Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

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Mighty Jalapeno
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:25 am UTC

"Hey, Billy-Bob, I love this here new metric system! My beer size went from 12 to 355, and the friggin' speed limit's 110 now! YEEEHAWW!"

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Gelsamel » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:26 am UTC

Wow people are stupid (I guess I knew this already), I bet they realised their mistake after the dudes told them that -6 is higher then -8 - but then just kept running with it so as to not admit stupidity.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:28 am UTC

Yes, running with it increases my esteem of their intelligence...

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Gelsamel » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:37 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Yes, running with it increases my esteem of their intelligence...


Yeah they definitely seem more intelligent if they're incapable of admitting they're wrong ;-).
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Durandal » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:56 am UTC

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Gelsamel » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:57 am UTC

I bet if we only had 2 fingers we'd think in binary.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Durandal » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:14 am UTC

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Rodan » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:15 am UTC

I'd have thought he'd have gotten it from (I think it was) the Math Curse

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby 4=5 » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:18 am UTC

I think base 12 is better more easly divisible

breed everyone with 6 fingers on each hand

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Gelsamel » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:19 am UTC

No? I have not seen either of those. It just seems logical to me (though I suppose I could be wrong).

When we start to count as children we often use our fingers, then when we reach the end, 10, we remember we've gone through our set of fingers 1 time. This logically leads to the use of base 10, whereas if you had 2 fingers you'd count to 2, then remember you've counted through your fingers 1 time, leading to binary.
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"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Rodan » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:25 am UTC

It's funny... I never really counted on my fingers much.

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Quantum Potatoid » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:36 am UTC

-8<-6!! Augh!!
People these days... Suddenly 4=5 and pi=3 doesn't seem so far off...
I can't believe how many people fail at recognizing negative numbers. I feel like trying to explain Quantum Physics to the people in society just to make thier heads asplode. Has anyone tried this? The reactions are fun.

I can ONLY use the metric system. I completely forgot what ounces were for a while. I overheard that some people actually claimed the metric system didn't make any sense. :roll: Of course it's always fun to use degrees Rankine on people once in a while. :D
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Kizyr » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:41 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:No? I have not seen either of those. It just seems logical to me (though I suppose I could be wrong).

When we start to count as children we often use our fingers, then when we reach the end, 10, we remember we've gone through our set of fingers 1 time. This logically leads to the use of base 10, whereas if you had 2 fingers you'd count to 2, then remember you've counted through your fingers 1 time, leading to binary.

Number of fingers isn't always an indicator, though. The obvious example is the Mayas, of course, with a base-20 system. Or the hexagesimal system with the Babylonians.

When I learned to count on my fingers, it was two ways. One was the usual way of going one-to-ten on each of my fingers. Another was to count each of the joints, using the thumb to indicate each one. Thus, count 1-to-4 on your little finger, 5-8 on your ring finger, etc., so, you can count from 1 to 16 on one hand. Given that, it wouldn't be inconceivable to have a base-16 number system.

Oh, the counting-by-joints thing is pretty commonly done in South Asia. It's a habit I picked up from my parents. Although, these days I just count in binary so I can do 0-to-31 instead. KF
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby 4=5 » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:46 am UTC

well the maya just used their fingers and toes

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Bluecold » Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:13 pm UTC

Kizyr wrote:Number of fingers isn't always an indicator, though. The obvious example is the Mayas, of course, with a base-20 system. Or the hexagesimal system with the Babylonians.

Babylonians aren't around anymore, Mayas didn't fare any better.
Metric system out-evolved them.

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Belial » Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:41 pm UTC

In the latter example, I'm going to say that the self-superior fuckers with guns out-evolved them. It's not really a victory for the metric system at all, since said self-superior fuckers were still using imperial units at the time.

Even if they were using metric, it wouldn't be a victory for the metric system unless the metric system had somehow enabled the victory.

When, in reality, it was mostly the gun-powder.
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Umlaut » Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:44 pm UTC

Belial wrote:In the latter example, I'm going to say that the self-superior fuckers with guns out-evolved them. It's not really a victory for the metric system at all, since said self-superior fuckers were still using imperial units at the time.

Even if they were using metric, it wouldn't be a victory for the metric system unless the metric system had somehow enabled the victory.

When, in reality, it was mostly the gun-powder.

Also, even in metric-zones, gunpowder is still measured frequently in grains...
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby cathrl » Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:41 pm UTC

My eight year old saw this on the news and laughed.

We're talking very, very small children not to have learned this. Not middle school or even close to it. The number line on the wall in my son's infant classroom (5 and 6 year olds) had negative numbers on it.

It's horrifying how many people will casually admit to a truly appalling level of numeracy. Even TV presenters and newsreaders. Do they not realise it's the equivalent of saying "actually, I can't read or write words of more than one syllable"?

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:01 pm UTC

Well, not really. Reading is important... how else will you know what TV shows are on! And with numeracy, you only need to know positive numbers so you'll know WHEN TV shows are on.

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby LoopQuantumGravity » Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:07 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:with numeracy, you only need to know positive numbers so you'll know WHEN TV shows are on.


You just never know if you missed one!
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby muteKi » Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:35 pm UTC

Yay for base60 calculations! And for base(60/5)! :P
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Number3Pencils » Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:05 am UTC

Rodan wrote:silly Americans. Just accept the fact that metric is easier and you spell "armour" with a u.

I think, just maybe, you might find a consensus here that metric is easier. I.e., here we all know it clearly is, but it only catches on with smart people, not policy makers, who would be the ones to change our speed limit signs.
As for armour, no wonder you Britons wear out your keyboards so quick. It's from typing all those unnecessary letters, often in all the wrong order (keyboards can't stand that). We're not French, man! What's a "manoeuvre"?

Edit: Well, apparently I only read the first page, and then commented, so this response was nothing like timely. However, this is at least a little like timely:

Quantum Potatoid wrote:-8<-6!! Augh!!
Actually, -(6!!) is approximately 2.6×101746 less than -8.
Last edited by Number3Pencils on Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:14 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Angelene » Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:12 am UTC

At least we don't throw 'z's about like they're going out of fashion...
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Number3Pencils » Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:17 am UTC

Nuh-uh, you guys underuse them. If it weren't for our utilization of it, the z would practically wither away from the American language. I hope you're happy...attempted letter-killers.

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Solt » Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:34 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:That Celcius freak was onto something. "Humans scale things easier when it's something they do every day. Hmm.... let's use Kelvin, but just phase shift it... hmmm, here! Zero = freezing, 100 = boiling! I'm sure this will catch on with 99% of the nations of the world!"


Actually it's widely accepted that Fahrenheit is better for describing everyday temperatures, namely the weather. Widely accepted in the US anyway, and incidentally I agree. Weather in Fahrenheit varies about 110 degrees, while Weather in Celsius varies about 50 degrees, meaning greater resolution. And Celsius goes into the negative numbers while Fahrenheit stays positive longer. And if this article should teach us anything, it's that we are right to say negative numbers have no place in every day life except to make nerdy jokes.

And Kelvin came after Celsius, why do you think water has such perfect phase transition values in Celsius, but such weird ones in Kelvin?
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Pai » Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:39 am UTC

I have a suspicion sometimes, that the US stubbornly refuses to go Metric because we like having a special system that's just for us and making everyone else in the world have to work around it. =P
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:48 am UTC

Is weather resolution that important?

"Man, it's 33 degrees out there!"
"Really? Are you sure it isn't 32? Feels like 32..."

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Number3Pencils » Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:57 am UTC

I'm sorry; now I just can't help but to post something my friend overheard at our not-a-real-school once:
"Man, it's so cold! It's like 1 degrees out!"
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Solt » Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:30 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Is weather resolution that important?

"Man, it's 33 degrees out there!"
"Really? Are you sure it isn't 32? Feels like 32..."


Hey, better than "0" and ".5" degrees.
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produced a more reliable product. But sailors do

not float on theory, and the welded tankers had a

most annoying habit of splitting in two."

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Eoin » Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:00 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:The fact that these people have such poor numeracy skills that they can't even work out negative numbers does explain why they're playing the lottery, though...


I agree entirely. The lottery is just an extra tax on people who can't understand mathematics. When I have this arguement with people who do the lottery the response is usually something along the lines of "what about that woman who won 10 million last year ... ?". It is difficult to explain the statistics of the lottery to those who really don't want to know.

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Durandal » Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:27 pm UTC

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Live » Fri Nov 09, 2007 5:55 pm UTC

It's pretty sad that in Britain, to get a C in math on your high school equivalency, you need to score 18%. In 1989 it was 40%, but the government changed it to improve education statistics.


I play the lottery. The $2/wk it costs has no impact on my lifestyle, whereas if I were to win either the jackpot or a secondary prize, it would be significant. However, those who live on welfare and spend $100's on Nevada tickets are...choosing poorly.
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Nov 09, 2007 5:57 pm UTC

Live wrote:It's pretty sad that in Britain, to get a C in math on your high school equivalency, you need to score 18%. In 1989 it was 40%, but the government changed it to improve education statistics.

What, seriously? It's still 68% where I am!

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Belial » Fri Nov 09, 2007 5:59 pm UTC

Every couple weeks, the CADD group here at work used to collect a pool, and buy, like, dozens of lottery tickets with the money, with the agreement that any winnings would be split all ways.

Those were the only times I really played the lottery. Not because I thought my investment was worth the infinetesimal chance of winning, but because, on the off chance that the pool won, and I wasn't in it, I would feel so damn stupid it would be suicide-worthy.
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Kizyr » Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:01 pm UTC

Durandal wrote:Also, I'm convinced that the U.S. has not changed to metric solely because of football (not the soccer variety), and the confusion it would cause amongst those who play it.
Ref: "3 and 9.144!"
QB: "WTF man decimals? *head asplodes*"

...I seriously doubt that. Conversion to metric would still leave classic areas where standard/Imperial measures are used as-is. Drinks would likely still come in gallons (or 2~3-liters), football would still use yards, etc. Most of the switch would involve road-signs, weather reports, using grams instead of pounds at the grocery, etc.

Also, cricket still uses measurements in yards, despite all test-playing nations using metric. KF
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:07 pm UTC

That is very true. I mean, I'm Canadian, I'm metric, I'm smart... and I'm still 6'4", 300 lbs. I am not 193cm, nor am I 136.5 kilograms.

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby oxoiron » Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:08 pm UTC

My favorite is when the weather person tells me that it is -40 degrees below zero, so frostbite is a serious concern. This leads to some interesting observations. First, if it is actually 40 degrees below zero (not -40 degrees below zero), it is irrelevant whether I am using Celsius or Fahrenheit and the weather person is correct; it is really fucking cold outside. On the other hand, if it is really -40 degrees below zero, on neither temperature scale is frostbite a possibility. If it is Fahrenheit, I'll need a jacket, although I certainly won't be losing any extremities to the cold. If it is Celsius, I don't even want to be outside, even if I'm naked, because that is just too damn hot, no matter what I'm doing.
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:17 pm UTC

Well, they have to be understood by the people who complained about Cool Cash....

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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Robin S » Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:27 pm UTC

We have had the metric vs non-metric and British vs American English debates elsewhere.

As for the people failing to understand what "size" means in the context of negative numbers, I would mainly blame poor education (just because they went to school, it doesn't mean they had what most of us would consider a decent standard of education), along with perhaps an innate predispensation for difficulty in thinking intuitively about abstract concepts in this sort of context.

I imagine the customers' reasoning went something like this:

"Temperatures are written as numbers. Lower numbers (an ambiguous term) are closer to zero. Therefore, when I scratch my card I want to reveal a number closer to zero."

I can understand this line of reasoning based on poor education and also poor intuitive abstract reasoning.

In my opinion, one of humanity's biggest failings is not stupidity, but inability to understand the workings of the minds of others. I do not deny that I am as susceptible to this as anyone else.
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Re: Just a little news snippet on the innumerate.

Postby Durandal » Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:33 pm UTC

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