The analysis of the formatting power of mathematics has the intention of contributing to a sociological discussion for the socio-political functions of mathematics. In particular constructs like "mathematics in action", "technological imagination" and "the apparatus of reason" have been developed. The formatting power of mathematics causes an uncertainty with respect to the functions of mathematics. This uncertainty can be characterised by means of the notion of aporia, which refer to lack of resources for identifying what could count as "horrors" and "wonders" with respect to mathematics in action. This uncertainty has implications for the mathematics education.