08 January 2009

Labour Ministers do not understand working class pastimes

Something of a misunderstanding here. Regular darts players don't do maths; they do memory. But The Times reports:
For years debate has raged over whether darts is really a sport. But there is no doubt in the Government’s mind that it is, at least, a branch of applied mathematics.
Darts players may be better known for their waistlines and drinking habits than their maths skills. No one, however, can reach the top echelons of the game without being able to work out — as they prepare to throw — that with 73 points on the chalkboard a treble 19 and a double eight will see them home.
“You can’t play darts without maths,” Sion Simon, the Minister for Further Education, told The Times. “We’re using the example of darts where mathematical competence is really important to success and hopefully inspire adults who don’t have the maths skills.”

Darts players do not 'work out' what they need to complete the game. They know - from long experience - exactly what is needed to end with a double for any particular score.


Stuart Winton said...

To an extent, but it's when the finish doesn't go according to plan that a bit of arithmetical agility comes in handy, and the differences in ability often become apparent.

Jeff said...

Maths is merely memory anyway I would argue. Learn a theorem and a proof, regurgitate it in an exam hall and bingo you've got your honours degree. (Worked for me anyway)

What is knowing 14* 23 (or Fermat's Last Theorem) but for having a good memory?

As for coming up with new mathematic truths, that's just rearranging old memories in a new creative way!