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charizardpal
. Posts: **521** Member

Are there any high-paying majors that require no math? Being an ex-history buff and culture/language lover, I'd be especially interested in pursueing a major that would use my abnormally large cranium to solve enormously significant problems. Seriously, lets discuss. :-)

Post edited by charizardpal on

## Replies to: High-paying majors that require no math

626Member521Member244Junior Member73Junior MemberWhen I interview people who tell me they "hated math in college," that's like telling me, "I'm a moron who is incapable of higher level thought."

244Junior Memberand what if somebody is super good at math, but cant write a paper in the arts to save his nerdy pasty ass... what do you think about his intelligence? in my opinion he's more of a doofus than somebody in the arts who can write excellent papers but has trouble with calc.

8,093Senior MemberIt's pretty judgmental to say that a person who doesn't like math isn't intelligent, or is "incapable of higher level thought." I know plenty of people who are extremely intelligent and yet hate math. I have a friend who can easily tear apart arguments using a biting sense of logic, yet she hates math; in fact, it wouldn't be difficult to show that she's more intelligent than many math-oriented people and is definitely capable of "higher level thought," more so than most.

For some, math just doesn't "click."

73Junior MemberCompared to the average person on the street? No. Compared to someone who DOES understand those fields in depth? Yes. By the way, knowing linear algebra and differential equations doesn't mean you understand math. Those two happen to be the more practical fields, higher math is about abstraction and proofwriting.

"but cant write a paper in the arts to save his nerdy pasty ass... "

After reading this I regret wasting my time replying to you, probably an immature junior high school student.

"I have a friend who can easily tear apart arguments using a biting sense of logic, yet she hates math; in fact, it wouldn't be difficult to show that she's more intelligent than many math-oriented people"

I know loads of people like that, too--they are effective speakers and able to at appeal to people's pathos rather than particularly intelligent-- a lot of them learned that from arguing with their parents while growing up as kids. Do not confuse that with higher level thought.

There's no such thing as strictly "liberal arts-oriented" or "math-oriented"; they're not mutually exclusive. Both, as I mentioned in my previous post, are equal and necessary measures of a person's overall intelligence. If mathematicians chose to they wouldn't have problem putting together a coherent piece of writing or literary critique-- the ancient Greek philosophers and poets were first and foremost good mathematicians. But if someone who is only good at the humanities but incapable of understanding higher level mathematics that does not qualify her as intelligent at all-- you're missing the whole other half.

216Junior MemberWhat then are we to think of this glaring logical fallacy, hmmm? Logic being the ultimate backbone of mathematics, and given your seeming purported opinion of mathematics as the metric of human intelligence, we are left with no conclusion other than you are a moron by your own standards. Good job.

306Junior Member...

Being able to play with words does not make you intelligent...

How does that quote make him a moron? As you so clearly pointed out, logic is the backbone of mathematics. And has he so clearly stated, there are two halves to human intelligence. Both of which require logic. So by LOGICAL thinking, if a person cannot do mathematics (hate qualifies as being incompetent, disliking qualifies as being lazy) they are incapable of higher level thinking. It would also be safe to say that they aren't the brightest individual in the world...

8,093Senior MemberThink of it like this. There are plenty of people who can be extremely insightful -- philosophy, problem-solving, etc. yet who hate math. And you also have to consider that there are many people who understand the most difficult math, but simply don't like it.

"There's no such thing as strictly 'liberal arts-oriented' or 'math-oriented'; they're not mutually exclusive."

I never said they weren't.

"But if someone who is only good at the humanities but incapable of understanding higher level mathematics that does not qualify her as intelligent at all-- you're missing the whole other half."

I disagree. Sometimes, I have difficult understanding math -- and I consider myself to be a math-oriented person -- but only because of specific circumstances. Hell, I even have difficulty with (not-so-difficult) probability; I can easily figure out the probability of this-and-that, but when it comes to using combinations and permutations and "at-least-this-many,"* I stumble. But I know of a specific someone who understands it perfectly and gets most math quite easily. Yet he is, for the most part, incapable of critical thinking, he doesn't consider all the factors of a (non-math) problem, he doesn't weigh everything appropriately, and his common sense is often impaired. Further, his communication skills are downright atrocious -- not only are his writing abilities scanty, but he often uses words incorrectly or inappropriately, his speech is riddled with fundamental syntactic errors, and his sentences are frequently clumsy, awkward, or just badly constructed. But he's brilliant in math. Conclusions can be made about a person's intelligence based on his or her language ability (it's fundamental in every mode of thought), and the same can be said about math. However, you can't judge when it's extreme (such as multivariable calculus, or a highly recursive, pronoun-dependent, temporal-sensitive sentence).

* good example: If there are 5 red balls and 4 blue balls in a bag, and you choose three at random without replacement, what is the probability of choosing

at least1 red ball? I could figure this out if I broke it down little step by little step (i.e. figuring out each event) and it'd take me a while, but I know there's probably a simpler and faster way of doing it. I don't know what it is, but I might be able to figure it out with time and thought -- am I somehow incapable of higher thought? Or am I "impaired"? Not the "brightest individual"? This is assuming, of course, that it is impossible for the average personnotto understand difficult math, that for some it just takes much more practice, help, and thought (perhaps to an inordinate extreme) to understand something.Blink182:

"Being able to play with words does not make you intelligent..."

Depends on what you mean by "play with words." If you mean general language abilities, then you'd be wrong, because intelligence--and indeed all shades of thought--heavily involves language and its many facets. 'Course, math too is much like a language. The numbers--rational, irrational, complex and more--and any sort of variable are like words. The mathematical rules (whether universal laws such as "never divide by zero" or function-specific guidelines) act as syntactic/grammatical rules that facilitate the combination of these elements into coherent phrases and expressions. The myriad standard equations used in everything from Brownian motion to parametric graphs are like common-pattern sentences (subject-verb-object, maybe an adverb after the object, an adverbial conjunction before the subject, or even a prepositional phrase for clarification). But language itself is necessary to grasp math and really to perform any sort of thought.

"hate qualifies as being incompetent, disliking qualifies as being lazy"

Where's the logical breakdown for this? I hate matrices, so I'm incompetent? I dislike probability, so I'm lazy? The fact that I hate/dislike them isn't because I'm lazy or don't understand them, but rather because I simply don't enjoy my own reactions to such problems -- my head may start to hurt, I'll start to get agitated because I dislike not being able to figure something out, and the like. Would it make any difference to you if I told you that I love trig identities, making proofs with them, figuring out how to go from Trig Setup A to Trig Setup B? Or that I really enjoy mathematical proofs, because once I've figured them out, I feel accomplished and truly appreciate the complexity and seemingly unfathomable interworkings of math?

244Junior MemberAfter reading this I regret wasting my time replying to you, probably an immature junior high school student.

LOL. ur prob one of those few kids who actually do have a nerdy pasty ass.

and kyledavid80 i completely agree with you.

216Junior MemberIt follows directly from his defintion. Then again, you're buying into the same logical fallacy ("hate qualifies as being incompetent, disliking qualifies as being lazy"), and so I can understand how you do not see it. It wasn't complicated, however. But since it is something that you buy into, perhaps you can demonstrate it to be true?

306Junior MemberI am not "buying" into anything. I think his message has been construed in the wrong direction a little bit, but his logic is right. If a person cannot do math, and again logic is the backbone of math, they clearly do not have a profound sense of logic, and as such, lack higher lever thinking. It is not difficult to see.

What people seem to be thinking here, is that he believes that math is key part to higher level thinking. Which is false. What he has shown (or rather said) is that there are two parts to higher level thinking, he just happened to focus on math.

I am not sayint that people who have trouble with math are idiots. They can do it, therefore they are not idiots. It takes them longer in math than in other ares, but the compatibility is there. I am saying someone who clearly cannot do math is just not smart. Please try to argue against this..

73Junior MemberAnd kyledavid80 because you're the only opposition here who's giving a mature response I will gladly answer your challenges.

1) You name a few people who are bright by your judgment and yet who hate mathematics. I am not convinced by your examples (who can be explained away by factors you're not informed about) when most interviewees I meet who profess a hate for math just happen to be dumb as stones, each and every one of them. They may be articulate-- they use vocabulary and complex sentence structures in their speech-- but the substance isn't there; this is also known as bullsh**ing

2) My intention here isn't to belittle people who don't understand math. My issue is with people like the OP who, presumably, say they're smart and yet hate math (contradiction). You say sometimes you yourself just don't get some math concept right away (or as fast as someone else), but the important part is that you tried and appreciated the difficulty of the subject. If you had tried harder you might understand it, might. If you don't, you're not by default unintelligent, just LESS intelligent than if you had understood the concept. People who say they truly hate math are the ones who never bothered to try hard and don't appreciate it-- they say things like "math just doesn't click for me, but I'm still smart 'cuz I can write good essays and make logical arguments"-- these are the bottom feeders of the intelligence hiearchy.

Let me repeat this again because only one person in this thread grasped it:

There are two halves to human intelligence: mathematics (and from there branches the natural sciences) and communication (humanities, language, prose, debate). The first half measures the intelligence of the person, the second ensures that he can communicate his intelligence to others. In a one-man world the pure mathematician is intelligent. But in the real world he needs to be able to communicate well, for others to CONSIDER him intelligent.

8,093Senior MemberAh, yes, I've heard this quite a bit -- style over substance; Orwell describes this dichotomy in his "Politics and the English Language." But I know of many people who are articulate/eloquent/all that jazz and who put much substance into their statements and arguments.

I still maintain that it's possible to be mediocre in math yet show a strong sense of intelligence, critical thinking, and overall brilliance.

I used to think that I could get through any math without too much difficulty -- but that was during a period of time when I hadn't experienced much difficulty. I've since realized that even in higher math like calculus, I still come across things that I have difficulty grasping. As stupid as this may make me seem, before, I had difficulty understanding radians and it seriously hindered my ability to complete most of the work from the chapter. I could do certain operations that we learned in the chapter, mainly by mechanical memorization of steps instead of a knowledge of the deep structure of what I was doing. Why did I have such difficulty? Because I had preconceptions about radians and associated concepts that conflicted with what I was learning; I didn't realize it at the time, and generally, people

don'trealize that their own knowledge/assumptions are often the root of their inability to process new data.In addition, there are certain things that make people "hate" math. For me, it's making repeated mistakes (though I generally like math, just not certain parts). I usually

getthe material, but I may make constant mistakes. Perfect example: multiplying two matrices. Not the kind where you multiply each entry, but the kind where you have to multiply each entry in each row of the first matrix by each entry in each column of the second matrix, adding them together, etc. I abhor doing that, simply because my brain has difficulty "shifting" one matrix to multiply it with the other. To this day, it can take me a minute or two to multiply two (large) matrices.At any rate, while I do think that competency in math is highly correlated with intelligence and that it and language constitute the main functions of the brain, I do

notthink that difficulty with higher math means that a person has difficulty with "higher levels of thought," nor do I think that a math wiz is obviously intelligent, or that hating or disliking math is any sort of reflection of one's abilities or character.