fibonacci spirals

If  your children complain that they hate maths you may be relieved to find that math’s anxiety is a very real and treatable condition. The term Mathemaphobia was introduced in the 1950s and it was found that suffering from this phobia was highly correlated with poor scholastic performance and even avoidance of maths at school.

But the ability to think mathematically plays a central role in science, biology, business and many other fields that your children may feel attracted to. Thankfully there are several practices that can not only combat Mathemaphobia but also reverse it and foster the enjoyment of Maths both in school and in life.

  1. “I see what you mean!” – Studies have found that over 50% of the sensory processing part of the brain is devoted to just one of our senses, vision. This makes evolutionary sense as surviving a complex and often dangerous world relies on successfully seeing and avoiding danger. It was only tens of thousands of years later that an ability to do maths provided an evolutionary advantage. So if you want to immediately help your child understand maths get them into the habit of drawing pictures of maths problems. A typical and ubiquitous example would be understanding multiplication in terms of areas and volumes. Or fractions in terms of dividing an A4 page into equal segments.
  2. “More than a game.” – Humans, and animals, love to play. Play is a perfect way to learn without the stress or boredom that learning and studying often entail. Maths is no different. Many board games require counting, planning and pattern recognition. All centrally important in building mathematical ability. Dice are perfect for teaching probability and shooting hoops a great way to introduce parabolas. Developing a sense of playfulness plays a large part in the ability to find novel solutions – this is a central aspect of scientific practice.
  3. “Nature speaks in the language of maths.” – Natural beauty has a lot to do with the balance between order and chaos and also the presence of symmetry on multiple scales. By connecting maths to nature and vice versa a child’s mind is given the tools to appreciate life more deeply and fully. Stars, planets and sea shells are inherently more interesting than dry equations – and yet all are intimately related to maths. Language is about more than grammar and spelling – and maths can be equally rich and liberating – a way of appreciating and expressing the beauty of the world we find ourselves in.

These ideas inform our teaching philosophy at Maths Magic. For more information on how to make maths learning enjoyable contact Dave: 079 036 3883




Notes to Self

Caught in the clash between Dharma and Pharma. Probably a false dichotomy but in any case. What I need, to escape, is not a negation or the negation of the negation (or any other intradimensional translation).

I need an interdimensional translation. And my working metaphor, my box for the concept of an interdimensional translation is “i” – quite fortuitously which, being the square root of minus one …. which if we have, perhaps, SPACE as X and TIME as Y that would be Z.

Because we can’t easily conceptualize in more than 3D. and Z being, as has been worked out, and people are familiar with what’s known as the COMPLEX PLANE ie where the IMAGINARY meets the REAL (tips hat to Lacan – who may have done highschool maths)

I’m playing in the space between Matheme and Mathart – all nerds welcome

But moving on, with my usual manic savoir faire, id (sic) quickly like to consider ….

What is the whole human drama all about? A big one but fair one – cos without an answer we really just a little bit lost.

We are working memory for Logos
Which is The Server
aka God, Ground of Being, The Big Other

And fuck you Google for monetizing the game

dharma vs pharma


Perhaps it was just a game
But it seemed a tad sinister
Clinical and cold and shiny
Drenched in ineffable things

I think it was some kind of interrogation
Who knows what they get up too
While we sleep or play with our other toys

So anyway
After urgent digital brutalization
I decided to send you my evidence
For the pending Akashic court case,


digital narcissism clr

a beautiful mess

I wanted so much
To believe that it meant something
That now, so late in the day, you appeared
To tell me nonchalantly
That I was broken beyond repair

I think I knew this already
And just lacked a box to put the madness in
Or had too many

For today
I am an ex nihilo homily
Totally meaningless
But as real as a bullet

And you
Are the ever elusive other
That lets my mess
Seem beautiful

“Just for today”


Imaginary Conversations


Before the crash
It was the first time
Never finished house on the hill
Why did you have to go

You were in a coma for days
Said your arm was paralysed
Be careful Rubes
It’s ok I know what I’m doing

I understand better now I think
Something beyond equations
Of pleasure and pain
A readiness to leave


It’s hard to stop
What, you mean napping
No I mean stop ….. everything

We’re programmed to just carry on
I mean if I put it all into a computer and the computer says
Well says stop
Says does not compute
Well it’s still hard

Just to stop


You say it was wrong
For me to say that
About the cancer in the soul


Marcus counts to twelve
Using 2 imaginary fingers
I am called a tutor
His real fingers are tiny
I want him to be happy

The Fix

I have become expert at distancing techniques. I don’t mean, well I don’t think I mean, acting in such a way as to prevent the audience from empathising with me. Or identifying with me. I mean rather the various things I do to make the pain of living in the world bearable.

What I try to do is keep the world at arms length. Actually, in my ideal world, I wouldn’t even need the proverbial barge pole. I’d just live far away enough from the world so as to never have to give it a second thought.

Well that’s more or less what happened. I emigrated to outer space. Well I might have but as much as I’m terrified by the world I’m even more terrified by the idea of not having my feet on the ground. This ground. Terra Firma. Good old Earth.

So I kinda went in the other direction. Underground. Inwards. I live thousands of miles beneath the surface of my own skin. But for all practical purposes I might just as well be living on Mars. I’m sure you get the picture – I am very far away.

I think people can sense this. Perhaps it looks like arrogance. Or impatience. Or fear. It’s hard for me to know. I hate that – having to be me. All day every day. And never knowing what it’s like to experience me, from the outside as it were. I gather it’s not a particularly thrilling experience because people seem to avoid it. So I emigrate to Mars or live underground – then complain bitterly about the crappy social life. Go figure.

But, pardon the pun, it goes deeper than that. Because it’s not the outside world that I’m trying to get away from. The outside world is nothing, or everything, but largely unknowable. It’s the inside world that hurts. Or the bits of the outside world that become the inside world. So even safely ensconced in my cocoon of ice thousands of miles from Outside I still need to escape.

Well there are probably psychological theories to explain all of this and fancy terms to describe it but I have a nice word for it – Drugs. I guess I fell off the world somewhere between the ages of seven and thirteen. Fell into myself. Embarked on a decades long policy of isolation. But was still, truth be told, fucking miserable. I know this because the school contacted my mom to tell her. Mrs. Katz please do something – your son is fucking miserable and it’s a major buzzkill.

So I was sent to lots of different psychologists and psychiatrists and they all came up with more or less the same diagnosis. Mrs. Katz I’m afraid to say we have confirmed that your son is one miserable little asshole.

They didn’t even try and cure that. Perhaps there is no cure for misery or they just didn’t want to get their hands dirty. Anyway – I forgive them. It’s just a job for them. Like dealing with a difficult customer – saying have a nice day and meaning fuck off and die.

But thankfully, finally, when I was about sixteen a psychiatrist introduced me to drugs. That’s what was missing. Something that I could take with me to Mars or down to my subcutaneous ice cocoon that would fuel the second part of the journey away from the pain of living in the world. Fuel that journey away from the pain of living in my own head. It’s so fucking simple – Benzos and Painkillers and booze to kill the pain and dope and acid to kill the boredom.

And then I was gone. On a thirty one year long journey into forgetfulness, into oblivion, into the fog of self collapse.

But, wouldn’t you know it, I kinda want to come back now. I’m not even sure why. I think it’s programmed deep into my source code. This need to connect to other humans and to the world. And there are no connections deep in outer or inner space. Or what connections there are are too slow to be of any use. Bandwidth throttled to within an inch of its life. Meaning dissipated, boiled away or frozen solid. Entropy on easy terms.

It’s not going very well. This journey back. It’s not made any easier by the fact that many of the humans that actually know me never realised I went away. Well a lot of the humans that knew me were happy to put good old physical space between my pain and their pleasure. And the ones that couldn’t kinda fictionalised me. Actually only my mother did that – she just made up a brand new son that had nothing to do with me and crapped on me when I fucked with her misperceptions. Everyone else politely ignored me and waited patiently for me to get the fuck out of town.

Ech. What to do. I’m a ghost and probably don’t stand a ghost of a chance. I feel like a seven year old stuck in a forty seven year old’s body. But it’s not just any forty seven year old body. Well the body is ok actually. A bit skinny but still in pretty good nick. But the mind is a mess. Never mind the spiritual atrophy, there is a healthy dose of good old fashioned brain damage to contend with too. Years of codeine and booze and pot etc will do that. My brain just does not work very well. It overheats, doesn’t boot, crashes, thrashes, spins out of control.

And this causes no end of other troubles. Unemployment troubles, social isolation troubles, pain, confusion, exhaustion. Troubles. Trouble troubles.

But I’m not going back. Back to Mars I mean. Back to frigid underground cocoon city. Because that didn’t really work out that great for me either. So I’m just trying to be a nice ghost. Finding stuff I can do even if I can’t earn a living. Getting used to living inside a broken mind. Inside a broken brain. Inside a broken world.

And trying to fix stuff. With Love. Even if I can’t.