# THREE-QUARTERS OF A POUND – Marilyn Armstrong

I was out of lunch meat, so Garry went to the deli. It was Monday and they were out of everything except (sigh) turkey breast. Not my favorite, but I’m betting today is a delivery day.

Like a deer caught in headlights, she was lost. She could probably “do” a pound — or half a pound. But what was 3/4? She obviously didn’t recognize it as 75% of a pound, or even that it’s likely the line between the half pound and full pound markers.

Schools don’t teach math in any way that might be useful to those they have taught. They have gotten into systems so complicated that no one under 40 can do any math in their head. They need a calculator. Even to subtract one number from another. Oh, and they can’t count on their fingers.

Eventually, the boss stopped what he was doing and came over to rescue her.

Garry came home. He commented that there’s a scale and surely the young women (in her 20s) could tell that there was a line between half a pound and one pound and that would be the three-quarter, right?

Wrong. She doesn’t know that 3/4 (of one) = 75% (of one). Have you ever tried to explain to a clerk how to turn 99-cents into a dollar?

“Look, I’ll give you a penny and you can give me a dollar.”

“It says 99-cents.”

“So that means that if I give you a penny, you can give me a dollar.”

“It says 99-cents.”

This is because she doesn’t understand that 100 cents (pennies) equal one dollar. We are worried that our “below age 40” youngsters aren’t going to vote. I’m beginning to worry that they can’t think. Apparently, thinking is no longer taught in any school. So if you don’t get a head start at home with the whole “thinking” thing, you’re doomed. If they don’t know that 99-cents plus a penny equal a dollar, how can we expect them to vote? Or have a grip on the issues? Or even know what kind of government we have or might want?

Categories: Cooking, Food, mathematics

### 91 replies

1. New math??? I’m a product of the UK school system in the 60’s and early 70’s i was taught the ‘old’ way, apparently, but i was unaware until now there was any alternative!

So if i understand the new math graphic correctly – it is somehow ‘simpler/easier’ to figure out that 8 + 1 + 10 + 10 + 10 = 39 and then to add it all one by one to 72 than it is to add two 2 digit numbers together??? REALLY???

If we blew any of the Education Budget on letting idiots insert that crap into hte system then no wonder DT is US President now.

The Super-rich want us all as dumb as pigs#!t so we can’t figure out how to get their ‘legally’ gotten hypershare of the wealth of the world back off their sad little asses.

They are doing such a good job and 95% of us have not yet figured this out so the gap between them and the 80% doing the actual work in the country continues to expand.

end of rant.

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2. I guess taking a hint from the latest thinking, “New Math” could be labeled as “Alternate Math” (ala “Facts” and “Alternate Facts”). Seems from your lead example 72 could just as easily be thought of as 39, or 111. Then again we could add all those numbers in the bottom row and get 536. Perspective seems to be the question here, depending on which method you prefer to calculate it.

It’s like digital sound represented in “1s” and “0s”. The spaces in between the samples have meaning and value but are ignored during conversion from analog to digital. Then in order to make it sound like the original, we scramble to fill in those spaces to re-create the original sound, otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to hear it. This, in some ways, explains why many prefer the sound of analog recordings. To them, pure analog sounds somehow more complete thusly simple math is easily understood and applied…, mostly. I guess God had it all figured out from the get-go, but, NO, we have to go and add new meaning to what was simply correct from the beginning. So WTF are we doing?

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3. I may be off base here (often am, I’ve reached that over 55 mark, and all those 20 somethings KNOW anyone past 30 is ancient and without brain matter), but aren’t those same clueless (and apparently math skill challenged) ‘kids’ of 20 something in large part RESPONSIBLE for the wreck of the good ship U.S.A? I mean I know there’s a buncha farty old white men (sorry farty old white men, but you earned the profile. A large number of you qualify) running around with Make America Grrrr8 AGAIN! stenciled on their gimme caps, assault rifles, who are pretending to be ‘warriors’ of the coming apocalypse; who can take a share of the blame. I still suspect the 20 somethings, who are pretty rabid about politics (hey, they’re young and haven’t been sufficiently disillusioned yet IMHO) are at the heart of the orange menace. And I bet ya they had good intentions. And we all know where those lead…

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• I was encouraged by how many youngsters are really trying to get into it and make a difference. They need to do that because whether we are smart or stupid or both, we are also old and we will not be here much longer. THEY have to take charge of their generation and do what they can to make things better. How you or I feel about it is neither here nor there. The world will roll along and we will be gone. Garry and I voted the youngest candidates we could find who weren’t Trumpophiles because we felt this place needs the kind of change only young people can bring, One of our people won, another lost … but we keep cheering for them. They are the hope of the world.

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• Yes. I guess that’s why my hackles come up when I feel they are being dissed. I remember being young and it was no picnic. ❤

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