The Origins of “Why Maths Must Change”

Many months ago, and many months too late, we submitted an FOI application, seeking documents from ACARA. We were interested in the origins of the statement Why Maths Must Change, signed onto by five prominent mathematics and mathematics education organisations in support of ACARA’s draft mathematics curriculum. We had previously written of our sea-bed low opinion of the statement, but we had also been puzzled by aspects of the statement. In particular, although WMMC has no declared link to ACARA, and although ACARA has to our knowledge never made any public reference to the statement, we had suspected that ACARA was involved in the production of WMMC.

Indeed, this appears to have been the case. Continue reading “The Origins of “Why Maths Must Change””

The Wonderful Function of Michael Deakin

I briefly mentioned Mike Deakin in this post, and I talked about him (too) briefly in Mathematics in Hell (at 6:40). I’ll be having reason to refer to Mike in a future post. As background, the following is an Age article Burkard and I wrote about Mike Deakin in 2014, one of our final Maths Masters articles. Continue reading “The Wonderful Function of Michael Deakin”

RatS 16: The Sacrificing of Julian Assange

It is astonishing the extent to which Australians don’t give a shit about what happens to Julian Assange. He can be kept in a Kafka prison, undergo a Kafka trial at the behest of a country who openly want to torture him, and probably kill him. But no one except a very few good guys, like George Christensen, says a word. Nothing from the Poster Child for Principle, Penny Wong. Nothing from Albanese. Of course nothing from ScoMoFo or the invisible Payne-in-the-ass. Nothing from our oh-so-wonderful stately journalists, from Michelle Grattan or Laura Tingle or Katherine Murphy, and of course nothing from the stable of Murdoch toads. Nothing from Paul Barry and of course nothing from Michael “Gold Star” Rowland. Nothing from any of them. Deutsche Welle and Le Monde and Aljazeera can publish opinion pieces on the lunatic sadism of the persecution of an Australian. Cédric Villani, while taking time off from winning Fields medals, can lead a French political call for Assange’s asylum. But from Australians? A screaming nothing. Continue reading “RatS 16: The Sacrificing of Julian Assange”

Don’t Be Nazis Y’All

Fresh off our successful defense of Alan Tudge, it’s time to go into bat for a nazi. Sort of.

Last month, Lehigh University’s newspaper, The Brown and White, reported on the removal of a young mathematician, Brian Klatt, from his classes. Klatt’s removal came after “an anonymous complaint that alleged [Klatt] was posting racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic content from an anonymous Twitter account.” The account, @DumbGeometer, has since been deleted.1 Continue reading “Don’t Be Nazis Y’All”

SOCK-IT-TO-YA

We had planned to not write about this one, dearly hoping it would quietly fade away. That was never going to happen, however, and, having made The Washington Post and the like, there’s now no purpose in not writing about it.

A few days ago, an American schoolteacher went through what was apparently her standard trigonometry routine, donning a fake Indian headdress and chanting SOHCAHTOA as a war dance, or whatever. Yes, the schoolteacher is from another era and, quite possibly, another planet. This year, however, a Native American kid in the class filmed her and then gave permission for the video to be posted on Instagram, where it appeared complete with a campaign speech, and school name and contacts. The snowball then did what snowballs do, the teacher has been suspended and so forth.

It is interesting times when a member of the Hitlerjugend is almost universally portrayed as the victim.

RatS 15: Taibbi – Afghanistan: We Never Learn

Matt Taibbi has written the obvious but excellent article on American incompetence and mendacity in regard to Afghanistan:

Every image coming out of Afghanistan this past weekend was an advertisement for the incompetence, arrogance, and double-dealing nature of American foreign policy leaders. Scenes of military dogs being evacuated while our troops fire weapons in the air to disperse humans desperate for a seat out of the country will force every theoretical future ally to think twice about partnering with us …

The pattern is always the same. We go to places we’re not welcome, tell the public a confounding political problem can be solved militarily, and lie about our motives in occupying the country to boot. Then we pick a local civilian political authority to back that inevitably proves to be corrupt and repressive, increasing local antagonism toward the American presence.

Read the whole thing. And then scream.

Continue reading “RatS 15: Taibbi – Afghanistan: We Never Learn”