Stay in school kids....

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Faldaguy
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Re: Stay in school kids....

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by PatJ » Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:58 am

The problem is that calculators are not always accurate. I have had students who wrote down whatever the calculator came up with - not even questioning whether or not the answer was reasonable.
There was an interesting experiment run a few years ago; folks were give calculators to use for their exam; but unbeknownst to them the calculators had been rigged: Some had a 10% error built-in; some 25%, and some a full 50% error. The real test of course was to see who and how many would challenge the answer of the calculator. The results were disappointing. I do not recall the precise figures, but a very high percentage would let the 10% error slide; quite a few would accept the 25% error over their own calculators (if they made any) and even with a 50% error the more than a third of the folks would accept the calculator. (Nor do I recall the ages, which would skew the outcomes for those of us who learned to use our heads.)

Like Moon, this simple thing amuses me (I'm no longer surprised) -- I recall several years ago buying four 99 cent burgers [maybe that tells you how many decades ago] when the power was out. The poor clerk was lost at what to charge, or do when I handed him four single dollar bills! The devices are indeed useful, but they need to be coupled with some fundamental understanding of what is happening.
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Re: Stay in school kids....

Post by Shilo »

It may be a bit cruel and politically incorrect but maybe that’s why these people are working in burger bars and as shop assistants and others are reading maths at university.
It’s not new. Over 40 years ago I remember colleagues laughing when one went looking for a calculator to multiply a number by 10.
We are not all created with equal abilities. It does amaze me at the mindless acceptance of a calculator display or anything at all in print
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Re: Stay in school kids....

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Now don't get me wrong, I'm no mathematical wiz... and yes I do depend on a calculator often. I think the thing that amazes me the most is when the checkers want to hand the money back... why not just input the amount and watch the magic?

It tickles me because they assume I made a mistake. :lol:
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Fred in Skirts
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Re: Stay in school kids....

Post by Fred in Skirts »

Moon, I had something similar happen to me while on holiday back a few years ago (10 or 11).

I gave the girl a 50 dollar bill for a 12 dollar purchase as that was all I had at the time. She then proceeded to tell me I needed to add another 7 dollars as it wasn't enough. I then told her that I gave her a 50 dollar bill and she owed me money back. She got really angry and threw the money back at me and told me to get out. I requested the manager and was told she was the manager. My only comment then was BYE! I left with my purchase and my money. Since she did not want payment for it I kept it as far as I was concerned it was her loss.
Later I found out she was not the manager and went back to see him, told him what happened and found out she had been fired because of her mouth and angry fits, he said not to worry about paying for my purchase.

He said it was so hard to find help that could read, count money, and do simple math. The schools were not even trying to make the kids learn just promoting them up and out with nothing to use in life..
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Re: Stay in school kids....

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Moon, I'm glad that you still have the freedom to use cash. A great many stores are card only now because cash has the potential to spread various things. I've put amounts as low as less than 50p on a card.
I believe in offering every assistance short of actual help but then mainly just want to be left to be myself in all my difference and uniqueness.
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Re: Stay in school kids....

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Sinned wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:00 pm
A great many stores are card only now because cash has the potential to spread various things. I've put amounts as low as less than 50p on a card.
The problem with cards here is that there are no data-security or personal privacy laws, so using a card for anything one buys with one is logged and attached to one's "permanent record". If the data were transitory and destroyed after the invoice was paid it wouldn't be a problem, but they aren't; they're sold to whatever comers there are who want it and is available to "lawn forcement" usually without subpoena.

So we Yanks tend to prefer cash whenever possible. The folks on the other side of the pond are protected by rigorous data-protection laws so probably have little to worry about.

I'd love to hear what the NSA algorithms think about my credit purchases, which for the past five years have been electronic components and tools, watchmaking tools, "women's apparel", train travel, and lodging. The first two could be regarded as highly dangerous... And it's all logged.
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Re: Stay in school kids....

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When I came to the USA I had a little trouble to handle the coins. There are only 4 different coins and in Europe we have even 8. From those 8 the one and two cent coins are no longer accepted in some countries. Now I'm doing much better. I even noticed that some people are even happy to be payed in the correct amount with bills and coins.

As for calculators, I went to school way before the calculators. The first one I saw was from a class mate somewhere in the 60s. It was the size of a small brick, costs $800 and his father, an airline pilot, bought it in Japan. We were using slide rulers then. Using the slide ruler forces you to estimate answers to see where to place the decimal. So estimating results is still in my system.

We had a teacher. The breast pocket of his jacket was filled with pens, pencils and a small (6") slide ruler. He used it every few seconds when he was explaining things. His master piece was:"Uh, six divided by three is, uh, let me see, very close to two." Mental arithmetic was not his speciality.
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Re: Stay in school kids....

Post by crfriend »

beachlion wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:22 pm
As for calculators, I went to school way before the calculators. The first one I saw was from a class mate somewhere in the 60s. It was the size of a small brick, costs $800 and his father, an airline pilot, bought it in Japan. We were using slide rulers then. Using the slide ruler forces you to estimate answers to see where to place the decimal. So estimating results is still in my system.
I still have my grandfather's HP-35 calculator, which cost $395 in late 1960s money (which is a small fortune today) -- and the last time I switched it on it still worked! (I need to get the battery-pack out of it!!! [0])

When I passed through technical school (having been dealt a fatal blow by the SATs (Scholastic Aptitude Tests) for maths thus scuppering my hopes to go into computing at a truly academic level) there was a general prohibition on using electronic calculators. Being the wiseguy I was (and remain), I asked if I could use my slide-rule -- and, since everybody had forgotten what they were, was granted permission. It didn't change the overall outcome, it just sped things up for me. I live in an apartment that more resembles a computer room than a normal flat, and I still keep a slip-stick handy; they're wonderful tools for approximating and seeing if a concept will work or not.


[0] And bloody close timing, too! The cells were just starting to leak and corrode!
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beachlion
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Re: Stay in school kids....

Post by beachlion »

crfriend wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:45 pm
beachlion wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:22 pm
As for calculators, I went to school way before the calculators. The first one I saw was from a class mate somewhere in the 60s. It was the size of a small brick, costs $800 and his father, an airline pilot, bought it in Japan. We were using slide rulers then. Using the slide ruler forces you to estimate answers to see where to place the decimal. So estimating results is still in my system.
I still have my grandfather's HP-35 calculator, which cost $395 in late 1960s money (which is a small fortune today) -- and the last time I switched it on it still worked! (I need to get the battery-pack out of it!!! [0])

When I passed through technical school (having been dealt a fatal blow by the SATs (Scholastic Aptitude Tests) for maths thus scuppering my hopes to go into computing at a truly academic level) there was a general prohibition on using electronic calculators. Being the wiseguy I was (and remain), I asked if I could use my slide-rule -- and, since everybody had forgotten what they were, was granted permission. It didn't change the overall outcome, it just sped things up for me. I live in an apartment that more resembles a computer room than a normal flat, and I still keep a slip-stick handy; they're wonderful tools for approximating and seeing if a concept will work or not.


[0] And bloody close timing, too! The cells were just starting to leak and corrode!
I have a slide rule in front of me next to the computer. I use it to convert inches to millimeters and back. The accuracy of that method is good enough for me.

During my study, calculators were also banned and the ownership of slide rules mandatory. It was part of the list of books you had to buy at the beginning of the study.
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beachlion
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Re: Stay in school kids....

Post by beachlion »

beachlion wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:14 pm
crfriend wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:45 pm
beachlion wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:22 pm
As for calculators, I went to school way before the calculators. The first one I saw was from a class mate somewhere in the 60s. It was the size of a small brick, costs $800 and his father, an airline pilot, bought it in Japan. We were using slide rulers then. Using the slide ruler forces you to estimate answers to see where to place the decimal. So estimating results is still in my system.
I still have my grandfather's HP-35 calculator, which cost $395 in late 1960s money (which is a small fortune today) -- and the last time I switched it on it still worked! (I need to get the battery-pack out of it!!! [0])

When I passed through technical school (having been dealt a fatal blow by the SATs (Scholastic Aptitude Tests) for maths thus scuppering my hopes to go into computing at a truly academic level) there was a general prohibition on using electronic calculators. Being the wiseguy I was (and remain), I asked if I could use my slide-rule -- and, since everybody had forgotten what they were, was granted permission. It didn't change the overall outcome, it just sped things up for me. I live in an apartment that more resembles a computer room than a normal flat, and I still keep a slip-stick handy; they're wonderful tools for approximating and seeing if a concept will work or not.


[0] And bloody close timing, too! The cells were just starting to leak and corrode!
I have a slide rule in front of me next to the computer. I use it to convert inches to millimeters and back. The accuracy of that method is good enough for me.
Rekenlineaal kleinq.jpg
During my study, calculators were also banned and the ownership of slide rules mandatory. It was part of the list of books you had to buy at the beginning of the study.
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Re: Stay in school kids....

Post by moonshadow »

Sinned wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:00 pm
Moon, I'm glad that you still have the freedom to use cash. A great many stores are card only now because cash has the potential to spread various things. I've put amounts as low as less than 50p on a card.
I voluntarily used my credit card from March until just a few weeks ago. I always preferred cash, and with the numbness taking hold over the virus threat, last paycheck I decided I might as well start carrying cash again.

Some retailers charge a service fee for using a card.

As they say... "cash is KING"

And another favorite:

"In God We Trust, all others pay cash!"
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Re: Stay in school kids....

Post by pelmut »

Sinned wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:00 pm
Moon, I'm glad that you still have the freedom to use cash. A great many stores are card only now because cash has the potential to spread various things. I've put amounts as low as less than 50p on a card.
I still use cash at the local shops.  I carry it in a wide-mouthed plastic jar with a small quantity of Isopropanol in the bottom.  I hand over the cash while it is still wet and get the shopkeeper to drop my change straight into the jar.  Nothing nasty can travel in either direction and the cash dries out a few seconds after it has been put into the till.
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Re: Stay in school kids....

Post by Kirbstone »

Yesterday was very hot towards late afternoon here. After my last victim I peeled off all my PPE, changed into tee & shorts and slid into my steed, Temp 28 deg C. Drove home via a favoured little store that sells 'Ninety nine' ice creams....a stand-up whirl of vanilla poured into & onto a wafer cone with a chocolate flake stuck into the side at a rakish angle.
For this I handed over a 2 Euro coin (dry). That was the only cash purchase I have made in months! I instructed the car to drive me home on autopilot while I indulged......

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Sinned
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Re: Stay in school kids....

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There isn't any charge for using a card over here - whether credit or debit card [0]. The reason given for going card only is that there is the potential for cash - coins or notes, to carry the corona virus. It's not been proven one way or another but it's a just in case scenario. My store is card only but because we can't refuse to accept cash then one till is used for cash or card. I really don't see a problem with cash and would willingly pay in cash. But different stores have different policies. Before all this virus nonsense I would tend to pay in cash if the total was under £10 and card if over. In terms of coins we have 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2 coins. There are also sovereigns ( £1 solid gold ), guineas ( very rare old coins equivalent to £1 1shilling ), £5 coins ( usually commemorative and seldom legal tender except in the issuing country such as Gibraltar ). Nowadays there are commemorative 10p and 50p coins so our money is getting more like play money every year. I think our money stopped being real money at decimalisation. OK, the coins were bigger but at least you felt like you had money in your pocket. The conversions were trickier with 12p to the shilling and 20 shillings to the pound but hey, you got used to it and the mental calculations weren't that onerous. Anyway, people didn't have as much money in their pockets in them days!!!! Sorry didn't mean for this post to turn out this way.

[0] Credit card - a separate credit account, debit card linked to your current account and the amount debited straight from it. Just for those who may not know the difference. Not sure if you Americans have both.
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Re: Stay in school kids....

Post by Shilo »

beachlion wrote: post_id=215423
Rekenlineaal kleinq.jpg
During my study, calculators were also banned and the ownership of slide rules mandatory. It was part of the list of books you had to buy at the beginning of the study.

We were probably studying at about the same time. I too have kept my old SR which looks very similar to the one depicted ( case and all). Calculators did exist but cost more than a weeks wages for a very simple one.
Some years later when I retrained as a teacher I delivered a presentation using a 6 foot one as a prop. I later discovered from an older technician that the head of maths had approached him to ask how one worked. Apparently he was scared of losing face by asking one of his students. Together with log tables they were vital in my education.
Last edited by Uncle Al on Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed quoting format
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