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Any others who cannot Math?

Me_Tarzan

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The INTP profile describes me very well. The one thing that does not fit is that I have no math capability or interest in it.

I have historically scored 98th or 99th percentile on language tests. I have also tested well on visual-spatial reasoning. My visual recall is pretty good. I'm highly creative, formally educated, intellectually oriented and highly logical. Yet I struggle with math. It bores me completely. I have no interest in linear or rote anything. I just took an accounting class which I took to calling "much-ado about arithmetic." I would rather do almost anything than develop equations for spreadsheets. When I come across numbers, I can't help but think that someone with a small mind should be doing the actual calculations.

I appreciate math. Lately I've been trying to get my arms around chaos theory. (So far it's just math geek talk for Zeno's arrow, something that occurred to me independently when I was in second grade or so) I've been doing some reading on systems theory. I'm also thinking through the consequences of the first and second laws of thermodynamics on economic systems. I developed my own model for understanding EVERYTHING. I'm not an idiot. I just can't math. My brain automatically flushes any math knowledge. It doesn't stick.

I also have zero sense of direction. I should probably mention that I am a realist who is smitten by Zen. I prefer organic, experiential knowledge. I'm not fetishist. I don't geek out on "stuff." Conceptual and aesthetic stuff, I love. Representational or symbolic information mean next to nothing to me.

Can I get an amen? What's your story?
 

own8ge

Existential Nihilist
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All humans are stupid. People just go around it differently. Some commit to it completely, some try to rationalize their stupidity by comparing it to others whom show themselves to be even more stupid based on i.e. their concrete achievements.
 

Ink

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I was really good at math as a kid, I was always the one with the highest scores on math tests etc, but it was because I found it interesting then, now I don't so I suck at it

I still remember how sweet it was figuring out how percentage worked
 

Montresor

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I aced basic math all the way thru to second year calculus and linear algebra. It came so naturally to me, and I remember "seeing it as a language". Starting with geometry (which I use daily), triangle maths (daily), circular math, then to realizing triangles and circles are the same thing (i.e. trig), on to calculus (up to double and triple integrals), and linear algebra came last - the last of the math that I was good at, that is.

Then I was terrible at "discrete mathematics" (oddly, I predict this might be more up your alley).

I took a class called Abstract Algebra and that was a trip whoa 'der b'y. Can't remember how I scored on that one but it was heavily focused on theory, deductive reasoning (i.e. proof by induction) and abstract thinking/representation of mathematical fields.

Once physics took the leap from classical to modern I suddenly fell way behind my peers with the calculations, however, I felt I still followed along with the theory.

Last - I always find that I learn best in an informal setting on my own terms.

I have also accepted the fact that I have to learn by doing. I dunno, some might call that Se.
 
Last edited:

Montresor

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Yeah you could be right my attention span wanes on the long term. I could read something fifty times and still get it wrong.
 

Architect

Professional INTP
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My small story. I was like you, I scored 99% in the verbals but 70% in math. I was interested in virtual worlds (story, myth, computers etc) and at that time didn't see that Math was the same. Later I decided to go into physics and since I never passed algebra had a deficiency. I picked it up and went to a top grad school in the end though. The deal was that I never developed a fine intuitive sense of math that my classmates had - the ones that did math from a younger age.

So yes it can happen and can be corrected. However I think it's important for all INTP's to get a solid grounding in math before the age of 18. Given our development I think that is a necessary key. I picked it up a bit later, early 20's, which is too late to really develop a fine intuitive grasp. I think I have that intuitive grasp now however, even if my actual math skills have atrophied due to lack of use.
 

Architect

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Very advanced @Ink - graduate level. The only one I felt really comfortable with was Tensor theory for some reason, maybe because it felt like a virtual world that cohabited our natural word.

To be fair these were the best and the brightest, at this school we got the few kids who just missed getting into Harvard and Princeton, and I was somebody who first learned trig four years earlier. I just didn't have had enough time with math under my belt perhaps. It really does take 10 years to become an expert in anything.
 

Duxwing

I've Overcome Existential Despair
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The INTP profile describes me very well. The one thing that does not fit is that I have no math capability or interest in it.

I have historically scored 98th or 99th percentile on language tests. I have also tested well on visual-spatial reasoning. My visual recall is pretty good. I'm highly creative, formally educated, intellectually oriented and highly logical. Yet I struggle with math. It bores me completely. I have no interest in linear or rote anything. I just took an accounting class which I took to calling "much-ado about arithmetic." I would rather do almost anything than develop equations for spreadsheets. When I come across numbers, I can't help but think that someone with a small mind should be doing the actual calculations.

I appreciate math. Lately I've been trying to get my arms around chaos theory. (So far it's just math geek talk for Zeno's arrow, something that occurred to me independently when I was in second grade or so) I've been doing some reading on systems theory. I'm also thinking through the consequences of the first and second laws of thermodynamics on economic systems. I developed my own model for understanding EVERYTHING. I'm not an idiot. I just can't math. My brain automatically flushes any math knowledge. It doesn't stick.

I also have zero sense of direction. I should probably mention that I am a realist who is smitten by Zen. I prefer organic, experiential knowledge. I'm not fetishist. I don't geek out on "stuff." Conceptual and aesthetic stuff, I love. Representational or symbolic information mean next to nothing to me.

Can I get an amen? What's your story?
*reads thread title* *snicker, snicker*

Apparently, you cannot English, either. :D

-Duxwing

Go on, go on. I'm just teasing. :)
 

own8ge

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by what measure
By the measure that is being set by why we think and how we think as indicators. The purpose of our thoughts GREATLY outweighs what we accomplish with what we think due to hypocrisy. What you think is merely 1 perspective, which observed from a contrary perspective (dichotomies opposite) could be completely defied. Thus defying the thought for any relevancy. Relevancy, which was the purpose of the thought in the first place.

If we can't think in relevancy but have as purpose for thought relevancy, then yes well... We are stupid as we can't think without being completely senseless from all other opposing perspectives whilst forming that thought.
 

Etheri

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I'm also thinking through the consequences of the first and second laws of thermodynamics on economic systems. I developed my own model for understanding EVERYTHING. I'm not an idiot. I just can't math. My brain automatically flushes any math knowledge. It doesn't stick.
How do you understand thermodynamics without understanding the mathematical principles in which it is presented?

I prefer organic, experiential knowledge.
What is organic knowledge?

Then I was terrible at "discrete mathematics" (oddly, I predict this might be more up your alley).
Graph theory <3

by what measure
Experience. I honestly thing pretty much everyone, including me, is pretty damn stupid. Look at the things we worry about. Look at the endless list of problems we create, and how we create artificial constructs which then cause us problems. We create imaginary boundaries and then have trouble crossing them...

If you have 7 billion retards making up stuff at random, we're bound to have good ideas along the bad ones. Does that make us any less stupid? /completely offtopic

I think you might very well be good at maths if you'd been more interested in it when you were younger. Either way, I don't think being good at or interested in maths is a requirement for being INTP. That'd be as silly as saying every single sensor likes flowery motives... I work the other way around. People who wear flowery stuff are likely sensors.

Personally, I like maths and I'm fairly good at it and I sometimes regret not having done more maths.

Welcome!
 

pjoa09

dopaminergic
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My small story. I was like you, I scored 99% in the verbals but 70% in math. I was interested in virtual worlds (story, myth, computers etc) and at that time didn't see that Math was the same. Later I decided to go into physics and since I never passed algebra had a deficiency. I picked it up and went to a top grad school in the end though. The deal was that I never developed a fine intuitive sense of math that my classmates had - the ones that did math from a younger age.

So yes it can happen and can be corrected. However I think it's important for all INTP's to get a solid grounding in math before the age of 18. Given our development I think that is a necessary key. I picked it up a bit later, early 20's, which is too late to really develop a fine intuitive grasp. I think I have that intuitive grasp now however, even if my actual math skills have atrophied due to lack of use.
@Architect
Why do you consider age as a factor? Is there a physical neurological development that hinders people from gaining that intuitive ability in math past 18 years old?

I have always been horrible at mathematics and yet admired people who are good at it. On top of that I hear the ideal INTP would be great at it so I always imagine there will be a point where it all clicks in nicely and I'd finally be able to guide myself competently through problems.
 

Architect

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@Architect
Why do you consider age as a factor? Is there a physical neurological development that hinders people from gaining that intuitive ability in math past 18 years old?

I have always been horrible at mathematics and yet admired people who are good at it. On top of that I hear the ideal INTP would be great at it so I always imagine there will be a point where it all clicks in nicely and I'd finally be able to guide myself competently through problems.
@pjoa09 There is fair evidence that some - many skills should be learned before the age of 18. Neurologically it's due to how the brain develops. The connectome reaches it's peak at age 3, then learning is actually a process of weeding out the bad connections. By 18 what has been learned is instinctual, after that it appears to be "in addition" type of learning. Additionally your pattern recognizers start to fill up pretty quickly. You can still learn as an adult, but it's accomplished by reprogramming duplicate recognizers (say 1,000 letter "A" recognizers) for other purposes.

For example Charles Rosen (the pianist) is very clear that if you want to be a touring concert pianist you have to learn the repertoire before 18. If you don't you won't ever get all that music under your fingers. I fully learned the piano as an adult (I was a serious musician before 18) and can agree with that. He also cautions to make sure you pick good fingerings as you won't be able to redo it - ever (again I fully agree).

My experience is that you can learn but it takes much longer as an adult, too long if you're trying to build a career. And by "learn" here I mean "instinctually learn".
 

pjoa09

dopaminergic
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@pjoa09 There is fair evidence that some - many skills should be learned before the age of 18. Neurologically it's due to how the brain develops. The connectome reaches it's peak at age 3, then learning is actually a process of weeding out the bad connections. By 18 what has been learned is instinctual, after that it appears to be "in addition" type of learning. Additionally your pattern recognizers start to fill up pretty quickly. You can still learn as an adult, but it's accomplished by reprogramming duplicate recognizers (say 1,000 letter "A" recognizers) for other purposes.

For example Charles Rosen (the pianist) is very clear that if you want to be a touring concert pianist you have to learn the repertoire before 18. If you don't you won't ever get all that music under your fingers. I fully learned the piano as an adult (I was a serious musician before 18) and can agree with that. He also cautions to make sure you pick good fingerings as you won't be able to redo it - ever (again I fully agree).

My experience is that you can learn but it takes much longer as an adult, too long if you're trying to build a career. And by "learn" here I mean "instinctually learn".
@Architect I hope calculus isn't expected to be instinctual. Haven't touched that stuff yet. Oh well, I'll see how it works out. Not looking to be a mathematician anyways. To go professional in sports or music requires intense dedication well before 18. Hardly anyone goes F1 if they haven't been go-karting since 8 years old. Guitarists usually start off at 15 years old or younger.
 

Architect

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@Architect I hope calculus isn't expected to be instinctual. Haven't touched that stuff yet. Oh well, I'll see how it works out. Not looking to be a mathematician anyways. To go professional in sports or music requires intense dedication well before 18. Hardly anyone goes F1 if they haven't been go-karting since 8 years old. Guitarists usually start off at 15 years old or younger.
Oh you can learn it and become good, don't worry. My math example was in solving graduate level physics problems which are, to a first degree, impossible ... and having classmates find solutions and approaches that were simply out of my ken.
 

ProxyAmenRa

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I found the math in my mathematics and engineering degrees to be quite straight forward. I have never done anything similar to graduate level physics.
 

Etheri

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If you're interested in calculus, if you're patient you will eventually understand the principles.

In all honesty, most of calculus can be taught through repitition without understanding at first, and often understanding simply comes later. I'm absolutely against this studying method, but sometimes I noted that people prefer this methodology over dissecting the subject until they understand it completely, and then practising problems once you know what you're doing.

Any maths wolfram alpha can solve can be put into algorithms (albeit long and boring at times), and thus these algorithms can be studied rather than understanding the underlying principles. And wolfram alpha is capable of a LOT more maths than most people.
 

Vrecknidj

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I know several INTPs who are very good at math, and I know some who have either no interest or no skill in math. One friend of mine has degrees in art, philosophy and occupational therapy. She works with brain injured patients for a living. Her forte is art, she uses it as an outlet and as a means for making sense of the world. She's terrible at math, but is an INTP through and through.
 

AnnaC

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I have a strong interest in mathematics, but so far the interest has been just that: An interest. I have no talent with it, but I like the logic which is behind it, and how reasonable it is. Perhaps I'd be better in it if I had a reason to apply it to my daily life, beyond estimating projected bills from future college loans. :facepalm:
 

Wolf18

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By the measure that is being set by why we think and how we think as indicators. The purpose of our thoughts GREATLY outweighs what we accomplish with what we think due to hypocrisy.
I disagree. If you think up a great idea –a cure for cancer, say– the purpose is to cure cancer. But if you never use that idea, or use it in the wrong ways, that outweighs the idea itself, does it not?

Me_Tarzan, I have had the same experience in maths as you have. Top 1% on liberal arts, 78% on maths. There is an article here (under INTP) that portrays maths in a very good light, and blames the education system and methods of teaching on students finding maths boring.

SW
 

BloodCountess88

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I know several INTPs who are very good at math, and I know some who have either no interest or no skill in math. One friend of mine has degrees in art, philosophy and occupational therapy. She works with brain injured patients for a living. Her forte is art, she uses it as an outlet and as a means for making sense of the world. She's terrible at math, but is an INTP through and through.

You just completely described me. I majored in fine art and art history, I went to multiple specialized schools for it and I'm now going for behaviorism (I'm a trained therapists, because of my kids).

I, however, have holes in my learning because I never lived in the same country and continent for more than 3 years in a row as a child and I think that's the main reason why I stopped at pre-calc. My language acquisition skills are impressive however.
 

Zeal

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I used to hate math. I think it's a lack of understanding that breeds the dislike though. I found myself taking a liking to logarithms and functions. It's not math you hate it's the not getting it that you dislike. But trust me as an INTP, math can be very enjoyable. I find it very difficult to "walk" away from problems so playing around with math was a source of enjoyment. Theway I found it easiest to learn was by going to a tutor that would demonstrate the problems to me. Show me how he solved it. To me that was a lot easier than my teacher's lectures on rules etc. Play around with it yourself and find out which method works for you. Don't be satisfied with memorization, use application. Understand it. I know that's what got me through my math courses.
 

h0bby1

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having a good teacher is very important as well, if you have a bad teacher who only understand half of what he teach, he will make everything look complicated, and won't be able to explain everything very well, if you have a good teacher, he can break everything down for you in very simple and straight forward manner, math are not all that complicated all together, it's also generally nice to be able to visualize things, either through application of the math principle in physic, or geometry, but if you get good books or good teacher, it can be made limpid easily as well, but it's hard to be really 100% self taught in math, and there is not that much good teachers around

even me i could teach some math so people who had zero level in it, about basic trigo, algebra, numeric, complex numbers, prime numbers etc, if you take good example, and can explain the whole depth of the theorem and explain it all, most people can still understand it, it's mostly because there is lot of bad teacher who obfuscate and make everything look more complicated than it should be

even with a simple trigonometric circle, that include all the basic trigo, pythagora theorem, you can deduce most of complex numbers logic, and even most concept behind linear algebra can be put down to it, add to this bit of numeric/arithmetic, and you can have lot of math explained rather easily, it always baffle me how few people can understand even simple concept and how it's easy to explain it sometime and to make it clearer with some good example and demonstration

even relativity theory is not all that complicated if you put it in simple terms
 

walfin

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May I say that I really love the thread title.

I math, or do I not?
 

WALKYRIA

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I was initially good, then bad, then good then bad, then good... depending on my application.
I think repetition, application and problem solving is key in maths.
I think INTPs can become wrong at it because we expect it to be easygoing from the get go... bu it isnt. INTP's have the potential to love maths though.
The sole maths that I enjoyed where statistics, probability theory, optimization, and applied maths.... The rest was boring. And I agree with the fact that it's badly taught. I think math teaching lacks philosophy...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_mathematics

I think it also depends from your initial framework, personnaly i prefer logical and philosophical or say physical(as in physics) framework(Ne-Ti) more than maths itselfs(I don't think in numbers) who are I think so unreliable... I think it has to do with the range of applicability in real world . One can use physics theory or intuitive understanding of it in real world, same with philosophy... I doubt same can be done with maths? Otherwise I would like it :p

In all honesty, most of calculus can be taught through repitition without understanding at first, and often understanding simply comes later
TRuth

Neurologically it's due to how the brain develops. The connectome reaches it's peak at age 3, then learning is actually a process of weeding out the bad connections. By 18 what has been learned is instinctual, after that it appears to be "in addition" type of learning.
Interesting, some people claim that neuroplasticity might go on life long if the right stimuli .... Neuroplasticity is a great idea .
This idea might also explain why some people(notably INTP's) will never learn how to learn(school); They'lll do passably well in high school than will miserably fail in college and wonder why it happens while they were initially bright... That's why we should put our kids in the right schools, early.
 

cyber_alchemist

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I am an INTP and also new to this forum I have been great at maths from childhood. Then as I came to school first few classes were good till elementary but as I grew I lost all interest in maths and I stopped practicing, by this my sense of maths grew weaker. Till I reached to 8th grade where it became through worse. I was worried and had to do something I tried very hard to learn by my own as the teachers style of teaching was too much embaressing for me. I learnt many things and got avarage marks. Till 10th grade I scored 70 percent in it. In plus 2 (junior college) . I opted for subjects in pure science, chemistry (all three) ,zoology, botony, english, computers , maths, where there were calculus mostly. As it was frequently used in physics for explaination of different theories. I was good at that but only in few chapters which got me interested. And I had cleared all the national competitive examination for engineering and medical courses also. But after 2 attempts in first attempt I didn't had a good teacher but in second attempt I took tutoring classes from one of seniors who was a marine engineeer. In the end I somehow got into a tourism course with a part time job in 3d graphics which I did as a hobby before so..In the end I wasn't good at maths in general but now when I think about it, I would have done really great if I would have been more interested and more Independent with the subject. I envy those who are good at maths they tend to bring my fuzzy logic into a rational and simple explaination. But well from this experience and reading all the other posts I guess its not un natural that an INTP is weak in maths.
 
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