SURPRISE MAKES YOU HUMAN
Surprise makes you human – the song
You love being surprised
You enjoy surprises. Creating them. Playing with them. And learning from them.
This is not a choice. It’s not a frill. It’s a biological necessity.
Otherwise, your ancestors would have been some wild animal’s lunch a long time ago.
Attending to surprises helps you survive, learn, and enjoy.
When was the last time you were surprised mathematically?
Not because your teacher came to class dressed like a famous mathematician, like Pythagoras or Hypatia.
But conceptually, mathematically.
Like, the surprise that “parallel lines can meet!”
It’s true. They can meet.
How could you not know this?
No wonder many humans hate math 🙁
You think and communicate using story
Humans are storytellers.
Story adds context and emotional engagement to ideas. It makes them meaningful. And memorable.
Story defines your identity. You think about and re-shape who you are in your life’s story.
Your need for story explains why you spend a lot of your time reading novels and watching movies.
Math 4 Humans, is full of great stories. Before you read them, think about this:
- When was the last time you shared a math story?
- Not about how you dislike math. Or fear it.
- But a story that offers mathematical surprise and insight.
- Like, how it’s possible to “hold infinity in your hand!”
A HUMAN FLAW
There’s a lot happening. All the time. Especially in this tech-filled world you’ve built.
So your mind prioritizes. It puts aside obvious things — like having to breathe non-stop all of your life — to make room for what’s new or changing.
Unfortunately, some “obviously important things that make you human” get tossed aside too. This leads to some pretty bad life choices.
For example …
Good teachers make X easy-to-learn
Who could argue with that, right?
What on Earth could be wrong with making learning easy?
Well, imagine watching an “easy-to-learn” movie.
As you guess what might happen next, your guesses are correct, because the movie is “easy-to-learn”.
This feels good the first or second time, but eventually the movie does not work for you. It becomes predictable.
You don’t pay for movies to experience your guesses being correct.
You pay for movies to be surprised. To experience something new and wonderful.
Because you are human.
Now imagine having to live through “easy-to-learn” math movies, day in and day out, for years on end 🙁