Myth: Math is Descriptive.


Often, and too often, I see a mathematical equation is exposed awkwardly and nakedly out of context, that is to say in the place of language.  Such equations, composed of annotated variables, or worse, word themselves, might appear amidst a discussion of important abstract concepts.  Take the following example which I recently saw: “Belonging + friendship + romantic attraction = Love”.  Nobody has trouble “reading” the intended meaning of the structured equation.  The concept, in this case “Love”, is a multifaceted concept composed of several necessary elements.  We understand the symbols of math and because we know their absolute nature we then extrapolate, forcedly and unexpected, the meanings of the factors, and we then take the outcome, or sum in this case to be necessarily true.  We read the equation like a sentence which is the critical error.  We unknowingly “concretize” the abstraction without the appropriately primed ability to do so and therefore we frame the thoughts and concepts imbedded in the abstractions in a prescriptive, simplified manner, as opposed to a descriptive, complex manner.  To appropriately concretize the concepts holistically in an equation as such would only be appropriate if the we assume that the reader has full knowledge and understanding of the entirety of the abstraction prior to encountering the equation,  and therefore the writing of said equation would be redundant and demeaning.  The use of language however allows for the subtle evocation of the nature of abstractions in a way which is descriptive not prescriptive like math. online online detrol generic order dramamine for children Buy Buy