Logic, even if it seems to be missing much of the time, provides a set of rules by which the world can at least make more sense. It may not always help one rule the world, but it helps understand some of the rules of the world. Mr du Sautoy’s idea here is akin to the one we make, and link out to from time to time, about the value of liberal arts education for the sake of learning how to think and communicate clearly:
Understand Euclid’s proof and ban people from saying “I’m bad at maths”
by Marcus du Sautoy
If I ruled the world, the first thing I would do is to make sure that everyone understood Euclid’s proof that there is an infinity of prime numbers. To some people that might seem like a strange suggestion, so let me explain. In itself, Euclid’s proof is not particularly useful for anything. But what it shows is the power of analytical thinking and the magic of mathematics.Studying Euclid would plant a seed in people’s minds that would grow into an appreciation of how this extraordinary tool can help us to navigate the world. Mathematics helps us predict the future. We know about climate change, for example, because of mathematical equations.
Mathematics is not only about utility—it’s also about wonder and beauty…
Read the whole idea here.