Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Anti-Racist Math

Welcome. It's time for another Cold Hard look at the important issues facing our youngsters. Today's pressing debate topic is Anti-Racist Math, New Paradigm Or Just Plain Silly. We argue — you decide. Behold the Cold Hard Facts. Here to discuss Anti-Racist Math with us, is special guest Deborah Hanover, straight from the Boston University English Department.

Cold Hard Facts: Let's start by defining what is anti-racist math.
Deborah Hanover: Anti-Racist Math attempt to rid the fields of mathematics of the cultural baggage of its white, objective, male chauvinist, heritage, and thereby make knowledge more neutral and inviting for all cultures.
CHF: Yes, but what exactly is it?
DH: Anti-Racist Math attempt to rid the fields of mathematics of the cultural baggage of its white, objective, male chauvinist, heritage, and thereby make knowledge more neutral and inviting for all cultures.
CHF: Um ok. Let me rephrase this. In your view, the current method of teaching arithmetic is racist, correct? How would you correct this?
DH: Well we would have to actively make it our first priority to eliminate the systemic bias towards the objective teaching, and teach in a more intuitive, more ethnocentric style.
CHF: Could you give me a specific example? Your meaningless jargon is starting to get on my nerves.
DH: That is because you are a member of the aggressive white, chauvinist, male hiearchy, and you lack the compassion to understand the issue. Plus you are clearly a racist.
CHF: Uh, thanks I think. Why don't I give you a math problem, and you tell me exactly what to change?
DH: Sure. Go ahead. But don't get upset when your social order comes crashing down on you.
Bill has 3 apples. If Bill takes away 2 of them, how many apples are left?

CHF: That seems like a simple enough subtraction problem that any 2nd grader can do. Where's the bias?
DH: Are you blind?! First of all, "Bill" is a white, male, name, sending the signal that women and African-Americans will never be able to "take away" apples. Second "take away" is a hurtful term that implies the forceful grasping of something against its will, symbolically hinting at male dominance and slavery. Thirdly, apples, being a staple of the Western World, are hardly a multicultural fruit, thus sending the signal of white bias for all to see.
CHF: I don't see that at all. That is the most stupid thing I have ever heard of. Is this a Joke?
DH: A joke?! *Do you dispute that there are large inequalities within the performance of students. Now, arguably, someone out there feels that these inequalities are not inherent in students (say, when students of the same or similar intelligence levels often end up under-performing mathematically when they come from a particular background). Can you dare argue with the fact that there is a distinct lack in both the opportunity to undertake and the actual undertaking of STANDARDISED MATHEMATICAL TESTS AND EXAMINATIONS SO THAT STUDENTS MAY DISPLAY THEIR ABILITIES IN AN UNBIASED WAY. If it is the case that, for example, in American and UK universities, there is a distinct lack of a standardised method of examining and testing mathematicians (assuming, of course, that mathematicians should be held as being professionals who can be tested in such ways), then this idea is not a laughing stock, but refers to real concerns that can be objectively verified. Your off-handed debunking of Anti-racist science is probably worth a further re-think, especially given historical scientific racism. The point I suppose here is that your criticism is not justified. Why don't you just join the Ku Klux Clan right now, you bigot?
CHF: So you think the most likely reason that some ethnic groups have bad grades, is that test questions, like "1x3 = ?" or x2 + 6x + 5 = 0; find x" are inherently biased? They're math test question for crying out loud! They are completely straightforward! How could they possibly be biased?!
DH: All tests are inherently biased. All knowledge is inherently biased. Everything is a social construct.
CHF: So what do you want to do? Forget the math and give everyone As?
DH: Well, we also have to teach the students a lot of "multi-cultural" garbage as well, but basically yes.
CHF: Have you ever heard the expression, "At 30,000 feet, I want the designer to be an expert in Racist Math"?
DH: Yes it clearly shows society's bias against my work. Why do you always mock my ideas?
CHF: Because your ideas are BS. Now GET OUT! You are driving me insane.
DH: Fine I will. But, first let me respond** to the your clearly mistaken (clearly mistaken) banterings. It is interesting, however, that a scientist should complain about “fancy [verbal] footwork” when responding to criticism of racism in mathematics (as a symptom of an inherently racist society – for example, the US or the UK). But, when given even more opportunities to do so, does not complain about the self-same (and, may I add, even more blatant) verbal footwork in the mathematical publications that he/she is all to happy to use as a convenient excuse for their over inflated pay-packets. May I advise that, when someone tells you the truth, you think before you criticise it? Or would a white mathematician be all to happy to say that mathematics (and truth with it) are white? Certainly this is something that the white race is all too happy to do in newspapers and the media - if not society in general.
CHF: Ah, Forget it! FORGET IT. Just LEAVE ME ALONE. Why did I ever invite a raving loony like you to the blog? What in heck was I thinking?

Well she really convinced me. Anti-racist math is a truly good idea, and we should all lobby our government representatives to bring this truly innovative, wholesome curriculum into our schools. Let us expunge the racist blot from our lives and remove the yolk of bias from our children.Let us strive to follow in the footsteps of the enlightened Ms. Hanover. Only then, will the world be a better place. I think I'm going to be sick.

*This entire argument was lifted from a wikipedia talk page. due to its extreme lack of sense, downright silliness, and many non-sequitors. Hey it's under the GPL.
*CF the same. That guy is a true idiot.


Sorry about the lack of posting. I thought it would be easier to write posts now that I have free time. But in fact, I have found that the more important the stuff I should be doing is, the more time I have to work on the blog. But at last, a new post (or even several) is in the works.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Today's Post

It's gonna be totally awesome, except I haven't quite written it yet. Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Post now? Nope I already did.

Sorry there will be no new post today, Aww. But that's because I already posted yesterday. Yes I am now a syndicated Blogger. Yay Only it's a one time thing, and I didn't get paid. Aww, You can find it here, and as a bonus, it's two posts in one. Yay!

Of course, being that I posted it there, it's not really Elonstruths, but hey, you read what you can get.