A recent New York Times article, How to Fix Our Math Education, proposes that we should make math teaching less abstract and more relevant to real-world applications.
This strikes me as the same anti-intellectual bias that causes reading teachers to prove "comprehension" by telling kids to find episodes in their own lives that relate to their reading. ("A Night to Remember, about the sinking of the Titanic, reminds me of the time I ... " what, exactly?)
The truth is that daily life is dull and boring. That's why we need an interior life. That's why we read books and do puzzles and watch movies and listen to music and write blogs.
Abstract math is beautiful and enjoyable because it is consistent, logical, and clean; in other words, totally unlike the real world.