Yeah, and, and this is really where you've got unlearn lots of

the things that you're taught at school.

And actually you're taught, teachers do that for very good reasons,

because of the way we, especially in the United States and parts of Europe,

the way we subject people to endless test taking in, with timed tests.

The, the way to get through the school system is to learn to act fast

under pressure of time, and

that's the last thing you can do when it comes to mathematics.

You've really got to let it take its course.

It's not, I mean people have different speeds, I,

I've worked with some very fast mathematicians.

The young math professor from Stanford who won a Fields Medal recently.

She has gone on record as saying, his teachers at school thought she

wasn't good at mathematics because she was so slow.

Well, she may be slow, but she now has a, the equivalent of a Nobel prize in

mathematics and, and congratulations to her for doing that.

You really have to let it take its time.

It's a slow process.

You've got to remember that mathematics is relatively recent, you know 2 or

3,000 years, so your bringing what's essentially a stone age

brain to a domain that is a couple thousand years old,

In fact, most mathematics is only a few decades old.

So, how can you take this brain, that evolved to survive in the wilds and

then more recently to survive in social environments,

how can you take that brain and apply it to solve this abstract problem in mathematics?

Well, the answer's we don't really know how we do that.

What we do know is that if you familiarize yourself with

the problem to such an extent that,

that problem is like a member of your family, then the act of solving that math

problem is actually not unlike solving a difficult problem you have at home.

You know, we're very good at solving social problems and

problems about our environment, because evolution set us up for that.

So, somehow we have to figure out how to let

that brain solve that abstract problem in mathematics.

And the act of getting inside the problem and

thinking about it for a long period of time, so that it's so

familiar, then the natural circuits in the brain, that, that, that serve us

well all of the time actually come into play for a math problem.

Now it, there's no proof of that,

but that's certainly my own experience of what goes on.

Yes.

Well, all I can say is, three cheers for slow thinking.

And I love the idea of thinking about math and, and

a difficult problem as being something that's a member of your family.

Yeah, it's a, you know, it.

Math in many ways mathematics problems are not, it's not,

they're not fundamentally different from other problems except in one

respect they're about totally abstract things.

So, someone solving their math problems has an initial problem

that someone doesn't have if they're solving their problem in real life or

a coaching problem in, in sort of football.

Or, or, or, in a, you know, most of, I used to spend a lot of time rock climbing,

and rock climbing is, is partly physically, but

it's also a lot of problem solving because you're having to look for

these moves, you're having to move your body in the right way.

So there's an awful lot of problem solving that we do all of the time,

and that's what the brain evolved to do.

And in the case of mathematics however,

the world in which you're solving those problems isn't one we are familiar with.

You initially have to create that, that world inside of you, and

this, I think, is why it's essential to knock away at the problem for,

10-15 minutes a day, two days before you let the brain do it's own thing.

My guess and my perception of what's going on, is that, that process is

making my mind familiar with that demand, with that problem to such an extent that,

that problem is just like a problem I'd have with my family.

or, or, or my work place or whatever.

I've got all of this apparatus for solving real world problems and social problems,