Amir Alexander: On the Materiality of Mathematics 8

And yet, the politics of mathematics are still with us, bubbling beneath the surface. We sense it in the rule of professional “experts,” champions of order and necessity, who are forever seeking to present their claim in a mathematical mantle. They hope to infuse their arguments with a touch of mathematics’ aura of inevitability. We also sense it in the indifference, and even hostility towards mathematics of students and citizens. They refuse to engage with a field that will impose it absolute truths upon them, and never ask for their considered opinion. We see it in the schools, in the repeated struggles between “new math” and “old math” teaching methods, which map closely onto the political divisions between Left and Right.

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