Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Numbers Without Numbers!

Stanford University psychology professor Michael Frank may be on to something.

He's trying to do away with numbers.

According to a blatant misinterpretation of a paper Frank recently published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, numbers are unnecessary for calculation, and we're much better off without them. Just what I've been saying for decades now. And our secret weapon in this War Against Numbers may be one of the oldest - the Japanese abacus.

By studying the behavior of participants in the Mental Calculation World Cup, the golden-throated songster and psychologist was able to observe wild arithmetists in their natural habitat, away from the constraints of human society. What he found was that the most successful participants eschewed numbers entirely, using the purely-visual Mental Abacus method to solve completely worthless math problems.

These results are promising, and may be the first real break we've had against the numbers in centuries. And I wouldn't expect the numbers to go down without a fight, either. Just watch - Big Arithmetic will soon be lobbying for a nationwide soroban ban and driving up prices on wooden beads.

I advise you to get yours now, because once sorobans are outlawed, only outlaws will have sorobans.

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