# Talk:Innumeracy

There was a BBC programme on inumeracy in the UK, and a new system of teaching math that really got the kids involved in math, and loving math. Sadly, I cannot remember the name. anyone?GodotGrow a vagina 17:28, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

- Nothing to do with this, I presume? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:39, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
- NO. This guy was infact, really cool. He walked in with cups and small fuzzy balls to give the 4th graders something to hold in their hands. "Add" you put something new in the cup. "subtract" you take somethign away from teh cup. "divide" you take what is in the cup and ask how many times your other number can split in the cup. (this one is hard for me to explain, cause division is one I never grasped, conceptually. I can do it, but i don't get exactly what's happening". By using this technique, he had kids understanding that 1/4 will "go into" 2, 8 times. And they really understood the concept, not the rote. Kids who could not add and subtract, were doing very basic algebra (2x +3 =10) within the year, much less passing their tests. Honest to god, it was the first time i "undestood" division. I can divide, but i didn't really get why 1/.25 was 4... Again, it was about giving kids tools to first *understand* math, then use it. GodotGrow a vagina 17:58, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

## Contents

## Merged in material[edit]

I mentioned this in the talk page for one of the merged in articles, but since they were stubs, stubbish, or had little linking in, and were barely on-mission, I've merged a lot of their content into this article, included more info on some pseudomath things, or just poor understanding of how these ideas work. Although having done this, I have a sudden feeling I should have put some of them in the article on pseudomath. Although, with a lot of them I'm not sure if that's strictly appropriate. The whole thing with people raving against i seems only possible because of a lack of understanding, rather then how pseudomath is defined here ("...any work, study or activity which claims to be mathematical, but refuses to work within the standards of proof and rigour which mathematics is subject to.").

Either way, I'd appreciate a fresh set of eyes to look over this for errors in spelling/grammar/definitions that I may have missed.--Logic and Empricism (talk) 20:11, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

- Just a quick thing. I seem to recall that 'Real Number' (and so on) are proper nouns when used mathematically. I'll get a reference for the definitions of the different types a numbers up in a few hours.--Logic and Empricism (talk) 21:15, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

## Oh god, the idiocy[edit]

1/0 is a irrational number? "123.456" is irrational? What the hell is going on here? I'm fixing this section, and the person who wrote it should feel bad, especially because of the tremendous irony involved. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 23:35, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Oh, and yes this is a perfectly acceptable and accurate description of reals: "any number with a decimal expansion". Of course, actual real analysis courses do it a slightly different ways, usually Dedekind cuts or Cauchy sequences, but this is good enough for the current rigor of the article. You can construct Reals in a variety of equivalent ways, such as: all decimal expansions (but then the rules of equality are a little wonky, e.g. 0.999... repeating = 1), the set of all Cauchy sequences over rationals, or the set of rationals closed over least upper bounds aka Dedekind cuts. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:07, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

- Oh christ, I missed a couple things last time I checked it and used non-technical language that people can actually understand, quick quick somebody kill me before I reproduce! Fuck, calm down, so I forgot the exact definition of an irrational number and added something I shouldn't have and used a bad example. This is a wiki for a reason. And it's a wiki I've been told is about snark and goats anyways.--Logic and Empricism (talk) 00:10, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

- No offense dude, but if you were responsible for all of that, and this:
*" is equal to 0.3333 ad infinite, making one third an irrational number."*, then I think I was justified in my level of outrage. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:28, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

- No offense dude, but if you were responsible for all of that, and this:

- I'm sorry if I committed the cardinal sin of forgetting the definition of an irrational number and going with what I thought it was. If you'll excuse me I'm going to go pray for for absolution over my copy
*Euclid's Elements*. It's also sort of hard to not take offense to some random asshole calling me an idiot like seven times.--Logic and Empricism (talk) 00:35, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

- I'm sorry if I committed the cardinal sin of forgetting the definition of an irrational number and going with what I thought it was. If you'll excuse me I'm going to go pray for for absolution over my copy

That whole "types of numbers" section should be cut. It's of limited relevance to the phenomenon of innumeracy, contains a lot of trivia, some inaccuracies, & the comments it does make about teaching methods look more like strawman stereotypes than actual observations. Ŵêâŝêîôîď^{Methinks it is a Weasel} 00:43, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

- I think I cleared out all of the blatant inaccuracies. I am however not attached to the text, and I do not object to cutting it. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:51, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

## How the F*** did Negative numbers ended up redirecting to this place?[edit]

Well, this article is not exactly about negative numbers... K61824^{ZOYG I edit like Kenservative!} 02:31, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

- There was an article that was judged off-mission and redirected to here, because the only relevant part was that some people have problem grasping the concept of negative numbers, which is an example of innumeracy. If you have suggestions about the future of the redirect, I suggest taking it to Talk:Negative numbers.--ZooGuard (talk) 08:05, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

## Why are our kids innumerate?[edit]

turns out they're not, numeracy has been improving generation on generation for a long time. ikanreed ^{🐐Bleat at me} 20:42, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

- In England, only the most recent generations show substantial gains in numeracy, but surely our grouchy old man whining in the article is surely supported by some other source other than the {{lie}} template. ikanreed
^{🐐Bleat at me}20:55, 5 October 2018 (UTC)- Da fuq why we left "Why has there been a drop off in children's numeracy levels over the years?" there intact? There's no source for it! I was surprised that's posted as a question. As people's lives are in an overall trend on improving around the world, I expect education to be among the general trend of improvement. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario!
^{(Mod)}20:56, 5 October 2018 (UTC)- That very thought was what led me to start chasing the literature. Think I might go ahead and cut the whole section. ikanreed
^{🐐Bleat at me}20:58, 5 October 2018 (UTC)- This seems to be the only supporting article that talks about some trend of people being innumerate. Is this necessarily "growing" though, or is it just humans in general having trouble grasping with numbers (hence why a lot of people hate math and fractions that aren't powers of 10)? Edit: I just looked at the article and it almost blew me away at how pathetic and devoid of interesting information it is. It's just lamenting the lack of literacy AND numeracy in prison populations. When it says that "Illiteracy and innumeracy are our country's dirty little secrets, not mentioned at any of the leaders' debates.", "in prisons" is left out and we get a misleading headline, which I assume the editors were too lazy to read the rest of the article. Worse, the source does not support "our kids, and in fact most of the adults in studies done in the US and UK" claim whatsoever.
*What*studies? No studies cited. Because these studies above contradict that. It's terrible we left the article in such a sorry state for literally years, but hopefully, we can clean up this mess. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario!^{(Mod)}21:11, 5 October 2018 (UTC)- In some ways I'm pretty lazy, I usually just go for abolishing the bad, not adding the good. I know I should be better about that. ikanreed
^{🐐Bleat at me}01:39, 6 October 2018 (UTC)- I will help with adding the good. First, can you research if my hypothesis of "humans are just plain bad with numbers, hence why they hate math" is correct, reflects understanding of our grasp on math (that is, if I recall that correctly) or at least on the right track? I remember reading this in
*Here's Looking at Euclid*, a book about trying to make math fun.**Edit**: oooo yes, it's said in Nelson et al (second page in the link, says p. 193): "*This difficulty may be largely due to the fact that probability (percentages, frequencies, rates, odds) and ratio concepts (e.g., fractions, relative risk)—concepts that are essential for understanding risk—are not inherently intuitive*" --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario!^{(Mod)}03:38, 6 October 2018 (UTC)- Is apologizing in article text appropriate tone for this wiki? We've been wrong before. ikanreed
^{🐐Bleat at me}15:57, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

- Is apologizing in article text appropriate tone for this wiki? We've been wrong before. ikanreed

- I will help with adding the good. First, can you research if my hypothesis of "humans are just plain bad with numbers, hence why they hate math" is correct, reflects understanding of our grasp on math (that is, if I recall that correctly) or at least on the right track? I remember reading this in

- In some ways I'm pretty lazy, I usually just go for abolishing the bad, not adding the good. I know I should be better about that. ikanreed

- This seems to be the only supporting article that talks about some trend of people being innumerate. Is this necessarily "growing" though, or is it just humans in general having trouble grasping with numbers (hence why a lot of people hate math and fractions that aren't powers of 10)? Edit: I just looked at the article and it almost blew me away at how pathetic and devoid of interesting information it is. It's just lamenting the lack of literacy AND numeracy in prison populations. When it says that "Illiteracy and innumeracy are our country's dirty little secrets, not mentioned at any of the leaders' debates.", "in prisons" is left out and we get a misleading headline, which I assume the editors were too lazy to read the rest of the article. Worse, the source does not support "our kids, and in fact most of the adults in studies done in the US and UK" claim whatsoever.

- That very thought was what led me to start chasing the literature. Think I might go ahead and cut the whole section. ikanreed

- Da fuq why we left "Why has there been a drop off in children's numeracy levels over the years?" there intact? There's no source for it! I was surprised that's posted as a question. As people's lives are in an overall trend on improving around the world, I expect education to be among the general trend of improvement. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario!

## The parable of the good accountant[edit]

He who is innumerate and knows not that he is innumerate is a fool; avoid him.

He who is innumerate and knows that he is innumerate and who wishes to become numerate is a student; teach him.

He who is numerate and knows not that he is numerate is asleep; wake him.

He who is numerate and knows that he is numerate is a wise man; hire him as your accountant.

He who is innumerate and knows that he is innumerate, but who does not wish to become numerate may be seen by the numerate as a fool,

but he might also be a great artist, politician, or poet, let him be, as you really probably don't have much choice in the matter.