Joke 115

17 Jul

The Evolution Of Math

A lumberjack sells a truckload of lumber for $100.  His cost of production is 4/5 of this price. What is his profit?

1960 (traditional math):
A lumberjack sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of this price, or in other words $80. What is his profit?

1970 (new math):
A lumberjack exchanges a set L of lumber for a set M of money.  The cardinality of set M is 100, and each element is worth $1.  Make 100 dots representing the elements of set M.  The set C is a subset of set M, of cardinality 80. What is the cardinality of the set P of profits, if P is the difference set MC?

1980 (equal opportunity math):
A lumberjack sells a truckload of wood for $100. His or her cost of production is $80, and his or her profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

1990 (outcome based education):
By cutting down beautiful forest trees, a lumberperson makes $20. What do you think of his way of making a living?  In your group, discuss how the forest birds and squirrels feel, and write an essay about it.

1995 (entrepreneurial math):
By laying off 402 of its lumberjacks, a company improves its stock price from $80 to $100. How much capital gain per share does the CEO make by exercising his stock options at $80? Assume capital gains are no longer taxed, because this encourages investment.

1998 (motivational math):
A logging company exports its wood-finishing jobs to its foreign subsidiary and lays off the corresponding half of its US workers (the higher-paid half). It clear-cuts 95% of the forest, leaving the rest for the spotted owl, and lays off all its remaining US workers. It tells the workers that the spotted owl is responsible for the absence of fellable trees and lobbies Congress for exemption from the Endangered Species Act. Congress instead exempts the company from all federal regulation. What is the return on investment of the lobbying?

21 Responses to “Joke 115”

  1. vivienne Blake July 17, 2011 at 08:01 #

    That is not a joke – it is a frightening picture of life, education and the state of the planet. I applaud you for posting it, but wish that it didn’t ring so true.


    • Pseu July 17, 2011 at 09:43 #

      Yes, what you said


  2. Tilly Bud July 17, 2011 at 10:20 #

    This one hurts a bit, doesn’t it?


  3. misswhiplash July 17, 2011 at 12:51 #

    You are so right.This is the way that education is going.
    This is my first visit to your blog Mrs Tilly and I am most impressed.So I have pressed the LIKE button and the subscription so I shall be calling upon you again.

    thank you so much for making me smile!


    • Tilly Bud July 18, 2011 at 22:57 #

      Thank you for your lovely comment; new subscribers are amongst my favourite people in all the world. 🙂


  4. Big Al July 17, 2011 at 14:12 #

    I remember that first one on a test in 1950. I thought, wow, 20% profit! I blame it for causing me to become the scum-sucking, low-life, greedy, insensitive capitalist that I am. Other than that, I’m a pretty nice guy.


    • Tilly Bud July 18, 2011 at 22:58 #

      Buy me a Malteser factory and I’ll believe you 🙂


  5. nrhatch July 17, 2011 at 14:51 #

    Jokes are often the most poignant form of social commentary. Equal Opportunity Math made me giggle. It’s like giving everyone a trophy . . . just for showing up. 😀


    • Tilly Bud July 18, 2011 at 23:01 #

      Dreadful, isn’t it? The kids are not fooled for long; they know when they’re being patronised. Those that don’t, end up being made fools of on X Factor and American idol 🙂


  6. colonialist July 17, 2011 at 15:15 #

    My feelings coincide with the others – it would be hilarious if it weren’t so close to the absolute truth! There also seems to be a return to the Equal Opportunity Math, but it needs further simplification because some can’t find the 20 or draw a straight line.


    • Tilly Bud July 18, 2011 at 23:02 #

      I’d laugh but that’s scarily close to the truth.


  7. Janie's Place July 17, 2011 at 17:40 #

    Lol!! And so apropos! Tomorrow at 8am I begin the College Algebra portion of my College Torture project.


    • Tilly Bud July 18, 2011 at 23:04 #

      Best of luck with it!

      I used to love Algebra; it’s the only bit of maths I enjoyed.


  8. Perfecting Motherhood July 18, 2011 at 06:10 #

    So true, and so sad. Sometimes you just wonder where this world is heading…


  9. sarsm July 19, 2011 at 21:29 #

    Am I the only one who laughed at this joke?


  10. mommygems July 20, 2011 at 00:48 #

    Probably because I fear Math, the moment I read the 1970 (new math), my brain collapsed. lol! But I think this isn’t really a joke though it’s funny, this is reality and it strikes a chord. 🙂


    • Tilly Bud July 20, 2011 at 11:30 #

      Yes, it seems to have hit a nerve with most people.


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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