Study your math kids... it's the key to the universe!  

rm_VoodooGuru1 49M
2116 posts
5/1/2006 8:33 pm

Last Read:
5/14/2006 7:07 pm

Study your math kids... it's the key to the universe!

Anybody catch The Simpsons last night? It was a particularly good one that took on gender differences in math comprehension and learning. It didn’t take sides on the issue, or even offer solutions, but as good social satire does, it made fun of the absurdities on both sides of the issue.

I started learning higher-level mathematics in second grade. I was in a class with two other students; the room in which we met had a concrete floor and garage doors.We started with fractions and decimals, then progressed to number theory, solving problems in alternate number systems - primarily base 8 - we even got into some linear algebra.

So what was I... a prodigal, or maybe some kind of Chinese?

No... nothing so exotic, I merely took up a musical instrument.

Music is math - all music is math, and math is the language of the Creator. Whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, all understood by children studying an instrument years before they’re doing fractions with numbers. Nearly all music exists within a base 8 number system (as opposed to the base 10 system we’re used to); unless you listen to a lot of archaic Middle Eastern music, you’ve never heard music outside of base 8.

A child doesn’t know she’s learning math when she’s learning flute, but these mathematical concepts become innate, and when she starts being tested in math class she does much better than the student who plays no instrument or can’t read music.

Any single piece of music is an equation, indeed it’s a complex equation, that translated to traditional mathematical symbols (and this can be done) would require a knowledge of calculus to understand.

Some music that is closest to its mathematical basis is techno, believe it or not. Techno is frequently characterized by layered planes of sound that are introduced sequentially and at an increasing rate. Don’t believe me? Listen to Crystal Method’s Born Too Slow.

Want your kids to do well in math, as well as science (math’s slutty half-sister)? Make them learn a musical instrument.

(Special bonus points for all who recognize the title to this post.)

rm_bucfannn 61M/60F
2110 posts
5/1/2006 8:46 pm

It's the archangel Gabriel in The Prophecy...

I was never good in math. And, my dad was a math major... I guess I wasn't analytical enough...

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 5/2/2006 2:45 pm:
Given the name of your blog, thit sincerely surprises me buc-buc. I mean, few people outside the scientific community have even heard of the word "stochastic."

Good job on the quote!

rm_AnOddGirl 57F
3469 posts
5/1/2006 8:47 pm

I'm lucky I can add and subtract, where the hell were calculators when I was a kid.(Of course in my day - girls didn't need math or science - mfers)

Hawkings? Nye? Cpt. Kangaroo? Big Bird? Binkman? Oh hell I give up!


rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 5/2/2006 2:47 pm:
I think calculators started to enter the consumer market around the time you were 20? The numbers were red lights because LCD screens were still being developed.

Knot4Everyone 40F

5/1/2006 9:01 pm

I love Christopher Walkin (as an actor)! And that was a great movie!

Math is more important than people realize. It's so sad to watch a cashier in their late teens/early twenties struggle to make change!

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 5/2/2006 2:50 pm:
Or in their 30s....

Know what's fun? Give one of these cashiers a fifty cent piece with your dough; they just stare at it and you can see the brain cells popping.

saddletrampsk 54F

5/1/2006 9:07 pm

Pool is geometry..

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 5/2/2006 2:52 pm:
Of course it is, it's calculus and applied physics as well.

I'm good at calculus, great at geometry, yet I SUCK SUCK SUCK at pool.

rm_saintlianna 45F
15466 posts
5/1/2006 9:13 pm

I think you might be Mandarin.

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 5/2/2006 2:54 pm:
The Chinese comment was a tip o' my hat to Family Guy. Me? I'm burly wood!

LustyTaurus 48M  
21253 posts
5/1/2006 9:31 pm

no comment...I mean that was a comment, but I have nothing to add...I mean you gave us the root of the theory...I'm not trying to be devisive...I'm going to play my saxophone now.


rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 5/2/2006 2:56 pm:
Dude! Very very good!

sfvppl818 50M/50F

5/1/2006 10:37 pm

    Quoting Knot4Everyone:
    I love Christopher Walkin (as an actor)! And that was a great movie!

    Math is more important than people realize. It's so sad to watch a cashier in their late teens/early twenties struggle to make change!
And sex is a mess.

And for the walkenites amongst you - WWCWD - What Would Christopher Walken Do?.

demonicsexkitten 41F
10671 posts
5/2/2006 9:22 am

so should i ever have kids... i'll toss them into music lessons. thanks

i remember when i first began learning math. I was so excited... and kept trying to get ahead of what they were teaching. I remember thinking "if this is possible, then that must be too" but then i'd have to wait till the teacher taught it. I used to sit for hours making my dad create math problems for me to solve. To this day... i'm still wondering what went wrong.

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 5/5/2006 2:28 am:
Indications of a capable and creative mind... and you decide to use these attributes as an accountant?!?

Yeah, what DID happen.

rm_1hotwahine 62F
21091 posts
5/2/2006 1:52 pm

I hate it when I perpetuate a stereotype but am much better with words than I am with numbers. Yes, sadly, I'm math-challenged. But if I have a visual or something concrete, then I can handle it - P&L statements, Geometry, etc. Even if the the visual is abstract, I'm ok (logic, patterns, ancient pre-Windows Lotus 123). So I'm thinking you're really onto something with the music. Plus, it's a great bridge btwn the artsy types and the math clubber, ha. (beginning to channel Zappa and Schoenburg now)

What did/do you play?

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 5/5/2006 2:38 am:
Lotus 1-2-3 on the green-screen! Like a MF!

I play saxa-ma-phone.

frogger1995 39F

5/4/2006 12:56 am

What does it say when you took up the clarinet but quit after a month?

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 5/5/2006 2:40 am:
I dunno. But I got a skin flute here for ya if you ever want to try another woodwind.

MissAnnThrope 56F
11488 posts
5/5/2006 12:51 am

You know, that doesn't always work. I took piano, clarinet and violin lessons and math was still a mystery to me as a kid. Except when we did the base systems. Then I was suddenly getting As. Don't ask.

However, when I discovered acid, one night math became clear. Algebra even made sense. So did pre-calc. If only I had known that would happen in fifth grade when we were doing fractions, I would have been the only 10 year old acid head in my town.

rm_VoodooGuru1 replies on 5/5/2006 2:43 am:
For realsies? The acid and such only ever affected the right side o' me noggin'.

I was a 10yr old pot head....

demonicsexkitten 41F
10671 posts
5/7/2006 1:54 pm

VD: i'm still exploring the possibilities of my life i'm also an anthropologist. kinda. (well: that's my minor). published poet. semi-artist. and one of my business professors told me i should quit accounting, move to the east coast, get into a certain Uni. in Ontario/Toronto? and become a scholar. I figure I can try that next.

ldyforfun69 48F
3 posts
5/14/2006 6:22 pm

Interesting...I wish someone had told me that as a kid...I was tested in the 1st grade and told I was a fantastic reader, creative, artistic, an "English" person. Than I was told that I was horrible in math and to not really bother. Seriously. (which is sad as I loved sciences and was told to forget that as well due to my lack of the math gene)

In the third grade I took up the clarinet and music just made SENSE to me. Alas, math was still my nemesis and I still sometimes use my fingers to add and subtract, primarily because I don't trust myself with it. BUT...I have learned as I have gotten older and *ahem* wiser that I am not the math dunce I was brainwashed into thinking I was. Unfortunately I believed the math nazi's who, throughout my educational experience, consistently discouraged me from ever really trying. By the way, is this something they still do to kids? Because it's just plain old cruel.

I became very confident with math when, upon playing a ridiculous video game, I had to teach myself base 8 and base 15 mathematics to further myself in the game. It was surprisingly easy, fun and made more sense to me than the typical base 10. Could this be because I can read music? This seems to be the case...

Anyway...I am rambling a bit but after reading your blog I feel as though a light bulb has gone off in my head and the math trauma of my youth makes a lot more sense. I'll have to keep my eye out for a repeat of the Simpson's episode you mentioned.


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