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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Small town math Boners

In what grade did you learn how to do basic addition and subtraction? I think I learned in grade two. Addition and subtraction are very basic grade school math skills. I don't think I've EVER heard anyone say "Addition and subtraction! What the hell are we learning this crap for? I have NO idea what real life situations we can apply this to!". The point is, addition and subtraction is easy math skills everybody who went to public school should be able to do, and apply to every day situations.

With that in mind, everybody do the following equation: 40+10-25=?

Everybody got it?

That's right, the answer is 25!

At the small town grocery store across the street from the office I work at, there is a contest going on to win a two minute shopping spree. Every time you buy something you get a ballot to fill out, stuff it in a ballot box and they will do a draw at a later date. Normally, ballot entries have an easy skill testing question, usually the question is a math problem and usually the question varies. Not on this one. The question is the same every single time, and it is the math problem I showed above.

Not only does the ballot question not change, but the answer is written ON THE BALLOT BOX. Right below the entry sign, someone from the store wrote in magic marker "THE ANSWER TO THE SKILL TESTING QUESTION IS 25". Still, there are about a half dozen math equations written on the ballot box from people trying to figure the question out. "Umm, I don't trust THAT equation, even though there's only one way to get the answer on this BASIC math question. I'll redo the math in EXACTLY the same way to confirm the answer."

This boggles the mind. I mean, I was able to easily do the math in my head in about two seconds time. Why do people need to do the math, on the ballot box, for themselves, ignoring that the answer is given and others have done the math too?

But that's not the dumbest part. Someone had done a very interesting and complex equation solving and had gotten an answer of 28. TWENTY EIGHT. How the hell do you get 28 from 40+10-25? And why the hell did this persons equation involve long division anyways?

This is a sad, sad state of affairs people. When basic math cannot be done, how do people function? How do they make change, fill their gas tanks, time cooking? Do small town people all have personal assistants, you know, the kind that help out mentally retarded people?

I guess so, because anyone that cannot get 40+10-25, especially when the answer is given and the problem does not change, needs a personal retard assistant just to get through their day!

I'm beginning to think eugenics is a good idea. SHEESH!

11 keen observations:

Just Sayin' said...

Maybe they think they have to show their work or they'll only get half credit!

tanninety said...

You scientists and your mathcraft need FAITH to know the CORRECT answer is 28. You're going to hell.

Mike said...

Oh ye of little faith, thou shalt know that 40+10-25=28, so sayeth they lord DUMBLEDORK.

Thou doth protest as to thine illogics of addition and subtraction shalt burn in thine hell for eternity, and thou shalt be subjected to listening to Celine Dion and watching reruns of "the facts of life".

mimzie said...

Wait. The answer isn't 412? Crap!! I hate, hate, hate numbers!!!!!!

Emmy said...

I was saying the very same thing the other day to a friend, what the fuck is happening are peoples minds repressing.

cyberpunk said...

i wanna see that complex equation involving long division.

as for eugenics, i agree. argh, too many people! it has become quantity over quality :D

Mike said...

@Mimzie: As a New Yorker, you would fall into the category of a big town boner. Although having read some of your other writings, your strengths vastly overshadow your inability to do basic math :P

@Emmy: Could you live without running water, a house, a car etc.? If there was no one around to build or fix them suddenly, could you make them yourself, and/or survive? The problem stems from humans being dependent on things that they cannot build, fix, or know anything about. That is making us specialists, and completely screwed to a paradigm change.

@Cyberpunk: I'll try and get it next time i'm there, but it makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER! It's so funny. Quantity over quality is right!

Majik2903 said...

According to George Orwell's "1984" 2+2=5! But back to your post, I think the reason so many have trouble with basic math is because calculators are being used for the majority of basic math equations. I remember being in grade 1 and having to do basic addition and subtraction, and memorizing a multiplication table in grade 3 or 4! I don't know if technology is really to blame for this, but really there is no way to get 28 from 40+10-25!


Mike said...

Majik, now I really have to go back to that grocery store and copy that equation that got 28 from 40+10-25!

tanninety said...

40+10-25 can be equal to 28. The additional 3 is a quantum quirk. It came outtah nowhere mannn! You shooda seen it. We believe the universe can come out of nothing. We shouldn't be surprised if 28 came out of that equation.

Mike said...

Maybe the equation just got old and fat?