This is how it was done - you had to offer the palms of your hands, being particularly susceptible to pain. If you withdrew, you were in for double the helping.
As a first grader I disliked maths, because I was bullied into it. There was no leeway for my imagination to unfold. Instead, I was aggressively pushed by my teacher to memorise and recite, to swallow spoon-fed helpings and to regurgitate. Math was a matter of unquestioning obedience. Inquisitiveness was a vice, the hallmark of an ill-behaved, odious brat. I was caned for my natural curiosity. My efforts at mental independence, to think for myself, trying to discover a subject by my own sincere input was something I learned to associate with a reaction of moral torture and sadist beating.
Mathematics was presented to me by my teacher(s) as almost a supernatural, divine phenomenon, the embodiment of truth and precisions, an exact, a godly science. When I failed to understand mathematics or when I made mathematical errors, I felt I was treated like a despicable sinner who has the nerve not to properly worship the god of mathematics.
Psychologically, this had the effect to tie together the inevitable impulse of thinking for myself with mortal fear. After all, the castigation proceeded in a spirit of sadism, and I was utterly at the mercy of the teacher, with no support from my parents, who tended to side with official authority and were at any rate too busy to appreciate my utter distress. The fear in turn blocked my thinking, and so I failed to learn mathematics properly, which only reinforced the entire tragedy. Soon I had learned that I could not learn. The teacher believed in it, and I did, learning it from her. At least traces remain with me to this day of that chief conviction derived from early schooling, namely that I cannot know things as well as other human beings.
Having been brutally exposed to this situation for more than three consecutive years - the teacher teaching other foundational subjects as well -, while no one knew it at the time, including me, I did suffer from severe depressions and had frequent visions of suicide at the age of seven.
Later in life, I have developed a certain alertness vis-à-vis signs of the this-worldliness of mathematics, thoroughly enjoying sources of insight such as Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty by Morris Kline.
Also, I have developed a similar alertness vis-à-vis signs in arguments that boast of access to absolute truth. In the work of Ludwig von Mises, I found a bizarre attempt at presenting mathematics as a magical road to absolute truth, and in that capacity, as a model and warranty for his own "science" of praxeology. I have written on this subject matter in Philosophical Weekend - the A Priori in Science and highly recommend (from the blogger at another - philosophically very sophisticated - blog) My Posts Refuting Misesian Apriorism and Praxelogy.
To whom it may concern, Norman Wildberger offers a most interesting series of lectures on mathematics based on an un-dogmatic, this-worldly approach to the subject matter.
To get a little deeper into it all, try also the follow-up lecture on the decline of rigour in mathematics:
It's fun - go try the first lessons; I wish I had been introduced to mathematics in that way.
I guess, this belongs into the category Wer Anderen eine Grube gräbt, fällt selber hinein (literally: he who digs a pit for someone else to fall into, ends up in it himself) - harm set, harm get.
Once, on a hiking trip through Ireland, I discovered that moving my huge backpack frightened the cows, and so I tended to tease the cows on my way -- more out of experimental curiosity than out of malice, until a huge herd suddenly lost their timidity and started moving toward me, steadiliy accelerating to the pace of a stampede. Boy, was I scared. Make no mistake, even ordinary kettle are not exactly slow:
The reason why adverts manage to imprint brand names on our brains is
that our lips and the tongue automatically simulate the pronunciation of
a new name when we first hear it. Every time we re-encounter the name,
our mouth subconsciously practises its pronunciation. [...]
However ... this "inner speech" can be disturbed by chewing, rendering the repetition effect redundant. [...]
"The mundane activity of eating popcorn made participants immune to
the pervasive effects of advertising," said Sascha Topolinski, one of
He goes as far as implying that his research may
spell the end of the traditional popcorn machine in cinema foyers. "This
finding suggests that selling candy in cinemas actually undermines
advertising effects, which contradicts present marketing strategies. In
the future, when promoting a novel brand, advertising clients might
consider trying to prevent candy being sold before the main movie."
Popocorn [sic] kernels contain oil and water with starch, surrounded by a hard and strong outer coating. When popcorn is heated, the water inside the kernel tries to expand into steam, but it cannot escape through the seed coat (the popcorn hull). The hot oil and steam gelatinizes the starch inside the popcorn kernel, making it softer and more pliable. When the popcorn reaches a temperature of 180 °C (356 °F) the pressure inside the kernel is around 135 psi (930 kPa), which is sufficient pressure to rupture the popcorn hull, essentially turning the kernel inside-out. The pressure inside the kernel is released very quickly, expanding the proteins and starch inside the popcorn kernel into a foam, which cools and sets into the familiar popcorn puff.
In the last one and a half years, I have become distinctly interested in the interplay of politics and the state on the one hand, and the shape, fate, and institutions of liberty on the other - a complex relationship that I have increasingly come to perceive as being most unsatisfactorily simplified and inevitably distorted by many libertarians, especially those of the anarcho-capitalist and the far more common crypto-anarchist blend.
A classical liberal, Deepak Lal has never feared to look at the relationship of power and liberty with sober impartiality.
Enjoy Deepak Lal's presentaton of his book In Praise of Empire, which lasts from time marks 4:00 to 34:00. I have read a number of his books, but never found the time to read In Praise of Empire, to which the linked video provides a nice shortcut.