Saturday, July 3, 2021

Joey Does Number Bonds – Close Enough For Government Work!

advanced math calvin and hobbes do number bonds

Buildings keep falling down in America. What the heck’s going on?

Is it bad science?

Champlain Towers South, for example, was erected in 1981. These buildings may face loads and other threats that designers did not anticipate, including those linked to climate change.

…what are you going to do with an area that never had high snow loads before, and suddenly, one winter, there’s a storm in the South like one you’d normally get in Boston? We design roofs based on historical records for snow, but those rare events aren’t so rare anymore. We have bigger hurricanes. We have longer heat waves. It’s a challenge for us, as structural engineers, to keep up with those changing demands.Scientific American

Or maybe bad math? What if building engineers used the kind of modeling/statistics that Professor Neil Ferguson, who led the COVID-19 modeling team at Imperial College in London, used to develop the public policy of lockdown in Britain and America?

We now know the model was so highly flawed it never should have been relied upon for policy decisions to begin with.

As we learn more about the new coronavirus, it is imperative to continue to update the assumptions used in these models. - Heritage

Or maybe the failing infrastructure is partially the result of bad social engineering?

Workplace diversity and inclusion is a top priority.

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Please note: I’m aware that it’s considered both racist and sexist of me to even think there may be a connection between diversity hiring and reduced performance. But having done a corporate training rotation in HR as Employment Manager for a year way back in the early 80s, I know about such things. While I’m quite certain methods and measurements have changed, I’m likewise assured that human nature hasn’t. If your job performance is based on how well you meet diversity goals you will meet them, no matter how. If knowing that and saying it makes me a white supremacist, so be it: like racism itself the words no longer mean anything.

But back to the problem at hand, it’s so bad that Putin has declared “the age of American Dominance” to be over. Perhaps that’s because he sees how we are educating the youth of this country. And I’m not just talking about the cultural brainwashing of anti-Western, anti-American sentiment, I’m talking about the basic skills of reading, writing and, most importantly, arithmetic.

Case in point: when Raj was at therapy earlier this week his Physical Therapist (PT) – a young white male - came over while he was working with one of the Physical Therapy Assistants (PTA) – young white female - and asked him “are you good at math?” Because he is, Raj responded “yeah, pretty good,” thinking that he was going to get an interesting problem to solve. But the PT proceeded to explain: they had done a patient survey the day before and he was trying to figure out how to calculate the percent of people (7)  out of the total (38) that responded positively to a question. Yes, you understood me correctly: he needed help calculating a percentage, despite having a cell phone in his pocket with a built in calculator 100 times more powerful than the first one I owned, and likewise having access to the Google machine that contains how-to resources on everything from baking a cake to building a backyard rocket. And still he wanted help performing a simple, basic life skill. No wonder they now have tips automatically calculated and printed for you right on the check now.

At this point I feel compelled to mention that getting your PT certification in Michigan requires not just a 4 year degree, but a 7 year degree. That’s right, 3 years post-graduate training. And PTAs are required to have a two year degree (that includes a course in statistics, I checked) and pass a state board certification test. Nor am I saying that all, or even most, PTs and PTAs can’t do simple percentages. In fact Raj and I have several nieces in the field all of whom I will guarantee could do that calculation blindfolded and tied up. Nor am I saying that Raj’s PT couldn’t have eventually figured it out on his own.  I’m just surprised that, rather than do so, he just took the easy route and asked somebody he was pretty sure would know how – with no apparent sign of embarrassment whatsoever.

calvin needs help with his number bonds math

What I’m saying is that the gap between ‘education,’ skills, and the ability to think and solve problems is growing faster than the infamous “income inequality gap” and is far more worrisome. I wonder if there’s any statistical correlation between the Common Core Curriculum and the new-found dumbness of our younger citizens? Not that there’s anyone left around that would be able to calculate it if there was.

arithmetic number bonds

And not that it matters, what with the new standards of performance we’re developing.

joey b does number bondsJoey B does number bonds. Close enough for government work!