JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Infinity-Woke: but will anti-racist maths keep the lights on?

Two is two all over the world, no matter the language. Maths unites humanity — that is, until someone decides to un-race-ify that which isn’t racist. At this point in the nonsense-time-continuum everything they do to make it less racist will only make it more.

And so it comes to pass that profoundly racist people are telling us maths is white supremacist. It’s not just a one-divided-by-zero moment in rhetoric and reasoning — it’s as if Asians don’t exist, or aren’t human, or don’t set records in Maths SATs? Whatever it is the Wokerati are protesting, it’s not about the group “the system favours most”. Instead it’s a scorecard in a secret social bingo and the winning numbers are W-H-I-T-E.

The most racist people in the world are not the ones doing differential geometry, it’s the ones dividing their community by their lowest common denominator — their skin.

What could be more racist than telling children that their melanin-type can’t get the answer right? Not only does it set them up to fail, it destroys their success if they manage it anyway. Did they really deserve that spot, that prize, or that degree?

Nothing entrenches racism like judging […]

Maths is racist because it requires a “right” answer

The Antiracist educators are at it again, creating racism everywhere they go:

Here’s a case of soft racism disguised as a righteous lecture (and a call for funding)

Profs help push program that claims math is ‘racist’ because it requires a ‘right answer’

Wyatt Eichholz, CampusReform

A new program promoted by the Oregon Department of Education is designed to “dismantle” instances of “white supremacy culture in the mathematics classroom.”

Calling all victims! (And if you aren’t one now, you will be soon.)

“White supremacy culture infiltrates math classrooms in everyday teacher actions,” the guide states. “Coupled with the beliefs that underlie these actions, they perpetuate educational harm on Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, denying them full access to the world of mathematics.”

From the headline, this new “maths” has all the racist underpinnings of a gloriously oppressive education — one that tells students that maths is really a “white” thing. It’s implicit in the mission statement that those with a colored complexion probably won’t be good at maths and furthermore, that they can blame white supremacists for that. It’s almost like someone was working to make it harder for black mathematicans to believe […]

Global anxiety? Scared of maths? Could that explain why some people are innumerate about the climate?

I find myself using the word innumerate more and more. Anything to do with climate change is about the numbers — how much will the planet warm? How much will it cost to change the weather? How much useful electricity do wind turbines produce? The arguments of everyone from trolls to Naomi Klein, to Sir Paul Nurse avoid the numbers. And the only time Greenpeace discuss numbers, they seem to pick the wrong kind — dollars instead of degrees. Then they miss the biggest dollars in this debate anyway (but only by a factor of 3,000). Numbers are just not their strong point.

Some people avoid the numbers strategically, — because it’s a debate they can’t win. Sir Paul Nurse hopes we don’t notice that he doesn’t even make an argument, he just declares his side “won”. He tosses a red herring about CO2 being a greenhouse gas. (Which is not what the debate is about. Perhaps he’s heard of feedbacks? He doesn’t say.) Otherwise, he declares the majority “know the cost benefits are worth it”, which is a/ a logical fallacy, b/ a lot like a car advert, and c/ completely wrong. The last UK poll I […]