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 20th December 2012, 11:36 PM #1 epix Master Poster     Join Date: Dec 2009 Location: Borgia Apartment, Vatican City Posts: 2,957 x + y = z There is provably no unique solution to the equation x + y = z. As a matter of fact, there are "infinitely many" solutions and all of them are equally possible, even though 1 + 1 = 2 may eventually become the preferential choice. How many people would choose this option? A team of psychologists got actually curious about that, and the equation x + y + z showed up among a few placebo questions in a test related to the making of preferential choices. But the result turned up a big puzzle for the administrators of the test: a statistically significant majority of respondents chose their solution as 39 + 13 = 52 Another test showed, and predictably so, that the choice wasn't a result of a freaky coincidence. Accepting that, the researchers started to look for a reason behind the choice, but to no avail - not even with the help provided by the folks from the math faculty of the local university. That was kind of embarrassing, because the more people agree on something, the more obvious is the reason for it. Since the test was anonymous, it was difficult to locate those who agreed on that particular solution and ask them. The test was administered and the result processed a few days ago and there is still not even remotely possible explanation among the Ph.D.s who got involved in it. Does anyone see something familiar in the solution, or see some "logic" in it that would defeat the expected solution 1 + 1 = 2? __________________ Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. Huh? What's your point?
 20th December 2012, 11:40 PM #2 mijopaalmc Illuminator   Join Date: Mar 2007 Posts: 4,638 I notice that there is not a single citation in that word salad.
 20th December 2012, 11:46 PM #3 OnlyTellsTruths     Join Date: Sep 2007 Posts: 5,811 Why would X and Y being the same number be an "expected" solution?? That doesn't make any sense to me. People attributing the same number to two of the variables would seem like an atypical occurrence to me!! IMO, that (1 + 1 = 2) would only be a typical "simple" answer if the question was X + X = Y If I understand your logic (that we should assume that people would pick the simplest answers that fit) then that would be: 1 + 2 = 3 Perhaps you would like to rephrase the OP and exchange 1 + 1 = 2 with 1 + 2 = 3? Without that change I am not following your logic. __________________ ________________________
 20th December 2012, 11:46 PM #4 theprestige Philosopher   Join Date: Aug 2007 Posts: 8,666 Originally Posted by mijopaalmc I notice that there is not a single citation in that word salad. This. Also, why isn't the expected solution x + y = z? It's obviously the more general case. And it's easily accessible to anyone who's studied basic algebra. What, were these studies of 2nd-graders?
 20th December 2012, 11:48 PM #5 mike3 Graduate Poster   Join Date: Aug 2009 Posts: 1,946 Originally Posted by mijopaalmc I notice that there is not a single citation in that word salad. Googling "39 + 13 = 52" and "psychologists" together didn't seem to yield any gold. epix, are you pulling our leg? Did you report this correctly? __________________ “Ego is subversive and devolutionary, truly destructive and terrible; ego is the generator of privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Ego is the fire that burns within the pit of hell, devouring and cosuming everything that enters and leaving utterly nothing behind. Ego is horrible, cruel, and restraining, the darkness of the world, and the doom and bane of man.” – a reaction to that famous Bertrand Russell quote.
 20th December 2012, 11:49 PM #6 theprestige Philosopher   Join Date: Aug 2007 Posts: 8,666 Originally Posted by OnlyTellsTruths If I understand your logic... You misread the OP. It's not a theoretical (logical) claim. It's a factual claim. The OP is claiming there is actually experimenatal observations of a specific outcome. Logic has nothing to do with it. It's all about citing the experimental documentation. Which the OP does not do.
 21st December 2012, 12:14 AM #7 Aepervius Philosopher     Join Date: Aug 2003 Location: Bierland. I mean , germany. Posts: 7,770 I looked in google all i found were card related stuff, and mathew citation. Knowing epix i get the feeling he will do some major hand waving then conclude "therefore :god". __________________ Omnes Blessant Ultima necat "I want, and this is my last and most dear wish, I want that the last of the king be strangled with the guts of the last priest" (Jean Meslier / 1664-1729 / Testament) A very early french atheist, a catholic priest in life.
 21st December 2012, 12:23 AM #8 Aepervius Philosopher     Join Date: Aug 2003 Location: Bierland. I mean , germany. Posts: 7,770 I googled all possible combo of x+y=z , 13,39,52, and all other phrase combo from epix post as it could have been copied from an article and found nothing. I am now waiting for the "pointe" of the joke. __________________ Omnes Blessant Ultima necat "I want, and this is my last and most dear wish, I want that the last of the king be strangled with the guts of the last priest" (Jean Meslier / 1664-1729 / Testament) A very early french atheist, a catholic priest in life.
 21st December 2012, 12:48 AM #9 StankApe Banned   Join Date: Oct 2012 Posts: 4,643 it's really fairly obvious: 39 is the number of the NWO ! this number is very important as it represents the number 13 (the day of the purge of the Knights Templar (this is why we consider friday the 13th bad, and 13 an unlucky number)) multiplied times the 3 ruling kings . (who I am not obliged to name at this time) 13 is obvious, and in this case the 4th 13 is symbolic of the totality of mankind, being ruled by the Order itself. The resulting 52 is the most sacred number in the Order as it represents the union of the common man and the Order. All working together towards the common goal. Helping the Jooz!
 21st December 2012, 01:39 AM #10 Jack by the hedge Safely Ignored     Join Date: Oct 2009 Posts: 5,418 Originally Posted by epix Does anyone see something familiar in the solution, or see some "logic" in it that would defeat the expected solution 1 + 1 = 2? Yes, I see something familiar in the solution: the number of cards in a pack and in each suit. Which in turn is supposed to represent the weeks in a year and in each season. Why do you think "1 + 1 = 2" is the expected solution? Why do you say it was 'defeated'? What was the actual question people were answering? How comparatively popular was the '39 + 13 = 52' answer? Was there anything in the 'placebo' questions to put subjects in mind of the number of cards in a pack? Did this really happen, or did you just dream it up?
 21st December 2012, 01:43 AM #11 StankApe Banned   Join Date: Oct 2012 Posts: 4,643 back to serious time now. Without the actual test results to look at , we are very limited on what we can comment on. If 200 people took the test, 180 gave individually different answers, 8 gave 39+13=52 , 4 gave 23+57=80 4 gave 69+69=138 and 4 gave 3+2=5 then it's hardly significant but if 200 people took the test and 140 gave 39+13=52, perhaps you'd have something there.
 21st December 2012, 02:51 AM #12 wollery Protected by Samurai Hedgehogs!     Join Date: Feb 2003 Location: Land of Eternal Hope Posts: 10,319 a+b=c __________________ "You're a sick SOB. You know that, Wollery?" - Roadtoad "Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!" --George Carlin
 21st December 2012, 03:00 AM #13 Ladewig Hipster alien     Join Date: Dec 2001 Location: not measurable Posts: 16,827 The first thing I would look for was the presence of any or all of these numbers in previous questions. Wait, no. The first thing I would look for is evidence that the whole thing was not fabricated. Let me know if any shows up. __________________ Is the JREF message board training wheels for people who hope to one day troll other message boards? It is not that hard to get us to believe you. We are not the major leagues or even the minor leagues. We are Pee-Wee baseball. If you love striking out 10-year-olds, then you'll love trolling our board.
 21st December 2012, 03:23 AM #14 nathan Zygoticly Phased     Join Date: Nov 2004 Location: Arkham City Posts: 3,169 x = gin y = vermouth z = martini __________________ Crank works have one advantage: they don't really lose anything in translation. Skeptic That's the beauty of Paranormal claims - there are no failures, only newly discovered restrictions on the ability. Ashles
 21st December 2012, 03:53 AM #15 dlorde Illuminator     Join Date: Apr 2007 Posts: 4,647 Maybe, as Aepervius and Jack by the hedge suggest, a significant majority were card players or had been involved in some card-related activity involving individual suits in a standard pack. Without any references to the study, we can't tell who the subjects were, but IME quite often they are students who are willing to participate in such experiments. Perhaps many of these subjects were students who'd earlier been involved with a card-based experiment. IOW it may have been a biased subject selection. __________________ Simple probability tells us that we should expect coincidences, and simple psychology tells us that we'll remember the ones we notice...
 21st December 2012, 04:05 AM #16 Dale H Scholar   Join Date: Jan 2006 Posts: 58 I am beginning to think Epix is a post grad student doing doctoral research on how to get otherwise sane, intelligent people to discuss total nonsense on internet bulletin boards. Dale H
 21st December 2012, 04:19 AM #17 dafydd Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Feb 2008 Location: Belgium (Flatland) Posts: 31,475 Originally Posted by Dale H I am beginning to think Epix is a post grad student doing doctoral research on how to get otherwise sane, intelligent people to discuss total nonsense on internet bulletin boards. Dale H I think that you are correct. __________________ Yesterday upon the stairs I met a man who wasn't there He wasn't there again today I wish that he would go away.
 21st December 2012, 04:31 AM #18 Darat Lackey Administrator / JREF Forum Liaison     Join Date: Aug 2001 Location: South East, UK Posts: 64,803 Originally Posted by Aepervius I looked in google all i found were card related stuff, and mathew citation. Knowing epix i get the feeling he will do some major hand waving then conclude "therefore :god". I suspect that is what is being alluded to. __________________ If it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 1918-2008
 21st December 2012, 04:31 AM #19 Aepervius Philosopher     Join Date: Aug 2003 Location: Bierland. I mean , germany. Posts: 7,770 Originally Posted by dlorde Maybe, as Aepervius and Jack by the hedge suggest, a significant majority were card players or had been involved in some card-related activity involving individual suits in a standard pack. Without any references to the study, we can't tell who the subjects were, but IME quite often they are students who are willing to participate in such experiments. Perhaps many of these subjects were students who'd earlier been involved with a card-based experiment. IOW it may have been a biased subject selection. The study was done with a random sample of 200 people all randomly taken at the exit of the Palace Casino in Las Vegas. __________________ Omnes Blessant Ultima necat "I want, and this is my last and most dear wish, I want that the last of the king be strangled with the guts of the last priest" (Jean Meslier / 1664-1729 / Testament) A very early french atheist, a catholic priest in life.
 21st December 2012, 06:34 AM #21 Mark6 Illuminator     Join Date: Mar 2008 Posts: 4,178 Originally Posted by Dale H I am beginning to think Epix is a post grad student doing doctoral research on how to get otherwise sane, intelligent people to discuss total nonsense on internet bulletin boards. Dale H Either that, or he is just posting whatever voices in his head are telling him -- like this non-existent "study". I am inclined to the latter. __________________ Gamemaster: "A horde of rotting zombies is shambling toward you. The sign over the door says 'Accounting'"
 21st December 2012, 06:51 AM #22 elgarak Graduate Poster     Join Date: Nov 2003 Location: No matter where I go, there I am Posts: 1,859 z = 42, of course.
 21st December 2012, 06:55 AM #23 GlennB Jellied eel and offal fancier     Join Date: Sep 2006 Location: Arcadia Posts: 8,959 It's pretty clear. Googling study 13 39 52 quickly leads us to Matthew 13:52, which says : "He said to them, "Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old." Then just slap in the 39 to make it an equation. Many of those tested were probably devout law teachers and had storerooms with treasures in them that they like to bring out sometimes, so this just sprang to mind. (what made me laff about that webpage is that it says "Scripture quoted by permission" ) eta: Whoa .. it might run deeper. Add 13,39 and 52 you get 104, which adds up to 5. This is the number of books in The Pentateuch. Spooky. Last edited by GlennB; 21st December 2012 at 06:59 AM.
 21st December 2012, 06:56 AM #24 Jack by the hedge Safely Ignored     Join Date: Oct 2009 Posts: 5,418 Originally Posted by Aepervius ... mathew citation. Originally Posted by Darat I suspect that is what is being alluded to. OK, so I looked up Matthew 13 39-52 but didn't find any relevance. Is that what you meant?
 21st December 2012, 07:05 AM #25 Beerina Sarcastic Conqueror of Notions     Join Date: Mar 2004 Location: A floating island above the clouds Posts: 23,835 Assuming said study actually exists, was the question multiple choice? Perhaps people, in a forced-choice scenario, would naturally pick the biggest numbers that satisfied the equation. __________________ "Great innovations should not be forced [by way of] slender majorities." - Thomas Jefferson The government should nationalize it! Socialized, single-payer video game development and sales now! More, cheaper, better games, right? Right?
 21st December 2012, 07:38 AM #26 quarky Banned   Join Date: Oct 2007 Posts: 20,454 Originally Posted by Beerina Assuming said study actually exists, was the question multiple choice? Perhaps people, in a forced-choice scenario, would naturally pick the biggest numbers that satisfied the equation. That makes sense. Otherwise, normally being pressed for time, one would expect the simplest answer.
 21st December 2012, 08:32 AM #27 Meridian Thinker   Join Date: Aug 2007 Posts: 131 Originally Posted by quarky Otherwise, normally being pressed for time, one would expect the simplest answer. Which is 0+0=0, not 1+1=2!
 21st December 2012, 09:27 AM #28 Modified Illuminator     Join Date: Sep 2006 Location: SW Florida Posts: 4,062 Originally Posted by quarky That makes sense. Otherwise, normally being pressed for time, one would expect the simplest answer. I would expect single digit x and y, no zeros, and different x and y.
 21st December 2012, 02:49 PM #29 quarky Banned   Join Date: Oct 2007 Posts: 20,454 Originally Posted by Meridian Which is 0+0=0, not 1+1=2! Can't disagree with that being the most 'efficient' answer...yet, if the test was for highschool kids, that answer would show too much sophistication.
 21st December 2012, 02:53 PM #30 StankApe Banned   Join Date: Oct 2012 Posts: 4,643 it seems that due to algebraic training we would put two different variables as x and y (and in such a manner as to get a completely different variable in Z) so 1+2=3 is what I would expect to see. but people doing math can be cheeky and creative. (especially when there is no grade) they might put their birthday (M+D=Z) or SSN or wtvr.
 21st December 2012, 03:05 PM #31 mijopaalmc Illuminator   Join Date: Mar 2007 Posts: 4,638 It is interesting that the two summands are multiples of 13. It is, however, also less interesting that the sum is a multiple of 13, and you don't need a psychologist of the faculties of local university math departments to tell you why that is.
 21st December 2012, 03:12 PM #32 mijopaalmc Illuminator   Join Date: Mar 2007 Posts: 4,638 Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge OK, so I looked up Matthew 13 39-52 but didn't find any relevance. Is that what you meant? How about Mat 1:3,4? ETA: That's part of the genealogy. Last edited by mijopaalmc; 21st December 2012 at 03:13 PM.
 21st December 2012, 03:19 PM #33 quarky Banned   Join Date: Oct 2007 Posts: 20,454 I can't believe there's a whole side show of bible quote algebra. What's next? Disco?
 21st December 2012, 03:23 PM #34 quarky Banned   Join Date: Oct 2007 Posts: 20,454 Originally Posted by Modified I would expect single digit x and y, no zeros, and different x and y. Same here. Yet, I was responding to Beerina's suggestion that it was a multiple choice test; in which case, the poor kid's prejudice might go for the most complicated-looking choice. Too bad we still don't know if any such test took place. But it's a cool idea. I'd like to see this sort of test, and its results.
 21st December 2012, 04:28 PM #36 fromdownunder Illuminator   Join Date: Aug 2006 Posts: 3,095 Thanks for that post. I can now feed my Rose Bushes for the next 6 months. Norm
 21st December 2012, 04:31 PM #37 Mashuna Ovis ex Machina     Join Date: Jan 2006 Location: Welsh Wales Posts: 6,581 It's probably not a good idea for you to carry on these extended conversations with the voices in your head, then posts the results here.
 21st December 2012, 04:37 PM #38 StankApe Banned   Join Date: Oct 2012 Posts: 4,643 Originally Posted by fromdownunder Thanks for that post. I can now feed my Rose Bushes for the next 6 months. Norm nominated for pith!
 21st December 2012, 04:47 PM #39 Kid Eager Illuminator     Join Date: Nov 2010 Location: Australia Posts: 3,511 I'm still stuck at the "cool story, bro" point: there's no evidence, cites, references, methodology...... __________________ What do Narwhals, Magnets and Apollo 13 have in common? Think about it....
 21st December 2012, 04:53 PM #40 Sledge Grammaton Cleric     Join Date: Oct 2009 Location: Swingin' on a star Posts: 7,123 This thread is all rubbish. You can't add letters. epix has confused letters with numbers. __________________ "The perfect haiku would have just two syllables: Airwolf" ~ Ernest Cline "Science knows it doesn't know everything, otherwise it would stop" ~ Dara O'Briain.

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