In last TOK class, we discussed about math. The discussion raised a question: if the mathematics is important to everyone in their life. I would say partly yes.
Mathematics originates from human’s ability of logical reasoning, math is a tool that is made to explain stuffs. This characteristic of mathematics is used for natural sciences by Interpreting a specific situations into defined axiom and drawing out a conclusion that explains situation. In industrial scale, which is more closely related everyday life things, mathematical laws and equations are used in thousands and thousands of ways – military, humanities, digital technology, economics, architectures, statistics, industries and etc.. It is easier to find where math is not used. This is practical importance of math, it is simply that we can’t be where we are without math.
However, if it comes down to very micro scale of individual’s life, math seems to be not important at all. That is true, in the sense that we do not need to know math in order to live. As I said we can never be where we are without math, however we can still live. It is true that the advanced math and complicated equations are used on computers, but all we have to know is how to turn on the computer, how to type and so on. It is true that complicated trigonometry and volumetric equations are used for houses we live in, but we can still live without knowing that complicated mathematics. As examples show, in micro scale, humans do not need to mathematics above certain level at all for living.
One way of interpreting importance of Mathematics in micro scale is seeing it as a great heritage of human kind, pure form of knowledge. It is our tradition to inherit it and develop it, because we don’t want to go back to the time where we had to live by hunting animals. Majority of people completely do not care and abandon it, however, some need to keep doing it. And with those who are working on math, human as a whole benefit. Also, it can also be explained as our nature. Second law of thermodynamics explains that the randomness of universe never decrease. In the sense that mathematics give variety of disorders to humans 🙂 , mathematics will always be developed but never diminishing.
Personally, I think mathematics is important because the world we live in is just too advanced. We use stuffs that are built with maths, and sure we can live without knowing the complicated math of it, but to what extent? Think about it carefully, how many times did we accept the idea related to scientific theory when we fully understand them? How many times have we agreed with the statement because that has a lot of fancy scientific reasoning that we can’t understand? You can live without knowing math, but it is going to be hard without it. You will be fooled by so much scientific stuffs just because you do not understand them. Mathematics is there for us to look at, so why not? Required mathematical knowledge level has increased now much more than it was 100 years ago and it will keep increasing. If you think you never had lost anything because of being fooled, you are simply wrong. You are still being fooled in every single aspect, starting from how much you’ve paid for the computer that you are using right now. The more you know, the less you will lose.
To sum up my idea, math is vital in everywhere, but not to individual’s life. There is one significance of math in individauls’ life that if you know more about it, the less you will lose. Hence, at least some people need to work on math, but not all of the people.