prestige format

Nothing about mathematics is actually difficult.

I’m serious. Once you get down to it, pretty much everything that you do in math can be reduced to a series of really quite simple logical-reasoning steps. It’s just that math can seem overwhelming because these steps build upon one another.

Think about this way; other subjects that you learn at a high-school level are like old, episodic TV series. You can sit down and watch any given episode and be reasonably confident that the plot will make sense, regardless of its relative position in the season or the season’s relative position in the series. So if you can, for example, read a history of the middle ages without necessarily needing to know anything about Ancient Greece; you can study human physiology without knowing anything at all about the mitochondria. The order in which these subjects are presented, at least at a high-school level, is somewhat arbitrary.

Math is like a modern, prestige format TV series full of story arcs and ongoing plotlines; each episode builds upon the one before it, to the extent that if you just put on a random episode, the odds are good that you will have only the faintest idea of what the fuck is going on. You cannot, for example, just plunk yourself down to learn about trigonometry. You need to learn about geometry, algebra, arithmetic, and even, ultimately basic counting before you understand the plot. And if you have not been paying attention, or if you have had poor teachers in the past, you may find it (temporarily) incomprehensible and be put off of the subject, but it’s important to remember that, fundamentally, it’s not anymore difficult than any other subject. It’s just that sometimes, you may need to review previous plot points in order to understand what’s going on.