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 Tags mathematics

 18th June 2012, 10:09 PM #81 quarky Banned   Join Date: Oct 2007 Posts: 20,454 Being math inclined in day to day, mundane stuff, I'm often stunned at the general disinclination towards thinking mathematically. To see a person shopping; looking carefully at the packaging; with zero inclination for even checking the weight of the food, much less the order of ingredients...its all too common and chumpy. Our basic math revulsion enables cynical exploitation, on a daily basis. As a builder, it amazes me how often other builders are unwilling to make the most obvious of calculations. I'm not talking about higher math. I'm talking about knowing how much the new roofing shingles will weigh, and how many trips a small truck will need to make to the lumber yard. I gather rain water from my roof for my water system. Its damn easy to calculate the average annual water available from your roof; accounting for the slope; losses; etc; and designing an appropriate storage tank and drain system. Yet, to this day, I don't know anyone that is inclined to think that way. It remains a mystery to them, and they simply choose not to believe me when I try to save them the expense of hooking up to the city water. Its a way of thinking or not thinking. I've got a home-made wood fired hot tub. The hot water is semi-precious. Why would I fill the tub up beyond what my body will displace? You get in, and a bunch of water goes over the top. So I calculate my displacement. Its easy if you try. Yet, most are disinclined to do that sort of thing. I use math everyday, for utterly common purposes. Perhaps its simply a matter of being inclined that way, and finding enjoyment in it. In building adequate concrete forms, simple math becomes essential, yet most masons I know have no idea how much concrete weighs. It costs them money, this aversion to numbers. Last edited by quarky; 18th June 2012 at 10:11 PM.
 18th June 2012, 11:07 PM #82 arthwollipot Observer of Phenomena     Join Date: Feb 2005 Location: The other side of your screen Posts: 43,248 I get a little annoyed at people announcing that they're not very good at maths as though it's a point of pride. I'm not very good at maths. I'm not proud of that. I'd like to be better at maths. But my lack of maths hasn't been the greatest of hindrances to my life. __________________ Jadey (in RvB game thread): I just want to take a moment to commend Arth on his role as Parasitic Alien Tumor. I think he really connected with the character and there were times when I forgot that he was just acting. That's the kind of talent that you can't teach.
 19th June 2012, 01:45 AM #83 DazzaD Critical Thinker   Join Date: Jul 2006 Location: Romford Posts: 303 Originally Posted by arthwollipot I get a little annoyed at people announcing that they're not very good at maths as though it's a point of pride. I'm not very good at maths. I'm not proud of that. I'd like to be better at maths. But my lack of maths hasn't been the greatest of hindrances to my life. I agree. That is a pet hate of mine.. that it is socially acceptable to boast of your poor mathematical skills as if it was a badge of honour. You very rarely find that to be the case with literacy (adults normally are very good at hiding the fact that their reading skills are poor for instance and it is a great source of shame and regret for them). Many of my students will go on to never write down again the steps involved in completing the square for a quadratic expression. (But I still maintain my points above about maths being incredibly useful and used).
 20th June 2012, 02:31 PM #84 EHocking Illuminator     Join Date: Apr 2004 Posts: 4,418 Originally Posted by arthwollipot I get a little annoyed at people announcing that they're not very good at maths as though it's a point of pride. You''d hope it is a trend that people would grow out of. If I'm working from home I tend to have Kerrang! radio on. The DJs there seem to revel in their GENERAL ignorance, let alone their maths ignorance. When I'm in the kitchen and don't have to think as much about what I'm doing I tend to listen to Radio 4. A VAST difference in the level of and approach to general ignorance. __________________ "A closed mouth gathers no feet" "Ignorance is a renewable resource" P.J.O'Rourke Prayer: "a sophisticated way of pleading with thunderstorms." T.Pratchett "It's all god's handiwork, there's little quality control applied", Fox26 reporter on Texas granite Forum Birdwatching Webpage

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