Sunday, June 25, 2006



Anonymous spinn said...

What the fuck...? Yeah, if that math is any indication, you're in trouble.

6/25/2006 01:42:00 PM  
Anonymous longtime reader said...

22 to 47 equals 2247 which is to the power of something in the districts of 65 other states and ... aw, FUCK ... DAMN MY LOUISIANA EDUCATION! I have no clue what kind of math you just performed there!

6/25/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Anonymous spinn said...

Why does that even get printed, though?

6/25/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Is it possible - or even likely - that the original letter was written correctly; that is with a larger 22 and a raised superscripted 47, and that the transcription read that incorrectly as 2247? It seems likely to me, especially since the author appears to have gone to pains to indicate what he meant for that to read as...

6/26/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Suspect Device said...

Sean, even if that was the case -- 47 as an exponent -- it's still wildly wrong. 22 to the 47 power isn't 22 x 47, it's 22 x 22 x 22 x 22 ... 47 times. Put it this way: the estimated number of snowflakes to have fallen on the earth over the last 4 billion years is about 10 to the 28th power. A conservative estimate of the number of atoms in the known universe is 10 to the 79th power. And that's just the start of it: being 22nd place in the 47th ranked state doesn't mean that those other 46 (not 47) "states have at least 22 districts better than ours." The 15th-through-21st-ranked schools in those 46 states could all have lower scores than our 22nd if the 1st through 14th in those states all scored high enouAAHHHHGH BRAIN EXPLODING ffzt bbzzt.

Basically, the writer complains about math education and then demonstrates his point with utter headspinning nonsense.

6/26/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Yeah, I understand that. I'm not really defending his overall math, just the initial impression that he was asserting that 22^47 = 2247. I think THAT'S just a transcription error.

6/26/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Suspect Device said...

well okay then.

6/26/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous spinn said...

Yeah, defend that part. That makes it all better.

6/26/2006 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Hey Spinn, no one is saying anything "makes it all better". I'm not in any way trying to defend the guy's actual egregious math illiteracy, just pointing out that he probably DIDN'T say that 22^47 = 2247.

There is a wealth of material to bust our opposition on, but making up shit or misrepresenting what they're saying just weakens what we're saying.

6/26/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Anonymous spinn said...

Well, for one, for all we know, that is what he wrote in his letter. Even if not, I figured it might just be a transcription error for the web site, where publications are generally not concerned about the accuracy of formatting beyond the basics. And even if not, I think we can generously ignore that part and still call the guy a moron.

6/28/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous spinn said...

Oh...wait a minute, okay. Sorry, my anger's getting the better of me with these things, these days.

You're right, I don't think he was saying 2247 = 22^47. I think that was just a transcription error along the way. My apologies.

6/28/2006 12:37:00 PM  
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