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Comment by universalset on The Truth About Mathematical Ability · 2015-02-21T17:46:14.290Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

My inability to deal with this approach is a good part of why I switched away from number theory after about three semesters of graduate school (I got my PhD in another area of math). The expectation that students would learn the advanced material via "fake it till you make it" was endlessly frustrating to me and actively bad for my learning and mental health.

To be sure, there's some of this in most areas of math, but my admittedly limited impression is that the situation is worse in number theory and algebraic geometry than in some other fields.