For a subject that lies behind nearly every advancement in modern living, mathematics is surprisingly absent from most of our lives. We know intellectually that it works behind the scenes, making computers tick, as well as predicting the real world in terms of economics, science, and even sport. Yet with this awareness comes a lack of respect. It’s a habit that has left us indifferent to the magnificent achievement of mathematics, which is too often treated as a dull but reliable tool.
Putin’s gifting of a luxury car to Kim is just the latest in a long line of eccentric bilateral offerings.