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“Algo Duping” – PLOS One Journal Publication Explains Why The Fear of Math Plays a Big Role As One Underlying

Posted Oct 31 2012 7:11pm

Well what do you know, we have a PLOS One scientific study that describes why the public, government and many others run away from math.  I have this page dedicated to showing all how Quants and those who do not have “Pain” with math or have healed themselves create formulas to take the money and they have.  If you run from pain created with math, they take your money a little a time via algorithms.  I actually did have to laugh a little when this came up in my reading material and I have noticed this myself.  I have never seen such an avoidance in my life from at least learning a “tiny” bit about this. The Occupy Movement was yet another great example as they knew something was wrong but couldn’t put their fingers on it and Chapter One of the Killer Algorithms was dedicated to that.  How do you battle a foe when when you can’t see it, talk to it or touch it and it runs on servers 24/7 with parameters to look for other parameters that either deny or grant.  It’s the age old query process and lives 24/7. 

This journal report was just an absolute “gift” of an explanation for me to include and look at the GOP these days with their interpretations…the 50 shades of rape and I guess when thinking math and experiencing pain for some reason or another and this is especially dangerous when creating laws or when campaigning,  they go to something they can think about controlling and from what you have seen on the news and ridiculous statements made, I’m guessing “math” and this substantiated fear really had them running for the hills. 

The content I’m talking about contains 4 videos that explains how those who have adapted or have no problem with math hurting their brain use it.  As stated in the first video from Charlie Siefe “oh the formula has a square root in it and looks ok so it must be right”…all you have to do is throw a formula in front of someone who has the “math brain fear” syndrome and it’s pretty bad and yup rather than to question, they just “dupe” on in.  The media will help you with that too with repeated topics over and over and if you hear it 6 times or more than “gee well it must be so” <grin>.   

When I was young, I too hated math but I got over it quickly when I learned how to write code and it opened a whole new world of logic, also known as reality and I try to share that here so we don’t get duped as the media will do it.  I get emails from PR people and here’s an example:

“There are many more stats in the study that I think your audience would find very interesting and timely as the election is just around the corner.”

Just that line above they are telling me that I should publish their study and that you would like it as a reader, but too bad you’re not going to see it as it’s junk:)  You can say thanks any time.  Ok I can’t be a tease and here’s one line of it below, total crap out junk as if I have not seen this a thousand times. 

”Registered voters in the U.S. ranked Obamacare, as one of the topics most likely to influence their vote. Interestingly, more than three in four believe that the healthcare system will stay the same or worsen if Romney is elected.”

READ ALGO DUPING 101 (there’s also a link to Algo Duping 101 at the top links here)

To continue here, I feel I must apologize to my readers as I really don’t mean to put the fear of math into your brain every time I mention “math”.  Below are a few paragraphs from the study and it’s long and lengthy for the average reader and below is an image that shows “the fear factor in the brain” when math is discussed or a simple math test is given. 


Additional information on how we get abused and duped is also given in everyday examples at the link to the Attack of the Killer Algorithms.  Here I took every day examples where consumers were mostly denied something or judge improperly and it was the result of algorithm.  If you look for this, it happens all around you every day, so when something doesn’t seem right, ask that question and see if you have been duped with a formula that perhaps used a priority of “corporate desired results” over accuracy. 

I guess I can sum this up and say thanks PLOS One for substantiating why our society can be such an easy target with the fear of math.  Obviously the CEOs making millions at the banks over came this fear a long time ago as well as many others.  This fear of math will, according to what is written in this journal, is so powerful that it will continue to lead those in fear down a path to where the algorithms seize more money sadly.  BD 

“SUMMARY:  When anticipating an upcoming math-task, the higher one’s math anxiety, the more one increases activity in regions associated with bodily threat detection and the experience of visceral pain itself (INSp). Given our findings were specific to cue-activity, image it is not that math itself hurts; rather, merely the anticipation of math is painful. Anticipatory anxiety about math is grounded in the simulation of visceral threat and even pain. These results also provide a potential neural mechanism to explain the observation that HMAs tend to avoid math and math-related situations, which in turn can bias HMAs away from taking math classes or even entire math-related career paths”.

”Participants completed a word task and math task (block-design) while neural activity was measured using fMRI. Thirty-two blocks of each task-type (16 hard blocks and 16 easy blocks; 4 trials/block) were randomly interleaved and spread over 8 functional runs. In the math task, participants verified whether arithmetic problems of the form (a*b)−c = d were correct, where a≠b, c>0, d>0. For hard math problems, 5≤a≤9, 5≤b≤9 (a*b≥30), 15≤c≤19; subtracting c from a*b always involved a borrow operation; for foil problems, d±2. For easy math problems, 1≤a≤9, 1≤b≤9 (a*b≤9), 1≤c≤8; subtracting c from a*b never involved a borrow operation; for foil problems, d±1.

In the word task, participants verified whether a word, if reversed, spelled an actual word (e.g., reversing the string yrestym generates mytsery, which is not an English word, so participants should respond ‘no’).

For the word task, hard trials were seven letters in length; easy trials were four letters in length. Behavioral differences were not found between easy-math and easy-word tasks for either group (
Table 1 ). In contrast, HMA participants performed significantly worse on the hard-math relative to hard-word task, replicating prior research showing that high-math-anxious individuals underperform on difficult math problems relative to difficulty matched non-math tasks [20] . Given that we found behavioral differences only between the hard-word and hard-math tasks, only the hard-blocks are analyzed below.

MRI data were acquired using a 3 Tesla Philips Achieva scanner with an 8-channel Philips Sense head-coil. A T2*-weighted echo-planar imaging sequence was used to acquire functional images covering the whole brain (32 axial slices) with a repetition time (TR) of 2000 ms and an echo time of 25 ms (ascending acquisition; FOV: 240×240×127.5 mm; 80×80×32 matrix; flip angle: 80°). In-plane resolution was 3×3 mm and the slice thickness was 3.5 mm (0.5 mm skip). Signal from the orbital frontal cortex (OFC) and surrounding tissue was recovered using additional volume shimming with a box of 60×60×60 mm centered on the OFC area. This method utilizes multiple ‘pencil beam’ acquisitions to compute shim values (algorithm provided by Philips). High-resolution anatomical images were acquired (axial plane: 300 slices; slice thickness: 1.2 mm, −.6 mm gap; x-y dimensions: 1.04×1.04; FOV: 250×250×180 mm, 240×240×300 matrix) with a standard Philips T1-weighted SENSE-Ref sequence.

Our data go beyond these results and suggest that even anticipating an unpleasant event is associated with activation of neural regions involved in pain processing.”

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