Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Probably Nothing"

Oh, you crazy socialists, promising yourselves everything.  When will you learn you need production to pay for everything?

Hey, you crazy kids enjoy that decline!


sisterbrat said...

I have a supply of popcorn laid in, and will be chomping away as i watch the show. I have enough for the duration. Pop Pop Pop BANG

Anonymous said...

Time to go short?

Amateur Strategist said...

Could someone elaborate a bit further?

Jim said...

Oh yeah. Me thinks Europe is in for a bumpy ride this Sunday. Never mind that the run on banks there is adding up to around 800 million Euros everyday.

Anonymous said...

Is it because it's Father's Day?

Anonymous said...

Haha you got the mail too.
Better get out of those EUR positions while you still can.
Not that you would be stupid enough to be long eur...

Herr Wilson said...

The great thing about the Smith & Wesson retirement plan is that home protection and catastrophe protection is included at no additional charge...which may come in handy soon.

Back to enjoying the decline...this weekend I'll be in Crater Lake, Oregon. If the shit goes down, you know where to find me.

Aaron said...

What's that watery, sucking sound?

Ryan said...

This comment has nothing to do with your post but I am looking for guidance. I do not do well with math. Allow me to explain.

I recently took Statistics. We covered how to make histograms, finding the p-value, probability, the design of experiments...just simple, basic statistics.

I would sit down on Monday night and go over the chapter (this was an online course so lectures were also online), read, listen to the lecture, take notes by hand so I could make the important writing/hard-wired-into-memory link, then Tuesday I'd review. Wednesday I'd take a break and work on biology. Thursday nights I'd go over the entire chapter again, as if it were a Monday night.

On Fridays we had a chapter quiz.

Without fail, I either scored a 40 or 60 on every chapter quiz. I would get so frustrated. When the tests came (on Sundays, one every three weeks or so) I'd score in the mid to high 80s.

I asked myself "Why is it I can review for a test and get these concepts down but when I study for a simple quiz, over one chapter, I fail?"

I really tried to examine quizzes, solutions and step by step instructions compared with my own computations. I noticed for the first time in my life where my math mistakes were.

A mis-written number here. A simple addition problem that I had miscalculated by one number there. A complete jump where I messed up order of operations so bad there was no hope in hell of getting a right answer.

Insofar as I could tell the steps I followed were by and large correct. Yet the actual math, the nitty gritty calculation was where a whole lot of simple mistakes made for a shit-storm of an answer.

It was as if I was number dyslexic. I would switch numbers or switch signs or reverse operations out of nowhere and I still can't figure out why.

A quick example: I will see 7*5=? I see the 7 and 5 and say 12. Or 4*120=? I'll say 3 because I think of 4 and then I'll see a zero so I know I need to add a zero to 4*12 and then I see 12 and think 3 and 4 make twelve and before you know it, I've derailed my own efforts. This is simple arithmetic we're talking about here.

I say all of that to ask this: How can someone such as myself get better? Captain, is there a point where a young man should say "I'm not mathematically inclined and I'd be wasting everyone's time trying to be so I will pursue something else" or is failure never an option?

If failure is not an option are there resources that would help someone such as myself unlock the keys to flat out becoming better? Am I barking up the wrong tree here?

The saddest thing for me is I am in love with the idea of numbers and math. I was reading about discrete mathematics and combinatorics the other night, absolutely floored, my head swimming but so excited at the little bits I understood. I feel locked out of the greater world, not only economically but intellectually as well and its frustrating but I do not know where to go anymore for help.

I'll be forever grateful if anyone can offer some wisdom or point me in the direction of books or some other resource that would help me get a handle on math. I so very badly want to "get it" but don't know where to start.


Anonymous said...

Just in time for the greek elections this sunday.

If the EURCCCP somehow manages to force another eurocrat in, revolution happens.

If they do not, the Greek people vote left, and they exit the Europe.

number2 said...

Ryan: Keep trying! I had a 520 SAT math score and still managed to do an electrical engineering degree years ago. I did not always do well in every class given the heavy math in EE. I did have to put in some extra effort. Can't say I've ever made more than a B in any college or highschool math class.

I had and have that same problem to sometimes; concepts okay, but can not seem to copy the numbers down correctly.

You are ahead of the game because you are aware of these issues and have a good handle on how to learn new material.

Think of all who go to college and still clueless on how they learn stuff!

Orphan said...

Ryan -

There is indeed "dyslexia of mathematics", it is called dyscalculia.

My recommendation, however, is this - stick with it, and triple-check all your work. Keep trying methods until you find something that works for you. Dyscalculia can be overcome; Einstein, Thomas Edison, and Einstein are all said to have/have had dyscalculia.

In the end, arithmetic is the smallest measure of mathematics, and you may find your footing in some of the more advanced mathematics coursework, where most people who think they like mathematics discover how much they hate it.

Robert Hewes said...

If true, this is a hell of a story. Thing is, I can't find any mention of it outside of the blogosphere. Does anyone have independent corroboration?

Mrs. Bob said...


Wow, you have the classic problem of not writing each step of a math problem down meticulously. I finally learned how to do this correctly my first year in Civil Engineering. They made everyone follow a painstakingly exact formulaic process, and you know what, it worked. My problems in that area were solved. Later on tutoring others in math I noticed that if they just followed a step by step procedure they would always be able to solve the problem. NONE of them did this and that is why they would have problems. Even if they understood the larger concept they never wrote it out step by step. I started hating tutoring people because no matter I how much I explained this too them they wouldn't do it.

I really wish I still had a copy of how this was done. Use tons and tons of paper and be very meticulous in writing out each and every single step. Every plus, minus, multiplication, change in decimals, unit conversions etc. This should cut down on your mistakes.

Anonymous said...


You say you do between 20 and 40 points better on the tests that are given on Sunday, than on the ones give on Friday. You examined the data and found that you do poorly on the Friday exams because of simple careless errors.

Sounds to me like you are tired on Friday when you take the quiz, or anticipating the weekend, or a combination of both.

I'd suggest that, before you jump to conclusions about dyslexia, you get some extra sleep on Thursday nights; and make sure you are well rested, well fed, and not stressed when you take your Friday quizzes.

James Wolfe said...

Everyone has a down day. Mine is Tuesdays. I don't sleep well most nights so the weekend is my only chance to catch up. Which makes it hard to get to bed early on Sunday, but since I got lots of sleep over the weekend I can usually make it through Monday. Tuesday hits me like a ton of bricks. I usually work from home on Tuesdays to get an extra couple of hours of sleep. If I looked back on my life I wouldn't be surprised if every job I ever quit was on a Tuesday. Your down day must be Friday.

Clutch cargo cult said...

Any market maker not open Sunday night is worthless, if they do not recognize the opportunity they are fools