Decolonising mathematics and science: new reading list

Q. 1. I would like to know how I can decolonise myself mathematically. (I am an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer with engineering back ground.)
Q. 2. Do u suggest any videos of yours or any books? subsequently how I could prevent my kids from mental colonization.
A.

Step 0.

Proposed videos. The general good news is that I plan to produce a series of videos aimed at school children to prevent their indoctrination through colonial/church school texts. Hope to get them out within the next 3 months.

Step 1.

Read the non-technical accounts. A good starting point is 1000 word article for the layperson which went viral but was censored. The full version is still available on my blog.

To decolonise math stand up to its false history and bad philosophy.

As the first lesson in decolonisation, ask yourself: why was an article on mathematics censored after publication? Did it contain obscenity? And if there was something wrong in it why was anyone unable to point to a single mistake till now? As for people, they protest censorship of sex but not of mathematics: why?

Journalists mould your opinion, but today’s journalists look at the social backing, not the evidence. They call it “quality control” (meaning social control).  At least one editor did apply his mind, at  the Wire which put back the article (but forgot about the key issue of philosophy included in the title). Similarly,  Science 2.0 highlighted the claim that “Euclid” was a black woman, obviously something to be censored in South Africa.

Decolonisation is NOT only about history alone. Another philosophy is important for the contemporary value of decolonised math and science. So, why is it taboo? A preliminary exposition is in the article on

Mathematics and censorship

In short, there are two issues regarding math: (1) the myths, and (2) the superstitions surrounding formal (Western) math.

The myths

Myths are the anchor of superstition. If you have heard a story, such as that of Euclid, and have no evidence, it is probably a myth. Here is an easy book on myths: the myth that science is Western in origin.

Is Science Western in Origin?

It is available on Kindle and from the Other India Bookstore, Goa. Hindi version from Daanish Books, Delhi, and Multiversity, Penang. It is suitable for children (but they should skip the scholarly preface by Vinay Lal).

The superstitions

For some 1500  years, Western civilization was dominated by the church, whose power is based on falsehoods. It is an idle fantasy of the colonised mind that this effect of the church just disappeared overnight. The manifest fact is that the church is still powerful in large parts of the world, including the US. And the West is still steeped in church myths and superstitions which creep even into science in a variety of ways, especially through math.

To understand the connection of church myths and superstitions to the present-day philosophy of mathematics you can read

Euclid and Jesus: How and why the church changed mathematics and Christianity across two religious wars

The book is available on Kindle and in paperback. This book too is suitable for children to read.

[You can also access more scholarly articles on the above webpage, such as GoodBye Euclid!, or the video with the same name part 1, and part 2 ]

In summary, the history of early Greek formal math is pure myth without an iota of truth.

Evidence, not story

You must teach your child to rely solely on hard PRIMARY evidence, and not go by stories. Going by stories means trusting what Western authorities (including Wikipedia) say; they use that trust to fool the colonised.

If you and your child get into the habit of cross-checking against hard evidence you will soon discover that there is NO hard evidence for any of the stories of “Euclid” or Pythagoras or Archimedes or any similar Greek fantasies. The only “evidence” consists of very late documents from AT LEAST a thousand years after the fact. These are full of forgeries and interpolations, coming to us from the hands of dishonest priests who manipulated even the “gospel truth” the Bible.

Euclid challenge prize

To expose persistent Western dishonesty I have offered a Euclid challenge prize of Rs 2 lakhs, for serious (primary) evidence for Euclid, which prize stands unclaimed for over a decade. (Check out the above videos on Goodbye Euclid! for proof that the prize offer was repeated before the Deputy Education Minister of Malaysia.) Ask yourself why this prize was never claimed? Are the excuses that people invent to “save the story” of “Euclid” credible?

Bring this great lie to the attention of your children. Ask them, why does the lie persist in our school texts?  And if it does, are their school texts trustworthy?

The prize is NOT about “Euclid” alone: it aims to demonstrate the utter falsehood of claims of achievements of early Greeks in math and science. False claims which the West has used to glorify itself for centuries.

The fact is early Greeks were very backward compared to black Egyptians: the Greeks and Romans didn’t even understand fractions.

Because church power was based on lies, the church has a method of preserving falsehoods. The method is simple: censor the critic “heretic” and pour on the lies to defame the critic. The way to overcome such attacks is, once again,  to ask for evidence. When you find someone abusing me on the Internet ask what evidence does he provide? If he just gives his opinion, and provides no evidence, you know he is a scoundrel.

Explain to your children the systematic church techniques of (a) indoctrination of children into lies, and (b) defamation and witch hunting of critics, which the church uses to preserve the profusion of lies on which church power is based. Teach them that the only sure guide to truth is hard evidence, not unverified stories.

As a concerned parent ask yourself why the lie about “Greek math” survives in our school texts, when the colonised tail-waggers are unable to produce evidence, for it and dishonestly refuse to debate matters in public.

Accept the responsibility for not having examined your child’s school texts and for not working to correct them. Go ahead, agitate to correct them: it is your child’s future. You will need to force the government because education is now an industry and big vested interests are at stake. In any case, do repeatedly inform your own child that the math texts teach false stories which cannot be substantiated. Teach him or her to trust only the evidence. This will counter church indoctrination and related Wikipedia.

The philosophy of math

The fact is that the book supposedly written by “Euclid” does not fit the story told about it in our school texts:  there are no pure deductive proofs in the Elements. Further, deductive proofs are not infallible as the church made out: they involve errors of the mind and metaphysics, and are far, far more fallible than empirical proofs.

The philosophy of formal math is based on church dogma and superstition.

Ask yourself whether or not there is any connection between the church theology of reason (adopted during the Crusades) and the idea that mathematics is a way to teach reasoning. Why did the church use “Euclid’s” Elements as a textbook for centuries to teach a peculiar method reasoning to its priests? Could it have used a theologically incorrect text? Does the text support it?

The church uses double speak and talks of reason, but “reason” has several meanings. This confuses people, who think it only means what they understand. What is the special feature of reasoning in theology? (No, theology does not use normal reasoning which everyone accepts; it is something different, formal reasoning or theological reasoning which avoids facts and is pure metaphysics like formal mathematics.) So, why teach your kids theological reasoning, as our current school texts in math do?

“It works”

A common doubt: “it works”. But what works? The whole package of myth and superstitions or something else in it? Normal math or formal math? Don’t accept the whole package blindly. What exactly did formal math add to a pre-existing normal math? What value does Russell’s proof of 1+1=2 add to its epistemic or practical value? If you can’t answer the question you should understand: you have been taken for a ride. The practical value of normal math has been used to make you accept the myths of formal math: the way the church sets up hospitals and schools to make people accept Christianity. In school geometry what works (to an extent) is empirical compass-box geometry, and visible dots, not the metaphysics of invisible geometric points.

Formal math appropriates normal math and its practical value. It provides a metaphysical wrapper on a previously existing normal math of practical value. For example Russell’s 378 page proof is a redundant metaphysical wrapper on an arithmetic which existed from thousands of years earlier. It adds nil value: no epistemic value and no practical value.

Consider formal math, such as “calculus with limits”. What is it about limits which is of practical value? Further, the calculus with limits does not work for discontinuous functions. Where formal math does NOT work is a little harder to understand and is explained later.

Step 2.

What is the alternative? Teach and learn normal math for its practical value. As concrete examples, do the decolonised courses in math: two mature courses are decolonised geometry (9th standard) and decolonised calculus (for 11th and 12th standard first year science or engineering onward.) I am writing textbooks for both.

In the meanwhile, look at some of the following.

Ask the school teachers to explain why they teach incoherent geometry. (See this home assignment for teachers, and this critique of NCERT school texts in geometry.) You can also see this article on the Indian rope trick. For children, there is a quiz (not yet public). The key point is the acceptance of superposition (an empirical process) needed for length measurement.

For calculus, see this critique of current university calculus.

Part 1,

Part 2,

Part 3.

The key idea is to reject calculus with limits in favour of calculus as Aryabhata’s numerical solution of differential equations, zeroism and Brahmagupta’s non-Archimedean arithmetic of unexpressed fractions, both used by the “Kerala school” a thousand years later to sum infinite series.

Above all do not fall into the trap of colonially approved decolonisation. Western approval is NOT the true test of knowledge. The ability to engage in public discussion is a better test of knowledge. If you get fooled twice it is solely your own fault.

Understand that Western academic institutions were church institutions, originally designed by the church to preserve and propagate its lies.

A new freedom struggle

Decolonisation is a new freedom struggle. It is about action. Freedom is not going to come if you sit idly by. For example, Indians persistently fail to react when the West grabs credit for the work of Indians since the days of J. C. Bose and S. N. Bose (or they react after a hundred years or more, when the people concerned are long dead). What can be done to remedy this?

To encourage people to act, decolonised courses in calculus will henceforth no longer be made freely available. From now on they will only be available to those who show themselves to be worthy to receive the knowledge. This worthiness is to be judged by minimal action: how well they are able to evaluate evidence of Western institutional duplicity.

As an exercise, take a look at the blog post George Joseph: serial plagiarist. Write a short note giving your estimate of the evidence that my thesis (that calculus was transmitted from India to Europe) was serially plagiarised by George Joseph and Dennis Almeida since 1999.

Further, to be effective, action should be public. What PUBLIC corrective measures are you willing to take to stop such persistent serial plagiarism of Indian work with the full support of Western institutions? Are you willing to post on facebook. Flood institutions like Manchester University with complaints? (Check out also the repeat plagiarism by Atiyah: especially the belated acknowledgment and the indictment for prima facie plagiarism. (Scroll down to case number 2 of 2007.)  Why do Western institutions persistently fail to observe even their stated ethics? Why do our own journalists repeatedly fail to check the evidence and imagine that truth is a matter of guessing whom to trust?

So, if you want more details on the decolonised calculus, write a note explaining what you will do or have done on the above points and send it to me.

Decolonisation reading list

A public reading list on decolonisation is posted here.

Where does calculus with limits not work? For example when a discontinuity such as a shock wave arises. A differentiable function should be continuous, so how does one make sense of the differential equations of physics at a shock or singularity?

Again, Newtonian physics was based on the calculus. Why did it fail?

A brief account is in my summary on decolonising math and science for the University of Cape Town panel.  This is the debate from which the racists of Cape Town, like G. F. R. Ellis ran away, choosing to hurl falsehoods from a safe distance.

List of books and articles

A fuller list of books and articles by me is posted here.

Videos

Apart from those listed in the decolonisation reading list, there are several new videos.

Berlin talk: Decolonising time

Amsterdam talk: decolonising math

Panel discussion: University of Cape Town

Keynote Address: University of Kwazulu-Natal

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