By Christian Constanda
Think algebra type meets The Hitchhiker’s advisor to the Galaxy… Meet JJ, an strange personality with a distinct vantage place from which he can degree and visual display unit humanity’s growth. Armed with a tool that compels throughout it to inform the reality, JJ deals a satirical assessment of our attitudes to numeracy and common sense, touching upon a number of elements of lifestyles in the world alongside the way in which, from the legal justice process and people’s use of language to road using and glossy artwork. a suite of mathematically-flavored tales and jokes, interlaced with puzzles, paradoxes and difficulties, fuse jointly in an wonderful, free-flowing narrative that may have interaction and amuse someone with an curiosity within the concerns confronting society this day. JJ demonstrates how an absence of ordinary mathematical wisdom can taint our paintings and common pondering and displays upon the significance of what's arguably our most dear weapon opposed to lack of awareness: a valid mathematical schooling.
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Extra info for Dude, Can You Count? Stories, Challenges and Adventures in Mathematics
11 10 11 William Penn Adair Rogers, American comedian, humorist, and social commentator, 1879–1935. For the uninitiated: swapping the limits of integration changes the sign of the result. 28 SCAM 3 I thought I saw a shadow of sadness wash over JJ’s face. ” I wanted to take issue with his use of the word ‘primitive’, but I didn’t get the chance. “Thanks for the stories,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed our little chat. ” Then, unceremoniously, he sprang to his feet and promptly walked out of the bar.
To which the bursar replies, “Why make such a fuss over a kiddie’s prank? ” “The state-school education shining through,” JJ observed caustically. “It brings to mind Will Rogers’s10 quip that ‘the schools ain’t what they used to be, and never was’. ” A professor of mathematics notices that his kitchen sink has sprung a leak, so he calls a plumber. When the man arrives, he crouches under the sink, replaces a gasket and, in a couple of minutes, has the sink perfectly operational again. ” “What?? ” the mathematician says indignantly.
SCAM 2 The Mathematical Commandments A few strong instincts and a few plain rules suﬃce us. 2 Bertolt Brecht3 I met JJ again at a mathematics conference sponsored by Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Just like the ﬁrst time, he was sitting alone at a table in a corner of the hotel bar, gazing at me across the room with dark, inscrutable eyes. “Civilizations rise and fall on their treatment of mathematics,” he said abruptly when I joined him. ” “I’ve also condensed the remedy into 10 simple principles—kind of commandments, you might say—that should be brought to the attention of all students.