Monday, February 4, 2008


Adults of working class families can relate to this story. You come home from school with a mountain of homework and you run to your parents. You complain about that EVIL teacher that wants nothing more than to eliminate your free youth time with homework that NOBODY understands. So in their interest your parents ask what type of brutal torture was bestowed upon their poor little child. You whip out THE MATH! “OH LORD”, your parents think to themselves, the curse has finally come for me. Your parents hear the words of their past ancient academic tormentor saying; “YOU’LL NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU WILL NEED MATH IN YOUR LIFE.” They then whisper to themselves, “SHUT UP!” as you respond back in concern, “WHAT?” Your parents assure you its nothing as they continue to listen to your complaints while the pit of their stomach grumbles and under arms turns on faucets of perspiration.

You place before your parents the MATH assignment when you notice your parent’s face has turned a Ghost White and you ask again, “Are you OK? You look a little sick.” Your parents tell you to, “Go on Boy and stop asking stupid questions” while they scratch and fidget like a Crack addict. You begin to explain how confused you are with THE MATH when after about 5 minutes in, your parents stop you and say, “This MATH is different from the math we did when I was your age. This must be that NEW MATH.”

New Math? At this point a quick thought comes across your conscious, “You must be dumb if you can’t help me” but the guilt in calling your parents dumb plus the WRATH OF GOD dispels the thought real quick so you just say, “OK, I’ll just go upstairs and figure it out myself.”

This is mostly a shared experience when people tell WHEN and HOW they first heard the term NEW MATH. It wouldn’t be until years later and realizing that my parent’s weren’t PERFECT PEOPLE that New Math meant anything beyond addition, subtraction, division and fractions. That New Math; Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Statistics and Calculus was all that stuff that most working class or poor parents were only bless to get IF they were selectively picked in Segregated Schools or Bused to areas where WHITE children attended. Long story short, I survived my NEW MATH rite of passage and for the record, I did quite well in school.

My understandings of Math lead to my understanding of Science, which lead into Logic and eventually Psychology. There is a clean and completeness with these disciplines. The patterns make sense; there are no loose ends or doubts. So when you apply them to life, you get a crystal clear picture of real events and reality up until RECENTLY. I am listening to the predictions of the many Super Tuesday Polls and I am saying to myself, “When will these people learn that this all means nothing.” The Pundits are explaining where and how the numbers are adding up and the degree of margins plus the factors and “ifs”, “buts”, “possibles”, and “last times” and then I head one of the reported ask, "So how did you come up with these numbers?” The Political Analyst replied, “Well, its all Fuzzy Math.” FUZZY MATH? Was this the NEW MATH of my generation, something that I need to tell my children about or is this more like the Voodoo Economics of the Bush Sr. Administration of the early 1990’s? All of a sudden I am as confused as my PARENTS were when I showed them Geometry for the first time.

I kinda get it when the factors and possibilities aren’t matching up. Nothing is like it usually is. For years we had the same old politicians doing and saying the same old thing but how do you account for two credible MINORITIES in an election. This is all new ground for everyone to cover. If you are a person that wears glasses and your view is blurry, you take them off and clean the lens. If your view is still no clear and you know that the lenses are clean, then you know you just might need to see a doctor or get a stronger prescription. Why? Because what you currently have, isn't working. The fact that this guy used the term FUZZY MATH only told me one thing, HE DON’T KNOW. Just like my parents, they didn’t know THE MATH so they decided to call what they didn’t know something NEW when the truth was that it was/is MATH that has "existed for centuries". I respect my parents enough for NOT pretending to know and thus lead me down a road of failure and frustration but, to call it something NEW,was not right and I forgive them for that … it wasn’t their fault for not knowing. For this Political Analyst to try and DUMB ME DOWN with creating something out of THIN AIR and calling it a MATH, I needed to smack him in the back of the head. The scary thought is, this might be a new trend to say "FUZZY MATH" the way the media has decided to call Senator Hillary Clinton, "Billary", and it actually become a new College Course of study or POLITICAL THEORY. When FADS become trend to become practice to become reality have pause.

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