Monday, August 1, 2011

Do The Math

I originally received this e-mail back in 2002, but I think it's still relevant

Teaching Math in 1950: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is four-fifths of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching Math in 1960: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is four-fifths of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

Teaching Math in 1970: A logger exchanges a set "L" of lumber for a set "M" of money. The cardinality of set "M" is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make 100 dots representing the elements of the set "M". The set "C", the cost of production contains 20 fewer points then set "M". Represent the set "C" as a subset of set "M" and answer the following question: What is the cardinality of the set "P" of profits?

Teaching Math in 1980: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

Teaching Math in 1990: By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the forest birds and squirrels "feel" as the logger cut down the trees? There are no wrong answers.

Teaching Math in 2002: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $120. How does Arthur Andersen determine that his profit margin is $60?

Teaching Math in 2010: El hachero vende un camion carga por $100. La cuesta de production es.....


  1. I needed a good laugh this morning.

  2. As with the best humor, there's a bit too much truth to this one.

  3. The 90s - the decade of feelings. :) So true.

  4. Those 80's kids are running everything now. No wonder they can't figure out the budget. No one has given them the answer. Wait, I was an 80's kid.

  5. Travis: You're more than welcome for the chuckle.

    Charles: Unfortunately, yes. Can't tell you how many times I'd come up with what the proper total should be for my purchase...or my loan payments at the bank.

    ExtraO: Very interesting. And very sad too.

    Lynn: Touchy feely at its best. :D

    Bearman: Yup. Fortunately for me, I was a tweener, in that I was able to bypass the new math crap of the late 70's.

    Plus, had a math teacher for a parent as well,

  6. I love the 80's line! That pretty much still holds true though, doesn't it?

  7. S.R.: Unfortunately, yes. People nowadays haven't the ability to do math without a calculator.

  8. I like this one and also the Communist math one.

    Sad thing is..people learn less. we were talking about that the other day...bill is 5.25 so you hand them 10.25. "Why the extra quarter?"

    Wow, really?

    And forget it if they actually need to figure out how to make change without the computer telling them what they owe you...

  9. Darth: That's the one that bothers me the most.

    Because I'm such a walking calculator I can often tell them what I need back in change before they pop it into the register.

    Then they'll look at me really weird for several seconds or so, before popping the numbers in. You can really see the light bulb go off when they see that the number on the screen matches what I've told them.

  10. Am I allowed to swear?!

    Ohhhhh bl***dy hell that made me laugh!!!

    That is just my sense of humour!

  11. Jane: You're are more than welcome to exercise your freedome of speech on this blog.

    Select adjectives are always welcome.

    Glad this made your day. Hopefully you didn't suffer through any kind of this math.

  12. I did the 1970 style of maths G. It was all complete gibberish to me! Failed my O level twice with a spectacular Ungraded and an E!! Consequently, in the 2000s I took a university maths course in the 2002 style which is much more my style - you can still get marks for getting the answer wrong! Fantastic- it can't get batter than that can it:) We haven't quite got to the Spanish speaking maths questions here though - but Spanish was pretty unheard of in UK schools a few years back and now it's commonplace.

  13. Jane: I did mostly math from the 70's with just a hint from the 80's thrown in to the mix.

    Overall, my math was more real world than what I learned in school, but its still kind of cool to remember certain formulas for doing things, even though they'll never be used for anything.


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