Fix It Yourself Then: How Math and Spelling Can Limit Creativity

Why are we obsessed with perfection in math and spelling?  In my opinion, it’s a form of psychological enslavement.  If we’re made to feel really stupid about the things that don’t matter, then we will over-focus on them and not focus on the things that do matter.

You’ve seen the type.  They have tonnes of spare time to blog on the internet all day preaching about the importance of spelling and grammar · condescending to others who make small errors in their writing · but they don’t have the time to just kindly fix the errors for the other person and move on?

Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory was laughing at one of Leonard’s algebra mistakes and faints when he makes one in front of Stephen Hawking.  I think the writers of the show got it right when they chose to depict Dr. Cooper as somebody having no breakthroughs mirroring how few major successes the physics community has had in the past decades.

Albert Einstein had sloppy math.  Good.  I prefer someone with sloppy math and good general ideas over someone with perfect math and no ideas.  If I was a mathematician, I wouldn’t chide Einstein for having bad math; I would tell him to concentrate on his intuitive abilities and offer to clean up the math for him after he’s done.

Albert Einstein and Emily Dickinson upheld intuition above all other things.

Darwin said his father had amazing intuitive abilities and never made any bad friends.

In order to study higher levels of biological selection past gene and individual selection, people will also have to employ their higher intuitive faculties.

The greatest artists and scientists uphold intuition above all else, yet our society despises it and replaces it with focus on perfect mathematical and grammatical consistency which is already known and can be maintained by legions of complainers who have nothing else to do.


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