Monday, January 20, 2003

Court Ruling: Math Phobia A Real Thing!

Since this blog first began in 1970, I have been arguing for recognition of Math Phobia as a legitimate medical condition. Today, an Italian court has vindicated my vindication in a landmark case pitting academic freedom versus the global arithmetico-scientific hegemony.

The case involved a high school junior code-named Viviana against her school, which wanted to cruelly and un-justly prevent her from advancing to her senior year. Their reasoning? Viviana had failed math.

Viviana sued, citing a diagnosis of dyscalculia, or fear of math. And the court has ruled in her favor, mandating that her high school allow her to advance despite her flunking math scores. If my understanding of the law is correct, this ruling is now binding precedent in all courts around the world.

While we at The Math Skeptic support this decision, we do feel that it does not go far enough. Allowing some students to skip math because of a math phobia is only a partial solution. We should be striving for a future in which ALL students are dyscalculitic, as numbers are indeed a thing to be feared. In order for justice to truly have been served, the Italian judge should have thrown out all of mathematics as unreliable and invalid due to the inherent instability of numbers.

But we'll take a partial victory. This is indeed a good day for math skepticism - and for all of us battling the forces of arithmetofascism around the world.