[Numeracy 346] Freirean Math, plutonomics

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david dirtyknees neesdd at gmail.com
Thu May 6 14:42:05 EDT 2010

Susan, Michael and All,

I was watching a program about Wall Street recently, followed closely by
Michael Moore's Capitalism. The same point was made in both that the
best mathematicians don't go to work in fields we might expect (science,
technology, engineering, etc.) anymore, but now go to Wall Street where they
create the math behind derivatives that is far too complex for most of us to
grasp. This has effectively enslaved most of us and nullified much of our
democracy through engineered financial crises where democracy is shelved to
allow for swift action.

I know that sounds alarmist, but if you learn about plutonomics and view the
history of how America wealth has shifted from being middle-class at the end
of WW2 to having 99% of the wealth owned the top 1% of the population now,
it is clear that math is being used in ways that serve the interests of the
wealthy to our detriment.

Math must have been an ally to the common person at some points in our
development, but in my lifetime, I worry that math has become an enemy of
the people. Is there a Math-Freire or a New-Marx around who could help us
understand how to educate ourselves and our students to understand
plutonomics, and then take action through the last vestige of democracy we
have, the vote?

David Dirty Knees
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