In a long and interesting essay on upper class angst about Woke schools, Bari Weiss mentions, in passing, that Newton’s Laws are now to be called the “fundamental laws of physics” to avoid Eurocentrism. That won’t work, of course, because students would still need to learn the laws. Fully Woke teachers and students have moved well beyond such dogmatic authoritarian thinking. Just look at how the laws (1687) are phrased:
An object in motion tends to stay in motion unless an external force acts upon it.
When a force acts on an object, it will cause the object to accelerate.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Such statements are reprehensible because they imply that the students are not capable of coming up with creative ways of understanding physics via acting out and dissing the teacher.
Weiss, by the way, was the journalist that the New York Times hired to help broaden their thinking in 2016 but by 2020, she was outta there. She’s probably better off watching the education meltdown unfold than dealing with the nasty little trolls occupying desks at the Times today.*
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail offers a more conventional kick at Newton (1643-1726) who was, by all accounts, a genius but not a very nice person:
He was generous to friends and relatives, constantly handing out money, but a vicious feuder. [Biographer Patricia] Fara describes him as a ‘serial slanderer: as soon he had vanquished one opponent, he moved on to the next.’ He used to play backgammon with John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, but they fell out over the ownership of astronomical readings that Flamsteed had made, and friendship swiftly declined to bitter enmity. If Newton didn’t like you, he didn’t just seethe impotently. He tried to destroy your life and your career. Often he managed both.Marcus Berkmann, “From gravity to depravity: Isaac Newton was a scientific genius who saved the nation’s economy – but he also ruined careers, viciously feuded with friends, and was plagued with obsessive thoughts of sinful sex” at Daily Mail
One suspects that disliking Newton wouldn’t mean embracing widespread innumeracy. But the trend to deplatforming major math and science figures will likely end no other way. Why study what one is taught to despise?
See also: In Big Tech World: The journalist as censor, hit man, and snitch Glenn Greenwald looks at a disturbing trend in media toward misrepresentation as well as censorship.
Yes, there really is a war on math in our schools. Pundits differ as to the causes but here are some facts parents should know.