Math Is Not A Spectator Sport


It is very difficult to enjoy or appreciate mathematics in a purely passive way—in mathematics there is no real analogy of the role of the spectator, audience, or viewer.

I think this is because to actually appreciate a statement in math, you have to understand it. But understanding is the entire sport. Spectating turns you into a player. Few other sports can say that.

Addendum

It turns out that the footnote in the quote linked is a link to a book with the same title as this blog post. I didn’t see that until after writing it. I guess the author and I had the same thoughts.

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