On Sat, 22 Sep 2001, Kevin Smith wrote:
> > wildly improper for you to speak for broad swaths of
> > users who may not have your same biases regarding 
> > mathematics.  
> 
> I would guess that less than 20% of the general population
> would agree to the statement "I really like math". Perhaps
> things are different where you live.
> 
> Again, it depends on the TARGET AUDIENCE. If you're
> targeting programmers, then yes, you'll find a large number
> of people who understand math, and enjoy it. If you're
> targeting people who have not yet learned any programming
> language, you'll find a large number of people who would
> prefer to avoid advanced math (e.g. algebra and above).

You are making a classic marketing mistake, namely confusing lack of
training with unwillingness.  There is no reason to believe that
someone who is trying to learn a computer language is averse to learning
mathematics at the same time.

> > Your counterexample fields are quite incorrect as well. 
> > Logic is all about set theory, and sociology and 
> > psychology are heavily dependent upon statistics.
> 
> I guess we use different definitions of those terms, then.

Why, do they call sociology and logic something different over there?
I stand by my assertion, that all three of those, and programming as well,
are heavily dependent upon the formal rigour given to us by math.  Without
that, computers cannot help us.

> Ok, I think this thread deserves to die now. Obviously we
> have widely different opinions on a number of topics. I'll
> leave it up to the author of the book to choose his
> audience, and write accordingly.
> 

Nah, Godwin's law has not yet been invoked.  But you're right, there's not
much left to discuss.