...honestly, I'm not entirely sure where I stand on this point yet. Throughout my time in school, I ended up finding math to be something that unified my way of thought, and clarified things. When I started to learn a bit of programming, it was similar; I was learning new ways of thinking, applying them, and seeing the results in real time.
Both had real-world consequences, not only for how they could be used, but also for how they effected my thoughts - and how they continue to do so. The idea of software patenting is nice because it drives people to actively use their own way of thinking to develop things, but it has a side effect of making the world pretty single-minded; when people share code, they certainly learn to think in different, new and exciting ways.
I think the same can be said of mathematics, and has been going on for several millenia - and while our world is certainly currency-based now, is it necessarily a good idea to change our mindsets to fit into it?