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No, this is apparently not a joke.

This may be a first for me.  I’m speechless.

UPDATE: Others, who may consider that algebra is indeed useless, might want to read, this, or this.

(Hat tip to Mark at Decision '08)

UPDATE: Or this.

UPDATE:  David Totzke disagrees.

Posted on Friday, February 17, 2006 2:28 PM General | Back to top


Comments on this post: What Is the Value of Algebra?

# re: What Is the Value of Algebra?
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Wow, I'm speechless too. I've seen plenty of people that don't know how to write or locate things on the map or basic history either, and more than one or two of them have also fared well in this world, so I guess by his reasoning we shouldn't require English, geography, or history either -- and yet he doesn't see that flaw in his own reasoning. :(
Left by Paul Wilson on Feb 17, 2006 12:06 PM

# re: What Is the Value of Algebra?
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I hope Gabriela likes working at McDonalds but not as cashier!
Left by Tim Doak on Feb 17, 2006 12:38 PM

# re: What Is the Value of Algebra?
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Ah, yes. You're so right Chris! Just earlier today I was using the quadratic equation (again!) while at Starbucks. It's really helped me write better data access layers. But seriously, how can anyone honestly expect to be able to program in .NET without knowing how to do long division of a polynomial by a binomial?

OK, OK there is one tricky problem that I've never been able to solve, maybe you can help. What are the odds that, given there'll never be enough McDonald's restaurants to contain all the people we think are stupid, that some self-important, deeply naive dweebie will say something like "They should work for McDonald's?"

Are you still typing with two fingers also?
Left by Not Joking. on Feb 17, 2006 2:02 PM

# re: What Is the Value of Algebra?
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Personally, I've used algebra quite a bit in this last week. But, more importantly, I've used the logical thinking that learning algebra has provided me. I've used it nearly every day as a matter of fact.
Left by Chris J. Breisch on Feb 18, 2006 10:40 AM

# re: What Is the Value of Algebra?
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What is the value of life? Of knowledge? Of wonder? Of understanding? Or of wisdom?

Silly questions? The value is in their use. If you don't use them they have no value.

The more things that are valued simply means that more things are used and useful. That means that the person's life is larger, fuller, more rich than someone's life who sees no use or value in things.

One final note. We don't yet know what the real limits are to being a human. It is worth exploring new things to see if we can find a use for them. That adds to what it means to be a human. We are far more than we can possibly imagine and we should live our lives accordingly.
Left by joekdoe on Mar 05, 2006 7:44 AM

# re: What Is the Value of Algebra?
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i dont like it
Left by fred gerbansox on May 24, 2006 5:52 PM

# re: What Is the Value of Algebra?
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How about the value of solving those crazy mixture and rate "story problems"? You know, the kind Gary Larson of Far Side portrays in his comical interpretation of what hell might be like!

See http://www.mathmotivation.com/deductive/word-problems.html

They are good for you!
Left by Michael Sakowski on Jan 16, 2008 10:11 AM

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