From the Birth of Numbers

I have finally finished reading Mathemathics: From the Birth of Numbers. I had been reading a chapter a week since forever. It's about 1000 pages long and its greatest achievement is teaching you math from scratch, in the right order. What goes unnoticed by most reviewers tho, is how strongly it scrutinizes our educational system, leading us to the conclusion it is brutalizing mathematical reasoning in the minds of young people. Our educational system wants math to be merely a skill, a way into being usefull in society.

Modern education doesn't realize how well it's succeeding in narrowing our chances of ever producing another Einstein. Suddenly scientific thinking isn't something we do casually, it is no longer part of our daily lives. It's part of the school. You're supposed to learn it to do well at tests. How are children supposed to like it when there's so much pressure on being skilled at it, on doing well at tests, on being admitted in a good college? You're not, you're supposed to loathe it and avoid it.

And the problem with school isn't merely pedagogical, it is a sociopolitical disease that has grown since the 19th century, as a counterbalance to protect the state from an ever increasing advanced society. To quote John Taylor Gatto in his The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher essay:

"School" is an essential support system for a vision of social engineering that condemns most people to be subordinate stones in a pyramid that narrows to a control point as it ascends. "School" is an artifice which makes such a pyramidal social order seem inevitable (although such a premise is a fundamental betrayal of the American Revolution).

The state doesn't want educated people. All it wants is useful people. As we fight our leaders, we totally overlook one of the very foundations of our broken system: education.

I hope the internet will eventually produce an acceptable distance learning solution that offers a path to true education, especially if it's coupled with local, presential efforts.

What's currently in place is unfortunately very far from it.