It’s All Make Believe

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The most disturbing thing I learnt this week was that IMAGINARY numbers land your plane.  Nope, I’m not kidding.  They use IMAGINARY numbers.  This doesn’t sound particularly reassuring.  I’m just glad that I didn’t find this out whilst sitting in a plane approaching a runway.  That wouldn’t have made me feel very comfortable.

Now I’m not in a position to explain anything about imaginary numbers, real numbers are something that I’m not completely au fait with at the best of the times.  It appears to be an abstract concept to deal with sums that the clever boffins want answers to but that real numbers won’t let them get there.  Or something.  I just remember seeing i + i = -1.  Scary stuff.  Then they applied it to landing planes.  Big huge planes.  Full of people planes.

Maths quickly takes on an aura of black magic to me.  I can do four basic functions.  With a calculator.  I can even attempt percentages.  With a calculator.  It still means precious little to me.  It just SCARES me.  And that was before it all became make believe.

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15 thoughts on “It’s All Make Believe

  1. Anonymous

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  2. Hehehe. I’m in the same boat…er plane as you. When they introduced me to long division/multiplication/addition/subtraction, I thought, okay tough but I can do it. Then they introduced me to dividing/multiplying/adding/subtracting the alphabet, I thought…well…really? How does that even begin to work? Then once I struggled to the top of that mound and they told me I had to divide/multiply/add/subtract imaginary numbers AND get the answer they had, that’s when I told them they could keep their maths. I’m good.

    Love LOVE this post.

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  4. Jacqui Zantow

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  6. weathervane

    Amazing! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

  7. Oh my gosh! You learn something new every day. I wish I had known this when I was teaching Algebra. What a great way to grab my students attention. “Full of people planes.” You crack me up!

    • Wow, all respect to you if you can actually TEACH maths! Sometimes you find something out that just makes the world seem a little more crazy (or scary!) and you just have to share it. Many thanks for commenting. :)

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