Monday, October 12, 2009

The Value of Math

I had a bone density test done last week at a mobile health clinic. (I have low bone density.) At the end the technician, a man in his mid-40s, was unable to calculate the following expression:


I quickly came up with -2.96 using my cell phone calculator and basic math skills. Even though I tried to explain to the tech how I did it he didn't trust my figure, and even though he had a very nice scientific calculator he still couldn't figure it out himself.

Eventually the poor guy got some help from another tech, who after several minutes found how to use the scientific calculator to arrive at the same -2.96 figure. They actually gave me my money back, which I thought was nice. My heart went out to them.

To any kids who might read this: obey your parents and learn your math. Not learning it may someday cost you money (or perhaps even your job). Thousands of third world kids would love to have the educational opportunities you squander. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for the countless hours of math teaching you gave me!

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