Like many others who struggled through algebra and its highbrow cousins in school and wondered how they would ever be useful in my life, I have successfully lived that life without advanced mathematics.
Not that it was totally useless — aside from being a mind-stretching exercise (although Logic would have been more useful) — higher math’s primary impact on my life was to teach me one salient fact:
Without sufficient information, we cannot come to accurate conclusions. I’m glad that somebody knows how to figure out how much water will will be in left in a 100-gallon-tank — after 3 hours — which is losing 8 ounces of liquid per minute through a little hole in the bottom, while gaining 6.75 ounces in the same period of time. I don’t. (And yes, I’m thinking this is more of a physics problem than an algebra one, but in my mind, all of those classes fused together into one hazy, distant memory.)
What I do know, however, is that without enough information, and the right information, even the finest mathematician cannot figure out the answer.
And yet, we operate without sufficient information all the time — this is not surprising, since we are not God. What is surprising is how much we rely upon things that are definitely not God — the nightly news, for example, to give us, and interpret for us, the facts.