Sunday, July 22, 2012
Math is a tricky subject. People always are catogorized as good at math or bad at math. We are taught this from an early age when we are taught in school. I remember being taught math at a young age, I was one of those kids that just didn't seem to understand arithmetic. I remember the frustration coming from my grandmother while she tried to explain how math worked." No, the answer is five! How did you get seven? You add this and take away that; how did you get seven?" when thinking about this conversation, I can't help but wonder what I was thinking. Whatever it was made sense in my mind. What didn't make sense was the math problem. Whenever we find a student such as I was, we tend to say,"He's not very good at math." we are taught to believe that math is done and understood only one way. Two times two is four. That's the end of the discussion. We are taught to believe that when you have two objects,if those objects are doubled, then you get four objects. That's a fact! No other truth can exhist. Thinking and believing otherwise is not intelligent. We are taught to narrow our minds. Questioning or understanding life in any other way but this means that you are not good at math. What? Okay, you may not be good at this particular style of math; however, that you may have trouble with the mainstream math we are taught does not mean that no other math concept exhists. In other words, how do we know that you may not be good at math because you have another way of practicing mathematics? To say that someone is not good at math just doesn't make sense. We are born thinking in terms of math. Everything we do is quantified from the time we are born. We as infants look for breasts to feed. Once a baby is done with one breast, he looks for another breat. Our sheer desire and need that we are born with requires us to think numerically. In fact it is this innate need that introduces is to the concept of numbers. From infancy, we are aware of the concept of more versus less. This concept of addition and subtraction is our gifted survival mechanism. We are, in my humble opinion, born mathematicians. Could it be that people who are considered poor in math are really gifted in math? Perhaps these people are tuned in to a more advanced way of understanding numbers. Instead of criticizing our students who are not so called "good in math", maybe we should instead ask them to explain and prove their answer. Maybe that person knows something about math that we, who have been forced to succumb to the prison of conventional math concepts, have overlooked. I began to understand this after reading about Albert Einstein. Einstein who was very critical of conventional math in the same way, wrote 2+2 =5. I learned by reading about Einstein how to think in this manner when confronting math. Einstein would take a Socratic approach when he professed to his students. He and is students would have coffe, walk and discuss physics as well as math. Bless my grandmother for trying to teach me math; however if Einstein were teaching me math, I think he would have had me explain how I came up with the answer. I'm sure he would be curious to find out if in fact there was another angle we haven't found. In keeping pace with this attitude to accept different ideas in math, I might have found something. To make five objects, you must have five spaces. Without space only one object exhists. So isn't it just as relevant to count the space with the object? So to say there are five objects, we actually mean ten components; don't forget the space. Take space away and the two bodies of mass become one body of mass. Doesn't this basic concept of arithmetic fly in the face of conventional thinking? Aren't we taught to think that five objects equal five, not ten? What if I were to write 2+2=8? Wouldn't that be "wrong"? Yet if numbers are infinite, then so are the possibilities. In that case, there really is no wrong answer. I was studying physics and learned that an object propelled by a string in a circular motion maintains the same velocity. How could this be? Shouldn't the gravitational pull from the earth control the velocity? Not when the acceleration is being created from the center. In other words a circular motion can defy gravity, thus making it's own gravity by the acceleration in the center. Centripetal force creates gravity in this way! So, in essence, it is possible to create your own gravitational field using this system of acceleration. The gravity that is created may then be harvested and produce further energy by way of gravity to feed the accelerant that is propelling the circular motion. I tried to explain this to the psychiatrist I work with but he would not accept that the accelerant works independant of gravity thereby creating it's own gravity. He argued that the accelerant would not be able to work independant if gravity since the accelerant would have to overcome by the gravity that already exhists. This was a sticking point since none of the physics problems that focused on this circular motion accounted for gravity. The truth his however that the doctor was correct as well was I. Gravity or lack there of has to be controlled for when creating any accelerant; yet once this measurement of necessary acceleration is controlled for, a constant velocity can be created independant of the current gravitational forces. This means that its own gravitational force exists independantly. Now I could have said this doctor was an idiot when he tried to argue that the constant acceleration does not act independant of gravity. I could have stuck to my guns and proved that such was the case using the absence of a gravitational component in the physics problem as evidence. However, thanks to Einstein, I was able to link our two theories together so that both statements were true. This is how math should be taught, as an ever fluid philosophy that can adapt and amend like life itself. Math is not a ridged instrument where only one side is right.