Most of us can remember our first Math class in school. Mine, however, doesn’t stand out as worthy of any Save File. I think it’s because, for me, words always held ineffable depth. They were my perpetual fascination – right up there with picture, and flavor, and song.
But, math seemed like more of a force with which to be reckoned, some mysterious matrix within which one could easily be consumed. It seemed, with its persistent symmetry, its finality, to be at enmity with imagination and passion, with life force itself.
Sure enough, I struggled against the thing. I’d try to skim through the process, to make it go away faster; invariably, this tactic led to that common term, the “careless mistake” – the fleet error in computation that would always render my sums and quotients “wrong.” Getting “wrong answers” unnerved me; effortlessly able to memorize, I and my natural lexicon made no room for them.
As school and, with it, life progressed, I would come to invoke math teachers as my nemesis; they didn’t seem to see into my soul and, if they ever did look in my direction, appeared lacking in any recognition. Rather, an expression of annoyance, restrained tolerance, would pass across their collective countenance; I was the stranger in their room.
In later years, as I developed and was trained to understand the human mind, I came to appreciate math from my own point of view, aspects of its discipline as they integrated themselves into my real time experience. I waited tables, and would add figures both quickly and accurately; my brothers would use formulae to build the beautiful homes with which their construction was entrusted. My mother’s dressmaking even depended upon the role of measurement. Sure enough, its devoted teachers were right about one thing; occasionally, we would use the maddening mathematics in our daily lives.
But, if I have to hear one more political pundit declare that Bernie Sanders can’t become President because “the math” isn’t in his favor, I think I might morph into a Texas Instrument Terminatrix.
Allow me to USE math to present my argument.
Statistics are known to cluster. Predictions are still at the mercy of the random life event, which cannot be measured. The mob effect is not without its power to alter the course of history. The human element must be f.a.c.t.o.r.e.d. IN.
And, the math pundits aren’t doing that. Moreover, when we see the crowd swell of human passion at every single Bernie rally, the collective captivation of human imagination, and ignore its unmeasurable power, we simply aren’t computing. After all, isn’t this how Donald Trump reached presumptive nominee?
It seems, rather, that the political math defenders are more about preserving the present system of gathering desired data, known as the electoral college, than any real concern for authentic democratic representation.
Bernie Sanders has a mathematically sound platform, by the way – possibly the only one any candidate can boast.
Best to lean in, and address that arithmetic, before saying another word.
Bernie Sanders for President 2016.
© Ruth Ann Scanzillo 5/12/16 Use freely, everywhere, with respectful acknowledgement of the author. Thank you, again.