Posted on November 21, 2020

The Death of Math and the Fall of America’s Premier High School

Fred Reed, American Renaissance, November 21, 2020

Headline “Fairfax school board eliminates admissions test at Thomas Jefferson High School” probably America’s most demanding school for science and technology.

Oh god, Oh god. Who is on the school board? Predictably education majors, the dimmest, lowest SAT-scoring dregs of the professional classes, the horror of smart students subjected to their grade-school mentalities. But not just ed majors. Probably also psychologists, sociologists, bored housewives, and liberal-artsy painfully virtuous men alight with Civic Consciousness. Oh god.

TJ, the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, is a jewel in the country’s collapsing system of education, a bright light in the growing darkness. Its kids are scary smart, among the best of young minds, going on to CalTech, MIT, Harvard. This year 132 were National Merit Semi-finalists, putting them in the upper one half of one percent. Entry was, until now, by a demanding test of intelligence, though we must not so describe it as that would be racist, and manifest White Privilege, even though most of the students are Asian. Youngsters at this level need a rich academic diet to avoid boredom, to include among other things serious mathematics. Which, I will bet, not one of the earnest, uplift espousing, self-consciously good, droopy-IQed of the Board has the slightest grasp. How much is three factorial? Hint: It’s a number between five and seven. You may have five guesses.

TJ was a haven for the smart. But now Fairfax County is going to drop the intelligence test — though, remember — we must never call it an intelligence test. Why drop the test? Do you even ask? It is because not enough blacks get in. The purpose of a high-end school is to admit blacks.

TJ, I can say with confidence, would be happy with any number of black students if they passed the examination. It would be happy with box turtles if they passed the test. But they do not, as neither do blacks, so we must abandon the test and admit the unqualified. Free stuff.

Is there nothing we will not degrade, corrupt, or discard to make minorities look good? No. Silly me, even to ask.

Strange that a country once at least literate, a country for decades way and gone the world’s font of science and technology, a country that at its apogee put men on the moon and invented the modern world, should intentionally suppress the intelligence that made it what it was and reduce itself to the level of picking wild bananas and digging for roots.

Yet this is happening. From the drains of society oozes a sump of envy, of resentment, of bruised incapacity, of rabble seeking revenge against those of a higher order. Chusma, morlocks, school boards, vegetables, everywhere pulling down the bright, raging against the brighter, whom they now want to destroy.

An example of what is coming: From The Independent: “A university professor has claimed teaching maths perpetuates “unearned” white privilege . . . Titled “Building Support for Scholarly Practices in Mathematics Methods”, Ms Gutierrez argues a focus on Pythagorean theorem and pi feed into the idea that math was (sic) developed by the Greeks and Europeans . . . Seattle is definitely on the forefront with this,” said Robert Q. Berry III, the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. “What they’re doing follows the line of work we hope we can move forward as we think about the history of math and who contributes to that, and also about deepening students’ connection with identity and agency.”

The faint, agonized shrilling you hear is the English language. These people write like the recently anesthetized, but never mind. Where precisely does this gushing fount of bewilderment think math was developed? Burundi?

What were men such as Gauss, Galois, Cantor, Euler, Newton, Archimedes, Hardy, Hamilton, Laplace were — what? Ethiopians, no doubt. Or maybe bushmen. I cannot doubt it. There was Ramanujan, one of the greats, Indian. Further back, other Indians and Arabs who came up with our number system, zero, algebra. But it is not Indians and Arabs calling for the endumbment (I say it is a word) of American math.

Counting on their toes in twilit minds, such as Ms. Gutierrez want to pull down mathematics. Those seeking to do this are now called “woke,” but “stupid” would improve clarity.

We must get rid, we are told, of AP courses because the cerebrally negligible can’t understand them. Grammar is discrimination because political sensitives find it puzzling. We must ban the SATs because they make obvious what everybody knows, drop algebra requirements’ in universities because they make visible the inescapable. Math courses are are oppression in the view of education majors and other gibbering cretins. Do anything and everything to placate the malignant envy that bubbles up from septic fields of a doomed country.

Fred Reed Math Column

Do any of these vandals and victims-studies primitives know what math is, or that only bright kids can do the work? An example of mathematics: Shannon entropy for an independent variable of two outcomes (a coin toss.) P is the probability, -log P the information content. The entropy is of importance in grasping Shannon’s coding for data compression. I am not sure just what “mathematics” means in the minds, if any, of the cognitive flat tires now trying to get rid of it, but acres and acres of such as the above, which kids at TJ probably would regard as entertaining reading, are behind everything that keeps us warm, dry, and fed. Do we really want to let nominal primates in need of remedial evolution debauch a subject of which they do not have, and cannot acquire, a tarsier’s grasp?

I should say in foresightful self-defense that I claim no particular mathematical talent, being a sort of mathematical voyeur, playing with whatever shiny baubles and colored beads I come across, and not in a league with the many real mathematicians found at the Unz Review, where this column lives. But I do not want to eliminate AP math courses for those who do have talent simply to hide the fact that I do not.

What is it that distresses the pullers-down, these incontinently dim, these education theorists, these veritable mollusks, these . . . forgive my language . . . sociologists? An easy question easily answered: They resent superiority. In a country where culture wafts from the ghetto, where expansive intellect is hated, superiority is the gravest sin. It must be dragged down. And is being dragged down.

But while students commit the individual sin of genius or a close approximation thereunto, the school as an institution essays the unpardonable. “TJ is now 71 percent Asian, 20 percent white, 2.4 percent Hispanic, and 1.6 percent black” Oops.

You can see the systemic unfairness.TJ has lots of Asians. But not a single goddam box turtle. Clearly a disparate impact. Justice for box turtles!

We are going to compete with China? Do you know how many Asians China has? But, you see, the purpose of a school is not to teach. No. It is to have the right number of blacks.

Dead serious, a case can be made that box turtles might run the schools more creditably than the Victims-Studies nits who currently try to do it: Probably TJ should have open admissions for box turtles. But I want to be careful here I don’t mean alert, intellectually engaged box turtles that score high on the SATs and read Dostoevsky in Russian. Indeed not. That would be to favor intelligence, which we must not do. TJ should seek out dull, puzzled box turtles that can’t find their way home at night, and thus would be Authentic and Of The People.

But let us look again into the maw of the beast:

Seattle “The district has proposed a new social justice-infused curriculum that would focus on “power and oppression” and “history of resistance and liberation” within the field of mathematics…Seattle’s recently released proposal includes questions like, “Where does (sic)Power and Oppression show up in our math experiences?” and “How is math manipulated to allow inequality and oppression to persist?”

God Almighty. What simian babbling. Where, one might ask, does English grammar show up in the eructations of these twits? Darwin has let us down.

This drivel pours from imbecility spigots across the country. These are racial activists, gender-studies majors, justice hustlers. They apparently think that being hired as a TensorFlow programmer at Google comes of “white privilege.” Which of course it does. White privilege, like Asian privilege, means the downstream effects of being smart and studying. Neither of these appeals to affirmative-action admits.

Somebody needs to tell them, “Shut up and go away. Get a job mowing lawns.” But nobody dares tell them. If the levelers succeed, and it seems likely, TJ will have “students” well qualified to be doorstops and courses will have to be dumbed down, and grades falsified. This too will help America compete with China, don’t you think?

Do these dwarves not have any idea where they would be without real mathematicians to take care of them? They would be sitting in grass huts picking lice out of each other’s hair. Do they know — the question is rhetorical — how much math and physics go into a smartphone, none of which most of them know, have heard of, or could be taught?

More, for those who have the stomach to read it:

“Mathematical problem-solving is being deemphasized in favor of more qualitative group projects; the pace of undergraduate physics education is being slowed down so that no one gets left behind. . . . A typical INCLUDES grant from October 2017 directs $300,000 toward increasing Native American math involvement by incorporating “indigenous knowledge systems” into Navajo Nation Math Circles.”

What the hell is an “indigenous knowledge system”? Kindness would normally prevent my asking aloud why the teaching of mathematics should be determined by the inadequacies of Stone Age nomads. But the desire of dregs to cripple the able is, aside from being an exercise in predatory mediocrity, sure to cripple students who would otherwise produce advances in biochemistry electronics, genetics, multitudinous branches of medicine, and so forth. When someone finally finds a treatment for cancer, it won’t be a heartwarming inadequate with his IQ dragging around his ankles.

Perhaps we should not be surprised at the onrushing enstupidation. American schooling has always amounted to child abuse for the bright. The kid with the 140 IQ in the third grade reads at the eighth-grade level, so that what happens in the class room bores him into sociopathy. Now, as the country surges into the Elysian fields of Soshal Justiss,, things will get worse. I imagine AP math in high school: The teacher says to Sally Wang, “Sally, f-prime of x equals (f(x plus delta x) minus f(x)) all over delta x, the limit as delta x goes to zero.” Then, “Bobby Lou, three horribly oppressed indigenous peoples are beaten senseless by brutal whites exercising unearned White Privilege, and another three violently mistreated native Americans are flogged with whips made from Confederate flags. In all, how many

I need a drink.