June 30, 2010

"Do the math."

Have you noticed no one says that anymore?

46 comments:

HDHouse said...

yes I do.

AllenS said...

When you're running a yearly deficit of over a trillion dollars, math becomes an impossibility.

BJK said...

I blame calculators

Comrade X said...

althouse says no one says it, and immediately a no one shows up to confirm.

MadisonMan said...

Does no one take algebra?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You have to know HOW to do any sort of math first.

Since most products of our public education system can't make change for 60 cents out of a dollar, it is no wonder that phrase has gone into the 'dustbin'.

GMay said...

Judging by how they teach it in my youngest's elementary school, I can see why.

MrBuddwing said...

Hell, I'm old enough to remember the "New Math" of the 1960s. Never did quite understand what made the New Math new, Tom Lehrer's song notwithstanding:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wHDn8LDks8&feature=related

Word verification: bheedi.

Hoosier Daddy said...

AllenS sums it up nicely.

RobertL said...

Why bother with such trivial matters such as postulates and theorems when Congress can vote tomorrow to make 2+2=5? Sort of the ebonics of the numbers world..... it's all relative you know.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think we gave up math to connect the dots.

Largo said...

Ann, your title makes be think of a particularly creepy episode of Medium.

Largo said...

@MrBuddwing:

My vague understanding of "new math" is that it originated in the Departments of Mathematics and filtered down to schoolchildren through the Faculties of Education.

And that it may have been a great thing had the math profs if it could have been taught (to gradeschool kids - I'm not joking) by the math profs (and perhaps, just perhaps, by the math majors) rather than by the education majors.

BTW & FWIW: the one year I took doing my postgrad cert in education? An easy 80% of it was useless. The major course in mathematics education was pretty good though.

HT said...

Oh gosh. This is similar to what the judge said yesterday in the conspiracy ruling I've been trying trying trying to get you to write about, and I was hoping you had! But no. A random question it seems.

I had not noticed fwiw.

LarsPorsena said...

Before when someone said "Do the math" they really meant do the arithmetic. Now with trillion dollar deficits you really do need math...as in understanding scientific notation.

Largo said...

BTW also, I have just recently leading my nine year old son through his first steps in linear algebra. Lines as pictures of equations. Two equations in to variables. I hope I am teaching him something. He is teaching me a lot!

SteveR said...

More people do meth than math

Gabriel Hanna said...

There's math and there's math.

Your budget begins at zero, and the government's "zero" is "current services baseline", which means last years' budget plus a bit more for inflation, population growth, etc.

This is why people complain of budget "cuts" when they got more money this year than last year.

Differential equations are hard, but they don't lie to me, and they don't pick my pocket.

Largo said...

Creepy Medium: Do The Math.

TMink said...

I am with HDH. I said this in a session 26 minutes ago.

Trey

edutcher said...

A former co-worker explained to me why his kids were home schooled. A friend's kids were being taught that it wasn't all that important if their answer to an arithmetic problem was correct, just so long as they "felt good about their solution". Hope the teacher gets to ride in an airplane designed by his students some day.

Something else for which we can thank that "distinguished educator" and terrorist emeritus, William Ayers.

Brian said...

For engineering, you need to know how to do the math, even when you use the computer to do the calculations. Either because you're writing the code yourself, or using software to do it, and you need to know the ballpark numbers to expect. Otherwise, you're trusting the numbers with no intuition into what the numbers should be.

When you get a result way off from what you expect, it forces you to verify your original model, circuit diagram, etc.

In engineering, it's often not important to be exact, just close enough to figure in a high margin of safety. Too late for Freddie Mac, GM, BP, etc.

dbp said...

"I was told there would be no math", is the standard expectation these days. Do the math, just runs against the grain.

Being able to do math may be a bit like being trained in the law: You become one of the few who know the rules.

AJ Lynch said...

I wish Congress would agree to "do the math" by disclosing the per capita cost for every bill they propose.

Ironchefoklahoma said...

@Largo:

Good for you! Being that involved in your 9-year-old's schoolwork, especially math, is a great thing!

I think, however, that you meant analytic geometry instead of linear algebra (matrices & vectors)

lemondog said...

Ford doing the math.

Howz GovMot doin'?

Pogo said...

"Do the math" has usually been employed in situations where no real math could be done, as actual numbers weren't involved.

I still hear it used, primarily as a snarky comment that something or other is quite obvious or easily explained but if you don't believe me, just do the math.

Or mebbe I didn't get it right, and there were sums to be done.

reader_iam said...

No, I haven't. It could just be the circles I move in, though.

SarcastiCarrie said...

I thought it had to do with unwed pregnancy and figuring out the daddy and getting the shotgun and getting married. But since no one cares about unwed motherhood anymore, it just fell out of fashion. No stigma here.

Largo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

Number of ways to arrange the numbers 1 through 88 with each number moved no more tha 9 places left or 6 places right from its original position

352959644959631247592278717050113239206176862326012446776306341544697242

EDH said...

Isn't the phrase more popularly, "if you do the math."

Rather than the imperative "do the math" (i.e., think for yourself), "if you do the math" is a blend of the subjunctive and declarative, as in, if only you would apply the rigorous logic that I'm applying to the facts, then you'd see things the way I'm seeing them.

"If you do the math" is persuasion, an appeal to one's own authority for you to see things my way, not an admonishment to think for yourself with any particular mathematical rigor.

jimspice said...

According to Sharon Angle's math, there are PLENTY of jobs out there.

From Inwood said...

We've had a Malt Summit so why not a Math Summit?

How about

From Inwood said...

Or



For Math does more than Milton can to justify God's way to man.

c3 said...

Is this based on some sort of survey or something?

Christy said...

Am I the only one who had professors who'd work out a problem on the board and say, "you do the math?"

AC245 said...

According to Sharon Angle's math, there are PLENTY of jobs out there

Sharon Angle is a fool to rely on the Obama Administration's claims.

Eric said...

When you're running a yearly deficit of over a trillion dollars, math becomes an impossibility.

Even if it's possible it's too depressing to confront with the cold numbers. Better just to pretend we can spend our way out of problems.

pst314 said...

"Never did quite understand what made the New Math new"

A big part of it was education theorists who thought that children should begin their education with basic theory. Thus, for instance, I and my classmates started out Set Theory! As with Whole Language, this was a boondoggle so stupid that it could only have been invented by an "intellecual."

reader_iam said...

There are curricula out there that do both. Once I took my son out of school, in decent amount measure due to the math curriculum, we commenced to use one of them. It's called "Singapore Math--U.S. Edition" [which has a teachers' guide specifically for homeschoolers].

reader_iam said...

As important--perhaps more important--my engineer husband approved of it, as did his father, also an engineer.

sierra said...

Another thing I've noticed people don't say any more: "It's a free country."

reader_iam said...

Another thing I've noticed people don't say any more: "It's a free country."

I do say that, Sierra. Many people I know do say that. I claim that. It's a birthright. And I'm educating my son to claim that. In fact, he's now doing that beyond my control. It's not foreign to him, on account of our extended family and far-flung friends.

Freedom, like love, in action has more to do with what you do than what you feel, and God knows more than what you just say in blogthreads.

***

Another thing I've noticed people don't say any more: "It's a free country.

The expection of partisan thinkers, from wherever, is that you can't--shouldn't--say that.

Add 'em all up, and maybe they have a point. Smudge the aggregate yellers altogether, and it's hard to challenge what they're saying. How they can justify their telling people they can claim that it's a free country only if they're party members and toe a strict party line, is something I'd prefer not to point out in the sharpest, harshest terms, because I think it's obvious.

And given that it's obvious, why the hell should I put myself on the line? I don't relish putting people I care about on that line. In the crunch, I won't put them there. I would put myself on the line for them, however.

As for the rest of you:

Methadras said...

I say it everyday at work.

Chris said...

People are too stuck on stupid to do math.