What Sounds Like A Simple Math Question Reveals A Complex Truth About Human Nature

Owen Poindexter
In which people fail at math and life. Often what’s less interesting than a question is how people seek to answer it.

People tend to get their news and analysis from sources they already agree with. They read books and watch movies that confirm their beliefs and worldview. The reason science has fought so many battles over the years is that it takes the opposite tack. Science tries to disprove its theories before accepting them. This can produce troubling results for people who would rather have the comfort of confirmation than the cold truth.

It can also frustrate people who keep being told that they have not solved a math problem they are sure they have.