# math

**n=7**

See the link for a discussion of math and how to feel it, if you like.

"In a world brimming with information, math is an important tool to help spot statistical glitches and everyday fallacies, but it's being lost. "Math is the science of not being wrong about things," he writes. "Knowing math is like wearing a pair of X-ray specs that reveal hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of the world."

"No step is too small to ignore," Mighton says. "Math is like a ladder. If you miss a step, sometimes you can't go on. And then you start losing your confidence and then the hierarchies develop. It's all interconnected."

The linked paper is a study of students and the metaphors they used to understand some basic elements of math.

For example, addition as making cupcakes, subtraction as Getting out things from the bag and so on.

"Math always laughs last, but I keep coming back for the small triumphs. For me, nailing a hard math problem is like sinking a half-court shot in basketball. I stand over conquered math like Muhammad Ali gloating over a prostrate Sonny Liston. You want a piece of this, calculus? You think I can't find the volume of the solid that lies above the xy-plane and under the paraboloid z=9-3x+y? Bring it."

"To use a methaphor: Imagine that solving a math problem is like climbing a skyscraper. Normal people go to the top when it's the building it's done and just need to push a button on the lift to get to the top enjoying the climate and rugs and whatnot; mathematicians and teo physicist enjoy the danger and exporting, thus thry to climb when the skyscraper has less structure, first Sir Isaac Newton decided to take out the walls and electricity and climb, then Evariste Galois decided to take out the floors and ceilings for the lolz and see what he could do. Why? Because less structure allows you to see more from the top, and even more interesting allows you to comprehend the iron skeleton better and model it into new shapes."

It's mostly done one rung at a time but if you are feeling bold sometimes it's possible to skip a rung here or there and move of the ladder a bit more quickly.

METAMIA is a free database of analogy and metaphor. Anyone can contribute or search. The subject matter can be anything. Science is popular, but poetry is encouraged. The goal is to integrate our fluid muses with the stark literalism of a relational database. Metamia is like a girdle for your muses, a cognitive girdle.