the agency may, as a condition of receiving Federal grants and cooperative agreements, require the recipient to certify that it will not use Federal funds to promote the list of concepts listed in Section 5 of the[September 22nd] Executive Order.”

As mathematicians, we notice patterns – this is something we are all trained to do. We bring these Executive actions to our community’s attention for several reasons: we see the pattern of science being ignored and the pattern of violence against our colleagues that give voice to race and racism. We need to fight against these patterns. As educators, we also recognize the threatening pattern of banning education and withdrawing education funding to suppress conversations on race and racism, extending from elementary to postsecondary institutions to the workplace and research spheres. 

It is time for all members of our profession to acknowledge that mathematics is created by humans and therefore inherently carries human biases. Until this occurs, our community and our students cannot reach full potential. Reaching this potential in mathematics relies upon the academy and higher education engaging in critical, challenging, sometimes uncomfortable conversations about the detrimental effects of race and racism on our community. The time is now to move mathematics and education forward in pursuit of justice.

Math Community Members:
Carrie Diaz Eaton, Chair, Committee for Minority Participation in Mathematics
Francesca Bernardi, Committee for Minority Participation in Mathematics
Christopher Goff, Committee for Minority Participation in Mathematics
Kamuela Yong, Committee for Minority Participation in Mathematics
Margaret Reese, Committee for Minority Participation in Mathematics
Michael Pearson, Executive Director, MAA
Michael Dorff, President of the MAA
Deirdre Longacher Smeltzer, Senior Director for Programs, MAA
Victor Piercey, Chair of the Michigan Section of the MAA
Jenna Carpenter, Co-Chair, Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences
Nancy Sattler, member AMATYC, MAA, TPSE, &  Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences 
Kathryn Kozak, AMATYC President
Anne Dudley, AMATYC Executive Director
Yun Kang, AMS representative for Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences
Omayra Ortega, Editor-in-Chief of the NAM newsletter and NAM representative for Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences
Jennifer Quinn, President-Elect of the MAA
James A. M. Álvarez, MAA Board of Directors & MAA Congress Representative for Minority Interests
Marilyn Elaine Mays, Joint Committee on Women in the Mathematical Sciences

Source: https://www.mathvalues.org/masterblog/anti-science-policy-censure-of-discourse-on-race-and-racism

Wikipedia provides the following definition of Critical Race Theory;

Critical race theory (CRT)[1] is a theoretical framework in the social sciences that examines society and culture as they relate to categorizations of racelaw, and power.[2][3] It is loosely unified by two common themes. Firstly, CRT proposes that white supremacy and racial power are maintained over time, and in particular, that the law may play a role in this process. Secondly, CRT work has investigated the possibility of transforming the relationship between law and racial power, as well as pursuing a project of achieving racial emancipation and anti-subordination more broadly.[4] Developed out of postmodern philosophy[citation needed], it is based on critical theory, a social philosophy that argues that social problems are influenced and created more by societal structures and cultural assumptions than by individual and psychological factors. It began as a theoretical movement within American law schools in the mid- to late 1980s as a reworking of critical legal studies on race issues.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_race_theory

If there is evidence a mathematician has not received proper recognition for their work because of racism, politics, religious bigotry, or any number of other reasons, by all means correct the record and give people the recognition they deserve.

But suggesting mathematics itself is racist, as MAA appears to be doing, is a pretty big claim. To quote Carl Sagan, An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof. I would like to see examples of racist mathematics. The statement provided by MAA does not appear to provide any evidence to substantiate their claim of inherent racism.

257 thoughts on “Mathematical Society of America Demands Critical Race Theory

  1. A minority of one, right?

    Diversity dogma (i.e. color judgment), denial of individual dignity, individual conscience, intrinsic value, normalization of color blocs, color quotas, and affirmative discrimination, not limited to racism and exclusion, breeds adversity. Lose your Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, relativistic, politically congruent quasi-religion (“ethics”).

  2. This fictional rubbish from the Democratic Party comic strip
    “President Trump’s refusal to disavow white nationalism and his encouragement of groups that the FBI has identified as the greatest threats of domestic terrorism, only serves to reinforce the sense that his administration seeks to reverse decades of progress on civil rights for all citizens”

      • Democrats have been assiduously working to destroy civil rights for more than 150 years. This should only be a surprise to the grossly misinformed, the stupid, Loydo and Grif.

    • Trump has continually disavowed white nationalism, but the Left never seems to catch that part of the sentence. Selective hearing or something. The mathematicians above may have been “trained” to catch patterns, but if they can ignore piles of data sitting right in front of them I’m betting nothing they put out is worth paying attention to.

      • “Trump has continually disavowed white nationalism, but the Left never seems to catch that part of the sentence.”

        The Democrats don’t catch it because they don’t want to catch it. They are going to call Trump (and every other Republican or conservative) a racist no matter what they say.

        Republican = Racist is the favorite meme of the Democrats. About the only way they have been able to win election in the past is to play the race card, so they play it and play it and play it. That’s what they are doing here.

        Radical Democrats are the most dispicable of creatures.

      • The problem is that the left defines any opposition to their racial goals as “racism” and “white supremacism”.
        According to them, unless Trump publicly condemns every group who’s politics is to the right of Mao, then Trump is supporting racism and white supremacism.

        • The legal term is “illegal alien.” In law, an alien is a person who is not a citizen or national of a given country.

    • “President Trump’s refusal to disavow white nationalism”

      Sloppy thinking at its best. And from so-called mathematicians no less.

      White nationalism has nothing to do with white supremacy. And nationalism has nothing to do with “white”, it is race neutral.

      • I prefer the term “civic nationalist.” Interestingly *many* non-whites are nationalistic – particularly *legal* immigrants who appreciate the special place the USA is. Check in with the Cuban community in Florida for whom the phrase “We will never be a socialist nation” resonates deeply.

    • The group that is almost unilaterally responsible for keeping certain minorities out of math and other sciences: LIBERAL DEMOCRATS.

      • Yes . Poor schools is one of their favorite methods used to accomplish THEIR desired racist results.

        ….” we see the pattern of science being ignored and the pattern of violence against our colleagues that give voice to race and racism. ”

        They even admit THEY are racists !

        • The public is expected to belief a simple assertion (…the pattern of violence against our colleagues…”)

          So who are your “colleagues” and what “violence” have they suffered?

          Do you include as “colleagues” the felons who violently resisted arrest after committing yet ANOTHER crime?

      • What’s keeping minorities out of math and other sciences is what George Bush called the racism of low expectations. Blacks in elementary and high school are not pushed by teachers to take the hard courses like math and physics because of their low expectations for blacks. Instead they are pushed to become “professional athletes” which leaves 99% of them without the tools to succeed because they are not good enough to become a professional athlete.

        Want to get rid of systemic racism and income inequality? Push for charter schools, private schools, and school choice.

        • Add to that the self-inflicted restraints of equating academic achievement with “acting white.”
          Bill Cosby pointed this out; I wonder if this was a factor in his being taken into account in being singled out for terrible behavior that runs rampant in Pedo-wood.

        • I don’t think that the teachers are the problem. Many of these kids live in a culture that does not believe that education is the way to get out of poverty. Studying is viewed as selling out to the white culture. It has been my experience that black students recently coming to the US of A from Africa or the Caribbean don’t share that culture and do just fine in school while their peers don’t put forth any effort. The beauty of the charter school system is that the kids that are there are motivated by their parents to learn, and are surrounded by students that share the belief that a good education is valuable.

        • “What’s keeping minorities out of math and other sciences is what George Bush called the racism of low expectations.”

          What’s keeping all sorts of intelligent and motivated students out of post-secondary math, and consequently, out of all the sciences, even “soft” ones, such as sociology, anthropolgy, and economics, is the inability of post-secondary institutions to TEACH math.

          I first experienced this as a mature student entering a respected Canadian university with only Grade 11 education ten years before. I asked the head of the microbiology department whether there was any possibility of my pursuing studies in his department by means of make-up courses in math and chemistry. His answer was a categorical “no”.

          After a successful year learning several foreign languages, I transfered to a larger, and equally prestigious university in another province. There I was required to successfully complete a math course that pretended to bring the attendees up to high school graduation level (Grade 12 in most provinces), despite the range of prior secondary school math experience from none to 4 years.

          The instructor had never taught the course before, and we had three sessions a week for eight weeks to get through it. A quick look through the very fat binder persuaded me that we would be lucky to get through half of it. And this turned out to be the case. In fact, we never got past construction deductions, which I had studied in Grade 11 a decade before. We never got to calculus or trigonometry.

          Of the thirty or so students in the class, only I and one other passed. The rest had to take the course again, and could not get credit for any other courses they had successfully completed until they passed this math course – a complete waste of time and money for them, the university, and society.

          The other “graduate” commenced a 101 level university math course, but soon found that his “remedial” math course had not equipped him to be able to continue even this entry level course.

          Later, when I graduated with a BA from the faculty of humanities, I was offered a Graduate Teaching Assistantship, which entailed teaching others, including faculty, how to read a foreign language. I had had neither training nor experience in teaching anything.

          And I suspect this is the rule, rather than the exception, even for the most highly “qualified” university faculty in Canada. This may explain, at least in part, the failure of remedial university courses.

          Over the intervening decades, I have watched hopefully for significant advances in adult language learning, especially since the advent of PCs capable of handling complex audio-visual materials. But there have been no such advances.

          Here in Canada, where most children are now taught the second official language starting in elementary school (whereas in my schooldays, this was only compulsory in academic high schools), most are unable to converse or even read the other language a few years after graduating.

          And for those who wish to continue learning on their own, the options have actually diminished. Where once there were several firms offering innovative PC-based language learning programs, now there is Babel, which offers nothing to the intermediate level student, even in the handful of languages it supports.

          Back in the era of 3.5 Floppy Disks, there was an excellent language learning aide called Transparent Language. It briefly made the transition to CD, and then disappeared. Other players were bought up by bigger firms and shut down.

          Is the prospect of studying higher math on one’s own any better?

          I don’t think this has anything to do with “race” , “expectations”, or even with poverty, except for a poverty of flexibility, innovation, and motivation in the “teaching” community.

          • Great post otropogo.

            Here in Australia they lowered the entry pass mark for those who want to study teaching to 50%. That was some time ago. Those who successfully complete their teaching degrees are now asked to teach children things that would be more appropriate for a parent to discuss with their children if appropriate, and that would be their discission.

            I used to think that it was just Australia slipping badly in the education rankings. I suspect that it’s happening in many ‘western’ countries.

    • Progress: unqualified monotonic change, one step forward, two steps backward. An evolutionary paradigm as it is qualified by different factions and sects, and diverse(i.e. color, not principle) people perceive different emergent, plausible outcomes. An imputed [positive] value and article of faith of what are ostensibly “secular” quasi-religion factions and sects.

      Trump wants to requalify progress (i.e. monotonic change) to place people before color, life before Choice, etc. as in the American Dream: Pro-Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, free from diversity and other class-based judgment, labels, and bigotry.

      • Probably should be “pro the enjoyment of Happiness”. “the pursuit” at the time of the Constitution was a vocation or activity. A politician had a “pursuit” of politics, a minister had a “pursuit” of religion or pastoral activities, an “engineer” had a “pursuit” of mechanical design and execution- building a canal or railroad, manufacturing guns, etc.

    • A person can be intelligent and yet lack wisdom. Bodies like the Mathematical Society of America embodies such a severe dissonance.

    • The paper was created by an put together by members of the sub-committe, “Committee for Minority Participation in Mathematics”.

      Those people have hit a wall in their efforts to get minorities into math as a discipline, occupation, or hobby. No matter the scholarships available, there are only so many people that want to ‘get into’ math.

      The “Committee for Minority Participation in Mathematics” has obviously run out of things that make them feel that they are contributing anything of substance, so resort to this crap. It doesn’t have anything to do with intellegence, or intellectual, or wisdom; it has to do with selfishness, realization that they are leaches, and an attempt to make themselves feel better.

      • And of course merit, hard work and being on time are racist to explain the failure of the race-based inducements to work to the degree wish for.

  3. Before you accuse science of working in nasty ways, while providing no evidence of corruption of mathematics, you first have to educate yourself that proper, hard science has no concepts of ways, good or bad. Geoff S

  4. Critical Theory is Marxist. link It is devoted to the destruction of our civilization.

    Every time it has been attempted, Marxism has led to utter failure. The greatest genocides of the 20th century were perpetrated by Marxists. link

    This crap has taken over our education system. Defund the universities until they get rid of their grievance studies departments.

      • It is enabled by an intentional and systematic destruction of language, including the definition of words.
        Only this week, the Left has decided to redefine the meaning of “court packing”.

        Of course the redefinition of the label of an “WWII era German National Socialist party” to mean anyone who voted for the sitting President is now common.

    • I laughed at the bit about” improving human -ice interactions”
      Does that mean if you slip on ice it guarantees to be soft?

  5. Seems to me that there is a huge amount of conflation in their assertions underpinned by a biased approach in the first place. Mathematics is precise and objective whereas the social ‘sciences’ are not, and should never have been termed as sciences in my opinion.

    • Steve I agree and I’m not a scientist or a mathematician. I would have thought that mathematics requires logic as opposed to the more emotive areas of social studies. Sorry, I couldn’t bring myself to put social and sciences together.

      We would have said at one time that the world is going mad. It’s past that now, it’s gone mad.

      • “We would have said at one time that the world is going mad. It’s past that now, it’s gone mad.”

        The only thing we don’t know is whether the crazies outnumber the sane.

        We’ll know the answer to that in the U.S. in about 22 days.

        • Here in Australia, and I’m sure the rest of the world, we are all hoping for Trump win Tom. The world is watching. The hate from the left is unbearable and a Biden win would spread that hate like a virus.

    • +10 Way back when, when I went to school, we had ‘social studies’. At what point they became ‘science’ I have no idea. ‘Social scientists’ suffer from what some might call ‘science envy’…

    • There are a few activities of psychologists, psychiatrists, and similar devotees that are scientific. Dr. Jordan Peterson, of some Youtube fame, was part of a group studying I.Q. They found 5 characteristics that defined about 90% of the variation in intelligence. It confirmed the US Military’s 83 IQ as the lowest “trainable” IQ. They also confirmed that the mean IQ for women is 3-4 pts lower than men. This has no effect overall because most activities don’t require high(> 130) IQ. It does have a big effect at the tails of the curve. A few points difference means virtually no women are in the >95 percentile of IQ.
      Examples might be Madam Curie for work on radium and Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil for a frequency-hopping spread spectrum technique she thought up.

      Social “science” CAN be scientific but most of the published work deals with FAR too few subjects. Drawing conclusions about a population of millions fro a survey of 30 or so college students is ridiculous.

      Individuals with high IQs typically learn to read early in childhood and they enjoy reading a variety of materials on a regular basis. High IQ individuals also have large vocabularies. Additionally, they learn basic skills early, quickly and with little effort and are able to work independently for extended periods of time. Another general behavioral characteristic is an abundance of energy that is sometimes mistakenly interpreted as hyperactivity.

      • The IQ curves are different for men and women. They are almost the same average and median, but the women’s curve is narrower. The number of women with an IQ within one standard deviation of average is more than the number of men. Men’s curve is shallow and wide. There are more men than women lower than 85 (jocks?). More men than women above 115. (nerds?)
        The IQ measures a certain kind of puzzle solving ability along with memory.
        Those with high IQ have an easier time understanding complex math as puzzles than those with low IQ.
        Given these data I would expect that much less than 50% of women could be expected to be able to do Fields Medal level math. Just like elections, genetics has consequences.

  6. This is possibly the most sinister development yet. Once the Party tells you 2 + 2 = 5, then that is what it does equal. The Humanities long ago fell to the NAZI ‘philosopher’ Martin Heidegger. Now it looks like science itself is about to succumb. Lord help future generations if these maniacs succeed.

      • Look up “Lysenkoism” and “Phrenology.”

        Or just consider that positional notation and the concept of “zero” were the inventions of ARYANS (“white people”), masters at the time of the majority of the Indian subcontinent. These ideas must eventually be eliminated by the “woken.” (Not replaced by Roman numerals, though – maybe Aztec knots. Although they are the majority of the descendants of the ACTUAL Latin people, nasty Italians like Cristoforo Columbus are somehow not “Latinx.”)

      • According to Gad Saad, negative integers are to be eliminated because they reinforce the negations of racism.

        And only equilateral triangles are to be allowed. The unequal sides of isosceles and scalene triangles reinforce unequalizing prejudice against minorities and LGBTQ people.

        He says this is already being taught in some schools.

        That’s how mathematics is harmed by political bias.

        • “And only equilateral triangles are to be allowed. The unequal sides of isosceles and scalene triangles reinforce unequalizing prejudice against minorities and LGBTQ people.

          He says this is already being taught in some schools”

          I’m a little naive Pat, just confirm for me that that this is a joke. It’s hard to tell these days the way the world has gone.

          • I’m only a relay here, Megs. I’ve not checked myself.

            On the other hand, I’ve already seen academics embrace so many really fatuous ideas that I don’t put any of that math bushwah beyond them.

          • Regardless Pat, the world’s gone mad. The word ‘science’ is being attached to areas of work to which it simply does not belong.

            That people can go from an ‘arts’ degree to speaking out as experts in other fields is just wrong. Surely it’s necessary to ‘do the hard yards’ to fully grasp a subject, to earn respect in your chosen field. How have Mathematicians and Scientists allowed politicians, journalists and people from other fields of interest to trash their integrity?

            Society in general is being dumbed down to groupthink and nobody seems to speak out against it. We are becoming regressive followers, easily conned by people who have the gall to call themselves ‘Esteemed Professors’, even when the title doesn’t fit.

            How are young people ever going to be able to distinguish the truth when throughout their entire education they are being fed so much propaganda and outright lies? How will they learn how to think for themselves when they are steered away from anything outside of the prescribed Marxist formula?

            How did ‘extreme’ feminism come to infiltrate every aspect of life? Why is it pushed down our throats? Whatever happened to common decency, integrity, respect and ‘real’ tolerance? What happened to people taking responsibility for their own mistakes and failings? Why is it always someone else’s fault?

            These are rhetorical questions Pat, I’m not expecting you to solve the problems of the world. Just venting.

          • Fight them all the way, Megs. Be a public example of sanity.

            Standing up to these people is the only way to prevent their taking power. They’re a minority. They won’t win if they’re strongly and widely opposed.

            I no longer believe that scientists who accept Critical Race Theory or the evisceration of science in the name of equity have had their integrity trashed. I’ve encountered too many of them locked into progressive beliefs to sustain that view.

            I now think that many scientists are mere methodological hacks. They know how to carry out research and even properly work with data. But they apparently do not understand the idea of science itself.

            Science is another way of knowing and truly another way of being.

            To be a scientist, as opposed to being a methodological hack, is to be consciously aware of the overwhelmingly important distinction between knowledge and opinion, between subjective and objective, of assigning assertions to the proper category, and of the absolutely central importance of strictly maintaining those distinctions.

            Methodological hacks, no matter their brilliance, somehow do not recognize those distinctions as categorically orthogonal, and do not have them at the center of their being.

            That leaves them vulnerable to the seductions of noble cause corruption and of the encomiums of socially applauded moral virtue.

            They haven’t surrendered their integrity, Megs. As regards the commitment to science as the sine qua non of ethical principle, they never had it to surrender.

    • Just more post-modernist drivel from those who see the world as unfair since they are not as successful in life as others. I have a degree in math and find it appalling that SJWs are trying to destroy its very essence which is entirely objective and fact based including rigorous proofs. Even my own children were subjected to socialized math teaching programs that left them unable to deal with basic algebra without extensive tutoring at home.

      This nonsense is driven by a demand for fairness as determined by equality of outcomes. Sadly, it is far easier to achieve equality of ignorance than equality of knowledge. The only possible genuine fairness is that of opportunity, but that doesn’t seen to be accepted by those in power in academia.

  7. Wanton intentional ignorance is wanton intentional ignorance immaterial of how you label it.

    Labeling such things is an attempt to separate ignorances out so you can maintain some while coping with others.

    Pushing racism off as some grey area instead of learning enough logic, definitions and grammar to properly address it is bigotry.

    Bigotry is a criminal act.

    • Bigotry is a part of human nature, just like tornadoes are a part of ‘climate’. Only Marxists believe that human nature can be morphed into Perfect Man, and Woman…

      • People are not perfect. People of all races have a lot of fears and this causes them to be suspect of others. It is a perfectly natural human emotion. It is a survival mechanism from our ancient past.

        And considering where the world has been on race relations, we have come a *long* way from those bad times and it will get even better if given a chance.

        The problem with radical Democrats is they don’t want to give good race relations a chance. They want to stir up race hatred because they think it benefits them politically. So they tear the nation apart in their efforts to gain political power. Critical race theory and the 1619 project are part of this stirring up of race hatred.

        Our only salvation will be to vote the radical Democrats out of power as soon as possible.

        • It must be obvious to non-whites that this sick modern construct of the diversity/race snarl
          is itself created, run and promoted by white, lefty Dems! Even the worst in the history of racism, such as the KKK, is largely a Democrat story.

          Yes racism is ugly and its history repugnant. No one is trying to hide this fact. Vast strides have been made and continue to be made, but this ugly, divisive, disruption by ‘liberal’ whites serves no purpose in this process but to attempt to derail it for political gain. Their program at base is the worst form of racism in that the unstated assumption is that non-white races can’t speak for themselves, but must depend on white democrats to define the problems, create the institutions, plan the strategies and run the show. Dr. Martin Luther King didn’t need white Dems to plan and direct his campaign.

  8. https://sealevel.info/intersectional_blah_blah_blah.html

    “Science without intersectional feminism” “white supremacy”
    you are a white supremacist
    Q.E.D.

    A shocking number of academic fields are dominated by utter crackpottery. That problem is worst in very politicized fields, like climate science and “grievance studies,” but even the hard sciences and mathematics are under siege. When Scientific American runs an editorial against science, itself, you know the rot is very deep.

    Not even engineering is safe. When the lunatics are in charge of the asylum, er journals, the peer review system filters out the wheat and selects the chaff.

    • “A shocking number of academic fields are dominated by utter crackpottery.”

      Isn’t that the truth! And the above article is a good example of it.

      These mathematicians sound like CNN reporters. My guess is CNN is where they got all those lies they are telling about Trump.

      • Tom
        Look at the job titles of the signatories to get a sense of whether they are objective, or might have a personal bias the fogs their thinking.

    • Jpournalists at the NYT are demanding that one of their own be punished for writing an editorial critical of the 1619 project. Typically, they can’t refute anything written in the editorial, they are upset just that it is allowed to exist.

      https://www.foxnews.com/media/new-york-times-union-1619-column-criticism

      Earlier this year, many of these same “journalists” wanted senior staff to be fired because they allowed an editorial written by Tom Cotton to be printed. Once again, no attempt to refute anything written, just a demand that people they don’t like be silenced.

    • DB: regarding the Sci Am article:

      It notes anecdote saying evolution would be proven false if we found “fossil rabbits in the pre-Cambrian.”

      I don’t believe this is so. If we found a rabbit fossil in the pre-Cambrian, which I agree is very unlikely, I am sure Evolution believers would set to work on how to not accept the implications of this find.

      A decade ago, someone found soft flesh in a dinosaur bone. A news story has a quote, “it is almost as if the fossil were not 100 million years old.” But not “We have to figure out how our million-year-old idea might be wrong.”

      I cannot find a n article I saved years ago. In South America, in some rocks that supposedly pr-date the evolution of birds, they found fossilized bird tracks. The article wisely concluded, “either we are dating these rocks the wrong way, or we have the time frame of bird emergence wrong.”

      But this study, which should have been earth-shattering news, was not widely noted.

  9. Strange that this should come to pass at a time when the so called system is more diverse and accommodating to ethnic minorities than ever before in history in any previous civilisation.
    The truth is that the system is now so accommodating that a certain ethnic minority finds it tempting to ‘take the pi*s’ in order to gain unmerited advantages.

      • An example of that is that Michael Mann was never held accountable. The hockey stick is still used as a tool in the whole CCGW scam.

      • Social pressure is a very powerful thing. The Left has control of the mechanisms that create social pressure, such as the News Media and the Entertainment Media, and, obviously, this brainwashing is very effective, even on otherwise intelligent people. Smart people want to fit in, too.

        Like they say in Japan: The nail in the floor that sticks up, gets hammered down. So most nails, even smart nails, lay low, and I imagine some of the smart nails convince themselves that distorting reality is a good thing. That way they can live with their own deceptions.

        Happily, not all people are susceptible to this brainwashing.

        I think this coming election is going to tell all of us where we stand. Just how many deluded people are out there in the great beyond? I think there would be a much smaller number of them if the Media told the truth rather than spreading Leftwing lies and propaganda like they do.

        The lying Leftwing Media is the most dangerous organization on Earth right now. People cannot govern themselves properly if they are not given the truth. Govern themselves properly = Vote Republican! 🙂

  10. And so dies the ideal that mathematics will be the common ground, logical starting point of communication with aliens ‘races’. ( I hate to even use that word. )

    Maybe we’ll start with hip-hop, or body shaming on tentacle thickness instead. And they’ll just respond with force, the other universal language.

    It’s 2020, after all.

    • Aliens and Humans meet. Will humans be suspicious of the aliens? Of course, they will. Will humans be afraid of the aliens? Of course, they will.

      This is where racism comes from: Fear and suspicion. Humans don’t know the intentions of the Aliens so are naturally suspicious. The Aliens are guilty until proven innocent.

      Humans apply this same thought process to unknown groups of other humans. They fear them and are suspicious of their motives and with good reason as, in the past, one group of humans frequently slaughtered other groups of humans.

      So what is the cure for suspicion, fear and racism (stereotyping)? The cure is knowledge and understanding of unknown (to you) groups of humans (assuming their motives are pure). When we get together and learn from each other and understand each other and understand that we can have our differences but still be civil and kind to those who have other benign outlooks, then we can live without fear and suspicion.

      It doesn’t help matters when the political Left and the Leftwing News Media constantly stir up race hatred and chaos. They add to fear and suspicion and they do it on purpose for political purposes.

      Yeah, I think the way humans would look at alens is a pretty good analogy for how different groups of humans have looked at each other in the past. Fear of the unknown and suspicion at first. Get to know each other peacefully. Lose the fear and suspicion. Get along.

      • Tom
        There is survival value in being wary of those things or people one does not understand. Therefore, racism, or perhaps more properly culturism, isn’t going to go away. That is, those who lose their fear of the unknown are at risk of being exterminated or subjugated. Only those who maintain a healthy concern for the unknown are likely to survive free. A deaf springbok will never hear the twig breaking under the paw of the approaching lion. Thus, one finds few, if any, deaf prey. They don’t live long.

  11. “I would like to see examples of racist mathematics.”

    Mathematics is full of, indeed almost totally consists of, racist mathematics, indeed it is a racist discipline.

    Let me explain. A field or an observation in a field is racist if it originates with people exclusively of some races. It has nothing to do with the content of the observation or theory. To insist on demanding proof that some statements in a field are racist is to collude in racism, doubtless through unconscious bias, which can best be corrected in one of the many residential courses springing up nowadays.

    Modern mathematics has originated with Greek, Chinese, Indian, Arab, European researchers. Do you notice some people are missing? A good proportion of the people of the planet, particularly from parts of the Far East, Australasia and Africa, are not included in the developers of modern mathematics. That makes it a racist discipline.

    Actually the more I think about this, I see that it is not the only such discipline. Modern medicine appears to owe its origins to key figures who were mostly white and male. The railways and the steam engines which propelled them were innovated by racist white males. You may say that Stevenson and Watt were not racist?

    That is because you have failed to understand, as with mathematics, that being racist is not a matter of what you said or did, but of who you are. Stevenson and Watt, and Lister for that matter, were of the racist race, so obviously they were racist.

    Sewage is another of these deeply racist disciplines. Sewage was invented by the white racist slave owning Romans, and further innovated in Europe in London by a white male racist called Bazalgette.

    I could go on and multiply examples. But clearly what we need as a society in our efforts to progress to socially equity and combat racism and climate change is for the profession of sanitary engineers, like the mathematicians, to admit the deep and unconscious racism of their professions, and reform their thoughts in the residential courses I have suggested will be so helpful.

    Meanwhile, to show our understanding of the gravity of their inner prejudices, they should stop doing math and stop using toilets. I gather than in the home of progressive activism, San Francisco, great efforts are under way with considerable success on the last of these, the pavements having been utilized as toilets and the streets as open sewers. But it seems like mathematics is still being practised there, so we have a ways to go.

    • “racist if it originates with people exclusively of some races. “

      Which it most certainly DID NOT !

      “A good proportion of the people of the planet, particularly from parts of the Far East, Australasia and Africa”

      Africans : David Blackwell, Etta Falconer, Benjamin Banneker, Katherine Johnson and many other brilliant names.

      Could also name many from Australia, New Zealand etc etc

      Maths is one of the most multi-cultural world-wide subjects around.

      Things are ONLY racist if you CHOOSE to make them so.

    • Mathematics is full of, indeed almost totally consists of, racist mathematics

      I could go on and multiply examples

      multiply is a racist mathematical term, since you chose to use it that means you are a racists! /sarc

    • Heads up; we need to get that pesky dictionary definition of racism which currently is; “the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another” and alter it to suit the leftard, dead-end narrative that “if something was invented by a particular culture it is racist”. Also, somehow we need to slip in a definition of a “racist race”.

    • “and further innovated in Europe in London by a white male racist called Bazalgette.”

      Thomas Crapper was most certainly an old white man, ie a sexist and a racist… ! 🙂

      Does that mean that when a non-white person uses a crapper.

      ………. its cultural and racial appropriation ?

      • Indeed yes. One of the worst examples of cultural appropriation is the way some cultures outside Europe or the US have appropriated the concept of the printed circuit board, and incorporated it into their own folkways.

        People get very excited about sombreros and tacos or jerk recipes, but cultural and social folkways like the PCB or the flush toilet, well! I mean, that is really vile, to have taken over such a vital part of another culture.

        I recall while thinking of this that the automobile is racist, white and and heternormative too, and should be banned by all right thinking progressive states. Henry Ford. Otto Diesel. Alfred Sloan.

        Need I say more? No, I don’t think so.

    • Srinivasa Ramanujan

      An Indian “peasant” who produced more mathematical theories than all his contemporaries and died at 33.

  12. Unbelievable. The irrational and emotional leftist forces have even attained control of the MAA: A once great academic society. I should know. In the late 1970s, as a somewhat renowned math student at a major university, per the invitation of Pi-Mu-Epsilon, at a regional conference of the MAA I presented a well received paper on original mathematical work. Work that one math professor, trying to persuade me to go for a math PhD, said was a “dissertation.”

    Like other commentators, I would like the MAA to provide examples of racism in math. If they can.

    • Example of racism in maths: When people use fingers to count, they very very rarely count on fingers of a different colour to their own.

      Coming back to the article: the logic used to support the idea that maths is racist is seriously warped. The argument is that maths is racist because Greeks are perceived as white. Actually, not all Greeks, just two Greeks, namely Pythagoras and Pi. But Pi is thought by some to have been Egyptian, not Greek …
      https://www.whoinventedit.net/who-invented-pi.html
      … and Egypt is in Africa.

    • “Unbelievable. The irrational and emotional leftist forces have even attained control of the MAA:’

      Not really. It isn’t a statment by the MAA itself, but “A statement from the MAA Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics.”

      • PS: Eric Worrall’s headline, “Mathematical Society of America Demands Critical Race Theory'” is very misleading and should be changed. And/or an explanatory note or subtitle should follow it, say that the demand is only from “the MAA Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics.”

        • Unfortunately the MAA president and president-elect both signed it. The MAA’s membership needs to rise up and throw the traitors out.

  13. Mathematical Society of America seems to be providing evidence that it shouldn’t exist.

    Is there anyone which going to miss them if they simply stop existing?

    I tend to think there is a vast number of organizations which if they cease to exist, it should be an improvement.

  14. “An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof.”

    Well you just have to put it in context-

    “The social sciences are part of this community, helping us understand how to effectively communicate these practices to people, while also simultaneously analyzing our practices and policies with a critical lens. Critical race theory, referenced in recent Executive statements by the President of the United States, is an established social science inquiry which is grounded in decades of scholarship.”

    Once you have an established social science enquiry like that you do as they tell you because they’re the establishment now. They’ve looked at it all through a critical lens so what more proof do you need?

  15. The social “scientists” lacked the intelligence to do math, but somehow they managed to bring the MAA down to their level.

  16. I am not a mathematician, and I believe I am aware that my logic might be slipping sometimes due to my bias. And that might also be happening here. I read this: “It is time for all members of our profession to acknowledge that mathematics is created by humans and therefore inherently carries human biases. Until this occurs, our community and our students cannot reach full potential.”

    I find it hard to understand that if you think mathematics itself is biased by human traits, then humans will remove this bias because they are…human.

    Is there a human bias in the choice of calling the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter Pi? I guess there is. Would anything be different if it was called anything else? I thought the number “e” was named after Euler, and that might be human bias right there. Although I fail to see how the choice of name for this number affects the number or the logic surrounding it. But then I am white, middle class, in my 50’s and probably have absolutely no way of understanding my shortcomings here.

    Are there any members here belonging to the group who wrote this and who care enough to try and help me with this?

    If they actually meant to say that “It is time for all members of our profession to acknowledge that THE MATHEMATICAL COMMUNITY is created by humans and therefore inherently carries human biases”, well then that is different. Being mathematicians they might be forgiven on semantics. It is still logically confusing that they think awareness of this would somehow remove human bias.

    • Interesting statement: ” … to acknowledge that [M]athematics is created by humans and therefore inherently carries human biases.”

      So funny: I teach all of my Math students that we DISCOVERED Mathematics; we did not create anything, anymore than we created things like gravity, and electromagnetism, and drifting continents.

      This single statement, that we ‘created’ Mathematics, completely discredits this institution as anything but a bunch of losers looking to justify their own existence. So glad I never joined such a pathetic group.

      Regards to all,

      Vlad

      • As a mathematician I can justify a claim that math was created.

        Ultimately, mathematics is a branch of philosophy (not science, it’s not at all empirical, no experiment will ever disprove a theorem). It is specifically the branch of philosophy that deals with rigorous logic applied to an axiomatic system. The particular axioms usually chosen are somewhat arbitrary and different axioms are possible and sometimes used.

        Once you have chosen your axioms, any particular result is simply a discovery rather than a creation, but the entire edifice of axioms is in fact chosen and constructed. Choosing axioms can be an act of creation as there is no “correct” set of axioms to discover. For a non-trivial system of mathematics there will always be either undecidable problems which can only be solved by introducing a new axiom, or self-contradictions. We reject internally contradictory sets of axioms, but this is a choice, as is the set of axioms worked with, and other choices are possible and are not in any way mathematically proven to be inferior.

        I happen to strongly prefer axioms that give results in some way applicable to the real world. But that’s just my choice and my preference. If someone wants to call this racist on my part, I can hardly claim that they are mathematically incorrect. I can just claim that they are morons and that I’m glad I don’t contribute or belong to their organization.

        • Douglas
          Is it possible that if one chooses the wrong axioms, which lead to “internally contradictory sets of axioms,” that no progress can be made or answers provided to questions? If so, then it would seem that one who would choose such axioms is not guided by reality or a desire to expand knowledge.

        • “It is time for all members of our profession to acknowledge that mathematics is created by humans and therefore inherently carries human biases.”

          Some mathematicians believe that mathematics is discovered, (Platonists). Others believe that mathematics is created by humans, (Formalists). Since such ideas are in the realm of mathematical philosophy, and thus not subject to any rigorous system of mathematical proof, the MAA is just spouting belief systems – not rigorous mathematical proofs.

    • “Is there a human bias in the choice of calling the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter Pi?”

      I think it’s more “meta” than that. I think the fact of determining there IS a consistent ratio for the circumference of a circle to its diameter is somehow racist, whether it was called pi or t’pau.

      How can something that only expresses relationships be racist, or even biased?

    • I’m old enough to remember when math was considered the “universal language.” Such that a spacecraft included math inscriptions should any aliens ever intercept it.

      Oh well. That was then. This is…? Stupidity on steroids.

  17. Racist mathematics, who knew?…I always had my doubts about logarithms, all those dense columns of suspicion looking numbers…

  18. Mathematics racist?
    Nah, just that ****ers can’t do sums?

    Joking apart, much as I despise all this emphasis on race, the fact of the matter is that people from northern latitudes had to work harder and develop more complex ideas and organisations in order to stay alive. Mathematics – which is probably down to the great Arab scholars of the middle ages – is just one of those complexities.

    North America Europe and Asia simply have high population densities and a greater material wealth than say Africa, because they developed more sophisticated ideas. Whether or not those ideas are ‘racial’ or ‘racist’, the fact is that every day immigrants are streaming into those places because they want some of that material wealth and then screaming that the culture, mathematics, technology, and science that created it is ‘racist’ and ‘oppressive’.

    Well guys, Africa is over there ==>
    and South America is down there||
    v

    • “Crackers”, like any other disparaged group, have the ability to learn and do sums.

      They just don’t want to.

      Priorities …. How good are you at fisting catfish?

  19. This is indeed worrying. The MAA publishes at least a very good journal. However, let me remark that the mad discourse referred in the post comes from a fringe (hopefully) committee inside the association: MAA Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics. It is not highlighted in the web page of MAA at least for the moment. Note also that the correct name is Mathematical Association of America.

    • Luis Rodrigues,

      The document may have been drafted by a “fringe committee,” but it is signed by:

      Michael Pearson, Executive Director, MAA
      Michael Dorff, President of the MAA
      Deirdre Longacher Smeltzer, Senior Director for Programs, MAA
      Jennifer Quinn, President-Elect of the MAA
      Kathryn Kozak, AMATYC President (American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges)
      Anne Dudley, AMATYC Executive Director

    • Top management often goes corrupt, happening in a number of organizations. American Scientist published by Sigma Xi, National Research Honor Society, was confused with Scientific American, got a lot of pushback, had to deny endorsements. However, top was also pushing political agendas for scientists, membership may be waking up. Not all is lost. AMS doesn’t seem to know about ASA. Caution about numbers is not new, maybe needs rediscovery.

      Smith, E.P. Ending Reliance on Statistical Significance Will Improve Environmental Inference and Communication. Estuaries and Coasts 43, 1–6 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-019-00679-y

      Beninger, P. G., I. Boldina and S. Katsanevakis. 2012. Strengthening statistical usage in marine ecology. J. Experimental Marine Biology Ecology. 426-427. 97-108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2012.05.020

      https://amstat.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00031305.2016.1154108
      p-values

    • As noted below, the REAL atrocity is that the “MAA Committee on Minority Participation” is no longer focused on steps and programs to get minorities interested and involved in math (and other STEM areas) but is now WOKE and assumes that simply attributing that concern to “racism” is some sort of a solution!

      (Whitey, it’s all your fault; now go fix it!)

      Like many “science” issues the causes of lack of “minority participation” are many, complex and inter-related. Put on your Big Boy (or Girl) pants and get to work!

  20. Yes, mathematics is racist.
    But on the other side mathematics is a product of white culture.
    Therefore colored people should not use it, since that would be appropiation of white culture and we all know that cultural appropiation is not OK.
    So non-white people keep you hands of our culture!

  21. The return to the Western Dark Ages via anti-Enlightenment continues apace like a malignant cancer.
    The Chinese and Russians are laughing their butts off. They had their turn with this ignorant mindset in the 20th Century. Now they see it as the West’s turn.

    • “The return to the Western Dark Ages via anti-Enlightenment continues apace…” Sure. It happens every couple of hundred years. When too much knowledge filters down to the masses too fast they destroy the knowledge makers & keepers.

  22. There is too high of a high probability that these folks may takeover the US government soon. It won’t end well. Unless the Lord gives us another reprieve.

    • At this point I think it’s inevitable, it’s just a matter of when. Orwell’s “vision of the future” seems to have been accurate.

  23. The “Math Community” of the “MAA Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics” consists, as far as I can make out from the names, of 5 men and 13 women. There’s scope for some “affirmative action” right there.

    • I’m a woman Neil and I thought the same thing. Feminism became extreme a very long time ago. These people are are attaching their ideology to absolutely everything and there is no rhyme or reason.

      • There is a reason. They “achieved” their positions in a manner that did not depend primarily on merit.

        Now, they can’t compete or feasible contribute to the the status of their position, so they do other things … things that are easier to do while at the same time provide excuse as to why they aren’t still succeding.

  24. I am often ignorant of the facts and theories involved in many of the discussions on WUWT, but I do have extensive post-secondary training in Math, and I know that Math is true. Math would exist even if there were no people to understand it, or invent the terms and procedures we use to describe it. Before the invention of logarithms the laws that govern their use existed and could not be denied. As far as I know, no ne has ever falsified a recognized Math theorem. There is no postmodernist Math.

    An interesting thing about Math is that the huge bulk of it was invented before the year 1700. Mathematicians are haunted by the possibility that there may be no more Math to discover.

    What could possibly be the basis of the claim that Math is racist? That would be like saying that gravity is racist. It’s just nuts.

  25. This is just gibberish to be able to fill the mathematics departments with wokeness instead of competence.

    Something more of interest to those who are still interested in actual mathematics – what do you tell school kids who want to know why they need to learn mathematics?

    The ones asking don’t need to. The ones not asking it do.

    The very few who will need to learn it properly need to be in a class that is taking the subject seriously even if most students know that it’s not their thing.

    What’s in it for the majority in the class who don’t need to learn it?

    Society is a better place if you help the few with apptitude and enjoyment of it to learn it properly.

    Most jobs are you just doing what the boss wants with little understanding of it. Practice being good at it.

    You know that boss/team leader/foreman that your parent complains about being too superficial to do the job properly – you want to be that person and not the one complaining. You don’t want it to be rife in society, though.

    Everybody is better off if they are competent in arithmetic, so you get to practice that. Just learn the mathematics superficially, but play along with the teaching that is meant for the few with talent. You will not pick the latter by their skin colour, accent or genitals, just how they go about doing the work.

    • Everyone is better off if they have at least a basic understanding of geometry and trigonometry as well as arithmetic.

      Carpenters use trig all the time, e.g. calculating angles for roof trusses and widths of stair treads. Welders need to understand geometry to determine the best joint and welding technique to use. Surveyors use math all the time. Even a ditch digger installing a septic lateral needs to understand basic trig to get the drainage right. House painters need to understand how to calculate area in order to estimate paint quantity needed.

      There are vey few jobs where a basic understanding of math isn’t needed except perhaps a cashier at McDonalds.

      • Hello, Tim Gorman. I disagree that most people need Math beyond what you take by Grade 9. I used to pick up a few extra bucks as a Math tutor. I coached high school students, with the goal being to get them a passing grade in Grade 12 Math. The reason this was necessary (in western Canada) is that admittance to a university requires a passing grade in Grade 12 Math.

        There are a lot of people with IQs of about 120, who would be capable of getting a degree in a liberal art, who have major troubles understanding Mathematical reasoning. What you do with young people like that is, you get them to understand that they’re not bad or stupid because they don’t get Math, anymore than they would be bad or stupid if they couldn’t learn how to sing. Then you teach them how to recognize the problems and identify the procedures they need to get the right answers to them. Basically they learn the procedures by rote, but they don’t really understand why it works.

        There is a lot cruelty in the education system for so many people. I was a clever boy and did well in school, without too much in the way of effort, but many of my classmates suffered terribly in school because it was difficult for them. The education system harms kids like that by destroying their confidence, and slamming them with shame when they’re young and defenseless, and it’s a dirty trick.

        I don’t get Shakespeare. In high school, and in the mandatory English course I had to take in first year university. everybody had to read either Macbeth or Julius Caesar. For me, these were exercises in tedium, and perfectly useless on any practical level.( This was a quite a common view, incidentally. I have yet to meet a human being who has actually read a Shakespeare play on his own, without the goad of some sort of external reward or punishment, like passing a course. ) The education system does that to young people. It loads them up with arbitrary and difficult tasks, like some sort of malicious hazing ritual.

        • I somewhat understand where you are coming from as I too am a math and science tutor. However, a lot of people do need to understand some of the basics of algebra, geometry, and perhaps trigonometry. Heck, many of my students need comprehensive help doing fractions. How many 8ths are in an inch? “I dunno know!”

          Whether they remember the exact steps to solve an equation or not, the concept has been introduced and they have a better idea of what it means to and how to calculate when to stop for gas on a long trip.

        • I also meant to add that I understand your comment about Shakespeare. My junior English teacher had us read parts of “The Taming of the Shrew”. How boring! But she also got the school to cough up for a trip to see the movie with Elizabeth Taylor. Suddenly it made a lot of sense. I don’t think Shakespeare wrote his plays to be read. They were to be performed. You could see the motivations and under stand the emotions.

          • Hello Jim. I saw Taming of the Shrew with Dick and Liz myself. Didn’t understand a word. I spent the whole movie looking at Taylor’s breast cleavage. II was seventeen at the time.)

            Every now and then I get unwisely optimistic and go to a movie of a Shakespeare play. Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet (with Mel Gibson). Same damn thing every time, which is that I cannot make out what the characters are saying, because they’re speaking archaic English. Notice, however, that you can understand and appreciate Bernard Shaw or Oscar Wilde, because the actors are speaking your language.

            On a similar note, let’s see you read James Joyce’ Ulysses which, according to all kinds of big brains, is the greatest novel ever written. They’ve got to be faking. The whole thing reads like practical joke on the reader.

            One of the most entertaining books I have half-read was Calculous and Analytic Geometry, by Douglas Riddle. I do not go around telling other people that they have a duty to their better selves to read this book, since I know that most people wouldn’t like it, or even understand it. But meet some guy who has read Ulysses and he’ll tell you that you’ll absolutely love it, or be exposed as a cretin.

          • Math is another language with pretty tight rules for the grammar.

            If you don’t get the basics of the Shakespearian language, then you are gonna have a hard time with it. If you are linear, you are gonna get hung up on a term (dost, marry, or pray) and the next five words are gonna put your brain into a collapsing loop.

            Same with math. One simple term (say pi … for some youngsters) that doesn’t IMMEDIATELY register is going to delay cognition and they go into brain freeze.

            “How many 8th are in an inch?” I don’t know what a “th” is so my brain gets stuck and we will need 5 minutes to un-stuck it … unless you follow up, simply and slowly, with “an 8th is 8 pieces; a 4th is four pieces; a 16th is 16 EQUAL pieces … NOW, how many 4th’s are in an inch?”

            Help them out with the translation from english to math.

            (But before any of that, before they can even talk, get them puzzles to put together. That little cube with 6 or so pieces that fit together into a 3x3x3 cube. When they get older you can even us it to introduce them to calculus)

        • Respectfully, show me the procedure to calculate the riser height and tread width to build a stair that meets the customers requirements. Show me the procedure to to calculate the angles and lengths of a rafter to meet a ridge beam or cantilever strut to strengthen the turss. Someone manufacturing pre-designed trusses may have a pre-made fixture to use but an independent journeyman carpenter needs to understand how a truss works and the ability to determine the needed lengths and angles associated with the truss when building a one-off building for a customer. Failure to do this results in hit-and-miss trials and wasting of a lot of lumber.

          I’ll say it again. If a student is unable to learn basic math, including geometry and trig, then they will probably be condemned to forever work in repetitive tasks, think McDonalds cashier or automotive assembly line, never able to become an independent worker. Sadly that seems to be more and more common with young people today.

          • I don’t think so Tim. Most people never work at a job where they have to, say, factor a binomial equation. Also, most tradespeople, like carpenters, work from plans. It is no great task to build a truss support from a plan. Only the designer of the truss support has to understand truss theory, with all the math that that requires. If you’re an engineer, well, you need a lot of Math, but I know people who have tech school diplomas in things like land surveying, or who are electricians, and they have zero use for calculus at all. Even being an accountant requires no more Math than most people have learned by the end of Grade 10,

            My own experience in life is that about 80 percent of the material grown-ups make you learn in high school has been of no practical use in my adult life. It was just something to keep you busy so you wouldn’t get a girl pregnant.

            Universities are strange contraptions because they are based on hierarchies of skill at acquiring and manipulating knowledge, even though much of the knowledge is of no practical value. I really can’t understand the logic of making young people read plays written in the sixteenth century. I suspect that most Liberal Arts professors don’t either, so they add a leaven of moral teaching on things like social justice to their courses, which lends the impression that they are teaching young people something of real value, that will make their students good citizens, and the world a better place.

          • Basic math? yes, not knowing basic math is a major drawback in life and in getting a decent job. Higher math (like geometry and trig)? not as much. Most jobs simply don’t require those skill sets. How many accountants need to work with formulas involving sine and cosine? How Many CEOs need to know what “pi R squared” is let alone what it would be used for? How many brain surgeons need to factor a binomial or know what a cosecant is?

            Don’t get me wrong, those are important skills that are needed for some jobs, just not skills that are important to everyone’s life and job prospects. Most people can do quite well in life without ever learning anything about trig.

          • Ian,

            “Also, most tradespeople, like carpenters, work from plans.”

            There are lots of independent tradespeople that don’t work from plans. I watched the carpenter I hired design my deck and stairs with no plans. Same for my garden shed.

            I never once mentioned calculus. Stop moving the goalposts.

            If you don’t think geometry and trig are important then you’ve never watched a ditch digger lay out a septic lateral line. Or a true painting pro figure out how many gallons of paint he will do to do a job.

          • Hello, Tim. As I recall it, I had learned quite a bit of Euclidian geometry by the end of Grade 9. That would be all you’d need to build a house. Framing carpenters, for example, know that rectangles must have two equal diagonals. I once worked for a man who framed houses, and that’s how he ensured that he had right angles at the corners of the frames. I doubt if he ever used a trigonometric identity in his life, or even knew what sine and tangent were.

            Land surveying, on the other hand requires a fairly sophisticated knowledge of trigonometry. The cosine law is a useful thing to know, for example.

            I’m not sure if practical electricians use much math at all, although they obviously need a sophisticated understanding of electrical circuitry.

            How about auto mechanics? How much math would you need to know to fix cars? That’s a job that takes years of training and practical experience, but I doubt if you need much math to do it.

            My point: Most high school students learn far more math they will ever need in real life, and for a lot of kids math classes are just a cruel trick foisted on them by adults, many of whom have a superstitious belief that all young people must be taught math in order for societies to be modern and competitive.

            Drifting off the topic a little, the two classes I took in high school that have turned out to have the most practical value were coincidentally the two that I found most difficult: Typing and Physical Education. Now I can type, like I’m doing now. In Phys Ed I learned the core lesson, which is that it doesn’t hurt as much as you might have thought to get sweaty and out of breath for half an hour every day, and it does you a lot of good.

            Uh, sorry about the calculus thing. I got a little careless there.

          • Just because you didn’t see them whip out a plan doesn’t mean they weren’t working to ones that years of experience has taught them without the need to constantly look at them. That’s not to say a good bit of math wasn’t involved. But as pointed out, there are plenty of well paying jobs that don’t require even that level/type of math.

            I’ll say it again: Don’t get me wrong, those are important skills that are needed for some jobs, just not skills that are important to everyone’s life and job prospects. Most people can do quite well in life without ever learning anything about trig.

          • @Ian Yeah, typing would have been a useful subject to take back in the day. I never took it. Back when I was in school it wasn’t a mandatory subject and the jobs it was considered useful for weren’t ones I was considering as a future career (this was just before computers “revolutionized” business). I learned typing by doing (which makes for a handy excuse for any typos I make 🙂 ). I’m quite decent at it now, I can type at speed, making full use of both hands without the need to look at the keyboard – but it took years of experience to get that skilled at it.

        • That “exercise in tedium” used to be called “getting a liberal arts education.” The plays of Shakespeare, the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Epic of Beowulf, Greek and Roman mythology, all those used to be the common works of a Western education. Remember the Star Trek Next Generation episode where the alien spoke in metaphors? The translator could handle the words, but the connection made no sense since there was no shared background. It’d be like saying “As Achilles in his tent,” to you, and you’d be like “????”

          Losing that shared literary tradition was another lurch downward in the fall of Western Civilization. The telling point is that rather than just adding new works to the collection, the “dead white Europeans” had to be evicted and the “diverse” works took their place.

          The same thing happened with feminism when, rather than adding all the new roles women should aspire to to the traditional roles, the traditional roles had to be shamed and cast out. According to them, why should any modern woman WANT to be a homemaker and mother?

          • Hello James Schrumpt. The problem with so many classics of literature is that they are boring and difficult to read. I consider that a bit of drawback in judging the value of a piece of art. I mean really, is The Iliad such a great work that modern people can learn something of value from reading it? It’s just a long poem, written long ago.

            Why should anyone have to speak in metaphors? I notice that you quote an episode from Star Trek, so you’re drawing on an assumption of shared cultural knowledge. That’s fine. Why does that shared cultural knowledge have to include works by Ancient Greeks, or even nineteenth century Englishmen?

            Every tried to read Moby Dick? It’s kind of a slog. How about Ulysses? Unreadable for most people. People who studied these works in university gained nothing but membership in an esoteric club.

            Why don’t we force young people to read James Bond novels? Why don’t we make them watch the original Star Trek? Shakespeare was just a guy who wrote a string of successful plays. Does his writing really have any more value than the work of a good screenwriter of popular movies, just because it was written in the Sixteenth Century? It’s hard to make that case.

            It used to be that English schoolboys were made to learn Latin and Greek. Well, why exactly? It was just a hazing ritual. Once the fashion of learning Latin and Greek ended, did England lapse into cultural decay? No.

          • I don’t know about Greek, but learning Latin has it’s uses in helping to understand the nuances of the English language. Many of our words have Latin roots (and this is particularly true of words in certain areas of study). Not that the majority of students need that level of understanding, just that it’s not as useless as you might think. Like Trig, it’s useful to some, but not to all.

          • Hello John Endicott. I actually took Grade 10 Latin in high school, which was a fine exercise in memorizing (declentsons and conjugations), but about as useful as learning to balance a broomstick on my nose.

            When you’re a clever child, school is arranged to enhance your sense of your superiority at the expense of other children. And a lot of them take a terrible beating. I remember kids weeping in Arithmetic class because they couldn’t figure out how to add fractions with different denominators, and I also remember having contempt for them, as I could learn to add fractions. It was a long time before I figured out how cruel and wrong that was.

  26. I’m a math guy, and this really bugs me. This stupidity on steroids is eclipsed only by the fecklessness of the MAA’s leadership. Who evidently care more about being “woke” or popular than mathematics. Traitors? Please don’t write off math professors too soon. Hopefully the membership will rise up and throw the leadership out by their ears.

    • Here I thought that Indians and Russians seemed to have an innate talent for mathematics! It seems to have been bred out of the Greeks.

      • Come on guys, the Ancient Egyptians were good enough at Maths to build pyramids, use star alignments and work predictive arithmetic to marry Nile flood heights and whether there would be famine or food gluts. And they didn’t use a form of numbers most people would even recognise.

        • The Ancient Egyptians? well I’m not saying it was aliens… but it was aliens. Aliens, apparently, are very good at advanced Maths. /sarc for the humor impaired.

  27. Per the Smithsonian the scientific method is inherently racist.
    The Mathematical Society is being pro-active lest they be called out.
    They want to be on the left side of this issue. Any absolute is now antithetical to being “woke” 2+2 may or may not equal 4. We reward “good” guesses and oh by the way, one of those 2’s may self identify as a 3. I guess that is where quantum theory come in, it is confusing to me.

  28. Ironically- or very much apropos- the very next page on their site that I’m linked to is “Proving Unprovability” 😀

  29. Since “mathematics” is racist….

    anyone who is not in the “race” of mathematicians, who uses mathematics, ..

    …. is guilty of racial appropriation.

    How dare they !!

  30. Critical Theory? Frankfrut School of Marxism.

    This is another attempt to create division in society, to identify racists where there arent any,. It is how Marxism gains power, it looks for an issue it can claim the moral high ground on, and with a crow bar, widens that issue into a gulf. Creating dissent, violence, and hatred, it then takes power as an ’emergency’ procedure.

    Lenin used class, today it is race, identity, and the environment that are the tools of Marxism.

  31. From the article: “Yet policies at the federal level have not consistently reflected these facts; for example, choosing not to incorporate a mask-mandate in the US has had serious consequences.”

    The president cannot legally require everyone to wear a mask, unless he declares martial law and suspends the U.S. Constitution.

    You would think a bunch of smart mathematicians would know this.

  32. From the article: “As Michael Dorff and Michael Pearson stated in a recent Math Values blog, “We encourage MAA members, regardless of political persuasion, to speak out for the value of science and mathematics, and hold our leaders accountable to make use of the best possible scientific evidence in policy decisions.”

    That’s all well and good. Now we have to figure out what the best possible scientific evidence really is.

    • Tom,
      Not only that, but real leaders have to get input from all the relevant experts and weigh all the evidence before making policy decisions. In the case of a viral pandemic, an infectious disease expert will tell them that the best way to protect the population is to order everyone to isolate themselves from everyone else until a vaccine is developed. Even if accept that conclusion, you still must consult other experts to determine what the side effects of this action might be: economists to address the loss of jobs and business closings, mental health experts to access the effects of such isolation on individuals, other medical experts on the dangers of people skipping regular checkups and screenings, etc. Only then can a “leader” make a balanced decision that promotes the well-being of the greatest number of people. The “follow the science” crowd (who mostly don’t even know what science is) don’t seem to understand (or intentionally misconstrue) this part.

  33. Critical race theory is *NOT* based on decades of scholarship. CRT is an offshot of Critical Theory useful only to those wishing to see the destruction of Western Civilization.

    Critical Theory is Marxism dressed up in fancy clothes. CRT is Marxism dressed up in even fancier clothes. It truly is just that simple.

    It’s a crying shame that so-called mathematicians can’t figure that out!

  34. CRT *is* racist. And it is not a theory, it is indoctrination. CRT is antithetical to rational thinking.
    It is a poison.
    Those infected with and especially those spreading the infection need to be recognized.

  35. From the article: “At the first presidential debate this year, President Trump’s refusal to disavow white nationalism and his encouragement of groups that the FBI has identified as the greatest threats of domestic terrorism, only serves to reinforce the sense that his administration seeks to reverse decades of progress on civil rights for all citizens.”

    Well, if this is an example of their critical thinking then they have demonstrated their ignorance and gullibility.

    President Trump has denounced nazis, white supremacists and any and all other extremists on numerous occasions and he specifically did the same thing during the last debate. It was a little hard to hear because Trump kept getting interrupted, but it’s there. And it is certainly there in numerous other statements he has made on the subject. The Democrats, and apparetly these mathematicians, want to ignore what Trump said and continue to claim he is a racist. It doesn’t matter what Trump says, the Democrats are going to call him a racist. It’s part of their formula. Every Republican or conservative is a racist to them, and the Republican president is the biggest racist. It’s standard operating procedure for Democrats. It’s their fallback position.

    That these mathematicians didn’t hear Trump denouncing extremists just shows their political bias. They heard what they wanted to hear, not what was said. What does that say about their scientific abilities? It would cause me to be suspect of their analytical abilities.

  36. From the article: “A September 4th Executive Memorandum to all Executive Departments and Agencies states that “all agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on “critical race theory,” “white privilege,” or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.”

    A perfectly reasonable request.

    There is no systemic racism in the United States and white people are not inherently racist. That is what the “critical race theory” teaches and Trump wants to put a stop to this leftwing propaganda and race baiting and I support him in this.

    There is racism in the United States and in every other nation on Earth, but the racism in the U.S. is individual racism, it is not built into the system just because white people are the majority, as “critical race theory” implies.

    Most of the people out demonstrating against racism after George Floyd’s death were white people.

  37. From the article: “But suggesting mathematics itself is racist, as MAA appears to be doing, is a pretty big claim. To quote Carl Sagan, An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof. I would like to see examples of racist mathematics. The statement provided by MAA does not appear to provide any evidence to substantiate their claim of inherent racism.”

    These guys are not mathematicians, they are political activists. Nancy Pelosi could have written that article.

  38. Their statement was replete with lies, obfuscations, and imprecision. “Most affected?” What the hell does that mean? Do police and hospitals and schools not affect white or Asian people? Then there’s the “disavowal” of white supremacy. Trump has done that dozens of times, but these yahoos keep trucking out the same lies. And CRT is not science. It’s philosophy.

  39. One of my liberal friends is in a quandary because the offspring cannot find a job because all the positions in his field are being filled by women. It doesn’t even help that he is gay. I guess that’s Karma.

  40. MAA = Mathematical Association of America.* I attended a meeting a long while ago. They looked to have arrived in Albuquerque without a hairbrush among them. The fact is that mathematicians are not very worldly or practical people, but they do flesh out ideas, often originating in the practical needs of physicists and engineers, and make them rigorous.

    People of a certain mindset eventually overwhelm the leadership of organizations. Look at what has happened to AAAS.

    * – with apologies to DAve Middleton, perhaps this is the American Mathematical Association of America.

  41. Isn’t it so racist that Western civilization adapted the Hindu-Arabic numeral system for use by almost every nation, by the general population as well as by all mathematicians. Just unbelievable!

    And all peoples should take to the streets in protest over the fact that mostly Greek letters are used in expressing the calculus as invented by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz, independently.

    As the MAA Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics advises in the excerpts of their PR above: “It is time for all members of our profession to acknowledge that mathematics is created by humans and therefore inherently carries human biases. Until this occurs, our community and our students cannot reach full potential.”

    It is thus obvious that the full potential for 1+1=2 has not be realized. Neither has the full potential for x^2 + y^2 = z^2. Neither has the full potential for today’s mathematics to allow our understanding of the universe, from the level of quantum mechanics, to black holes, to gravity waves, to dark matter and dark energy, to cosmology and picoseconds following the Big Bang . . . heck, this human, race-biased mathematics even allows certain people to assert they have an understanding of climate change™.

    Time for a committee to be formed to recommend the manner of rewriting all expressions and symbolism used in ALL mathematical fields today so as to eliminate any possible interpretation that racial bias might be present. Yeah, THAT’S the ticket!

    /sarc off

  42. In the long march to tyranny, the lunatic left has for decades employed the strategy of targeting and infiltrating the leadership and bureaucracies of professional societies. Activists then have the freedom to write such balderdash and publish it under the cover of the organization.

    My wife confronted this in her first years of teaching high school mathematics in the 1970s. When invited to join the National Education Association (NEA), upon examining their leadership and their views, she determined that they were an unholy, unworthy organization that did not reflect her views. Unfortunately, it was not long before the alternative teacher organizations were also corrupted. Fortunately, we were in Texas, a non-unionized, open-shop state, so she was not forced to pay dues to the beast just for the privilege of being employed.

    This article in particular was clearly written by regressive activists under the guise of the organization.

    I would add, however, that a substantial change in mathematics education did occur that could be perceived as racist. Math text books shifted from being 2 pound (~1 kg) books full of math concepts and practice problems to being 2 to 3 kg fluff books full of cutesy photos and color illustrations in an attempt to make math “relevant” the the pampered students. By the time our children were in school, they suffered back pains from hauling around 15-20 kg of fluffy textbooks in all subjects (lockers were banned because of contraband) day after day. When you take this route, there is plenty of room to seek out perceived bias, not in the mathematics itself but in the politically correct illustrations. In fact, it becomes increasingly difficult to find the mathematics amidst the fluff.

  43. The very enlightened en-Ratured Sec. of State Mike Pompeo, on a crusade against China in all US Universites, is in for a terrible shock.
    Negative Numbers are a Chinese conspiracy !
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nine_Chapters_on_the_Mathematical_Art
    It gets worse, Zero is a Muslim conspiracy, but the worst of all, Complex numbers were European Gauss’s specialty!
    And most cruel of all are Gödel’s incompleteness Theorems – Math’s is incomplete! Bertrand Russell, the great eugenicist, was utterly refuted by an Austrian!
    Evidence of bias abounds everywhere – too much for a mere Secretary of State to handle.

    Dare I, biased as I am, say that 5 is NOT a prime Number? Oops – prime sounds inherently biased, but at least I got 5 off the hook.

  44. A little math. When a black person looks up what will he/she/they see?

    6 white people
    2 Hispanic people
    1 black – (themselves)
    1 Asian/Native American/etc.

    I’m sorry, but all the math in the world will not solve the numerical disparity above. Only a cohesive society that all claim membership in will help and reduce feelings of powerlessness. Nationalism has stood us in good stead in the past and could again. We certainly have no lack of people wanting to join the membership of being American.

    • Jim,
      In your little example, I personally see 10 human beings. All this grouping of people based on where their ancestors came from is lunacy and the source of many of society’s ills. Claiming that people can be grouped into different “races” is an inherently biased and bigoted proposition. We are all human beings, genetically almost indistinguishable from each other, and it’s long past time to stop the childish practice of treating people poorly just because they look and/or think a bit differently than ourselves.

      • Paul
        Very idealistic! Knowing that Blacks have a homicide rate about an order of magnitude greater than the US national average, are you telling me that if you were walking down a dark street alone, and saw someone approaching you, that you wouldn’t be concerned about them being dressed differently from you or not being of the same culture? If so, then it would seem that you have lost the innate self-preservation instinct.

  45. Math is the language. It can be difficult to wrap your head around but important to learn. It is also the great equaliser. Once you can do it a ton of career options open up for you.

    I fail to see how any math symbols or expressions can be viewed as racist. That would be like saying a language is racist.

  46. If this is a double post, I apologize. My prior post appeared, then promptly disappeared. WUWT? That has been happening lately with great frequency. Sometimes, the original post then reappears.

    In the long march to tyranny, the lunatic left has for decades employed the strategy of targeting and infiltrating the leadership and bureaucracies of professional societies. Activists then have the freedom to write such balderdash and publish it under the cover of the organization.

    My wife confronted this in her first years of teaching high school mathematics in the 1970s. When invited to join the National Education Association (NEA), upon examining their leadership and their views, she determined that they were an unholy, unworthy organization that did not reflect her views. Unfortunately, it was not long before the alternative teacher organizations were also corrupted. Fortunately, we were in Texas, a non-unionized, open-shop state, so she was not forced to pay dues to the beast just for the privilege of being employed.

    This article in particular was clearly written by regressive activists under the guise of the organization.

    I would add, however, that a substantial change in mathematics education did occur that could be perceived as racist. Math text books shifted from being 2 pound (~1 kg) books full of math concepts and practice problems to being 2 to 3 kg fluff books full of cutesy photos and color illustrations in an attempt to make math “relevant” the the pampered students. By the time our children were in school, they suffered back pains from hauling around 15-20 kg of fluffy textbooks in all subjects (lockers were banned because of contraband) day after day. When you take this route, there is plenty of room to seek out perceived bias, not in the mathematics itself but in the politically correct illustrations. In fact, it becomes increasingly difficult to find the mathematics amidst the fluff.

  47. One of my degrees is in “Applied Mathematics” and this info on the Mathematical Society of America m akes me wonder about what they are teaching in college today. Perhaps if the do a search on “Mean household income and IQ” or looked at this recent study – “The Bell Curve Review: IQ Best Indicates Poverty”
    https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/36853322/Ben_Palmer_Ec_970.pdf

    Establishing quotas for races, ethnicity, etc,, in and of itself is not going to increase the number of black Mathematicians, Astrophysicists, Engineers, etc. A serious study needs to be completed as to why those persons that complete high school and/or college have a higher income than those that do not and their offspring have a higher IQ. The present tactic of lowering admission standards has NOT helped and has lowered the average IQ of college graduates by an average of two points per decade since the 60’s.

    • “Establishing quotas for races, ethnicity, etc,, in and of itself is not going to increase the number of black Mathematicians, Astrophysicists, Engineers, etc.” — Mathematician
      The means the left chose to remedy the then-reality that Blacks were underrepresented in College.
      Assuming that it must be that the barrier was that White People could afford to send their kids but the Black People (overrepresented among the poor) could not. Quotas, student loans, and other remedies applied.
      On a level playing field the Black astrophysicist is surely a credit to his race.
      When there was artificial advantage given being Black — even among those who would have gotten their M.D fair and square — is distrusted.
      There must be a level playing field that everyone has access to. I do not know the answer, nor do you. Experiments in education in a marketplace across the land. There will emerge the Mac Donalds, and Burger King, and Wendys Schools and nobody but the market told them to. Let the government fund the student, not the school.

    • I wonder if those of us with Applied Mathematics degrees are more, less or equal racists to those with pure Mathematics degrees?

      • Aren’t you exhibiting bias when you decide to major in Applied Mathematics instead of Analytical (“pure”) Mathematics?

      • One only need take a junior or senior year level course in Applied Statistics and Theoretical Statistics to see the reason many universities are offering degrees in Applied Mathematics. The why some of these theoretical Statisticians are corrupting the facts about Climate Change proves this observation. The number of mathematicians I have met that haven’t the vaguest idea of how to solve real problems rather than mathematical puzzles is AMAZING.

  48. I noticed this is from the Mathematics Association, doubtless intended to make you think it is an Association of Mathematicians, and not just some snazzily named group of social “scientists” trying to bronze their reputation by trying to hitch on to an actual science.

  49. When I was in high school, there was a time when nonsense jokes such as “Why is a mouse?”, briefly became popular. The question was ‘ill-formed.’ However, the answer was unexpected and nonsensical, hence it elicited a guffaw, if not a puzzled look.

    The problem is, these ‘woke’ social justice evangelists don’t realize just how absurd they appear to people who still have their feet on the ground and their heads on right. Hopefully, this will pass, just as the fascination with nonsense jokes did. If it doesn’t, we will experience another “Dark Age.”

    • It will not “just pass”. A nuclear dark age is simply not an option.

      Just like the last dark age was cleared with concerted effort, the Renaissance, now even more so an huge effort is needed. Columbus was the Renaissance in action, now we have Space.

  50. The social sciences are not part of the science community.

    Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a subjectivist narrative. Subjectivist narratives assume what should be proved, grant their assumptions the weight of evidence, and every study is self-confirmatory.

    Critical Race Theory says that, “racism is normal, not aberrant, in American society and, because it is so enmeshed in the fabric of our social order, it appears both normal and natural to people in this culture.

    In the normal of the phrase, normal, not aberrant, in American society CRT means to say that racism was present as a trait at the European settlement in North America. Its obsession with people of European descent — White Supremacy, Whiteness Studies, White Fragility, white this, white that, white whatever; never anything else — betrays the racist core of Critical Race Theory.

    Critical Race Theory is itself a racist doctrine because it promotes an unfounded and prejudicial group condemnation.

    Critical Race Theory has swept the academy, the scientific societies, and the NAS. The people running these organizations have put politics over science, subjectivism over objectivity, and a febrile self-righteousness over professional and intellectual integrity. They have fatally betrayed every Enlightenment principle that once guided their station.

    Also worth recognizing is that, like the social sciences, Mathematics is not part of the science community. Mathematics has theorems, not theories. It has proofs, not falsifiables. None of it is subject to the verdict of experiment. Mathematicians have no experience with the empirical evaluation of ideas, or of their refutation.

    It is now clear that neither the MAA leadership nor the members of the Committee for Minority Participation in Mathematics are able to discern the difference between science and prejudicial narration, being evidently confused about the distinction between racist pseudo-scholarship and objective knowledge.

    I once thought these failures of principled standing were due to moral cowardice. I still do, but in addition it seems to me that a large fraction of humans lack the psychology necessary for the courage of individualism and personal ethics. They surrender to the moral collective of their day, because they have no other way to be.

    Call them the cultural sub-species of humans composed of a collectivist psychology. Wherever organizations they come to control, they allow only their psychological like to enter; other collectivists. And so institutions fall to them, one-by-one. Converted into propaganda front-groups.

    • There is a bit more to it .
      See Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, and Critique of Practical Reason.
      This the the root of the Romantic Movement, identified by poet Heinrich Heine in his Religion and Philosophy in Germany, predicting why and when, 100 years before, what happened in 1934. Most scientists, engineers, dismiss Heine as a poet, never heard of this work. Hitler’s first order in Paris was the destruction of Heine’s grave. Now look at Portland again…
      Another poet, Edgar Allan Poe, referred to Can’t, in other words Kant just cannot do it!

      The Frankfurt School of Adorno, Arendt, Nietsche et al took up this Critique and the the rest is history. The Committee for Cultural Freedom ,CIA funded, rode that horse into town.

      Ironically, both Poets are dismissed – who needs any poetry at all? Yet so many bow to Kant in the hallowed halls of academia, they simply can’t deal with their own judgement – they have lost creative reason, the very symptom of the Critique.
      Only Heine can express this.

  51. “Critical race theory, referenced in recent Executive statements by the President of the United States, is an established social science inquiry which is grounded in decades of scholarship. It is misguided, at best[.]”

    They should have stopped where I put the period.

    Critical Theory is a mental tool kit for twisting reality into the shape of any chosen paradigm.

  52. Funny that orientals and latinos are doing well in the US, while blacks less so.

    Critical race theory should be replaced by critical culture theory.

    • Another name for Critical Race Theory is the Race Card.
      The theory is that White success is due to oppression and suppression of Blacks (and the Noble Savages) by Whites. Can you tell a White when you look at him? Be racist, be anti-white. Because they held you back. You deserve what they have because they stole it from your ancestors and never gave it back.
      You can easily see how CRT is important to understand about methemeticians. Oops, mathematicians.

      • Race Card, yes, or generally the diversity (i.e. color judgment) racket. Diversity dogma denies individual dignity, denies individual conscience, denies intrinsic value, normalizes color blocs, color quotas, and affirmative discrimination, not limited to racism. It’s a Hutu/Tutsi recycled violence, post-apartheid South African lynching of unworthy blacks, or the Progressives’ wicked solution (i.e. selective-child). Diversity is a dogmatic system, process, and belief of the Progressive Church (theistic, atheistic, and “secular”).

  53. CRT has nothing to do with math. Math is an exercise in drawing conclusions, based on axioms and hypotheses. Math is difficult, because many of the logical leaps are not obvious. Try to explain category theory to a non-specialist. Or fibre bundles. Or K-theory. Or the cohomology of exact sequences. Or the theory of Noetherian Rings.
    Much math is obscure. There are many instances of math being developed for no more reason than simple exploration of ideas, and then suddenly becoming useful. Such was the work of Sophus Lie. I am sure he hand NO idea that Lie groups would be used in elementary particle theory.
    Or the incredible dependence of the theory of alternating current motors and generators on imaginary numbers. How could you find out about the power curve without imaginaries?
    Or quaternions and the development of 4-dimensional space.
    My successful black students (there have been some) did not regard themselves as black. They self-identified as really interested in this cool stuff! Math tickled something inside of them which asked for more. Had nothing to do with race, religion, skin color, weight, height, hair, eye color, or anything else. Just the WOW phenomenon of seeing something for the first time.

    • Placing people before color [judgments] is anti-diveristist, inclusive, racist, and bigoted. That said, you have to adopt the Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, relativistic, politically congruent (“=”) quasi-religion to fully appreciate progressive – one step forward, two steps backward – enlightenment.

  54. Eighteen people are making this statement for a community of thousands? Maybe tens of thousands?

    Was a vote held?

    • They have a virtual consensus. This is what the Progressive Church (PC) (e.g. diversity or color judgment racket) normalizes, and mortal gods, goddesses, and activists speak truth to facts, and cancel people who deny their dogma.

  55. “It is time for all members of our profession to acknowledge that mathematics is created by humans and therefore inherently carries human biases. ”

    Where’s the bias in F=ma? In a derivative?

    Methinks there’s more bias in the mathematicians than in the mathematics.

  56. Nothing “created” by humankind is as pure, fair, and color-blind as math. And I don’t really know how much one can say it is/was “created” rather than discovered.

    “…It is time for all members of our profession to acknowledge that mathematics is created by humans and therefore inherently carries human biases…”

    Well you, your committee, and your statement inherently carry human biases then as well. So maybe you should address yours – which is impossible, because it will still carry human biases based on your own beliefs – before talking about addressing them in math.

  57. And yet hard scientists will continue to teach the inherently racist Darwinian macroevolution, which teaches the blacks are inherently closer to the apes and less evolved than whites, as seen from the full title of Darwin’s major work, “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”.

  58. “social sciences”
    ROFL

    There IS no such thing as a “social science”. At best they can be called a “social pseudo-science”. It’s nothing but elite current opinion wrapped up in scientific terms and bad statistics.

    Math by it’s nature CANNOT contain human biases. This is the kind of cr*p that they teach in universities these days – “if you can’t manipulate it to your will then discredit it”. It’s the same as teaching the scientific method is no better than any other view of the world like voodoo. people that teach and believe this kind of nonsense should not be allowed to teach the young. They are stupid and dangerous to society.

    If people do not want to be arrested, all they have to do is not commit crimes. If people want good steady jobs, all they have to do is work hard and be reliable. It does not matter what color your skin, hair, eyes, or toenails are – it’s just plain how it works. It isn’t skin color that produces the divides – it’s up-bringing, character, and discipline. Without these, you blow the few chances that come randomly your way no matter who you are. Most people get just a few chances – the smart ones make something out of one.

    Liberals want to breed envy, jealousy, and hatred. Don’t be stupid and let them led you about by your nose. Make your own decisions and then live with the consequences. You get knocked down – pick yourself up and try something else.

  59. I get the impression that they are saying that mathematics is a product of white supremacy. Considering how much of mathematics as we know it was invented by Arab scholars in Baghdad, this proposal is totally ludicrous.

    If we wanted really “white” mathematics, we should go back to using Roman numerals.

  60. “…pattern of violence against our colleagues.”

    Is this author honestly suggesting that other members of the maths community are regularly and non randomly victims of violence?

    Okay…

    Is this one of those ‘Silence is Violence’ concepts?

    • ‘Silence is Violence’ concepts

      Yes, a narrative. Unlike, the Tomb of the Planned Parenthood (e.g. selective-child), which is a clear and Progressive wicked solution, again, and again, and again on a forward-looking basis.

  61. Interesting how 2 + 2 = 5 comes up as though it is something which is obviously wrong. Any physicist worth their salt will confirm that 2 + 2 = 5 for large values of 2 and small values of 5.

    Then again as a former US President asserted, it all depends on what your definition of “is” is.

    We’ll all be rooned said Hanrahan …

  62. As mathematicians, we notice patterns – this is something we are all trained to do.
    Then to launch into saying that:
    choosing not to incorporate a mask-mandate in the US has had serious consequences.
    I can clearly see a pattern completely opposing this point of view where masks have been mandated in hot spots and cases have risen, and risen dramatically.
    Honestly, I stopped reading at that since with such flawed opinion rather than reasoned mathematical facts.

  63. The CDC just came out and said that masks were ineffective in addressing the coronavirus!

    That blows up this whole argument, folks!!

  64. For me this says it all ;

    “National Association of Scholars Director of Research David Randall told Campus Reform that legitimate scholarship “dedicates itself to the search for truth.” However, “Critical Race Theory denies that the search for truth is possible, and seeks power instead. Scholarship judges arguments. Critical Race Theory judges who makes the arguments. You can be a scholar or an adherent of Critical Race Theory; you cannot be both.”

    Randall explains that “mathematics has always been the purest field of scholarship… 2 + 2 = 4 everywhere in the universe, and always will.” Nevertheless, “critical race theorists may demand that we believe that 2 + 2 = 5, because bias affects mathematics and bias must be overcome, but free minds will never assent.”

  65. Megs October 13, 2020 at 1:37 pm wrote:

    Great post

    Thanks Megs. I don’t get many kudos here…

    Dave Burton October 13, 2020 at 5:54 pm wrote:

    What are “construction deductions”?

    It’s a method of Euclidian geometry involving two dimensional constructions. Also named “constructive-deductive”. But don’t quote me, I’m paraphrasing what I found online just now. My memories of this miserable “education” are happily dim.

    • Thanks. I thought it might be word problems like, “if a single brick is 2″ high by 3″ wide by 8″ long, and we always use mortar joints exactly 1/2″ thick, then how many bricks do we need to make a wall which is 27″ tall, 3″ thick, and 7’9″ long? (Assume that you have a saw which can cut one brick into two 2″x3″x4″ half-bricks, when necessary.)”

  66. If you do a little digging into the history of critical race theory you will find that the original advocates for making it the official policy of the far left were at one time the law firms and lobbyists for upholding racial segregation laws. They infiltrated the Communists and argued that color blindness and racial integration prevent a Marxist revolution, therefor the left must advocate for the exact reverse. CRT would take race relations back over 100 years.

  67. When I was 12 years old an wandering about in my small town up in the Sierra Nevada Mtns of N. California I suddenly had to make a choice. Off to the right was Bone-Breaker Hill and off to the left was Blackberry Hill. I could follow one Hill, but not the other. But then it dawned one me, if I took Bone-Breaker Hill today, and if there were an infinite number of universes, then in one of those other universes I could be choosing Blackberry Hill. I now apologize for this type of thinking.

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