One of the many things that I love about math is that when used properly, IT GIVES YOU AN ANSWER ON WHICH YOU CAN HANG YOUR HAT.

2 + 2 = 4.

Always, now and forevermore.

This is not a matter of opinion, and it is not subject to argument or debate.
The opinions, arguments, and debates come in when you are trying to decide whether 2 + 2 is the most accurate math problem to represent the real world problem on which you are working.

However, once you agree that the real world problem can be best represented by 2 + 2, then THE answer is 4. Not one answer out of many possible answers. THE answer. 2 + 2 = 4. Every time. Period. End of discussion.

Always, now, and forevermore.

In George Orwell’s “1984”, the character of O’Brien tries to put this matter up for debate. He manages to convince our “hero” Winston Smith that 2 + 2 equals whatever the ironically named Minsistry of Information decides it equals on any given day to suit its purposes. Sometimes it equals 3, sometimes it equals 5. Sometimes it even equals 4 when they decide it equals 4.

Let’s be crystal clear here, folks.


And yes, I realize that O’Brien is a fictional character in a book written over six decades ago. But we have to deal with our own O’Briens in real life today. (I’m deliberately not naming names; I’m sure you can come up with your own examples without too much difficulty.)

O’Brien clearly had the power to get Winston and a large portion of the masses TO BELIEVE that he had the power to decide the value of 2 + 2.

But NOBODY, not O’Brien nor anybody else, has the power to decide that 2 + 2 equals anything but 4. When anybody tries to convince you otherwise, they are blowing smoke at you in the biggest possible way.

And math gives you the power to put a stop to such nonsense.

2 + 2 = 4.

Always, now, and forevermore.

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