Woke Mathematics

Woke mathematicians on Twitter are going apeshit because somebody said “2+2=4.”

“No!” they scream. “It’s all about context! You must be racist and transphobic!”

The debate has been raging on for two days.

And then everybody says the Humanities folks are crazy.

The image is a tiny snippet of the debate.

27 thoughts on “Woke Mathematics”

    1. Nelson, actually Ida Bae Wells provides additional support to the idea that defining any knowledge like math as ‘white’ or ‘Western’ is extremely misguided and, in case of those mathematicians, self-involved.

      Even as they fall over themselves to renounce their imagined superiority, they reaffirm it by presupposing math is ‘theirs’ , not because of their profession but due to skin color.


  1. Enlarged the image by setting a screen to 500%.

    Do you know what the word ‘womxn’ means in the phrase “no coincidence that womxn (of color) are targeted”? Biological women and trans women? Or something else? One truly needs to belong to chosen circles to understand a tenth of the new vocabulary. Imagine a farmer or a small town worker reading this… 🙂

    My favorite tweet:

    “The amount of people losing their shit over a mathematician saying “there are instances where 2+2=5” is why you will never be able to convince transphobes to stop oppressing trans people. “


    1. A friend who is a refugee from Cuba and a professor says her rule is to attach “trans” to everything and randomly stick x inside different words.


      1. // A friend who is a refugee from Cuba and a professor says her rule is to attach “trans” to everything and randomly stick x inside different words.

        Does she mean words like ‘transhuman’, ‘transnational’ and ‘transatlantic trade’ agreements (f.e. the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between EU and USA)?

        Academic research featuring those terms has indeed become very popular. 🙂 🙂

        Does she sincerely believe in the woke trans-religionx, or is it to get people off her back? I thought Cuban refugees were cynical about the American woke, like the Cuban shop owner who refused to pay a “recurring monthly donation of 1.5% of net sales to a local Black nonprofit or organization” and was supported by his community.

        The community reacted with self-respect and decency imo:


        1. I was at a meeting today where professors had 10 minutes each to list the most exciting things about their programs. Everybody independently of each other decided to do a presentation on how woke their programs is. There’s no evidence that it will attract students if they find out that “our degree in literature is the best way to start on a path of activism.”


          1. But your friend is a CUBAN professor. I cannot imagine arriving as a refugee in adulthood and despite that adopting every American sentiment of the rich woke.

            // There’s no evidence that it will attract students if they find out that “our degree in literature is the best way to start on a path of activism.”

            This would honestly put me off this literature program, were I a perspective student. Not because of not being a Democrat in US political terms, but since I always wanted to study literature in order to know English-speaking Western cultures and enjoy great works. Why should I pay money for hearing things I already know?

            And one doesn’t need a college degree to be an activist.

            Btw, turns out Heather Mac Donald has a column here and it’s free, without paywalls. Her pieces “Why We Need the Police” and “Repudiate the Anti-Police Narrative” are exactly the text she read in the video you linked to.

            May be, you and N may enjoy her other columns, like the latest “Freedom to Deface”


            Reading about

            “The official reason for the termination of the graffiti-removal program—whereby building owners and residents could report graffiti to the city’s 311 line and get assistance in removing it—was New York’s straitened coronavirus finances. ”

            reminded of your predictions of the retreat of the nation state and of the slashing of the public services.


            1. I agree completely. I was put off by this description of the program completely. If I heard it when I was planning to apply for my degree, one mention of the word “activism” would make me lose interest.


          2. “the best way to start on a path of activism”

            Just have your students become Jehovah’s Witnesses who also sell Amway…. that will achieve everything that “activists” achieve (that is ‘massively annoy people who don’t wanna hear it’).


  2. This reminds me of a very old and pointless discussion about whether the Christian religion or science right, except now it is wokeness against science. I would like to say I am surprised but it’s 2020 and nothing really surprises me anymore.

    Since our twitter feeds are clearly very different, let me share the latest controversy from science Twitter: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/08/04/apparent-death-hoax-rocks-science-twitter


    1. Wow. That story is fantastic. Elsewhere in science twitter there was some sort of pathetic meltdown over someone making a joke about C. elegans being boring.

      My main source of hope that wokesterism won’t succeed in destroying US science is the fact that the science wokesters are so good at making themselves look ridiculous.


  3. Where’d you get the image? Because I refuse to believe you spent the time making screenshots of this Ayn Rand skit yourself. And now I have this image of Ayn Rand attempting to tweet.


    1. Ha, thanks for the tip. I had not heard about this work and it seems quite interesting. The trouble is, “2 + 2 = 4” does fail, just not in the way that the wokesters are stupidly claiming. It is important and crucial to understand how and why it fails – it is necessary to reconcile the antagonism between modernity and post-modernity.


  4. That is a weird example. In reality, if the factories merged, so 2+2=4 plus a pile of parts. They never said they put the fifth machine together or that each half didn’t have duplicate parts rather than complimentary parts. (Plus it would be 2.5 + 2.5 = 5, regardless — the other answer is like a quirk of computer logic, which provides that in some cases 1+1=3 (where in fact the numbers you see on the screen are rounded down).


  5. Is anyone else beginning to wonder if these people thought they were being asked to read and learn about Orwell’s 1984 in the context of a how-to manual, rather than literature?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.