Polaron - Get Polish Citizenship / EU Passport now!Witamy, Guest  |  Members

The Ultimate Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives

Poland Information in English
Home / News /answers: 83 - page 1 of 3

Poles don't have a heart for math... says The New York Times

zetigrek     Edited by: Administrator  Dec 8, 2010, 05:07pm  #1

So many bollox I've never read anywhere:

wiadomosci.onet.pl/kiosk/wiecej-matmy,1,4017970,kiosk-wiadomosc.h tml

Does The New York Times is a serious paper or they really don't know how to write a non-embarassing full of bollox sponsored text. I know they wanted to advertise Centrum Nauki Kopernik but saying that Poles don't like maths... because of their tragic history made me laugh loudly!

Without a summary in English this thread is destined for the bin.

Sokrates Threads: 11
Posts: 4,072
Joined: Jan 19, 2009
  ♂   Dec 8, 2010, 05:13pm  #2

Thats just silly, interwar Poland had The greatest mathematicians in the world, even today we're far ahead of any european country in IT and we suck at math? Puhhhleaase.
Teffle Threads: 26
Posts: 1,573
Joined: Aug 26, 2010
  ♂   Dec 8, 2010, 05:19pm  #3

zetigrek:
Poles don't like maths


Sokrates:
we suck at math


Two distinctly different claims I should point out - although I don't know the content of the text.
zetigrek     Edited by: zetigrek  Dec 8, 2010, 05:26pm  #4

zetigrek:
Without a summary in English this thread is destined for the bin.


So some Pole living in States please sumarize it. I have difficulties with English so I've sumarized it in short way:

It is
zetigrek:
saying that Poles don't like maths... because of their tragic history




Teffle:
Two distinctly different claims I should point out - although I don't know the content of the text.


Ok, ok. It is saying that Poles value more humanistic science over maths and it's bad for the future economy of Poland. It says that Poles were always crappy in maths excluding one short period between the wars... but no one remembers that anymore. There is something about church and "tragic" history of Poland (I missed that part because I felt sick). The only reason for that article is a hidden promotion of recently open Centrum Nauki Kopernik were science is presented in pleasent for children way.

But the aim and reason of that article is not important anyway. I'm just asking of the if it is common for New York Times to write such crappy, absurd and ridiculus articles?
trener zolwia Threads: 1
Posts: 1,369
Joined: Jun 8, 2010
  ♂   Dec 8, 2010, 05:50pm  #5

zetigrek:
I'm just asking of the if it is common for New York Times to write such crappy, absurd and ridiculus articles?

Yes.
zetigrek     Edited by: Moderator  Dec 8, 2010, 05:54pm  #6

Here's English version: Thank you.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/world/europe/03warsaw.html

WARSAW — The newly opened science and technology center here was conceived not only as a place to excite young minds about science and discovery, but also as a chance for Poland to overcome at least one piece of its tragic past, to set aside one legacy of war and occupation — the decline of math and science education.
Sokrates Threads: 11
Posts: 4,072
Joined: Jan 19, 2009
  ♂   Dec 8, 2010, 05:55pm  #7

zetigrek:
I'm just asking of the if it is common for New York Times to write such crappy, absurd and ridiculus articles?

Its Gazeta Wyborcza of US of A, it has a long standing tradition of lies and bullsh*t.
skysoulmate Threads: 22
Posts: 2,014
Joined: Jan 10, 2010
  ♂   Edited by: skysoulmate  Dec 8, 2010, 06:47pm  #8

zetigrek:
But the aim and reason of that article is not important anyway. I'm just asking of the if it is common for New York Times to write such crappy, absurd and ridiculus articles?


NYTimes is a very leftist newspaper (as in socialist, anti-Republican, etc., your preference Zeti ;) and often will publish nonsensical articles just because it's NYTimes. Often they also publish very good articles. You just never know.

If they prefaced the post by saying that most western nations suffer from an education crisis BUT that Poland's history made it extra hard to teach sciences than I think it'd be a pretty good article. The Nazis DID wipe out a large portion of the Polish intelligentsia, no doubt about it. Of course the Russians (not just the communists but also the tsarists) murdered even more but NYTimes seldom goes after Russia, the birthplace of NYTimes own ideology.

Most of what was said in the article came from the Polish professors who were being interviewed so maybe the article was ok after all?
convex Threads: 26
Posts: 4,991
Joined: Nov 25, 2009
  ♂   Dec 8, 2010, 06:58pm  #9

I don't think anyone actually read the original article. That socialist communist newspaper said that Poles have a rich history, with particular successes in the interwar period, and it's an overwhelmingly positive article about Poland.
skysoulmate Threads: 22
Posts: 2,014
Joined: Jan 10, 2010
  ♂   Dec 8, 2010, 07:07pm  #10

Overall yes. Yet there was no real reason to single out Poland in this math-drama, was there?
delphiandomine Threads: 51
Posts: 12,751
Joined: Nov 25, 2008
  ♂  :-( Dec 8, 2010, 07:07pm  #11

convex:
I don't think anyone actually read the original article. That socialist communist newspaper said that Poles have a rich history, with particular successes in the interwar period, and it's an overwhelmingly positive article about Poland.


Seems to be very positive from my point of view too.

Sokrates:
Its Gazeta Wyborcza of US of A, it has a long standing tradition of lies and bullsh*t.


Nice to see that you think the article is full of lies - I mean, how dare they praise Poland!

Seriously, how can people complain about this article? It seems to be rather factual - unless of course, the usual revisionists wish to deny that Mathematics wasn't a compulsory part of the Matura for the last 9 years.
convex Threads: 26
Posts: 4,991
Joined: Nov 25, 2009
  ♂   Dec 8, 2010, 07:25pm  #12

skysoulmate:
Overall yes. Yet there was no real reason to single out Poland in this math-drama, was there?

In the "Warsaw Journal" section??
zetigrek     Dec 8, 2010, 07:26pm  #13

skysoulmate:

If they prefaced the post by saying that most western nations suffer from an education crisis BUT that Poland's history made it extra hard to teach sciences than I think it'd be a pretty good article.


No, it would be still a nonsense.

skysoulmate:
The Nazis DID wipe out a large portion of the Polish intelligentsia, no doubt about it. Of course the Russians (not just the communists but also the tsarists)


and what it has in common with the math?

skysoulmate:

Most of what was said in the article came from the Polish professors who were being interviewed so maybe the article was ok after all?


No. It means that the professors were also talking nonsense.


To learn higher maths you need special predispositions. You born with it, just like some people born with art or music talents.
But each one can easly learn to count. And yes kids are bad in counting but it's a relatively new phenomenom. Look like the PRL times were missed out here... and PRL general education wasn't bad. They knew what's discipline and they could teach people some basics.

I also don't agree with the statement that math is treated dissmisive in Poland. Contrary. When I was in school my parnets and teacher were always insisting that "mathematics are the queen of science" (matematyka królową nauk), that maths teach to think.

But the kids are just lazy and the teachers unmotivated. I was good in maths until I started attending high school and had a new teacher. This new teacher was so boring and unhelpful (she literally denied to explain me maths when I was not understanding somehing) that I began to get low grates.
Now I'm math imbecile... ;)
Seanus Threads: 17
Posts: 25,865
Joined: Dec 25, 2007
  ♂   Dec 8, 2010, 07:27pm  #14

What utter garbage! Many Poles do have the heart for Maths and are pretty darned capable. Another goon just looking for a story to print. He is well wide of the mark with his allegations!
zetigrek     Edited by: zetigrek  Dec 8, 2010, 07:28pm  #15

convex:
I don't think anyone actually read the original article. That socialist communist newspaper said that Poles have a rich history, with particular successes in the interwar period, and it's an overwhelmingly positive article about Poland.


I don't complain it's antipolish, On the contary it's to promote Polish Science Center "Kopernik". But it doesn't change a fact that:
zetigrek:
Poles don't like maths... because of their tragic history
it's a nonsense which made me rofl.

Seanus:
He is well wide of the mark with his allegations!


Who? And what allegations?
convex Threads: 26
Posts: 4,991
Joined: Nov 25, 2009
  ♂   Dec 8, 2010, 07:30pm  #16

Seanus:
What utter garbage! Many Poles do have the heart for Maths and are pretty darned capable. Another goon just looking for a story to print. He is well wide of the mark with his allegations!

Speaking without reading makes you sound silly.
zetigrek:
Poles don't like maths... because of their tragic history

It doesn't say that though.
Bratwurst Boy Threads: 8
Posts: 10,860
Joined: Apr 2, 2007
  ♂   Edited by: Bratwurst Boy  Dec 8, 2010, 07:35pm  #17

skysoulmate:
The Nazis DID wipe out a large portion of the Polish intelligentsia,


Well..if it consoles you so did the victorious allies with the german "intelligentsia" after they won.

We were forcefully brain drained too...but nobody here whines about it still for 60 years after!
zetigrek     Edited by: zetigrek  Dec 8, 2010, 07:35pm  #18

convex:
It doesn't say that though.

In a nation that struggled to remain a nation even while it did not exist, geographically wiped off the map for more than a century, the arts proved to be a thread that bound generations of Poles together, preserving an identity and a rich language.

“The only form to create national identity was literature,”
(...)
So the humanities were important to Poland’s survival, while math and the sciences languished.

“The reason we had a poor mathematical tradition is rather clear,” wrote Wieslaw Zelazko, a mathematics professor with the Polish Academy of Sciences. “In the 19th century, a period of great development of mathematics in Western Europe, Poland was not an independent country.”

Actually whole article is about it...



Bratwurst Boy:
We were forcefully brain drained too...but nobody here whines about it still for 60 years after!


well I don't. That's why I found this article silly.
delphiandomine Threads: 51
Posts: 12,751
Joined: Nov 25, 2008
  ♂  :-( Dec 8, 2010, 07:38pm  #19

Bratwurst Boy:
Well..if it consoles you so did the victorious allies with the german "intelligentsia" after they won.


I thought they just kidnapped all the German rocket scientists and took them to America? ;)

(for what it's worth, wasn't German rocket technology ahead of the rest of the world?)
Bratwurst Boy Threads: 8
Posts: 10,860
Joined: Apr 2, 2007
  ♂   Edited by: Bratwurst Boy  Dec 8, 2010, 07:41pm  #20

delphiandomine:
I thought they just kidnapped all the German rocket scientists and took them to America? ;)


As did the Russians with their booty...
And it wasn't only rocket scientists! German high tech and their inventors belonged to the spoils of the war for the victors. They combed the whole country for it. Okay...they didn't shot them but they took them and the technologies, inventions, scientists and patents from the Germans nonetheless.

But you can blame happenings from 60 years back only for so long.
delphiandomine Threads: 51
Posts: 12,751
Joined: Nov 25, 2008
  ♂  :-( Dec 8, 2010, 07:43pm  #21

Bratwurst Boy:
And it wasn't only rocket scientists!


Wasn't this one of the great things about post-war Germany though, that members of the Nazi party were invited to rebuild Germany? I'm sure the wunderschaft was at least partially reliant on their skills.

I wish I could remember what book I have that talks about this - it compares denazification in the BRD and DDR.
Bratwurst Boy Threads: 8
Posts: 10,860
Joined: Apr 2, 2007
  ♂   Dec 8, 2010, 07:51pm  #22

...I fear we are leaving the topic now...
ShortHairThug Threads: -
Posts: 1,312
Joined: May 1, 2009
  ♂   Dec 8, 2010, 07:58pm  #23

zetigrek:
saying that Poles don't like maths... because of their tragic history made me laugh loudly!

Funny as this statement may be it all makes perfect sense to your average Yank, like Polish concentration camp, oh wait it’s the same paper, now I get it.

However twisted the logic may seem to you it all makes perfect sense to them; here’s a perfect example:
skysoulmate:
The Nazis DID wipe out a large portion of the Polish intelligentsia, no doubt about it. Of course the Russians (not just the communists but also the tsarists)
. As you can deduce for yourself it’s all due to the unfortunate historical events that led to this, there are only stupid people left in Poland now. Besides they have to justify all those dumb Polack jokes somehow, every school chilled in America knows it’s all true and It all starts at an early age, with the story of George Washington and the Cherry Tree, he said he would never tell a lie and ever since no one in America did, then of course we have honest Abe etc. Conditioning starts at very early age, propaganda only exists in a faraway places usually spotted by criticism or what’s viewed as negative depiction of anything American. American media is the only trustworthy source of news and information seen at the checkout line at any supermarket in the form of tabloid dealing with celebrities for the latest gossip cannot be missed and it’s far more important than the news from far away exotic places no one never even heard of. Let’s face it it’s the only place on earth where no one ever lies and after insulting you they just smile and say;
delphiandomine:
Seems to be very positive from my point of view too.
Who are you kidding?
skysoulmate Threads: 22
Posts: 2,014
Joined: Jan 10, 2010
  ♂   Dec 8, 2010, 08:03pm  #24

Bratwurst Boy:
delphiandomine:
I thought they just kidnapped all the German rocket scientists and took them to America? ;)

As did the Russians with their booty...
And it wasn't only rocket scientists! German high tech and their inventors belonged to the spoils of the war for the victors. They combed the whole country for it. Okay...they didn't shot them but they took them and the technologies, inventions, scientists and patents from the Germans nonetheless.


What a jacked up comparison BB, seriously. Concentration camps and extermination gulags versus jobs for NASA, etc. It's true that the initial moves weren't voluntary but after a few years they were free to go, most stayed due to the great benefits they received. Poor taste in comparisons...
Bratwurst Boy Threads: 8
Posts: 10,860
Joined: Apr 2, 2007
  ♂   Edited by: Bratwurst Boy  Dec 8, 2010, 08:11pm  #25

skysoulmate:
What a jacked up comparison BB, seriously. Concentration camps and extermination gulags versus jobs for NASA, etc


Well...the repercussions for the country left without their brightest was similiar!

But still no reason to blame current lackings! I wrote that to show that losing your intelligentsia can't be blamed for lacking intelligence 3 generations later.
And that is implied by certain postings...
southern Threads: 95
Posts: 9,049
Joined: May 17, 2007
  ♂   Dec 8, 2010, 08:17pm  #26

Actually Poles as Slavs can be rather good in theoretical abstract thinking and math.
dtaylor5632 Threads: 26
Posts: 2,786
Joined: May 2, 2009
  ♂   Dec 8, 2010, 09:49pm  #27

This is a very strange article indeed. As I would have said in my opinion that maths and economics are some of the Polish characteristics ive came to love about them. Strange the fact I fell in love with my ex for one of the reasons was that she was so intelligent when it came to economics and finished top of her year when graduating from the University of Economics in Krk.
jwojcie Threads: 3
Posts: 849
Joined: Jan 3, 2009
  ♂   Edited by: jwojcie  Dec 8, 2010, 10:58pm  #28

convex:
I don't think anyone actually read the original article.

Well, I have to agree on that. Maybe the journalist let loose to much with interpreting professor words. But basically it is not journalists who says that Poland after war mathematically declined but Wieslaw Zelazko, a mathematics professor with the Polish Academy of Sciences... And professor has a point because what decline it was!
Hugo Steinhaus, Stefan Banach or Jan Łukasiewicz weren't just some mathematicians, they were recognized in mathematic world. Unfortunately many of grand Polish mathematicians were killed either by Germans or Soviets during WWII. What is more during communism many scientists emigrated to seek a carrier in the west mainly USA, like Antoni Zygmund, Wolszczan and others. So it is not that it was mathematical desert here but the sky simply wasn't so bright like pre WWII. Besides in many aspects modern mathematics and physics uses super computers, Poland was/is lagging behind this aspect to.

Anyway who wants thanks to this occasion learn something about pre WWII Polish School of Mathematics can start here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_School_of_Mathematics

PS. Benoît Mandelbrot was born in Poland too :) but luckily emigrated before WWII because otherwise we could not see Fractals today (but on the other hand as far as I know Banach Spaces has much to do with it to).
Des Essientes Threads: 9
Posts: 1,762
Joined: Feb 6, 2010
  ♂   Dec 9, 2010, 12:32am  #29

Far from showing the NY Times to be a Socialist newspaper this article reveals just how petty bourgeois it is. Studying the humanities ennobles people. This article suggests that an emphasis on high culture rather than math and science is bad for business. Well so what? Should educated Poles be as boring as the techno-nerds that muck up America? Listen to the bitterness of Pan Turski from the article: “I am not qualified to be considered intelligentsia in this country,” Professor Turski said, shouting with the enthusiasm of a man on a mission. “It is more important to sit and discuss Plato than to know how the chip in the computer works.” Yes Professor Turski the ontological is more important than the ontic and it appears that Poland is a country that still understands that.
Seanus Threads: 17
Posts: 25,865
Joined: Dec 25, 2007
  ♂   Dec 9, 2010, 12:39am  #30

Absurd insinuations and allegations. How little they know!


Home / News / Unanswered [this forum]


This thread is closed.