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Monday, May 09, 2016

Weapons of Math Destruction

I assumed this was a hoax, but it still hasn't showed up on snopes.com, so maybe not:
Guido Menzio, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, was pulled off of an American Airlines regional jet from Philadelphia to Syracuse because he was doing math.
Yes, no doubt he was a member of the notorious al-Gebra organization, known to terrorize school students the world over!

16 comments:

Clovis e Adri said...

I've read somewhere he was actually doing some differential equations, those most dreaded of things among the terrors of Al-Math-Eda.

I wonder, is it possible the woman who gave him away actually mistook Math for Arabic? Sometimes my students do complain that all the Math looks like Greek for them, but they never mentioned Arabics...

Bret said...

Well, there was most likely an arabic numeral or two scattered here and there.

erp said...

... True, but It's doubtful she knows that our numerals are Arabic. If our schools weren't so awful, she would have known he wasn't writing in Arabic because it goes right to left and equations are written left to right.

I can't blame her for being frightened though.��

Clovis e Adri said...

With exception to numbers 1 and 9, I don't think she would recognize any arabic numerals either.

Thre is a nice BBC documentary here on Science and Islam, where a good part of it is related to math in the early Islamic period.

The fact that the Islamic/Arabic/Hindu world was always good at math, yet never advanced their civilizations to the next stages, was early on a sad fact to me.

erp said...

... probably because most, if not all, of the mathematical work was done by Jews.

Clovis e Adri said...

Non-sense, Erp.

Bret said...

erp,

Say what?

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "...yet never advanced their civilizations..."

Yeah, that is funny. For a few hundred years, it did look like that crescent of civilization was going to lead the world, but instead the europeans took ideas and technology from all over and launched themselves to the forefront, eclipsing those that came up with the ideas in the first place. I guess the arabs shoulda done more patents! :-)

erp said...

What!

Bret, your own comment above needs only to change Europeans to Jews to make my case.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Notice how your own link mentions not a single Jew.

To be clear, Jews contributed immensely and disproportionately to math and science to this day, so there really is no reason to take credit from others in their name.


Bret,

I think the Arabs, like Communist Russia in the XX century, had the initial advantadges that come from totalitarism, in terms of homogeneization and well defined objectives. But the same things that allow for that faster growth are the ones to limit them later on.

erp said...

Sorry I meant to link to the entire search. I'm not taking anything away from anybody. Only Jews who had their wits about them survived unlike those on the other side of the Semitic coin who self-selected for brute force and since Islam's alleged contribution to science was of short duration and at a time when Jews in Arab lands were known to have converted and their scientific inquiries stopped when Jews moved on to Europe...

erp said...

Clovis, many Russian and other European intellectuals were Jews.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

You are falling for the most typical trap of the scientism in our days: abusing Darwin.

You may benefit from reading this rebuttal of the purported notion of Ashkenazi superior intelligence.

I define myself as an admirer of Jew accomplishments, but it is amusing how you look to believe them to be the Chosen Ones more than any Rabbi I know of.


BTW, history refuses to fit in over-simplifications: during that period, there were many Islamic dominions kinder to Jews than large parts of the Christendom.

erp said...

Clovis, what does it matter whether or not there were and are benevolent Muslim sects kinder to Jews than some Christian sects?

I am by no means defending Christianity which IMO has done immeasurable harm to humanity and I don't think Jews are the "Chosen (by God) Ones." I believe they were forced by historical events to self-select for brains and I also don't give a Tinker's damn about Darwin. Heredity is a fact and kids get their parents’ traits, DNA, call it what you will and intelligence is in that mix just as well as blond hair, hazel eyes, height, skin color ...

Funny thing, here in the U.S. the majority of high academic achievers are no longer Jews, but Asians. As they assimilate, the next group to rise to the academic summit will be ???

Bret said...

erp wrote: "... the next group to rise to the academic summit will be ?"

Another easy question. Whatever the dominant immigrant group at the time is. Immigrants are simply hungrier for success than us fat and happy americans. And that's just going to get worse (or better, depending on how you look at it).

erp said...

... Not so sure. Immigrants don't need to work hard anymore. Perhaps high honors will fall to robots, especially if they discover the life spark. ��