Something came up at my home site which might be of interest to the wider readership. It was a maths or math question:
Various readers gave answers, then my last answer [which I’d changed a few times] was this below, in comments.
[Warning – spoilers ahead if you’d like to try it yourself first]
Let’s do it again, Steely Dan.
One boot is 5.
Each unadorned boy is 5.
The four cones make 8. One cone = 2.
All right, we have our values:
Boot = 5
Boy = 5
Cone = 2
In order to complete line four, we’re taught in school either BOMDAS or BODMAS. This is the sticking point for readers who may not have been taught this for complicated equations. From one of the many help sites:
Do you use Bodmas when there are no brackets?
Just follow the rules of BODMAS to get the correct answer. There are no brackets or orders so start with division and multiplication.
This is primary or elementary school, pretty much universal:
All right, in our example, there are no brackets to clear, and ‘of’ is just another name for ‘times’.
Does it matter if it is BODMAS or BOMDAS? I can’t answer – usually no I’d suspect. I learnt or learned BOMDAS.
As it’s irrelevant in our Line 4, pressing on, we solve the ‘times’ first. We know the adorned boy [from head down] is 5 for himself, 2 + 2 for the cones, plus 5 + 5 for the boots = 19.
19 x 2 = 38
Leaving us with:
5 + 38 = 43
All right, if we ignore the accepted method for exams and just go left to right instead:
5 + 5 = 10
10 x 2 = 20
But that does not stand up internationally:
My compounding error and I do apologise [apologize] was to assume all readers had been taught maths [math] at primary [elementary] till year eight. A thousand apologies.
The quote above mentions:
There are no brackets or orders
Now that’s interesting. I understood ‘O’ [letter, not zero] to stand for ‘of’, as in three-quarters of twelve.
But that seems to indicate it stands for ‘orders’, which actually makes sense, except that I was taught ‘of’.
‘Orders’ there I take as ‘special orders’ in post-year eight math[s]. And it makes sense.
Implications for us in the west
This is a political issue – rules of society – but even more to the immediate point – rules of computing, at least the rules underlying the rules.
Just what does happen when a generation is brought up without the old rules? That is – they were never taught these things? They ‘missed out’?
Jaw drops open for someone like me.