Re: Skyscraper Graveyard II: Jealousy and Ambition

Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes
The more important question is, which factions of insane magical megalomaniacs are responsible for which mathematical thingy and associated support?
Well, if not the Seers, then at least some nefarious group of mages has been at work on mathematics, to the eternal pain and misery of mathematicians everywhere.

Seriously, the notational confusion of logarithms is so stupid and widespread, it's like people are brainwashed to not see how awful they're making everything. People seem to delight in deliberately using different notations from everyone else every now and then. Like ... just to be different or something.

I have a textbook which, for no reason at all, decides that it's super cool to use a regular dot for multiplication instead of the middle dot (·), so a.b instead of a·b, so you end up getting stuff like 3.4 which might be a single number or a product of two numbers. You can't tell unless you look at the context.

And it also decides that it's really fun to write functions such as f(x) like xf instead, like you were multiplying x and f rather than taking f of x. I do know this leads to some minor simplifications later on, but it also leads to a lot of the opposite.

I totally gave up on that book after that.

Originally Posted by Anarion
See, I think going the other way makes more sense. The most simple and basic formula should look completely simple and early on people should be able to grasp the stuff as easily as possible. If you avoid scaring them off, then they'll actually learn the math and then by the time they get into trig they'll be capable enough to divide by 2 as necessary.

The problem with math, imo, is that people get lost early and start hating it and then they never get into it.

Having said that, I agree that teachers not being engaging is the problem and that it's not really the fault of the number system. But to the extent that any kind of system setup can make things easier for people at the start, it's the best we can do to mitigate bad teachers.
I agree clarity and not scaring away young people is super important, which is exactly why tau should be used instead.

My point is, by the time students get to the area of circles, division by 2 should absolutely not be a source of concern. If they are scared by circles because of a division by 2, then you have already failed them when you taught them division. Throwing out all the good that tau does because teachers fail at teaching division to kids is totally missing the problem.