You are much better at mathematics than you think you are.
Indeed, you sit at the end of a long line of quite exceptional mathematicians, each as convinced as the last that they were quite incapable of solving the simplest of mathematical problems.
Yet, the fact that you were ever born stands as a shining certificate of achievement to each and every one of your ancestors (on both sides, it has to be said) who, by wit of their superior mathematical abilities, survived long enough to have little mathematical geniuses of their own.
Intellectually, it just makes no sense whatsoever. Everything seems to boil down to a bunch of (apparently) random meaningless symbols…
Instinctively, coping with that little lot makes all the difference to your chances of getting through the day alive. Failure will see you eaten by a Sabre Tooth Tiger, your car upside down every time you try to leave the highway, and parking in a garage will result in shooting through the back wall.
Some examples of mathematics that you are amazing at include:
- Vector analysis – walking down the street without bumping into everyone coming the other way.
- Calculus – successfully driving like you weren’t in a pin ball machine.
- Trigonometry – intercepting a child about to toddle in front of a truck
- All three of the above – knowing that attempting this would be a bad idea…
Instinctively, we DO mathematics every single day. So why does it seem so hard intellectually?
Don’t expect an answer. 🙂
With thanks to Ned Hickson for tweeting the image that started the ball rolling.