Humans Are Abstraction Masters

What distinguishes us from cavemen is the level of abstraction we can reach. Abstraction enabled humans to move from barter to money, and from gold coins to plastic cards. These days, what's left of "money" is often just an account record we read on a computer screen, and soon it could just be a line of code in a bitcoin ledger.

Today, abstraction is all around us and math is the language of abstraction. In the words of the great mathematician Henri Poincare, mathematics is valuable because "in binding together elements long-known but heretofore scattered and appearing unrelated to one another, it suddenly brings order where there reigned apparent chaos."

For the next generation to operate effectively, they must gain proficiency with abstraction, and that means mathematical knowledge plus conceptual thinking times logical reasoning all things that a wider view of math would bring to the math classes at our schools.


The level of abstraction we can master distinguishes us from other life.

Folksonomies: abstraction education mathematics reasoning

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 How our 1,000-year-old math curriculum cheats America's kids
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Frenkel, Edward (March 2, 2014), How our 1,000-year-old math curriculum cheats America's kids, LA Times, Retrieved on 2014-03-13
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  • Folksonomies: education mathematics