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People are ragging on this poor girl, but the questions she's asking are actually GREAT. How did Pythagoras do what he did when he did? Why was algebra invented — "what did they need it for?" I cover all of this in my History of Science survey and the answers are fascinating.
For example, on the "what would you need it for": the text responsible for disseminating algebra widely ("The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing [al-jabr]," by Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, 820) emphasizes its practicality in the very first pages:
And almost the entire thing are "word problems" or "story problems" that show how you'd use it to answer practical questions — practical for Abbasid empire, anyway!
In short, students should feel VERY FREE to ask "stupid" questions but just don't presume there isn't an answer available that someone who has studied it a bit more has found, and don't presume they can't explain it to you.
(And everyone who thinks this is dumb but knows nothing about the origins of algebra, you're not any better if you're just as ignorant and don't even care about the answer! She at least is asking the question out loud — that's worth something.)
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