The kingdom of numbers is a strange place, and gets stranger the further human exploration of it goes. It is entirely abstract and self-contained; and yet it is the key to the structure of the physical world. It is not, however, validated or verified by anything in that world. Mathematicians explore it not by sight, sound, touch, or taste; not by experiment; not by measurement; but by the pure cold light of reason.
Michael Frayn, The Human Touch
If my teachers had explained that I would need to understand math in order to, oh, you know, understand why the world happened, I might have actually paid attention.